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December 18, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in brennan briggs, batavia, Batavia HS, Sports, football.

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Six sectional titles and two state semifinals isn't a bad legacy for most coaches who have been leading varsity football squads for a lot longer than Brennan Briggs coached in Batavia.

Briggs accomplished that feat -- along with a career record of 88-25 -- over 11 seasons. 

In reality, Briggs won six sectional titles over nine seasons because the football program he inherited in 2012 was in shambles.  After years of posting losing records, the Blue Devils needed a coach who could restore player development, discipline, vision, and a relentless drive to win.  It took a couple of seasons for Briggs to fully instill a new system and new attitude in Batavia.  Once he did, the Blue Devils were consistently formidable opponents year after year, game after game.

In 2014, the Blue Devils won the school's first football sectional title since 1991.

"As a fellow BHS grad like Brennan, I know the pride that existed in Blue Devil football when I was a BHS student, and over his successful coaching tenure, Brennan re-instilled that great pride and tradition for all of us Batavians," Superintendent Jason Smith said.

But the effort it takes to consistently win in varsity-level football takes its toll. The coaching doesn't just happen between the lines on Friday nights or during afternoon workouts. There are scouting trips, hours of film review, team meetings, meetings with coaches, meetings with players and parents, and nights just thinking about the next game. Planning and preparation are hard work.  And it is year-round work.

"Brennan is the kind of coach who would never be out-coached," Athletic Director Mike Bromley said. "But that kind of work wears you down."

That's why Briggs is stepping down as head coach of the Batavia football team, and it's what Briggs said in his resignation letter:

It has been an unbelievable journey, but It's time for me to focus on the things I lost sight of over the years, and that's being a good husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. I've been caught up in the ‘process’ for so long, and it is affecting the people who I love the most. In this position, if you’re doing it right, the hours are endless, late nights are a regular, and stress is the norm. Everyone talks about balance. Balance has never been a strength of mine. I’m all in or I’m out. Balance is great, but when you want to be on top, there’s no such thing as balance, and that’s part of why I need to step down. My family needs me to be all in with them, for the long haul. Unfortunately, with my family health history, I believe if I continue down this path, I won’t be around for the ones who need me the most when they need me the most.

It's that all-in character about Briggs that both Smith and Bromley mentioned in discussing the coach's decision to step away from football.

"I have known Brennan and his family over the course of my life through a family friendship, and actually taught Brennan swimming in the Red Cross backyard swimming program in the 80s and early 90s," Smith said. "He is a class act all around -- a humble and confident leader, and I congratulate him personally and professionally on his success.  His wife Justine and children are certainly more than deserving of having their husband and father around more in their lives, and I wish them great happiness."

Bromley said he and Briggs have been discussing the coach's eventual resignation for a couple of years and what a hard decision it was to make, but, in the end, Briggs put his health and his family first.

"He is doing the right thing," Bromley said.

Briggs -- who had himself been a football and hockey star for Batavia --  joined Batavia's football program right out of college, first as a modified coach, then he spent two seasons as JV coach (going undefeated his second year).  He will continue on as a hockey coach, Bromley said. He also remains in his teaching position at Batavia Middle School.

Briggs will continue to have a positive impact on academics and athletics in the Batavia City School District, Bromley said.

"Anything Brennan wants to do, he’s going to be successful at because of his high energy, his work ethic, his character, and people feed off of those things," Bromley said.

Because Briggs built such a robust program, Bromley isn't worried about maintaining the high standards Briggs set.  All of the coaches at all levels of the program are invested in the system and understand it, so whoever steps into the head coach role next, while he might have his own ideas to impart, will find the scaffolding already in place that can build championship teams, he said.

In the near term, the JV team has had three consecutive undefeated seasons, and the modified team lost only one game this past season.

"Brennan has put a program in place that can be sustainable," Bromley said.

Van Detta has been regularly filled to capacity on Friday nights for the past couple of seasons. Bromley doesn't expect that community spirit to fade now that Batavia has a winning program in place.

Bromley hopes to have the new coach hired by the end of January.

Smith said Briggs represented Batavia well as head football coach, and he and the Board of Education are grateful for the positive impact he had on the community as head football coach.

"His program, coaching staff, and student-athletes under his leadership took great pride in representing all of us at BCSD," Smith said. "All the wins and titles weren't too bad either!  On and off the field, Brennan demonstrated commitment, a second-to-none work ethic, and a passion for all that is Batavia."

Photo: Previously unpublished file photo of Brennan Briggs during football practice in 2013. Photo by Howard Owens.

December 1, 2022 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in buffalo bills, football, Sports.

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These two pooches know who to root for in tonight's big game.

Photo submitted by Paul Nichiporuk.

November 26, 2022 - 6:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, pembroke hs, Sports, football.

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The Pembroke Dragons beat Groton on Friday afternoon 38-18 at Union Ellicott HS near Binghamton to become the 2022 state champions in eight-man football.

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Madden Perry, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski, Tyson Totten rushed 29 times for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

Cayden Pfazler added a rushing TD as well and a 24-yard pass to Chase Guzdek for another score.

Octavius Martin had 8 tackles, Caleb Felski had 10, Jeremy Gabbey Jr. had 12, and Chase Guzdek led the way with 14.

Coach Brandon Ricci said, "The team would like to thank Superintendent Matthew Calderon, the Board of Education, district administration, the Pembroke Teachers Federation, who led fundraising efforts, the local fire and police who provided home escorts and, of course, the fans and families who showed unconditional support all season. The Dragons are honored to represent Section V as the number one eight-man Team in New York State!"

Submitted photos.

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November 22, 2022 - 11:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, elba, oae, football, Sports.

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A great football season for the Oakfield-Alabama/Elba team came to an end on Monday when the Aggies lost to Randolph in the Far West Regional Championship for Class D, 42-26.

Noah Currier, Connor Scott, Bodie Hyde all scored touchdowns and Kyle Porter had a 26-yard fumble recovery for a TD, but it wasn't enough to overcome a big game for Randolph's Xander Hind, who gained 276 yards on 48 carries.  He scored five touchdowns.

Currier had 16 carries for 166 yards.

Brayden Smith led the defense with 17 tackles.   Hyde had 12 Tackles, and Aiden Warner had 13 tackles.

"Hats off to Randolph," said Aggies' Head Coach Tyler Winter. "They were a physical football team that played a style we struggled with tonight.  They stayed ahead of the chains, and we couldn't get anything rolling on either side of the ball.  I wish them the best of luck the rest of the way.  My heart hurts for these seniors that have given so much to this program.  But they're walking out the door with no regrets and a heck of a football resume.  I couldn't be more proud of them.  For the underclassmen, the quest for the three-peat is coming soon."

Photos by Kristin Smith.

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November 21, 2022 - 11:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Sports, batavia, Batavia HS.

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The Batavia Blue Devils are the Far West Regional champions after defeating Iroquois 20-8 at Van Detta Stadium on Monday night.

Iroquois scored first with 1:27 remaining in the first quarter, but the Blue Devils went on to score three unanswered touchdowns.

Aiden Anderson scored on a 3-yard run. Ja'vin McFollins scored on a 7-yard run.  And McFollins connected with Carter McFollins on an 83-yard pass with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter.

Ja'vin McFollins was 5-6 passing for 145 yards. Anderson ran for 28 yards on 13 carries. Cole Grazioplene had three receptions for 54 yards.

Photos by Jim Burns.

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November 21, 2022 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander, alexander hs, football, Sports.

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Alexander got one more shot at extending its football season this weekend in a state tournament quarterfinal game against Cambridge-Salem in Broadalbin and, in the cold, wind, and snow, found it tough sledding.

The game was close, but close isn't a win. The Trojans fell short in a 12-7 loss.

Cambridge-Salem is now 12-0 on the season, and Alexander finishes at 9-2.

Their only other loss came in the Class D sectional championship against Oakfield-Alabama/Elba last week.

Normally, a sectional championship loss would end a team's season but with only 11 sections in New York high school athletics, one section each year, on a rotating basis, is able to advance a second-place team to a quarterfinal game.  This year, that section is Section V.

Photos from Sunday's state quarterfinal football game between Cambridge-Salem and Alexander. Cambridge-Salem won, 12-7.

Weather delayed this weekend's Far West Regionals in football.

Tonight, Batavia plays Iroquois at Van Detta Stadium. Game time is 6 p.m.

Oakfield-Alabama/Elba plays Randolf at Brockport. Game time is 6 p.m.

Photos by Greg Brownell/Courtesy the Post-Star.

Top photo: Kaden Lyons​ on the carry.

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Trent Woods with the ball.

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Trent Woods.

November 18, 2022 - 4:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Sports, pembroke, pembroke hs.

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The Pembroke Dragons, already the school's first-time-ever boys sectional championship team, kept right on winning Thursday night with a 54-38 victory over the Morrisville Eaton Warriors (Section III) in the NYS Regional Semi-Final game.

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Madden Perry, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski, Tyson Totten rushed 40 times for a single game school record 400 yards and five touchdowns.

Caleb Felski added an 80-yard kick return for a touchdown, while Chase Guzdek caught a 14-yard touchdown reception.

The Dragons (11-1) were down 22-20 at the half but played good defense, forced several turnovers and "just pounded the rock, being a tough O-Line." said Head Coach Brandon Ricci.

Dominic Boldt, Sean Pustkulla, and Avery Ferreira had to step into big roles with injuries to Section V and GR All-stars Cayden Pfalzer and Jayden Bridge.

Jayden Mast had 12 tackles, Octavious Martin had 11 and a forced fumble, Jacob Dulski had 6 tackles and an interception, and Chase Guzdek led the way with 15 tackles. 

The Dragons will represent Section V in the final eight-man football game in all of New York State (the New York High School Athletic Association apparently doesn't call it a State Championship but that is essentially what it is) on Friday, Nov. 25, at Union Endicott High School.  Game time is noon.

Photos by Guy and Elizabeth Gabbey

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November 13, 2022 - 5:38pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia HS, batavia, football, Sports.

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Ja'vin McFollins tossed two TD passes, including one in the closing seconds of the game for a come-from-behind victory on Saturday in Brockport to give the Batavia Blue Devils the Section V Class B championship.

Batavia beat Monroe 14-8.

The 19-yard TD pass to Vincent Arroyo left one second on the clock and Julia Petrie kicked her second point-after of the game.

Batavia scored first in first quarter on a McFollins to Cole Grazioplene 38-yard TD pass.

McFollins was 9-16 passing for 172 yards.  He was intercepted once.

Cam McCinic was the leading rusher with 66 yards on 16 attempts.

Grazioplene had three receptions for 85 yards and Arroyo snagged two passes for 58 yards.

Garrett Schmidt led the defense with 13 tackles and Avion Bethel had eight and McClinic six.  Schmidt also forced a fumble and a fumble recovery.

To view or purchase prints, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

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November 12, 2022 - 7:55pm
posted by Session Placeholder in pembroke, Sports, football.

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Submitted by Coach Brandon Ricci

The Pembroke Dragons improved to 10-1 on the season by defeating the Canisteo-Greenwood Redskins 40-20 in the sectional finals.

It is the first boys sectional title for any sport in the school's history. 

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Jayden Bridge, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski, Tyson Totten rushed 40 times for 376 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Caleb Felski added 100 yards rushing and a score of his own to compliment Totten after starting quarterback and safety Cayden Pfalzer got knocked out of the game in the first quarter thrusting Totten into that role.

The Dragons played good defense, by staying on the field on offense by a time of possession that was over 2-1 in favor of the Dragons.

The Dragons will play in the regional crossover game at Pittsford Sutherland on Friday at 7 p.m. vs. Morrisville-Eaton, the champion out of section III. 

Photos by Elizabeth Gabbey

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November 12, 2022 - 7:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, elba, oae, Alexander, Sports, football, notify.

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Neither team expected the outcome they got Saturday in the sectional title game for Class D in Brockport, a lopsided win for Oakfield-Alabama/Elba over Alexander 35-7.

"I don't think we were (expecting a lopsided win) either," said OAE Head Coach Tyler Winter. "You know, both teams being undefeated, both teams dominating each game that they've played up to this point. We weren't sure what to expect. The only thing that we knew going into (the game) is that one of us was going to get punched in the mouth early, and both teams were going to be uncomfortable."

The Aggies scored first and that seemed to set the tone of the game.

Trojans' Head Coach gave a frank assessment of his team's performance.

"We just kind of got behind early and never could dig out from it," Sawyer said. "Too many mistakes. We had a couple of bad snaps, and Oakfield-Alabama/Elba was opportunistic on penalties. We just couldn't keep our offense on the field. Defensively we need to tackle better if you're gonna tackle these Oakfield Alabama/Elba boys. So, just not a good day for us today."

Senior running back Noah Currier was the game's MVP.  He rushed 22 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns.  

Bodie Hyde also made all-team. He had 23 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. 

Adding to the scoring was Connor Scott, who dashed into the endzone to close out OAEs scoring in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard run.

On defense, Hyde had eight tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Brayden Smith had nine tackles and a sack. T.J. Andrews had nine tackles. Kyle Porter had four tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception.  Aiden Warner had eight tackles.

The Aggies held Alexander to 105 yards rushing and 14 yards passing.

For the Trojans, Tyler Marino led the team in rushing with 15 carries for 67 yards and a TD. 

OAE Held Alexander to 105 yards rushing and only 14 yards passing.  

Tyler Marino led the Trojans in rushing with 15 carries - 67 yards and 1 TD.  Woods was 2-7 passing for 14 yards and 1 int.

Defensively Kaden Lyons and Mason Bump led the Trojans with eight tackles each.

Coming out of half-time, Winter said he and his coaches felt they had set the pace in the first half and, with some adjustments, take over the game over the final two quarters.

"We thought in the second half, we could play with tempo a little bit, that we could just really put the exclamation point on this game and run away with it," 

The Aggies were up 14-0 at the half and scored three more touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.

Currier wasn't surprised by the win.

"We knew coming into this game against Alexander, they're a tough team," Currier said. "They're physical. They're fast. But we knew we were better. We just had to come out and execute, do everything perfect. And we did. I think we did."

He thinks his team has something special that helped it deliver a big blow to the Trojans.

"We're bringing the heat every day in practice, every time we're in the game," Currier said. "I'll tell you why. We just have the energy. I mean everyone, not only me, but all 11 on each side of the ball, bring the energy. I think that's what makes us who we are."

Hyde said he was also confident coming into the game, especially coming off of last year's title win.

"You go back to back to the amount of success we had last year, we know what it takes to get back here and have success," Hyde said. "We put in a ton of work over the offseason with whether that's in the weight room, whether that's seven on sevens or 11 on 11 scrimmages in the middle of June at Batavia. We were working all offseason and we knew the work we put in would make us able to get back to this spot and become successful again."

Smith also pointed to weight room work as a key to the team's success.

"We were lifting all summer," Smith said. "My D line, they're strong, they're big, they're fast. They make a new line of scrimmage for us. We can free flow to the ball and we can meet them in the hall and we can take them back and get some TFLs (tackles for losses)."

Winter said all that off-season preparation pays off in the postseason.

"Once November rolls around, we know that that we're going to play our style and our type of game and finish the opponent," Winter said.

Next up for OAE is last year's far-west opponent, Randolf. Hyde, for one, thinks his team is ready.

"I think we can go a long way. I know, obviously, this is really good right now," Hyde said. "We're gonna celebrate this for the next few days, but Monday, it's back to work. We play a really good Randolph team that we know pretty well. We played them last year. They know us, so it's gonna be huge to get back to work and stay locked in to see how far we really can go with this team."

As odd as it might sound, Alexander's season is not over.  There are eleven sections in New York High School Athletics, so to ensure there are 12 teams available for the final brackets, the second-place teams from one section get to play a state tournament quarter-final.  This year, it is Section V's turn to send second-place teams to the quarter-finals. Alexander will represent Section V Class D in Albany next week.

That puts Coach Sawyer in a challenging position -- getting his team ready for another big game after a big defeat in a sectional title game.

"I hope this bothers our kids, it should you know, but on Monday, Monday is the start of a new week and we need to come back and fix a few things and move forward," Sawyer said. "We could sit here and be upset about this loss and waste the next opportunity, which is right here in front of us. I mean, we've got a game in six days and, yes, it's our first loss of the season so these guys haven't had this taste, you know what I mean? And but we'll come back strong and put a game plan together and go try to win out east."

Winter said going into the game, he knew could be in Sawyer's position so he has some advice for the Alexander squad.

"It's funny you say that because that's a perspective that we had to take a look at -- how does a coach pick their team up off the ground after a loss in the sectional files and say, 'Hey, we got to play,'" Winters said. "If their teams is built anything similar to our team, we love each other. We have a lot of fun. So although today might be really tough, and probably tomorrow as well, by the time Monday rolls around, let's say we're at least fortunate that we get to play another game. And if so, maybe they can even use us in the future as a potential motivator. I mean, they might see us again, and I'm sure that they want a different storyline to go with that."

Top four photos by Kristin Smith.  Top photo, game MVP Noah Currier.

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Brodie Hyde.

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Photos below by Philip Casper.

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Tyler Marino scores Alexander's lone touchdown in the fourth quarter.

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Alexander's all-team winner, Connor Thompson.

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Trent Wood.

November 8, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, oae, Sports, football, Alexander.

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There is a big game coming, and the sports boosters in Alexander are ready.

They spent Monday evening decorating the village with banners and gold and green ribbons.

Predictions for the Class D Section V football championship between cross-county rivals Alexander and Oakfield-Alabama/Elba?

"They (Alexander) will be there to play," said Jamie Schultz, in a tone that suggested, "they will bring it."  

Both the Trojans and Aggies are undefeated in 2022 and both dominated all of their opponents. The sectional will be the biggest challenge each team has faced all season.

"I think this is an anticipated game that, again, everyone's been waiting for," said Lisa Lyons. "This is the showdown of the county right now."

The game is at noon Saturday at SUNY Brockport.

November 5, 2022 - 5:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, football, Sports.

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East Rochester/Gananda upset #1 seed Le Roy in the Section V Class C semifinal on Friday, 22-21.

Scoring Summary:

  • East Rochester/Gananda, Cadearrell Sneed 8 yd run (run failed)
  • Le Roy, Tony Piazza 26 yd run (Andrew Pocock kick)
  • East Rochester/Gananda, Caddearrell Sneed 2 yd run (Sneed run)
  • Le Roy, Drew Strollo 1 yd run (Andrew Pocock kick)
  • Le Roy, Jackson Fix 3 yd run (Andrew Pocock kick)
  • East Rochester/Gananda, Brayden Bohse 1 yd run (Sneed run)

Jackson Fix ran for 96 yards and a TD on 20 carries. Tony Piazza.  10 rushes for 67 yards and a Td. Drew Strollo, 40 yards on the ground on nine attempts, and he scored a TD. 

On defense, Ryan Higgins eight tackles and a sack. Jack Tonzi had six tackles and Emmanuel Fisher five and a sack.

Photos by Ed Henry.

Top photo: Le Roy’s Xavien Walker latches on to the ER-G quarterback.

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Le Roy defense swarms the ER-G back.

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 Tony Piazza rushing hard for good yardage.

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 Jackson Fix on the move.

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Jack Tonzi ends an ER-G rush.

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Ayden Riggi prepares for the battles in the trenches.

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Ryan Murphy storming in to sack the ER-G quarterback.

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Drew Strollo hanging on to slow the ER-G back. 

November 5, 2022 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, Sports, football, pembroke hs.

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The Pembroke Dragons will play for a Section V title in eight-man football next week after beating Bolivar-Richburg on Friday, 49-18.

A win next week would give Pembroke its first football Section V title in school history.

 

On Friday, Tyson Totten rushed for 270 yards and five touchdowns to become the all-time single-season rushing leader at Pembroke with 2,134 yards on the season.

Two interceptions and nine tackles by Cayden Pfalzer along with nine tackles by  Totten and Jeremey Gabbey lead the defense.

Next up: Canisteo-Greenwood, the only team that has beaten the 9-1 Dragons this year. Game time is noon on Saturday at Pittsford-Sutherland.

Submitted photos.

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November 5, 2022 - 4:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oae, football, Sports.

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The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies beat York/Pavilion in a Class D Section V semifinal on Friday, 40-6.

 

Bodie Hyde gained 174 yards on 14 carries. He scored three touchdowns. Noah Currier had 153 yards rushing on 15 attempts and scored three times.  

On defense, Brayden Smith, 10 tackles. Angelo Penna, five tackles and a sack. Hyde had five tackles. Currier and Scott each had an interception.

The win sets up a Genesee County shown between two unbeaten powerhouses, the Aggies and the Alexander Trojans, for the Class D championship.

Avery Waterson completed his 65th successful point-after-attempt of the season, a new Section V record.

Head Coach Tyler Winter said, "I'm excited for our team and these communities now that we are returning to sectional finals.  We will enjoy this win tonight, but I know I am speaking for many in our corner when I say the preparations for next week's game will be immediate.  We're just excited for the opportunity to compete for championships."

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more photos, click here.

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November 5, 2022 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander, alexander hs, Sports, football.

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Avon got off to a good start in their Class D Section V semifinal against Alexander on the Trojan's home field, marching 70 yards over nine minutes for a score to open the game.

But then the Trojans took over.

Alexander moved down the field on their first possession and scored on a 9-yard run by Kaden Lyons.

The defense held Avon on the next possession and then offense engineered another long drive capped by a 1-yard dive into the end zone by Ricky Townley.

Only 24 seconds later, the Trojan defense struck as Benny Merrill stripped an Avon receiver of the ball and returned the fumble 35 yards for a touchdown.

Tyler Marino had a pick-six 35 seconds later for a 50-yard return.

In the third quarter, the Braves intercepted a Trenton Woods pass and returned it 42 yards for a score.

In the fourth quarter, Tyler Marino scored on a 5-yard run

Then Townley intercepted an Avon pass. That led to a scoring drive that ended with Townley again scoring from a yard out. 

In the end, it was Alexander 43, Avon 13.

The Trojans had two 100-yard rushers against Avon.  Townley finished with 110 yards on 13 carries and Lyons ended up with 101 yards on 12 carries.  Woods was 3-6 passing for 58 yards.  Mason Bump, Benny Merrill, and Kaden Lyons all had receptions.

On defense, Dylan Pohl had two sacks. Jaden Snyder and Connor Thompson each recorded a sack, as well.  Mason Bump led the defense with eight tackles. Townley, Bump and Lyons and Cole Dean each had seven tackles.

The Trojans are 9-0 on the season.

Photos by Philip Casper. Top photo: RB Kaden Lyons - 24 

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DB Ricky Townley - 5, DB Benny Merrill - 6, and LB Kaden Lyons -24, taking down the Avon Braves runner

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WR Benny Merrill - 12

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RB Mason Bump - 3

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QB Trent Woods - 2

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WR Christian Kissell - 1

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The 9-0 Alexander Trojans

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RB Kaden Lyons - 24

November 5, 2022 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, Sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

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The Blue Devils put on an offensive show for the home crowd on Friday in a Section V Class B semifinal game, beating rival Livonia 56-14.

Ja'vin McFollins was 8-10 passing for 242 yards and three touchdowns.  Carter McFollins had three of those receptions for 108 yards and a TD, Cole Grazioplene snagged three more for 105 yards and a TD and Cooper Fix had a 21-yard TD reception.

Zay Griffin gained 141 yards on the ground and scored twice on eight carries. Aiden Anderson rushed 15 times for 114 yards and a TD.  Ja'vin McFollins scored once on the ground and Cam McClinic scored once on four carries for 75 yards.

Aavion Bethel led the defense with 14 tackles. Garret Schmidt had 11 tackles and Carter McFollins had eight tackles and an interception.

Photos by Howard Owens

Top photo: Ja'vin McCollins passing to Cole Grazioplene for a 78-yard TD reception in the second quarter.​

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Carter McFollins with a 53-yard TD reception in the second quarter.

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Aiden Anderson on a 46-yard TD run in the first quarter.

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Cam McClinic on a 56-yard TD run in the first quarter.

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Aiden Anderson, tackled by Livonia's defense.

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Julia Petry on a first-quarter kickoff.

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Julia Petry was eight for eight on point after attempts on Friday.

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November 3, 2022 - 12:15am
posted by Press Release in Spartans, Sports, football.

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Press release:

Elba resident Harry Rascoe is spearheading the return of semi-professional football to Genesee County.

Rascoe, 35, has announced that he will serve as head coach/offensive coordinator of the Genesee Spartans Football Club, adding that he is in negotiations for the team to play in either the Empire Football League or the Gridiron Development Football League.

“I have been part of two national championship teams while playing, and I know that there is more than enough talent in our area to bring a national title back to Batavia,” said Rascoe, a Plattsburgh native who competed at the semi-pro levels after his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 2010.

He said the plan is for the Spartans to play an eight-game schedule, with four or five of them at a location to be determined in Batavia.

“We’re looking for a place to call home,” he said. “Much needs to be done beforehand, including filling out the roster of players. All those who are interested in playing can contact me right away.”

Craig Tiberio of Le Roy, who played at Buffalo State College, will be the assistant coach/defensive coordinator; Otis Thomas, football coach at Notre Dame High, will assist on defense, and Jerry Smith Jr. will assist on the offensive side of the ball. Macy Paradise of Elba has been signed on as the team trainer.

Rascoe said he welcomes any players from Batavia’s semi-pro team in the 1990s – the Bandits – to become involved in the new organization.

“We also are seeking local sponsors to make the 2023 season happen,” he said, adding that winter workouts will start on Nov. 6 at the “Brick” gym on Harvester Avenue. “We have about 24 players now and would like to field a team of 40 to 50 players.”

For more information about playing, coaching or becoming a sponsor, call Rascoe at 518-570-4047.

“Our goal is to build a team and an organization that the community can get behind and be proud of,” he said.

October 30, 2022 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sports, football, Batavia Downs, batavia.

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Greyson Good, 8, of Batavia, was a polite young man when he met Jim Kelly on Friday at the Legends and Stars Sports Expo at Batavia Downs, and Kelly was so impressed that he offered the youngster a special treat.

"Greyson had the most amazing night," said his mother Brenda Good (who submitted the info and photo). "He met both Dawson Knox and Jim Kelly! As we were walking away from Jim Kelly, he called Greyson back over to the table and told him that he was so impressed that Greyson said thank you. He asked for our names and address so he could send Greyson tickets to his football camp in June! Greyson is thrilled!!! What an amazing guy!"

The Batavian will have more coverage of the expo later today.

October 29, 2022 - 7:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, le roy hs, football, Sports.

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The Oatkan Knights edged out Bath/Haverling in their sectional playoff match-up on Friday in Le Roy, 28-20.

Jackson Fix gained 141 yards on the ground in 20 rushes, scoring once. Tony Piazza added another 112 yards on 11 carries and scored twice. Drew Strollo scored on one of his 12 runs in which he gained 52 yards. 

Connor Hegeman led the defense with eight tackles.  Tony Piazza, Jack Tonzi, and Maverick Cole had five each.  Tonzi also recorded a sack.

Photo by Ed Henry. Top photo:  Knights are led onto the field by senior Ryan Murphy (75). 

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Tony Piazza (far right) gives the Bath RB a lift. 

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Piazza putting the pressure on the Rams’ QB. 

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Antonio Martinez (17) puts an end to this run.

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Jackson Fix (5) leaving the Rams behind. 

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Jack Tonzi (33) gives the Bath QB nowhere to go in the backfield. 

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The Bath RB has a line of Knights to deal with. 

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 LeRoy O-line providing a wall of push for QB Drew Strollo (far right). 

October 29, 2022 - 6:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, pembroke hs, Sports, football.

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Write-up by Coach Brandon Ricci

The Pembroke Dragons improved to 8-1 by defeating the Wellsville Lions 49-22 in the sectional Quarterfinals.

Behind the blocking of JJ Gabbey, Octavius Martin, Jayden Mast, Jayden Bridge, Ben Steinberg, Chase Guzdek and Caleb Felski; Tyson Totten rushed to become the all-time total yardage leader in school history.

Two interceptions by Cayden Pfalzer and an interception returned for a touchdown by Jacob Dulski helped lead a strong defensive effort.

Octavius Martin and Jacob Von Kramer led the Dragons in tackles while Sean Pustkulla was 7 for 7 on extra points. 

The Dragons host the sectional semifinal game this Friday at 7 p.m. against the Bolivar-Richburg Wolverines.

Submitted photos.

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