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December 8, 2012 - 11:55pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Notre Dame edged out Batavia/Alexander in one of the most exciting cross-town rivalries in Section V.

After losing their first two games of the season, the Fighting Irish notched their first win of the season, 3-2 at Falleti Ice Arena in Batavia on Saturday.

“When we play against Batavia it’s such an emotional game,” said Notre Dame Head Coach Marc Staley. “I just try to keep them low key, as if it is just another game.”

It didn’t take the Irish very long to get on the board, as Kevin Moscicki jammed a loose puck by Batavia goaltender Trevor Rarick just 1:27 into the game. The Ice Devils responded quickly though, as Matt Tambe scored four minutes later to tie the game at one.

Batavia/Alexander would start the second period as the more aggressive team, peppering ND goalie Jimmy Johnson early on before Tambe tipped a Brannon Jones' shot by him to take a 2-1 lead.

Thirty seconds after Tambe’s second tally, Batavia would take a penalty, giving the Irish a power play. However, Notre Dame’s Mason Versage would be called for tripping halfway through, seemingly sending momentum back to the Ice Devils.

But once again Batavia would be called for another penalty, giving the Irish a 4-on-3 man advantage.

Notre Dame finally capitalized on the ensuing faceoff, as Zach Blew blasted a shot through Rarick’s legs from the top of the circle to bring the game back to even heading into the final frame.

The shot advantage in the game was dominated by Notre Dame heading into the third, as they outshot Batavia 23 to 16, however, Batavia would dominate play for the early part of the period.

The Irish would not muster a shot until there was 5 minutes remaining in the game, and only recorded three for the period. However, third one was the difference in the contest.

Versage intercepted an errant Batavia break-out pass with 2:35 remaining, and walked in on goal all alone before flipping it over Rarick’s shoulder for the game-winning goal.

“We had a few missing players,” Staley said of his conservative third-period strategy. “So we went to the trap in the third to conserve energy.”

The game would not end without drama, as Notre Dame would take a penalty with 1:30 left in the contest, but their stingy defense failed to even allow a shot on Batavia’s last power play attempt.

Johnson gave Notre Dame (1-2) a huge boost in goal, making 20 saves. Jeffrey Antolos also assisted on all three of the Fighting Irish’s goals on the day.

“This is a nice win for us,” Staley said. “It will certainly make practice easier on Monday, but we have to continue to work and take it one game at a time.”

One of the main things that plagued the Ice Devils was their inability to capitalize on mistakes, as they went 0-for-5 on the power play for the game.

Rarick made 23 saves for Batavia/Alexander, which falls to 1-2. 

Photos by Howard Owens.

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.

December 3, 2012 - 11:16am
posted by Nick Sabato in basketball, sports.

Alexander Trojans
Last Season: 8-11 (Lost in the first round of the Class C1 Playoffs)
Head Coach: Wayne Hanley

Alexander is coming off a losing season, but they have reason to be optimistic about the upcoming year. In particular, because they return 6-foot-5 forward Travis Schmeider.

Schmeider made his mark as possibly the top big man in the Genesee Region League last year, averaging 17 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He was also an inside-out threat, connecting on 17 three-point field goals. Being so multidimensional, makes him difficult for opposing forwards to guard him.

The Trojans will miss Stef Krna’s 10 points and 7 rebounds per game, but they do return several other players who played significant minutes last winter. Guard Mark Farnsworth returns after averaging 7.8 points and 3.8 assists per game, and will run the offense for Wayne Hanley’s team. Also look for guard Louis Breton to take a bigger role this season.

Batavia Blue Devils
Last Season: 14-6 (Lost in the Class A Quarterfinals)
Head Coach: Buddy Brasky

After being ousted in the second round of the Class A playoffs last year, Batavia has strong reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season. They return four out of five starters, including leading scorers Justin Washington and Jalen Smith.

Washington was an All-Monroe County selection last year after posting 18 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. He is a do-it-all forward that can score inside and out, rebound and handle the ball in space. Meanwhile, Smith was a second-team All-County pick and is capable of playing both guard positions and has a soft touch from beyond the three-point arc. He gives them a solid one-two punch after scoring 17 per game a year ago.

Jamesson Etienne gives Buddy Brasky’s team a solid inside presence that allowed Washington to play on the perimeter at times last year, while Jake Brasky returns to run the offense at the point guard position. Malachi Chenault gave the Blue Devils a solid backup in the post after being called up from JV as an eighth-grader near the end of the season, and expect him to continue to grow as a full-time varsity player this year. Justice Fagan will provide more depth at guard after leading Batavia’s JV team in scoring last winter.

Byron-Bergen Bees
Last Season: 5-14 (Lost in the first round of the Class C1 Playoffs)
Head Coach: Pat McGee

Byron-Bergen faced hard times last season, winning only five games. However, this year they return the majority of their players, and Head Coach Pat McGee feels that his team has the potential to be the best that the school has had since winning the Genesee Region League in 2005.

Jeff and Jamie Maskell, who combined to average 9 assists per game a year ago, return to run the offense for the Bees and will share time at the point guard position. Austin Richardson returns as the leading scorer from the 2011-12 squad, averaging 14 points per contest. Zach DuBois, who was one of the top football players in the GR League this season, will be called upon to guard the opposing team’s best player once again this season.

The key player for Byron-Bergen will be junior Dajuandrick Gardner. The 6-foot-6 center has the potential to be a force in the middle for the Bees. Last season he averaged 12 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks per game as a sophomore. Gardner could be one of the top big men in the league if he continues to build on his success from a year ago. 

“We have gotten off to a great start and our expectations are high this year,” McGee said. “We think we can win our side of the league this year.” 

Elba Lancers
Last Season: 18-3 (Lost in the Class D1 Championship Game)
Head Coach: Mark Beehler

The Elba Lancers are coming off a superb 2011-12 season, as they reached the Class D1 Championship Game for the first time since 2005. However, Head Coach Mark Beehler will have to replace his top four scorers from a year ago, including the Ramsey triplets. One of the Ramsey’s led the Lancers in almost every statistical category, including Dan, who was a career 1,000-point scorer.

Nate Jonathan is the lone returning starter for Elba, but he has a chance to be one of the top post players in the Genesee Region League. At 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, Jonathan was able to carve out space in the paint at times this year and will be called upon to do so more often this season.

Zac Gillard and Andy Boyce saw solid playing time a season ago, while Jesse Pflaumer, Brandon Naylor and Dan Scott got significant minutes as sophomores. Each player will be expected to take a bigger role this season.

“If we want to compete in against the top teams this year, we will need to battle on defense and limit our opponent’s scoring,” Beehler said.

Each of Elba’s three losses came at the hands of Notre Dame last year.

Le Roy Oatkan Knights
Last Season: 2-18 (Lost in the Class C1 Quarterfinals)
Head Coach: John King

Le Roy went through some growing pains last season, managing only one win during the regular season. However, the Knights showed solid improvement as the season went along, upsetting Alexander in the first round of sectionals and coming up one point short in the Class C1 quarterfinals to Pembroke. This season, John King’s squad returns nine players, including four starters from last year’s team. They will be a senior-laden team that has a chance to make some noise in the Livingston County League. 

Eric Witkowski returns after leading the Knights in scoring a year ago. The 6-foot-3 senior forward averaged 12.7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game last season and should be a force in the middle. Marcus Mistersaro also returns to play alongside Witkowski in the frontcourt. Mistersaro led Le Roy in rebounding at 8 per game and also added 2.1 steals per contest. The backcourt will be led by junior Zach Moore, who was second on the team in scoring a year ago with 8 points per game. He will play alongside freshman Ethan Witkowski. 

“We have a great group of young men who have been working very hard,” said King, who is in his eleventh season as head coach. “With senior leadership and additions from JV’s, the team has made a commitment to working together and sacrificing individual success for team success.”

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Season: 22-2 (Lost in the Class D State Semi-finals)
Head Coach: Mike Rapone

Last season Notre Dame won sectionals for the first time since their state championship team of 2001. However, the Fighting Irish return only two starters from their team that reached the New York State Class D Semi-finals, but both of those players (Tim McCulley and Jared Thornton) were not only all-league selections, but all-state picks as well. They will both need to be big contributors as ND moves up to Class C1 this season.

McCulley and Thornton were also Mike Rapone’s leading scorers last year. McCulley, a junior, is a superb all-around player who averaged 16.1 points, 5.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. Thornton, also a solid well-rounded player, averaged 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per game, while connecting on 61 3-point field goals last year.  

Replacing three starters will be the key this year for Notre Dame, but they have some talented players to do so. Tommy Prospero, a transfer from Batavia, is an extremely versatile player who provides length and is a strong 3-point shooter. Ryan Bender will attempt to replace Sectional MVP Zach Hotze in the middle, and displayed great potential as the team’s sixth man a season ago. Bender will be an important asset, as Rapone listed how well his team plays against teams with strong inside players as a key to his team’s success. Vincent Misiti rounds out the starting five, and will provide a luxury as he can play both guard positions.

“This group has the talent to be both a GR pision 2, as well as a Class C1 title contender,” Rapone said. “If they develop a consistent work ethic, continue to grow and improve as individuals and as a team, we will be able to make big plays at the right time.”

Oakfield-Alabama Hornets
Last Season: 6-13 (Lost in the First Round of the Class C2 Playoffs)
Head Coach: Gary Kurkowski

While Oakfield-Alabama finished with a 6-13 record last season, they did have some moments to build off of. The Hornets played Elba, who had only two losses in the league, to a 10-point margin. While their signature win came early in the season, as they trounced Pembroke on the road, 71 to 29. 

This season, Gary Kurkowski’s team returns only two players with experience a year. Austin Hamm and Nate Nodlinksi will be called upon for their experience and leadership on a roster that features only two seniors (one being Hamm). Oakfield has seven juniors and a sophomore, Ryan Emery, that will play major roles in the upcoming year. Chris Nanni and Chase Manzella are coming off of stellar football seasons and should provide the Hornets with some toughness. 

“The G-R League will be highly competitive in both divisions,” Kurkowski said. “It is our hope that through hard work and game experience we will improve daily and be a formidable opponent for all on a nightly basis.”

Pembroke Dragons
Last Season: 14-7 (Lost in the Class C1 Championship Game)
Head Coach: Ron Funke

Pembroke surprised many people last season by reaching the Class C1 title game, and even having an opportunity to win the game. Coach Ron Funke’s team last year was extremely senior-laden, with 8 of 11 players on the roster graduating last summer. 

This season’s Dragons will only return two players who received significant playing time a year ago. Point Guard Colin Lewis started nine games and guard Dan Hill saw spot minutes behind Caleb Lang and Wyatt Chittenden. This year both players will be forced to be key contributors for Pembroke to have any success. 

“Duplicating last season’s success will be a stretch,” Funke said. “We will be scrappy and attempt to be competitive in our division, but we are a work in progress.” 

Austin Cansdale moves up from JV and will see extensive action, as well as sophomore Abe Lang, brother of Caleb. The Dragons also have several players who haven’t played basketball since modified.

November 3, 2012 - 8:20pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Notre Dame’s football season came to an abrupt end.

The Avon Braves downed the Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon, 43 to 7. The loss eliminates Notre Dame from sectional playoffs, just one game shy of the Far West Regional.

Notre Dame got off to a fast start on their first possession of the game, taking the ball 82 yards on 13 plays, capped off by a Tim McCulley 1-yard touchdown run to take an early, 7-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, things began to go south for Head Coach Rick Mancuso and company.

“We lost the turnover battle,” Mancuso said. “We made a lot of mistakes that we haven’t in the past few weeks.”

Avon got on the board on their next possession after a 30-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Crye to Jake Martinez. The Braves then forced Notre Dame to put on the ensuing possession, and McCulley’s punt hit one of his blockers in the back. Avon marched 39 yards and Martinez punched in the go-ahead score from a yard out.

When the Fighting Irish got the ball, the Braves pounced on an Andrew Mullen fumble, giving them the ball at the ND 34-yard line. Crye hit Brandon McCaffery four plays later and converted on the 2-point conversion to take a 22-7 lead.

McCulley and his offense did not give up just yet, as they drove all the way to the Avon 1-yard line. However, the Braves defense stood strong, denying Notre Dame of any points and taking over on downs.

Crye, the Section V Class DD Offensive Player of the Year, would then take over on his own 3-yard line, and proceed to drive 97 yards in 2:35 before punching in a back-breaking touchdown run with 39 seconds remaining in the half to make the score 28 to 7 at intermission.

Notre Dame would never get any closer coming out of the half as their state championship dreams were dashed. Avon keyed in on McCulley, holding him to 6-of-17 passing for 57 yards.

“I hand it to Avon,” Mancuso said. “They are a great group of kids and (Head Coach) Andy Englert does a great job with them. They took full advantage of our mistakes and it just wasn’t our day.”

Taylor ended his high school career on a personal high-note, rushing for 80 yards on 13 carries after receiving the Section V Class D Defensive Player of the Year at halftime and he was voted his team’s Player of the Game by Section V.

Mullen chipped in with 71 yards.

Crye earned Player of the Game honors for Avon after finishing 7-of-16 for 137 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 136 yards and two scores on the ground. The Braves will play Section VI Champion Randolph next Friday for the right to represent Western New York in the State Tournament.

Despite losing, the Fighting Irish (8-2) had an outstanding season. They held a share of the Genesee Region League Championship and won their first sectional title since 2006.

McCulley was 6-17 for 67 yards. Jerad Thornton had two receptions for 15 yards and Taylor caught the ball twice for 16 yards. Anthony Paladino has six tackles and Charlie Hebert, five.

To purchase prints of these photos, click here. If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.

October 31, 2012 - 6:36pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1) vs. Avon Braves (8-1)

Notre Dame captured their first sectional championship since 2006 after dominating Clyde-Savannah last week, 26 to 6. The Fighting Irish shut down the Golden Eagles’ offense that came in averaging nearly 46 points per game on the season. They managed to sack star quarterback Tom Molisani seven times and intercept him four times.

The game was billed as a showdown between two standout quarterbacks, but Notre Dame’s Tim McCulley only attempted three passes. McCulley became a defensive stalwart, picking off two Molisani passes. Head Coach Rick Mancuso controlled the game, using the running game to control the tempo. Nick Taylor ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns, while Andrew Mullen picked up 88 and a score.

On the opposite side, Avon used a similar game plan to defeat the undefeated Red Jacket Indians to win the Class DD title. The Braves held the ball for over 28 minutes, and three different players carried the ball 14 or more times. Jake Martinez carried 19 times for 87 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback T.J. Crye carried 18 times for 65 yards and a score.

Avon has three players who have gained over 500 yards rushing this season. Dan Welch (655), Crye (580) and Martinez (504) have led the Braves offensively, while Welch and Martinez have 133 and 99 tackles on the season, respectively.

The winner of this game will advance to the Far West Regional against the winner of the Section VI Class D Championship game, which will either be Randolph (7-2) or Maple Grove (9-0).

Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.

#2 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (8-1) vs. #1 Hornell Red Raiders (9-0)

Le Roy is aiming for their 15th sectional championship in program history, and the 14th under Head Coach Brian Moran.

The only problem is that the three-time defending state champion Hornell Red Raiders are standing in their way. Hornell is riding in on a 48-game winning streak after shutting out Attica in the second round of the Class C playoffs last week, 35 to 0.

The Knights will be their stiffest test yet, especially if quarterback Mike McMullen can duplicate last week’s performance. The sophomore went 7-of-10 for 151 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Bath. He will be an integral part of the offense, because the Red Raiders were stout against the run last week, and he can add balance to the offense.

Le Roy will most likely look to control the tempo of the game with their stable of backs. Leading rusher Peter Privitera’s status is up in the air for the third-straight game after tweaking his knee in the third quarter last week. If he cannot play, Moran will rely on a quartet of backs in Tom Kelso, Marcus Mistersaro, Dylan Johnson and Kylan Carter.

Defensively, the Knights will need to stop Hornell’s double-pronged rushing attack of Zack Bacon and Luke Morgan. Bacon ran for 260 yards on 21 attempts and scored twice, while Morgan ran for 111 yards and a touchdown last week against Attica. If Le Roy can stop the run, they should be raising another sectional banner.

The Class C Championship was originally scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, but due to Hurricane Sandy, Hornell was forced to close school on Tuesday. The game has been rescheduled for noon Sunday, Nov. 4. The site will remain Sahlen’s Stadium.

October 27, 2012 - 7:27pm
posted by Nick Sabato in football, sports, Le Roy.

Le Roy football is back in the sectional finals after a 44-27 win over Bath-Haverling at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.

After three consecutive seasons without a winning record, the Oatkan Knights will attempt to win their 15th sectional championship in school history, the 14th under Head Coach Brian Moran.

Bath-Haverling entered Saturday afternoon’s contest at Sahlen’s Stadium looking to avenge a blowout loss earlier this season, and they came out fast. The Rams took the opening kickoff and marched 71 yards on nine plays before quarterback Daniel Leonard punched in the first score of the game from a yard out.

Le Roy responded quickly, as Tom Kelso took the ensuing kickoff back 79 yards for a touchdown. The teams would trade touchdowns, as the Knights’ leading rusher Peter Privitera returned from injury to score on a 29-yard scamper to take the lead, 14-13.

Leonard would score his third rushing touchdown of the game to retake the lead as time expired in the first quarter. At that point, the Knights began to put pressure on the senior and it led to good results. After Leonard recovered a fumble, he threw an ill-advised pass under pressure on the very next play that was intercepted by Kelso.

“[Leonard] has a great arm, he’s a four-year starter,” Moran said. “We had to put ourselves into a situation to make him move his feet, get him a little uncomfortable, and I thought we did that when we came off the corners.”

Le Roy countered Bath’s passing game with their own aerial attack. After attempting only five passes last week against Holley, sophomore quarterback Mike McMullen came out throwing. McMullen went 7-for-10 passing for 151 yards and a dazzling 37-yard strike to Ryan McQuillen that would put the Knights up for good in the second quarter. Perhaps the most impressive statistic was the fact that he did not throw an interception.

“When they put 10 guys in the box, you have to take advantage of it,” Moran said. “(McMullen’s) a sophomore, but he’s played all year and he needed to step up for us. He played very well today.”

Leonard finshed 9-for-21, with 165 yards passing and three interceptions. He also ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns for Bath (6-4).

Privitera also had a big game for Le Roy, rushing for 126 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns, including a 57-yard run on the first play of the second half. However, he was forced to leave the game in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury and did not return. The coaching staff is still optimistic that he will be able to play next week.

If Le Roy (8-1) wants to win another championship, they will have a daunting task in front of them as they will face top-seed Hornell. The Red Raiders are a three-time defending state champion and are riding a 48-game winning streak.

The Class C Championship game will take place Friday, Nov. 2, at Sahlen’s Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

PHOTOS by Howard Owens

To purchase prints of these photos, click here. If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.

October 25, 2012 - 2:04pm
posted by Nick Sabato in football, sports.

#6 Bath Rams (5-3) vs. #2 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (7-1)

Le Roy survived a tough first round test from Holley last week to advance to the Class C Semifinals, where they will face sixth-seeded Bath.

The Knights ran for 314 yards last week, despite playing without leading rusher, Peter Privitera. Tom Kelso and Marcus Mistersaro continued to be workhorses, while Le Roy got a huge and perhaps unexpected spark from senior Kylan Carter, who ran for 110 yards on nine carries. 

They could get another boost Saturday. Privitera was cleared to begin practicing this week, but how much and if he plays is still in question.

There is no doubt that coach Brian Moran will attempt to control the clock again this week, after holding the ball for nearly 21 minutes in the second half against Holley, and limiting them to 11 offensive plays.

On the other end of the spectrum, Bath upset the third seed, Elba/Byron-Bergen in first round play, 6 to 0.

The Rams held the Genesee Region League’s leading rusher, Zack DuBois, to only 60 yards after he averaged over 220 per game for the entire season.

It was the first time that any defense had held DuBois to under 100 yards rushing all season.

Bath also held the Lancers to only 78 total yards of offense and three first downs for the entire game. While being a low seed, the Rams also have an impressive win over Class B’s Livonia earlier in the season. If they can duplicate last week’s defensive performance, and sustain drives offensively, they could pull another upset.

Kickoff is set for Saturday 1:30 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium, Rochester.

#2 Clyde-Savannah Golden Eagles (7-1) vs. #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1)

Notre Dame advanced to the Class D Finals after vanquishing Dundee, 28 to 6.

Dundee had won five consecutive games against the Fighting Irish dating back to 1996, including three in a row from 2007 to 2009.

This week, they will face a much stiffer test in the second-seeded Clyde-Savannah Golden Eagles.

They will undoubtedly rely on quarterback Tim McCulley, who went 7 for 15 for 125 yards and a touchdown last week. The Notre Dame offense has revolved around the junior all season, and he has responded by throwing a school-record 17 touchdown passes.

If Head Coach Rick Mancuso and the Irish can get their passing game going, it will open up running lanes for Nick Taylor and Andrew Mullen, who combined for 219 yards and two touchdowns against Dundee.

Clyde-Savannah ousted third-seeded York in their semi-final matchup, 40 to 22.

The Eagles come in to this game averaging 46.5 points per game, and have not been scored less than 34 points in any game this season.

They are also winning by an average margin of 30.4 points per contest. Like Notre Dame, Clyde will rely on their quarterback Tom Molisani, who is coming off of a 19 for 22, 282-yard, 4-touchdown performance against York.

They did surrender over 200 yards of passing offense to York, although most of it was after the game had been put out of reach.

Expect to see a high-scoring affair on Saturday night at Sahlen’s Stadium, with both offenses looking to air it out. Both McCulley and Molisani have put up impressive statistics this season and have carried their teams to this point in the season. If McCulley gets off to a quick start, look for Mancuso to control the time of possession with the running game. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

October 20, 2012 - 9:35am
posted by Nick Sabato in football, sports, Le Roy.

It was the running game that once again carried Le Roy to victory.

The Oatkan Knights rushed for 1,975 yards this season. Peter Privitera ran for nearly half of those yards, but with the junior out due to injury, the Knights leaned on a stable of backs to run past Holley in their Class C first round matchup, 26 to 18.

After averaging 282 yards per game on the ground during the regular season, Le Roy pounded the Holley defense for 314 yards on 58 attempts.

In the absence of Privitera, Coach Brian Moran used Tom Kelso, Marcus Mistersaro, Dylan Johnson and Kylan Carter to fill the void. While Mistersaro and Kelso have played an integral part of the offense all season long, it was Carter who stepped up with several big runs.

Coming into the game, Carter had only carried the ball two times all season.

On the last home game of his career, he exploded for 110 yards on nine carries, including a 52-yard dash that helped set up the second touchdown of the game.

“This was our last home game and I held nothing back,” Carter said. “I played like a senior tonight.”

Another senior stepped up to the plate for the Knights, and that was fullback Dylan Johnson, who accounted for all 26 Le Roy points. Johnson scored four touchdowns and added two extra points, including the game-winning 18-yard run and PAT with 2:16 remaining in the ball game.

Le Roy got a break early, as Holley marched into Knights’ territory on the first drive of the game, but Mistersaro recovered a Nick Conklin fumble on a short yardage play.

After a few Kelso runs, Mistersaro burst free for a 35-yard scamper to set up a Johnson scoring plunge. Johnson would score again to put the Knights up 13-0 at the end of the first quarter

It appeared as if Le Roy might run away with the game, but the Hawks responded quickly.

Holley senior running back Cadizsh Norford took control of the second frame, cutting the lead to 13-6 as he darted up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown run.

After forcing Le Roy to punt on their next possession, the Hawks got the ball on their own 38 with just before halftime. On the first play of the drive, Norford took a direct snap, faked a pass and sprinted 62 yards for another touchdown to make the score 13 to 12 at the half.

“I’ve been here 24 years and [Norford] is as good as I’ve ever seen,” Moran said.

In desperate need of keeping the ball out of Norford’s hands after running for 124 yards on nine carries in the first half, the Knights proceeded to march 60 yards on 18 plays, consuming 10:45 of the third quarter. The long drive was capped by Johnson’s third touchdown of the game.

Even after a chop block penalty pushed them back 15 yards, the Le Roy offense continued to pound at the Hawks' defense until reaching the end zone.

“That’s old-school Le Roy football,” Moran said. “It shows that our kids are physically fit and it shows their mental preparation.”

Norford fired right back, receiving a pass from Kyle Bell for a 43-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 19-18.

After trading punts, the Knights embarked on an 80-yard scoring drive that took up 5:31 on the clock, and was finished off by Johnson’s final touchdown with 2:16 remaining to seal the game.

Moran made a point to control the clock in the second half, particularly with the explosive Norford on the opposite side. Le Roy dominated the time of possession down the stretch, ticking off 20:49.

When Holley took possession down 26-18, they had run only six offensive plays in the entire half.

“It does two things,” he said. “It puts pressure on them to score touchdowns and it puts us in a good situation to win because we have used up so much time.”

Holley (4-4) played a hard-fought game, with Norford finishing with 10 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns, while catching four passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Kelso finished the game with 80 yards on 26 carries, while Mistersaro racked up 90 yards for the second consecutive week.

Le Roy (7-1) advances to the Class C Semi-Finals next Saturday at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester for a 1:30 p.m. start.

They will play the winner of today's Elba/Byron-Bergen and Bath game.

In other Friday night sectional play: Batavia fell to East Rochester in a Section V playoff match, 35-20. Justin Washington scored on a 14-yard pass from Brett Scheuerlein in the second quarter. In the fourth, James Soggs scored on a six-yard run and Cody Swimline caught a five-yard pass from Scheuerlein for another TD.

In Connors and Ferris Bowl games, Cal-Mum beat Alexander, 36-6, Oakfield-Alabama beat Bolivar-Richburg 42-0 and Pembroke topped Geneseo 26-0.

In other Section V playoff action today, Notre Dame hosts longtime post-season nemesis Dundee.

In other games of note on Friday, Attica stomped Mynderse 61-8, and Hornell, which dropped down a class this season, continued its 40+ game winning streak, beating Wayland-Cohocton 41-13. Elba, Le Roy, Attica and Hornell are all Class C teams. Hornell and Attica face off in a semi-final game next week in Rochester.

If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here. To purchase prints of these photos, click here.

Photos by Howard Owens.

October 17, 2012 - 6:17pm
posted by Nick Sabato in batavia, football, sports, elba, byron, Le Roy, bergen.

#7 Batavia Blue Devils (3-4) vs. #2 East Rochester/Gananda Bombers (6-1)
7 p.m., Friday

Batavia enters their Class B first round matchup against East Rochester/Gananda riding a three-game losing streak, and has lost three out of the last four.

Despite the recent lack of success and a few injuries this week, first year Head Coach Brennan Briggs is still optimistic about his team’s chances of pulling off the upset.

“We are due to play 48 minutes of football because we haven’t in the last three weeks,” Briggs said. “If we execute and know our assignments, we can win this football game.”

To key to the Blue Devils’ success will be the playmaking ability of wide receiver Justin Washington. The senior is capable of making big plans in the return game, running and catching the ball.

“We have been working on a few different ways to get him the ball, whether it’s running or passing,” Briggs said. “We think [Washington] is the best athlete on the field on any given night.”

If Washington can break loose, and the Blue Devils overcome their injuries, they have a chance to beat the Bombers on Friday night.

#7 Holley Hawks (4-3) vs. #2 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (6-1)
7 p.m., Friday

Second-seeded Le Roy will host the seventh seed Holley in the first round of the Section V Class C Football Playoffs on Friday night in a matchup of Livingston County and Genesee Region League teams.

Le Roy is coming off an emotional come-from-behind win against rival Cal-Mum last week, as they scored 10 points in the final four minutes of the game to squeak out a victory.

The Knights’ only loss on the season came against Perry in Week 6, but leading rusher Peter Privitera did not play in the game, nor did he last week due to injury. Privitera has rushed for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns in five games this season, while Marcus Mistersaro has 362 yards, 3 touchdowns and 9.8 yards per carry.

Mistersaro stepped in for the injured Privitera last week and ran for 90 yards, including 63 on the game-winning drive against Cal-Mum.

Le Roy averages 282 rushing yards per game, so Holley will have to slow down the running attack in order to have an opportunity to win.

While the Hawks enter the game with more wins than losses, they have a 1-3 record against teams with a winning record for the season.

#6 Bath Rams (4-3) vs. #2 Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers (6-1)
1:30 p.m., Saturday

Elba/Byron-Bergen will host Bath in a Class C first round matchup on Saturday afternoon and the player to watch is undoubtedly Lancers running back Zack DuBois.

The senior led the Genesee Region League in rushing with 1,572 yards and 16 touchdowns. DuBois also ran for 200 yards in 5 of 7 games he played this year, and never rushed for less than 113. His average of 224.6 yards per game and 10.3 yards per carry were also tops in the league.

If Elba can get DuBois rolling early, it will open up the passing game for quarterback Zac Gillard, who has 881 yards, 12 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions on the season.

Defensively, they are led by four-time Section V Class C Defensive Player of the Week Andy Underhill.

The junior linebacker led the Lancers with 132 tackles, averaging almost 19 per game. While Bath comes in with a 1-3 record against teams with winning records, they did defeat a strong Livonia squad, so the Rams will be a tough first round matchup for Elba/Byron-Bergen.

#4 Dundee Scotsmen (3-4) vs. #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1)
1:30 p.m., Saturday

While Notre Dame is coming off an emotional high last week after defeating Attica to force a three-way tie for the Genesee Region League Championship, the 76 to 14 drubbing that Dundee gave the Irish in the 2009 Class D Championship game is still fresh in the mind of Head Coach Rick Mancuso.

Notre Dame will look to avenge that loss and the attack will begin with do-it-all quarterback Tim McCulley. The junior led the G-R League in passing yards and his 16 touchdown passes were also tops in the league.

McCulley is also extremely effective running the ball if the pocket breaks down, as he did last week 11 times for 79 yards. The McCulley-to-Jared Thornton connection has been hot as of late, with the two hooking up 10 times for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns in the victory against Attica.

If Dundee wants to upset the number-one seed in Class D, they will have to do so by shutting down Irish passing attack.

Notre Dame fell in the Class D Finals a year ago, and has not won a championship since 2006.





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