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Section V football

Reinhart-to-Marucci TD on botched punt propels Batavia past HF-L for Section V Class B championship

By Mike Pettinella


The Batavia High Blue Devils, sparked by an incredible play by senior quarterback Jesse Reinhart and senior tight end Kaden Marucci, defeated rival Honeoye Falls-Lima, 22-14, tonight to capture the Section V Class B football championship.

Leading 14-7 early in the third quarter in the game played at Pittsford Sutherland High School, the Blue Devils were forced to punt from their own 33-yard line.

The center snap to Reinhart, the team’s punter, sailed high over his head. He managed to corral it about 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage, avoided a tackle and lofted a pass to the left side of the field where Marucci was standing.

“It went over my head and I was chasing after the ball – I think it was at the 5 yard line or 10 yard line, whatever it was,” said Reinhart, who was voted the game’s most valuable player after passing for 163 yards and two touchdowns. “I could have dove on it and gave them the ball there, but I decided to pick it up and try to make a play. I threw it out to him (Marucci) and he did the rest; he took it all the way …”

Marucci, who earned the outstanding defense player award for his play at linebacker, caught the ball, found an open lane down the sideline and outraced the Cougars to the end zone to give Batavia a 20-7 advantage (see photo above).

Here’s what he had to say about the play:

“A guy got by me on the edge and I looked back to see if Jesse was good and saw the ball rolling toward the end zone. I looked around and saw no one around me, so I started screaming Jesse’s name. He tossed it over to me and I was just off to the races.”

As a result of a penalty on Batavia after the big play, the Blue Devils, 10-1, decided to go for two points, calling for a reverse/option pass. It worked as wide receiver/running back Javin McFollins hit Reinhart in the end zone to make it 22-7.

Batavia Coach Brennan Briggs pointed out the athleticism of Reinhart and Marucci that turned what could have been disaster into a moment that will go down in Batavia football history.

“A bad snap. Yeah, but we have athletes out here and that’s just them innovating and doing a great job,” he said. “Jesse’s a heck of an athlete and Mooch (Marucci) got open and they blocked downfield for him. Sometimes, you have to have plays like that to win big games.”

With about four minutes left in the period, HF-L took over on the Batavia 45 after a punt by Reinhart traveled just 12 yards, and put together a seven-play drive -- with senior back Zachary Meacham gaining 20 yards on three carries, senior quarterback Brody Young finding senior wide receiver J.T. Killenbec for 17 yards, and Young finishing it off with a three-yard touchdown run.

The point after touchdown kick by Zavier Carbonel was good and the Cougars, who finish at 10-1, had pulled within 22-14 with 1:40 left in the third quarter.

Batavia was in a similar position in early October, holding a 20-7 lead at halftime before falling 27-26 at Van Detta Stadium.

There was no meltdown this time, although HF-L did make it interesting in the final quarter.

After Young’s TD, the Blue Devils took over at their own 25, but two runs netted only six yards. An 18-yard pass from Reinhart to wide receiver Cole Grazioplene kept the drive alive, and the Blue Devils – behind junior halfback Aidan Anderson – were able to take five more minutes off the clock before turning the ball over on downs at the HF-L 21.

Anderson, who opened the scoring on a 6-yard run with 3:02 left in the first quarter, picked up 27 of his 101 yards rushing during that stretch. He was named the outstanding offensive player, and also came up with some key tackles and pass deflections on defense.

HF-L took possession with seven minutes to play and Young went to the air, finding Ben Carson for three yards and Killenbec for nine before connecting with Aidan Goold for 35 yards to the Batavia 37. Two runs by Meacham picked up 18 yards, but two incomplete passes resulted in a fourth-and-4 situation at the Blue Devils’ 19.

Young threw a pass into the end zone that was broken up by Reinhart, but pass interference was called – one of a few penalties that had the Batavia fans voicing their displeasure with the referees.

Now, it was first-and-goal at the 9 for the Cougars with 4:30 to play. Young handed off to junior Donnell Hall, who was jolted behind the line by linebacker Mathew McWethy for a three-yard loss. The Blue Devils got another break on the next play when Young’s pass was dropped in the end zone.

A third down pass to Carson gained eight yards, making it fourth-and-goal from the Batavia 4. On fourth down, Young threw another pass in the end zone but it was off the mark and Batavia took over with 3:16 remaining.

At this point, Briggs turned to Anderson, who came through with runs of four, six and 12 yards -- with a 12-yard scamper by Reinhart sandwiched in between. HF-L was forced to use its timeouts, but three final runs by Anderson served to run out the clock.

In the first half, following Anderson’s TD burst (and kicker Julia Petry’s first of two successful PATs), junior wide receiver Javin McFollins came up with a spectacular catch in the end zone to put Batavia up by two scores.

On a third-and-7 play from the HF-L 32, Reinhart passed the ball to McFollins who won a “jump ball” situation against the defender.

HF-L followed that with a 10-play, 63-yard drive with Meacham barreling into the end zone from four yards out to pull within 14-7. That drive was aided by a questionable roughing the passer call against Batavia, and was highlighted by a 38-yard pass from Young to Killenbec.

The Blue Devils controlled the first half and could have mounted a bigger lead but three drives stalled deep in HF-L territory.

Marucci recorded eight tackles on the defensive side of the ball while Carter McFollins recovered a fumble for the Blue Devils.

The Batavia victory breaks a three-game losing streak against the Cougars, including a loss about six months ago in the sectional finals (which were moved to the spring due to COVID-19). But tonight, it wasn’t about avenging those losses, Briggs said.

“I’m just happy for these guys. No redemption, no revenge – any of that stuff,” he said. “These guys have their own identity. Whoever we have to come play, we’re going to play. Obviously, there is a rivalry brewing with HF-L, which is a great thing, but I’m just happy for these guys.”

Anderson said the team showed “resilience through adversity” to prevail over an HF-L squad that defeated Batavia by one point earlier this season.

“We had a lot of down moments. We had a lot of penalties, and a lot of dumb mistakes,” he said. “But we bounced back. We never put our heads down, and that’s why we won.”

Batavia advances to the Far West Regionals against WNY Maritime Charter/Health Sciences (Section VI) at 3:15 p.m. Nov. 20 at Williamsville South High School.

WNY Maritime defeated Iroquois, 62-12, today for its third straight Section VI Class B title.

To view or purchase prints, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene


Batavia QB Jesse Reinhart gets off a pass early in the game.


Javin McFollinms with the reception for the Blue Devils.


Cam McClinic tries to get past HF-L's Aidan Goold.


The HF-L ball carrier is tackled for a loss.


Reinhart, middle, lets out a triumphant yell as the Batavia victory is secure.


Lineman Austyn Fernandez looks to give Coach Brennan Briggs a Gatorade shower.


Stars of the game, from left, Batavia's Aidan Anderson, Kaden Marucci and Jesse Reinhart, and HF-L's Mitchell Bulling and Zac Meacham.


The Section V "block" becomes the center of attention.


A moment to remember for the Batavia High Blue Devils football team.

Haverling ousts Le Roy, 14-7, in Section V Class C semis

By Mike Pettinella

Le Roy’s varsity football season came to an end this afternoon as the Oatkan Knights dropped a 14-7 decision to Haverling in a Section V Class C semifinal game at Hartwood Park.

Coach Brian Herdlein’s second-seeded Knights finish at 8-2, while No. 3 Haverling, 8-1, moves on to face East Rochester/Gananda in the sectional finals next Saturday at Honeoye Falls-Lima.

The visiting Rams scored touchdowns in the first and second quarters before Le Roy pulled to within striking distance with a 12-play, 70-yard drive that ate up more than eight minutes of the clock in the third quarter.

Sparked by the strong running of senior Brock Flint, Le Roy opened the second half with what turned out to be its only sustained drive of the game – converting three fourth-down plays in the process to reach the end zone.

The big play was a 37-yard pass from senior quarterback John Panepento to junior running back Jack Tonzi on a fourth-and-17 situation at the Haverling 42.

From there, Panepento rushed for three yards, setting up a two-yard plunge by Adrian Stevens to make the score 14-6.  Kicker Mitch Hockey added the point after touchdown to make it a seven-point game.

The Knights’ defense held up in the second half – thwarting Haverling drives behind several key plays:

  • Lineman Jack Lathan’s fourth-down sack of Rams’ junior QB Justin Yehl early in the fourth quarter;
  • Stopping senior running back Keian McRae on a fourth-and-three play at the Le Roy 25 with 6:30 to play;
  • Lineman Tyler Strollo’s fumble recovery with less than two minutes remaining.

Unfortunately for the home team, however, the offense was unable to pull any closer as four possessions ended on a dropped pass on fourth down, a punt, an interception by Haverling linebacker William Clarke, and – with a minute left – two straight incompletions.

In the first half, the teams traded punts before Haverling took over at its own 6 on an interception by Yehl, who also plays defensive back.

Switching to offense, the lefty QB proceeded to complete two passes – each for eight yards – to senior tight end Gavin Buckley and McRae before hitting McRae for a 78-yard touchdown with 41 seconds left in the opening quarter.

On the play, Yehl rolled out to his left and launched the ball deep down the middle of the field to a wide open McRae. A pass attempt for the two-point conversion failed and Haverling had a 6-0 lead.

Another interception early in the second quarter, this one by senior defensive back Damien Hall, gave the ball back to the visitors just inside Le Roy territory.

The Knights’ defense, sparked by linebacker Tony Piazza, put Haverling in a fourth-and-two situation at the Le Roy 27, but Yehl came through again – this time avoiding the blitz and hitting senior wide receiver Anthony Brotz for a 27-yard touchdown.

McRae pounded it in for the two-point conversion to give the Rams a 14-0 lead with 8:53 remaining in the half.

Le Roy was unable to move the ball on its next two possessions, having to punt both times.

Section V football, girls volleyball scoreboard

By Mike Pettinella

Updated, 9:50 p.m. Nov. 7:


Batavia 60, Wayne 21
Honeoye Falls-Lima 41, Dansville/Wayland-Cohocton 18
Finals: No. 2 Batavia vs. No. 1 HF-L, Nov. 13, 6 p.m., at Pittsford Sutherland High School

Haverling 14, Le Roy 7
East Rochester/Gananda 29, Letchworth/Warsaw/Perry 13
Finals: No. 1 ER/G vs. Haverling, Nov. 13, noon, at Honeoye Falls-Lima High School

Avon 13, Alexander 7
Oakfield-Alabama/Elba 54, Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen 20
Finals: No. 1 O-A/Elba vs. No. 2 Avon, Nov. 12, 7 p.m., at Van Detta Stadium, Batavia

Red Jacket 52, Pembroke 12


Le Roy defeated Attica, 20-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21 (story below)
Le Roy, 22-1, advances to Far West Regionals on Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m. vs. Portville of Section VI or Skaneateles of Section III. The game will be played at Le Roy High School.

Alexander defeated Letchworth, 25-21, 25-21, 17-25, 25-23
Courtney Schum, tournament MVP; Sam Sawyer, Alyssa Kramer, all-tournament selections
Alexander, 19-3, advances to a Class D crossover game at 6 p.m. Tuesday vs. Fillmore. The game will be played at Pavilion High School.

Pavilion defeated Harley-Allendale-Columbia, 25-11, 25-15, 25-11
Adeline Milligan, tournament MVP; Lauren Kingsley, Shannon Campbell, all-tournament selections
Pavilion, 23-0, advances to the overall Class D finals on Thursday vs. the winner of Alexander-Fillmore at a site to be determined.

Blue Devils rush for 400-plus yards in 60-21 win over Wayne to reach Section V Class B title game

By Mike Pettinella


The Batavia High Blue Devils took care of business in convincing fashion on Friday night before the home fans by rushing for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns in a 60-21 rout of Wayne in a Section V Class B semifinal football game at Van Detta Stadium.

Junior running backs Aiden Anderson and Cam McClinic (photo at top) combined for the five touchdowns on the ground, with Anderson amassing 142 yards on 16 carries and McClinic picking up 151 yards on just five attempts.

"Our offensive line did a fantastic job winning the line of scrimmage and the running backs did their job -- they ran hard and saw the field well," said Batavia Coach Brennan Briggs." 

The victory sets up a rematch between second-seeded Batavia, 9-1, and No. 1 Honeoye Falls-Lima, 10-0, at 6 p.m. next Saturday night at Pittsford Sutherland High School for the Class B crown. HF-L defeated the Blue Devils in the title game last season, and also posted a 27-26 win at Batavia earlier this season.

HF-L topped Dansville/Wayland-Cohocton, 41-18, on Friday night.

"Our team is excited for another opportunity to play HF-L," Briggs said. "I expect a great week of practice. I’m proud of this team."

Against Wayne, Batavia scored on both first-quarter possessions as Anderson slashed through the defense for touchdown runs of 10 and 17 yards. The visitors also scored on their initial two drives, with Dylan Vance converting short runs to make the score 14-14 midway through the second quarter.

From that point on, however, it was all Batavia as Carter McFollins scored on a 45-yard run before Anderson scampered in from three yards out – his third TD – to make it 28-14 at the half.

Batavia kicker Julia Petry was successful on six of eight point after touchdown attempts for the game.

The Blue Devils outscored Wayne, 26-0, in the third quarter with McClinic scoring on runs of five and 53 yards, and McFollins scoring on a 52-yard catch-and-run toss from QB Jesse Reinhart and later on a 40-yard interception return.

Wayne scored midway through the fourth quarter to make it 54-21 before senior Ethan Loaeza completed the scoring for the Blue Devils on a three-yard run with 2:37 to play.

Loaeza carried eight times for 64 yards. Reinhart was 4-for-4 passing for 80 yards, with McFollins catching two of those throws for 75 yards.

On defense, Kaden Marucci had 12 tackles, Abel Hammer came up with seven tackles and a sack, and McFollins had five tackles.

Photos by Jim Burns.


Carter McFollins closes in on Wayne's Dylan Vance.



Batavia's Aiden Anderson hauls in a pass from QB Jesse Reinhart.


Carter McFollins at the end of a big gain for Batavia.


Batavia's Javen McFollins defending a pass to the end zone.






Abel Hammer comes away with the ball as Wayne turns it over.


Ethan Loeaza bursts into the secondary.



Loeaza celebrates in the end zone.


This weekend's Section V football playoff schedule

By Mike Pettinella

Updated, 12 p.m. Nov. 4:

Here is the schedule of Section V football semifinal playoff games in Class B, C and D and 8-Man:


No. 3 Wayne at No. 2 Batavia, 7 p.m. Friday

No. 4 Dansville/Wayland-Cohocton at No. 1 Honeoye Falls Lima, 7 p.m. Friday

Finals: Nov. 13, 6 p.m., at Pittsford Sutherland High School


No. 3 Haverling at No. 2 Le Roy, noon Saturday

No. 5 Letchworth/Warsaw/Perry at No. 1 East Rochester/Gananda, 7 p.m. Friday

Finals: Nov. 13, noon, at Honeoye Falls-Lima High School


No. 3 Alexander at No. 2 Avon, 7 p.m. Friday

No. 5 Caledonia-Mumford/Byron-Bergen at No. 1 Oakfield-Alabama, 7 p.m. Friday

Finals: Nov. 12, 7 p.m., at Van Detta Stadium, Batavia


No. 3 Pembroke vs. No. 2 Red Jacket at Canandaigua Academy, 7 p.m. Friday

Finals: Nov. 13, noon, at Caledonia-Mumford High School

As season comes to an end, Notre Dame football coach Zambito has high expectations for 2022

By Mike Pettinella

A tough season marked by key injuries and inconsistency on offense came to a close on Friday night for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish varsity football team, but Coach Joe Zambito said he sees a silver lining in all of it.

“Our guys hung in there and gave them a game when a lot of sportswriters said we would get blown out,” Zambito said, talking about his team’s 22-0 defeat at Avon in a Section V Class D quarterfinal match.

The loss ends ND’s season at 3-6 while the Braves, 8-1, move on to the next round where they will host Alexander. The other Class D semifinal contest pits Caledonia-Mumford/Byron-Bergen at top-seeded Oakfield-Alabama/Elba.

Zambito pointed to a couple of turnovers late in the second quarter as keys to the game, both giving Avon short fields – leading to a pair of touchdowns.

“We had some momentum but those turnovers flipped the field,” he said. “Give Avon credit; they have a strong team.”

Senior quarterback Andrew Roland rushed for both TDs – one from 22 yards out and the other from 8 yards out.  The Braves added a third touchdown in the third quarter to complete the scoring.

Notre Dame gained 130 yards on offense under rainy conditions, with junior Hayden Groff tallying 57 yards on 13 carries and senior Drew Edwards picking up 36 yards, also on 13 carries. Junior QB Jimmy Fanara was 2-for-8 passing for 39 yards and two interceptions.

The Irish defense was led by seniors Conner McWilliams and Edwards with 11 and nine tackles, respectively, while Groff, senior Vin DiRisio and sophomore Ryan Fitzpatrick each were credited with 5 ½ tackles. Fitzpatrick came up with a pair of interceptions.

“Our defense held up well; our guys were flying all over the field,” said Zambito, who said he sees better days ahead for his squad as a result of the experience the underclassmen gained this season.

Along with Fitzpatrick, Fanara and Groff, players returning in 2022 include receivers Jay Antinore, Brandon Carrick and C.J. Thornley, running back George Woodruff, linemen Anthony Fiorentino, Mavrik Hall, Jacob Maracle, Maximus White, Connor Boehly and Joe Trewer, and running back/receiver Bryceton Berry.

"I'm looking forward to next year," Zambito said. "We'll learn from this."

Batavia defeats Newark/Marion, 35-0; ND loses to Avon

By Mike Pettinella

Tonight's Section V football quarterfinal scores:

Class B -- Batavia 35, Newark/Marion 0

Class C -- Letchworth/Warsaw/Perry 6, Livonia 0

Class C -- Le Roy 7, Attica 3

Class D -- Avon 22, Notre Dame 0

Class D -- Cal-Mum/Byron-Bergen 27, Bolivar-Richburg 20

Class D -- Alexander 45, Geneseo/Mount Morris 0

Class D -- Oakfield-Alabama/Elba 68, Clyde-Savannah 8

Eight-Man -- Pembroke 34, Lyons/Sodus 0

Blue Devils rally to beat Clymer-Sherman-Panama, 25-21; Fighting Irish topple Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale, 33-14

By Mike Pettinella

Batavia’s two high school varsity football teams recorded victories on the road Friday night.

In a game played at Depew High, the Batavia High Blue Devils of Section V defeated Clymer-Sherman-Panama of Section VI, 25-21, rallying to win when senior quarterback Jesse Reinhart hit Javin McFollins with an 11-yard touchdown pass with 4:11 left in the game.

Meanwhile, at Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish broke a five-game losing streak, upending the host Rebels, 33-14, in a Section V Class D matchup.

At Depew, Batavia battled back from a 21-13 deficit as running back Aidan Anderson scored on a 60-yard run early in the fourth quarter, setting up Reinhart and McFollins’ late heroics.

The Blue Devils were able to schedule the game against Clymer-Sherman-Panama, a strong Class D team, after its contest at Newark/Marion was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues with the home team.

Reinhart threw for three TDs – two to McFollins (11 and 88 yards) and one to Carter McFollins (18 yards). Anderson racked up 171 yards on 27 carries.

Batavia, 6-1, takes on Wilson Magnet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Van Detta Stadium.

ND 33, Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale 14

Drew Edwards rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown in his debut as halfback and quarterback Jimmy Fanara completed 10 of 12 passes for 157 yards and two scores as Notre Dame raised its record to 2-5. Edwards had been the team's starting left tackle until moved to fullback the previous game.

Four of Fanara's completions went to Evan Cummings for 60 yards and Bryceton Berry caught two passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns.  Fanara also ran for a touchdown.

Hayden Groff rounded out the Irish attack with 57 yards on the ground and a TD.

The 33 points is one less than the team had scored over its first six games.

On defense, lineman Connor McWilliams came up with nine tackles, including five for a loss, while linebackers Vin DiRisio and Edwards were credited with eight and six tackles, respectively.

The Irish host Clyde-Savannah at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Julia Petry putting 'best foot forward' as placekicker for high-scoring Batavia High Blue Devils

By Mike Pettinella


With all of their weapons on offense, the Batavia High Blue Devils have scored 36 touchdowns en route to a 5-1 record in Section V varsity football competition this season.

On 31 occasions, the Batavia placekicker has trotted out onto the field, looking to put the finishing touches on those scoring drives or spectacular plays that resulted in six points.


Batavia will be facing Clymer/Sherman/Panama, a Section 6 school, at 7 p.m. Friday at Depew High School to replace the previously scheduled game at Newark/Marion, which is unable to play due to COVID-19.


And, SHE has been successful on 28 of those point-after-touchdown attempts, proving herself as a valuable contributor to Coach Brennan Briggs’ team.

She is Julia Petry, (kicking above and photo at right), an 11th-grade scholar-athlete who has put in much time and effort to earn the right to wear jersey No. 40 on the otherwise 31-man Blue Devils’ squad.

“Julia does a very good job kicking PATs for us. She works hard at it and the hard work has paid off,” Coach Briggs said.

After being placed in concussion protocol due to an injury sustained when the team’s bus had an accident returning home two weeks ago, Petry has been cleared to play in this Friday’s game.

She said it was very difficult for her to have to watch from the bench last weekend when Batavia suffered a 27-26 defeat to visiting Honeoye Falls-Lima. The Blue Devils missed on two extra point attempts in that contest.

“Obviously, the whole game I was upset that I couldn’t play,” she said. “I was there on the sidelines, but I wanted to be out there.”

Petry’s journey to becoming Batavia’s varsity kicker (she also shares time on kickoffs) began at a young age, hanging out with older brother, John IV, and other boys when her mom, Jennifer, operated a child care center.

“Growing up I used to take my brother’s toys all the time and play with them,” she recalled. “My mom used to run a daycare center, so I always was around a lot of boys – and had this connection with them; I’ve always thought that I’ve had several older brothers because of that.”

Playing sports became a large part of her life and that continues as she participates in summer soccer and high school football, basketball and (boys) lacrosse. Previously, she was on the girls’ soccer team.

Last season, the 5-foot, 9-inch Petry was the placekicker for the Batavia junior varsity team.

“I kicked during the COVID year on jayvees,” she said, adding that last year was the only time she experienced the fact that football is a contact sport.

“There was one time last season at Livonia when there was a bad snap and it hit my knee, and I actually picked it up and tried to run with it,” she said. “Two Livonia guys just came at me (and tackled her). I actually got up smiling from it, and said, ‘Did you see that?’ Everybody on the sidelines was like, ‘Yeah, Petry!’

This season, she’s hearing the cheers from her father, John; mom, brother and a multitude of Batavia fans who have elevated her to heroine status.

“It definitely feels good,” she said. “There’s a little distance (between her and her teammates) because I’m here to kick. I’m not on the line or whatever. But overall, I feel part of the team -- the family and the community that we have.”

She said she credits Sam Watts of East Aurora, owner of Special Teams Academy, for “making me the kicker that I am.”

“He took me from soccer player to football player. It seems from the outside that they’re very similar but when you get down to the details, there are big, important changes,” she said.

Petry attended Watts’ three-day camp earlier this year and also has received instruction through group sessions. She said she practices what has been preached to her about technique and drills to increase leg strength.

“I use what he taught me every day,” she said. “A bunch of the warm-ups he gave me, I use them every day and incorporate them every day in practice. There’s one – called one-step where there’s one step between you and the ball and that’s a really good warm-up.”

She then shared her pre-kick routine and the way in which she approaches the ball.

“First, I just make sure I’m spotting where I’m kicking,” she said. “So, normally I’ll pick a tree or a branch or something that’s really noticeable so I can always find it; to visualize where I’m placing the ball through the uprights.”

When she takes steps to the side, she starts thinking, “OK, I need to take my jab step, which is my very first step (straight on as she approaches the ball), thinking of the things I need to do to be technically sound. Then, set-up. It’s always one breath, look up through where my target was, and then one breath on looking down.

“Then, I give (holder) Jesse (Reinhart) the cue and I’m gone. I don’t know how many people can hear it, but I’ll look at him and I’ll say, ‘Yeah or I’m good.’ Abel Hammer is the center – he’s been very consistent.”

Asked if Reinhart turns the ball so the laces are on the non-kicking side, Petry said, “We’ve tried to turn it, but sometimes there’s not enough time.”

Point-after-touchdowns are kicked from the 10 and with the 10 yards of the end zone, each one travels 20 yards to the goal posts. Her three misses this season were wide to the left, Petry said.

Briggs said he’s pleased with Petry’s technique and leg strength, also attributing her improvement to time spent at Watts’ camp.

“We have not attempted any field goals this season, but I see her moving the ball back during practice and she does well,” Briggs added. “I am not entirely sure what her range is but I think we could connect on a 25-yard field goal or so.”

Petry is a bit more confident than that, stating that a 30-yard field goal is within her range. On kickoffs, her deepest boot carried to the opposition’s 15.

Looking ahead, Batavia has two more regular season games before sectional playoffs and, beyond that, Petry hopes to be the team’s starting kicker next year, but understands there could be competition for the job.

She said she has thought about kicking in college.

“I know that I will have to work really, really hard to get there, but I also know – myself personally – that if I set my mind to something and I’m driven enough, I could do it,” she said. “Right now, I’ve been college hunting, but focusing on what school academically would be best for me.”

Petry has a 4.097 grade point average (97 on a scale of 100) and is looking to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. Along with her academics and athletics, she works 16 hours a week at McDonald’s.

All in all, she said she’s making the most of her football career, following in the footsteps of her dad and brother – both former Blue Devils.

“It has been quite an experience, and I’ve loved every moment of it,” she said.

Photo above by Steve Ognibene.

COVID-19 issue with Newark/Marion football team forces cancellation of Saturday's game against Batavia

By Mike Pettinella

It looks as though the Batavia High Blue Devils will have to wait a bit longer to try for their sixth Section V football victory of the season.

Mike Bromley, the Batavia City School District athletic director, told The Batavian this afternoon that this Saturday afternoon's game at Newark/Marion has been cancelled due to some of the home team's members getting COVID-19.

Unless Batavia can find another opponent on short notice, the Blue Devils, 5-1, will have this weekend off, Bromley noted.

Batavia's final regular season game is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at home against Wilson Magnet.

Trojans bulldoze their way to 49-6 victory over Irish

By Mike Pettinella


The Alexander Trojans raised their Section V football record to 5-1 this afternoon with a 49-6 victory over Class D rival Notre Dame.

The visitors wasted little time in exerting their dominance when junior Christian Kissel fielded a punt at his own 22-yard line, broke a tackle and raced 78 yards untouched into the end zone with 8:31 left in the opening quarter (photo at top).

Kissel’s play was the first time the Trojans touched the ball after forcing the Irish to punt from their own 47.

Kicker Eric Cline converted the point after touchdown – he was successful on all seven attempts for the game – to give Alexander a 7-0 lead.

Alexander went up 14-0 about a minute later when, following an interception by defensive back Ricky Townley, quarterback Nick Kramer broke through the line off left tackle for a 61-yard touchdown run.

Ben Merrill’s interception on ND’s next possession set up a three-yard run by Brayden Woods, capping a six-play, 61-yard drive to make it 21-0 late in the period.

Another turnover, this time a fumble after a sack, gave the ball back to Alexander at the ND 24, and seven plays later the score ballooned to 28-0 on a 13-yard screen pass from Kramer to 6-2, 230-pound sophomore fullback Clayton Bezon.

The next three possessions for ND, 1-5, resulted in a fumble, punt and interception – the last turnover setting up a two-yard TD run by Woods to make it 35-0 at halftime.

The Trojans scored again on their opening possession after intermission on a 16-yard pass from Kramer to Merrill, and went up 49-0 midway through the fourth quarter on a 13-yard run by Tyler Marino.

The Irish, victimized by four interceptions and two lost fumbles, scored with 2:46 remaining on a two-yard run by quarterback Jimmy Fanara. The touchdown was set up by an 18-yard pass to C.J. Thornley and 40-yard completion to Evan Cummings.

Cummings, who recovered a fumble in the end zone to thwart the Trojans early in the fourth quarter, prevented another touchdown when he ran down Ricky Townley after a long run deep into ND territory inside of a minute to play.

Leading rushers for Alexander were Kramer with 79 yards on eight carries and Townley with 73 yards on five carries.  Kramer was 4-for-8 passing for 47 yards and two TDs.

Defensively, Townley and Merrill each had two interceptions while Andrew Pulliam and Chase Graham recovered fumbles.

For the Irish, gained 46 yards on the ground, while Fanara completed five of 17 passes for 95 yards. On defense, Anthony Edwards was in on 14 tackles, while Anthony Fiorentino and Conner McWilliams had nine each and Vin DiRisio had eight.

Both teams play again on Friday night. Alexander hosts York/Pavilion while Notre Dame travels to Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale.


Alexander's Clayton Bezon attempts a fullback option pass over ND linebackers Vin DiRisio (24), Evan Cummings (12) and Conner McWilliams (58).




Bezon is brought down by ND's Ryan Fitzpatrick but not before crossing the goal line for a touchdown. No. 52 is Cole Dean.


Eric Klein converts one of his seven point-after-touchdown kicks. 

Photos by Howard Owens.

ND community celebrates life of Bill 'Sudsy' Sutherland by naming football field after revered coach, educator

By Mike Pettinella


Anyone even vaguely familiar with Notre Dame High School’s athletic and academic excellence over the past six decades surely has heard of Bill “Sudsy” Sutherland, a graduate of the Union Street school who went on to become one of the area’s finest coaches and educators.

The legacy of “Sudsy,” as he was affectionally known, grew to new heights this afternoon when the Notre Dame community named its football field as Bill Sutherland Field.

Speaking before a large crowd at halftime of the Section V Class D game between the Fighting Irish and visiting Alexander Trojans, ND Athletic Director Mike Rapone called it a “fitting tribute.”

“… The Notre Dame Board of Trustees, administration, athletic department and, most importantly, our Notre Dame school community and alumni recognize that the naming of our football field is a fitting tribute to Bill Sutherland, who dedicated so much of his life to Notre Dame and its students – and much of that time was spent on this field,” Rapone said.

He then presented a plaque commemorating the occasion to Sutherland’s wife, Melanie, a 1970 ND graduate, and his children, Billy (1996) and Jennifer (2000), who were supported by the coach’s brothers, sisters, grandchildren and many members of the Sutherland family (photo at top).

Sutherland compiled a tremendous record as a coach – not just in football, but also in baseball and golf, a record so impressive that he made it into the Section V Hall of Fame. A star athlete at ND, he also is the only person inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a player and coach.

He passed away on Aug. 23, 2020 at the age of 71.

“The name Bill Sutherland and his famous nickname, Sudsy, was synonymous with Notre Dame for 41 years and he was recognized by the Genesee Region, Section V and the Monsignor Martin Association for his coaching prowess, the preparation of his teams and the way his teams competed,” Rapone said.

His teams won seven Genesee Region football titles, 13 baseball titles, two Bishop Smith baseball championships, four Section V titles in football, seven in baseball and three consecutive golf championships. In 16 championship game appearances, his teams won 14 times.

Rapone said Sutherland “helped shape the hearts and minds of Notre Dame students as a coach, teacher and administrator.”

“As a coach, Bill was known for his love of players and desire to see them excel on the field, in the classroom and, most importantly, in life,” he stated. “Coach Sutherland would be known for his fiery intensity and his ability to motivate his players like few coaches could.”

Off the field, Sutherland was an excellent teacher and mentor, Rapone said, with a special gift in “in identifying where his students were struggling and (finding) ways to help and understand to improve their performance level.”

ND Principal Wade Bianco thanked the school’s Class of 1967 for its “relentless effort” to make this dedication possible.

“Their (Sutherland’s classmates) tenacity and their passion to get this done almost matched Bill’s,” he quipped.

A reception was hosted by the Sutherland family after the game at T.F. Brown’s Restaurant in Batavia.



From left, Notre Dame High School Principal Wade Bianco, Athletic Director Mike Rapone, Billy Sutherland, Jennifer Sutherland Forsyth, Melanie Sutherland, Pat Becker (Class of 1967) and David O'Connor (Class of 1967).

Photos by Howard Owens.

ND loses 14-6 at Geneseo/Mount Morris; Fanara, Fitzpatrick connect for 46-yard TD

By Mike Pettinella

Quarterback Ryan Whitney ran for one touchdown and passed for another Friday night to lead Geneseo/Mount Morris to a 14-6 victory over visiting Notre Dame in Section V varsity football action.

The 6-2, 190-pound junior opened the scoring with a 9-yard scamper on a first-and-goal play late in the first quarter and then found junior wide receiver Eghosa Okpefe in the end zone for the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.

The Blue Devils, 3-2, upped their lead to 14-0 with just 16 seconds remaining in the half when Whitney launched a deep pass that was on the money to Okpefe, who had raced behind the secondary and sprinted untouched into the end zone. A pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete.

Notre Dame, 1-4, had the ball in Geneseo/Mount Morris territory throughout the opening half but three potential scoring drives were thwarted by an interception by lineman Giovanni Provo, Fighting Irish quarterback Jimmy Fanara being stopped just short of a first down at the 20-yard line and a dropped pass around the 10-yard line.

The Fighting Irish offense broke a nine-quarter scoring drought late in the third period when, on a first-and-10 play at the Geneseo/Mount Morris 46, Fanara connected with sophomore wide receiver Ryan Fitzpatrick for a touchdown.

Fitzpatrick hauled in the pass, put a fake on the defender around the 20-yard line and beat the defense to the end zone. A run for the two-point conversion was unsuccessful.

Notre Dame got the ball back right away when Jay Antinore intercepted a Whitney pass at midfield.

A 25-yard run by Evan Cummings moved the ball to the Geneseo/Mount Morris 30, but a holding penalty negated another nice gain by Cummings, and the drive stalled.

Cummings came up with interceptions on consecutive Blue Devils’ possessions to start the fourth quarter – the second one giving ND the ball at the home team’s 39.

On offense, Cummings picked up 13 yards on three runs before Geneseo/Mount Morris’ defense stiffened. Two incompletions and a short gain on fourth-and-20 turned the ball over the Blue Devils, who – with Whitney carrying the load – ran out the clock.

Whitney ran the ball 24 times for 80 yards and completed six of 19 passes for 127 yards, one TD and three interceptions. Okpefe had three receptions for 90 yards and the touchdown.

For the Irish, Cummings rushed for 56 yards on 11 carries and Fanara gained 60 yards on eight attempts, including a 40-yard scamper late in the first quarter. Fanara was 6-for-21 passing for 68 yards and a TD.

On defense, Camden King recovered a muffed punt.

The Irish will host Alexander at 1 p.m. Saturday as part of the school’s Homecoming.

Activities include a “celebration of life” in honor of the late Ricky Mancuso Jr. (Class of 2005) at noon, prayer service led by Walter Szczesny (Class of 1976), halftime ceremony renaming the football field in honor of the late coach Bill Sutherland and a reception hosted by the Sutherland family at T.F. Brown’s Restaurant following the game.

ND defense stands tall vs. Bolivar Richburg in 14-0 loss

By Mike Pettinella

Notre Dame staged a herculean defensive effort that included several “red zone” stops, two fumble recoveries and an interception but had little offensive success en route to a 14-0 loss to Bolivar Richburg in varsity football action Thursday night at Van Detta Stadium.

The visiting Wolverines, 3-1, scored on consecutive long drives in the first half and, despite running 63 plays to ND’s 34, failed to score after that as the Irish defense came through time and again with big plays deep in their own territory.

Powered by the senior foursome of quarterback Brayden Ellis and running backs Landon Danaher, Jarrod Polk and Kadin Tompkins, the Allegany County squad ran the ball 56 times for 258 yards.

Polk capped a five-play, 52-yard drive with an 11-yard burst off right tackle with 6:06 left in the opening quarter and, after a Notre Dame punt, Danaher put the finishing touches on a 10-play, 55-yard march with a 21-yard sweep to the left side on the first play of the second quarter.

Senior kicker Hunter Stuck converted both point after touchdown attempts.

The Irish, 1-3, could not run the ball against the Wolverines, with 14 rushing attempts netting minus 11 yards.

Quarterback Jimmy Fanara completed eight of 20 passes for 67 yards – with the biggest gains of 18 and 19 yards to Ryan Fitzpatrick and 22 yards to Evan Cummings. He was intercepted twice in the second half.

Bolivar Richburg’s offense featured a variety of formations. Mixing in misdirection plays and reverses with runs into the middle of the line, the Wolverines chewed up yardage and the clock all night long. The Irish defense, however, did not break as it made big plays to halt otherwise impressive drives.

Linebackers Vin DiRisio (who was named T.F. Brown’s Player of the Game by WBTA Radio (news partner of The Batavian), Andrew Edwards and Cummings, lineman Bryceton Berry and defensive back Hayden Groff led the charge for the Irish. Edwards went to the sidelines after suffering a leg injury late in the third quarter.

Berry recovered a fumble to thwart the visitors’ opening drive, DiRisio was credited with 21 tackles, including many behind the line of scrimmage and also to prevent long gains, while Cummings intercepted a pass on a fourth-and-9 play at the ND 39 in the third quarter and recovered a fumble on second-and-goal from the 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

Early in the third quarter, the Irish tackled Danaher for a 12-yard loss on a third-and-1 from the 6-yard line adding to Bolivar Richburg’s futility inside the Notre Dame 20 – which included a pair of missed field goal attempts by Stuck.

In the final minute, with the Irish not trying to stop the clock, Ellis threw two passes into the end zone from the ND 31. The first one was dropped by Polk and the second one was incomplete.

Statistically, Danaher rushed for 112 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown and Polk carried 13 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Tompkins gained 56 yards on 11 carries. QB Ellis ran seven times for 16 yards and was 3-for-7 passing for 12 yards.

Notre Dame’s next game is at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at Geneseo.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish blank host York/Pavilion, 15-0, behind junior quarterback Jimmy Fanara

By Mike Pettinella

Notre Dame opened its 2021 Section V varsity football season in winning fashion tonight, defeating York/Pavilion, 15-0, in a non-league game at York.

Junior quarterback Jimmy Fanara connected with senior receiver Cody Henry for a 35-yard touchdown late in the second quarter and ran in for the two-point conversion to give the Fighting Irish an 8-0 lead, and senior running back/receiver Evan Cummings scored from 3 yards out early in the fourth quarter. Junior Brandon Carrick kicked the PAT to complete the scoring.

Notre Dame controlled the ball for most of the first quarter, marching down the field on its opening possession from its own 25 to the York/Pavilion 15, but a 4th down and six pass from Fanara to Henry came up a yard short.

In the second quarter, after forcing York/Pavilion to punt, the Irish started a drive on their own 25 with 4:29 remaining.

Fanara, who completed nine of 12 passes for 107 yards, found Henry for a 22-yard gain. A couple runs by Fanara moved the ball to the York 41, and a six-yard pass to sophomore received Ryan Fitzpatrick put the ball on the Golden Knights' 35.

Then, facing a third-and-five situation, Fanara lofted the ball over the middle where Henry jumped up to catch it and sprinted the final 10 yards to the end zone.

The Irish put the game away on its opening drive of the fourth quarter, with Cummings -- who had 73 yards on 17 carries -- capping a nine-play drive by taking a pitch from Fanara on a first-and-goal play from the York/Pavilion 3-yard line.

Cummings darted toward the left sideline but seeing that he was hemmed in, stopped and reversed course to the right -- outrunning the defense into the end zone with 9:07 left in the game.

Penalties -- false starts, offsides, holding and a couple of unsportsmanlike conduct calls -- plaqued both teams throughout the contest.

Sophmore George Woodruff had 27 yards on four carries while Fanara ran the ball nine times for 38 yards. Henry caught five passes for 84 yards.

On defense, junior Bryceton Berry had a couple sacks while Henry had 10 tackles and senior Drew Edwards had nine tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery as ND limited York/Pavilion to 60 total yards. 

For the home team, junior running back Kadin Peete rushed 12 times for 25 yards.

'Banged up' Fighting Irish drop 8-6 decision to visiting Clyde-Savannah

By Mike Pettinella


The injury bug took another bite out of Notre Dame’s varsity football team tonight in an 8-6 loss to Clyde-Savannah at Van Detta Stadium.

Already without starting quarterback Colin McCulley, Head Coach Joe Zambito was forced to make more changes on both sides of the ball when lineman Dalton Hamm suffered an ankle injury in the first half, and standout halfback and linebacker Dylan Warner departed with four minutes left in the third quarter after taking a hit to the helmet.

Despite the setbacks, the Fighting Irish kept the Eagles at bay except for one big play – a 69-yard catch-and-run from QB Steven Dunn to Logan Massey on the second play of the fourth quarter that put C-S on top, 8-0.

The visitors had taken a 2-0 halftime lead when they recorded a safety in the second quarter by tackling ND punter Cody Henry in the end zone after the snap sailed over his head.

Notre Dame rallied, however, on a 10-yard scamper by Alonzo Storey, who was forced into action as a running back, with 5:43 remaining in the game.

The Irish’s attempt to tie the game failed when wide receiver Anthony Zambito was unable to corral a pass from sophomore quarterback James Fanara, who started the season with the junior varsity team.

Coach Zambito noted that his squad had several opportunities to even their record at 2-2.

“A dropped pass here, a dropped pass there, a missed block here. It wasn’t one particular play that cost us the game, it was a combination of a bunch of plays that did it,” he said. “It’s tough to play a team as good as they are as banged up as we are,” Zambito said. “I’ve got six starters on the bench on both sides of the ball, but take nothing away from Clyde because they played a heck of a game tonight.”

Notre Dame’s defense, except for the long TD pass, stepped up time after time to stay within striking distance.

“I thought our defense was phenomenal tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised if we outgained them,” Zambito continued. “The one play they got us on, I had my third-string corner in, who did the best job he could because at the time we were juggling people in and out of position because our linebacker (Warner) got pulled out of the game for concussion protocol.”

The athletic trainer’s decision to keep Warner out of the game didn’t sit well with Zambito.

“Believe me, I’m all about safety, and I know Dylan, and his dad was also on the sidelines as he’s a coach,” Zambito said. “Dylan was fine but wasn’t allowed to go back into the game. That’s just part of it. That happens, I guess, but that was big.”

With Warner out, Storey came through with several key plays – putting the Irish deep into C-S territory in the closing minutes.

“He’s our third receiver and he turned into our first-string back. In the game of football that happens,” Zambito said.

Following Storey’s touchdown, the ND defense stymied the Eagles, now 2-2, on three straight plays – with linebackers Vin DiRisio and Hayden Groff and lineman Eric Ricks Jr. recording the tackles. As a result, C-S was forced to punt from its own 12.

Storey fielded the punt inside of midfield and darted about 30 yards to bring the ball back to the Eagles’ 16 with three minutes left.

Fanara fired a pass on first down that fell incomplete, intended for tight end Groff. Storey ran for three yards on second down before Fanara misfired on a third-down pass intended for freshman Ryan Fitzpatrick.

After ND took its final time out, Fanara attempted to hit Storey in the right corner of the end zone but the pass was just out of the reach of a diving Storey. The Eagles ran one play before running out the clock on a couple of “kneel-downs” by Dunn.

Statistically, the Irish outgained C-S, 210-151, with Storey picking up 40 yards on 10 carries, Warner gaining 51 yards on 14 carries and DiRisio running for 15 yards on his lone carry.

Fanara ran seven times for 70 yards and completed three of 16 passes for 34 yards, with his receivers dropping four passes.

On defense, junior DiRisio had eight tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery while linebacker Henry had 10 tackles and a sack.

Zambito said he was encouraged as the Irish bounced back after a 37-6 loss to Avon last week, but frustrated over losing so many players to injury.

“Last season, we were lucky; we didn’t have a lot of injuries,” he said, talking about the club that won the Section V Class D title. “This season, it’s like dominos. They’re falling left and right.”


Photo at top, ND quarterback James Fanara bursts up the middle for 37 yards; photo at bottom, fullback Vin DiRisio on a 15-yard run. Photos by Howard Owens.

Batavia's George Bosseler to be inducted into Section V Football Hall of Fame

By Billie Owens
Press release:
Section V football Chairman Dick Cerone announced the 13 new members who will be inducted into the Section V Football Hall of Fame this Spring. The 19th annual ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, April 7th at the RIT Inn and Conference Center.
The Section V Football Hall of Fame was establish in 1998 and now has 219 members. The newly inducted members are selected as players, coaches, officials and contributor. They have distinguished themselves and have made Section V football the very best in New York State.
Players to be inducted are Ted Adams/West Irondequoit, Joe Bock/East Rochester, George Bosseler/Batavia, Carl Garritano/Webster, Clint Hurtt/Gates Chili, Mike Latek/Eastridge, Mitch Lee/Brighton, and Ronald Poles/Caledonia-Mumford.
The official being enshrined is Anthony DeJohn, a member of the Finger Lakes Chapter of Certified Football Officials.
In the coaches' category are Wade Bianco/West Irondequoit, Gary Fredericks/assistant coach at Caledonia-Mumford, and Sam Morabito/assistant coach at East Rochester.
In the contributor category, the honoree is Joseph Munno for his work in Section V as a player, coach and sponsor for 44 years. The Ontario Honda Scholarship recipients are Rush-Henrietta football player Jared Gerbino and Avon cheerleader Mary Welch.
Tickets to the induction ceremony and dinner are $40 per person or $350 for a table of 10. They may be ordered before March 29 with checks payable to Section 5 Football by mailing to: Frank Marafino, 4 Georgetown Drive, Rochester, NY 14617.
On the Web:
            Previous Hall of Fame inductees --
For more information:
Dick Cerone, (585) 451-7531

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