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Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Blue Devils battle for narrow victory over Geneva to go to 4-1 on season

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, football, high school sports, sports

This is where teams fold. Down 7-0 after a 90-yard unmolested half-back sprint down the near sideline, after a fumble and two interceptions, including one when your 60-yard offensive drive has taken you to the vestibule of the end zone, only to see the ball fall into the hands of a defensive back.

That's when the enemy scores. That's when you're down 7-0 deep into the third quarter on a night when all previous offensive drives failed to produce points.

Perhaps, it just isn't your night.

After all, you're a team that hasn't gotten to four wins in a season in more than a decade.

It could be fate, a jinx or just the way it's supposed to be.

Except, you don't believe it. Not for a moment.

"I don't think we ever really skipped a beat," said Dom Mogavero, junior running back and line backer. "We went out there thinking we're going to win this football game. We never really lost our composure. We just kept fighting because we knew we could break that scoreboard eventually."

Everything went from going bad to going good on one play.

Before the play, Geneva recovered a fumble on Batavia's 40 and was moving toward the goal line once again when Panthers QB Alex Joll handed the ball to running back Mark Suchewski on a sweep.

There's nobody Joll would rather give the ball to than Mark Suchewski, who came into the game approaching 1,000 yards on the ground for the season and twice led his team with four-touchdown performances.

As Suchewski sprinted left and searched for a corner to turn, Batavia's James Cryer stayed with him step-for-step, catching him near the hash marks and stripping the ball.

Mogavero pounced on that precious gem of a ball just before it rolled out of bounds. The Blue Devils' bench exploded.

"The momentum shift was huge," Head Coach Brennan Briggs said. "I sensed it right there. It could have gone either way. If they punch it in, now you've really got to dig yourself out of a hole pretty late in the game. When we got that ball I heard one of the kids on our team say, 'now it's our time. We're going to win this game coach.' "

The Blue Devils didn't score on that drive, but the defense came up with a big stop on Geneva's next possession.

Anthony Gallo returned a punt deep into Panthers territory to once again put the Blue Devils on the doorstep of six points.

Taking a path similar to Suchewski's minutes before, QB Greg Mruczek found that corner to turn and with a Panther's defensive back closing in fast, dove for the pylon, giving the Blue Devils their first points on the night early in the 4th quarter.

In a bold move, Briggs called for a two-point conversion and on a spread offense Mogavero just barely nosed the ball over the goal line.

From there, it was ball control and a good game plan for the Blue Devils.

From watching film, Briggs said the coaches knew if they could spread Geneva's defense with receivers on the outside, it would open some up holes in the middle.

Wind gusts made passing a little more treacherous. Mruczek completed only six of his 19 tosses (for 85 yards), and twice balls intended for wideouts wound up in the hands of corner backs, but Briggs stuck with the game plan.

"Greg was struggling a little bit early on getting the ball out there, so even though it was there, we couldn't take advantage of it," Briggs said. "Eventually, they saw 'OK that's what they're trying to do', and eventually they're going to connect on it, so they widened out and we started going to one-back running with Dom and quarterback keepers."

Mogavero rushed for 110 yards on 23 carries.

"I give a lot of credit to our coaches," Mosgavero said. "We came in with a great game plan."

Stopping Suchewski was a big part of that game plan.

The plan was to stack the box, stop the run and let a strong-armed Joll, a fearless pocket passer, heave the ball down field as often as he liked.

"We went into the game saying we're going to gamble with the pass and we're going to shut down their run," Briggs said. "We're going to commit to stopping that run and we're going to put pressure on him if he's passing. We're going to say hey we've got athletes out there and you guys have got to have a great snap, great throw and great catch."

To be sure, Joll connected on a couple of those bombs, but tight coverage contained the yardage after reception. With a running game all but shut down, the Panthers couldn't sustain a drive.

With a lead in the 4th, a defense that could contain the Panthers, Briggs kept the ball on the ground and ran down the clock. With runs of three or four yards at a time, the Blue Devils were able to control the ball through most of the fourth quarter.

"We knew we had to fight," Mruczek said' "We have a lot better team than them, I thought. Man-to-man up front. We just had to grind and fight, grind and fight and get the W."

This year's Blue Devils team is a confident bunch of guys, Briggs said.

"That can sometimes be a bad thing," said the head coach, "but I love the swag of these kids."

It's all about the team, Mogavero said.

"I give a lot of credit to our guys every day," Mogavero said. "They play out their hearts every single game, every snap, every practice. We just give it and keep giving it. I feel like that's definitely going to propel us to the front, because you know, some people don't believe that we can be the team that beats good teams and I feel like we really turned the corner as a program.

"We love each other," he added. "It's the biggest team. We're not the biggest team size-wise, the biggest team in numbers, but we're close. That makes our hearts big."

Mogavero pointed to his chest, just below "Batavia," and said "We're big here."

Top Photo: Mruczek dives for the pylon for a TD. A two-point conversion would give Batavia the go-ahead and stay-ahead points.

James Cryer forces Geneva's star running back Mark Suchewski as the Panther's seemed to be on the verge of another score.

Batavia's bench celebrates Mogavero's fumble recovery.

Mogavero hits Joll just as he attempts another long pass. The play was ruled an incomplete forward pass.

Mogavero gets his helment buried in the turf at the end of a run.

This play was ruled an interception. Check the sequence in the slideshow below. It appears the defensive player trapped the ball on the ground before he had control. On the second play after the turnover, Mark Suchewski ran 90 yards for a Geneva touchdown.

Geneva's Marquan Ross with an interception on a pass intended for Malachi Chenault.

Mruczek hands off to Mogevero in the 4th quarter.

Danny Williams, who also had 10 tackles on the night, sacks Alex Joll in the 4th quarter.

Jarrett Laskett and Trevor Sherwood celebrate the Blue Devils victory after the final whistle.

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Friday, October 3, 2014 at 11:09 am

Batavia Downs changes its racing schedule

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs has announced its new fall schedule which will be effective starting next week. Live racing will be conducted three nights a week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights through Dec. 6 with a 6:35 post time. The one exception to that will be on Columbus Day, Oct. 13, when the final matinee of the year will be held at 1:15 p.m.

Batavia Downs is also offering some great wagering opportunities this weekend when growing carry-over pools are once again available on Friday. The pick-5 pool is at $532 and the pick-6 carry-over is $1,972. The pick-5 is a .50 minimum bet and runs from race five through race nine. The pick-6 is a minimum $2 wager and runs from race seven to race 12.

Then on Saturday night, harness racing bingo will make its return by popular demand. America’s oldest lighted harness track will feature this promotion and put $750 in gaming free-plays and betting vouchers up for grabs for those attending that night who play.

The first 25 people that get regular bingo win $10 gaming free-plays. The first three people to get letter “X” win $100 wagering vouchers and first person to get full-board bingo wins a $200 wagering voucher. The entire amount of the vouchers must be wagered on Batavia Downs races.

Bingo is free to play and racing fans can pick up their bingo card starting at 5 p.m. at Players Club located on the gaming floor.

In addition, Sahlen’s hot dogs, sodas and draft beer will be available for just $1 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

For a complete list of events and promotions please visit <http://www.bataviadownsgaming.com>

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Infrontigo Hanover swoops rivals in mares Open; Ronnie Wrenn Jr. wins five at Batavia Downs

post by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, harness racing, sports

Infrontigo Hanover with driver Jim McNeight.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

Timing is everything and driver Jim McNeight had his down to a science Wednesday night (Oct. 1) in winning the $8,500 mares Open pace feature at Batavia Downs with Infrontigo Hanover.

Going directly to the wood off the gate, McNeight settled Infrontigo Hanover in fourth while Taylor Rei (Aaron Byron) and Fiftyonefifty (Mike Whelan) played give-and-go to the quarter. When the dust settled at that post in :28.2, McNeight saw his chance and Infrontigo Hanover was quickly pulled at the three-eighths and took the lead before they hit the half.

From then on the only thing left to figure out was how fast and by how many? Infrontigo Hanover opened up a six-length lead going to the three-quarters in 1:25, then turned the corner and paced home uncontested to a wrapped-up three and one-half length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2. The winner paid $9.10.

Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) closed sharply for second and Dontch Remember (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) finished third.

It was the fourth win in 28 starts for Infrontigo Hanover and raised her seasonal earnings to $34,844 for owners Summer Wind Stable of New York, Inc., and Bob Gruber. The 6-year-old Western Hanover mare is trained by Bob Gruber.

Second leading North American dash winning driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was at the Downs Wednesday and pulled closer to leader Aaron Merriman as he came away with five winners on the card. He scored with Kill A Rockingbird ($28.60), Blissful Escape ($3.90), Delightful Syd ($5.80), Stonetag ($4.40) and Helena’s Hope ($3.30). Jim McNeight had the hat trick and Kevin Cummings doubled up.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 3) with post time at 6:35.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm

PHOTOS: Batavia Girls Volleyball beats Olympia in 5 sets

post by Steve Ognibene in batavia, Girls volleyball, sports, varsity

Batavia came out strong the first two sets winning 25-21 & 25-9 led by Junior Tessa Engel.  Engel finished the night with 16 kills, 8 digs.  Freshman setter Taylor Stefaniak had 12 aces and 18 assists.  Pictured above is senior Allison DellaPenna serving for a point in the 1st game.  DellaPenna finished with 4 kills and 3 aces.  Tessa Engel had a spike to putaway the second set pictured below.

Then the momentum changed starting the 3rd game when Olympia came out with a 10 pt. lead.  Gabriella Alverez had 13 kills for Olympia and the blue devils lost the next two sets 15-25 & 24-26.  Pictured below was a block by Courtney Burns & Allision DellaPenna

Burns finished the night with 2 kills and 2 aces. Maria Canzoneri had 3 kills on the night.  Junior Madision McCulley had 3 kills & 4 aces.  Madision is pictured below returning a serve in the 4th game.

The 5th game was a close back & forth volley that Batavia went up as much as 4 pts. 19-15   Then Olympia battled back to tie it at 19-19.  Junior Megan Swiatowy came off the bench to serve 3 straight key points late in the 5th and the Blue Devils finished with a win 25-19.  Pictured below is Maria Canzoneri returning a hit with team mates Madision Swiatowy #21 who had 8 digs tonight & Taylor Stefaniak #4

Also contributing to the Devils win was Lexi Gloskowski with 2 aces & 3 digs.  Greece Olympia record 1-9 and Batavia improves to 8-4 overall and 5-1 in division.  The Blue Devils play away the next two games vs. Canadaiguia & Churchville Chili.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Cougars top Lakers in four sets

post by Andrew Crofts in GCC, sports, volleyball

In its second to last regular season home match of the fall, the Genesee Community College women's volleyball team took down Finger Lakes Community College in four sets on Tuesday night to improve its record to a game above .500 for the season.

Genesee held a nine-point lead in the first set but saw the Lakers come storming back to eventually tie the opening frame, 23-23. FLCC held serve for the final two points and took the opening game, 25-23.

The Cougars fell behind early in the second set but took six of seven points at one point to take an 8-5 lead. Nohema Garcia Torres served to four straight points late in the second game and GCC evened the night at a game apiece with a 25-17 win in game two.

During a close third set, neither team held a lead larger than three until Haley Case ended the game serving to four consecutive points, including a service ace, to give Genesee a 25-21 win.

In the fourth game, GCC jumped out to a 13-4 lead, but saw FLCC again mount a comeback. The Lakers got to within two at 19-17, but Genesee won six of the next eight points to take the fourth and final set, 25-19.

Garcia Torres ended the night with 37 assists and three aces, Case added 12 kills and four aces, Ai Miyazaki had 23 digs and 12 kills and Stephanie Toledo added 12 kills.

Genesee improves to 15-14 with the win and will travel to Mercyhurst North East on Thursday night for a 6 p.m. start.

 

Nohema Garcia Torres gets ready to serve in the fourth and final game vs. FLCC on Tuesday night. Garcia Torres tallied three service aces on the night

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III: We Are Number One

post by Rhonda Pangrazio in batavia ramparts pee wee III, sports

BATAVIA RAMPARTS PEE WEE III:  WE ARE NUMBER ONE

Hockey players from the Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team cheer and shout “we are number one” after proving they were the best team at the Tri-County Youth Hockey BREAKIN’ THE ICE tournament in Brockport this weekend.  Batavia began the tournament Friday night facing the host team from Brockport, Tri-County Youth Hockey (TCYH).  Both teams battled and the game remained scoreless until TCYH scored in the third period.  Down by one and late in the game, Batavia rallied.  With just over one minute remaining, forward, Sean Pies lit the lamp for Batavia with help from an assist by defenseman, Katherine Carmichael.  Less than a minute later, forward, Max Hutchins would pass to forward Drew Bower who would net the winning goal. 

After beating the teams from Rochester Youth Hockey and Monroe County Youth Hockey on Saturday, the Batavia Ramparts faced TCYH once again for the championship on Sunday afternoon.  Hutchins put Batavia on the board in the second period and a penalty shot in the third period would give forward, Zackary Geitner, an opportunity to add to Batavia’s lead.  He delivered.  With a score of 2-0, TCYH pulled their goalie and Hutchins out skated the Tri-County defense to put the puck back in the net.  Batavia wins with a final score of 3-0. 

Batavia’s goalie, Joshua Barber, was outstanding, showing his talents in each game.  The one point scored by TCYH would be the only goal on Barber throughout the tournament weekend.  Barber finished the weekend with three shut outs, helping his team post victories with scores of 2-1, 7-0, 4-0, and 3-0.  Barber’s efforts were noted and rewarded by receiving two of the four MVP awards during the tournament.  Max Hutchins and Drew Bower were also tournament MVPs.

The Batavia Ramparts Pee Wee III team brings home the championship after going undefeated this weekend and proving they are number one.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 9:20 am

Batavia Blue Devils 2014 Hall of Fame induction dinner

The lates edition of inductees for the Batavua Blue Devil Hall of Fame are; front row, from left to right, Maria Spiotta Dentino, '99, Jamie Callahan Hulbig '98, and Dr. Allyson Shirtz Howe '90. Back row L to R, George Cline accepting the award for his nephew Jack Kelley of the class of 1954, Pat Fricano '80, Tom Hoitink '65 and John Buckley '72.

A great crowd was on hand as friends, relatives and previous inductees turned out to celebrate this years selections. Above are former BHS baseball and grid coach and 2004 HoF inductee Phil "Pep" Johnson and wife, Pat. 

Mike and Mary Callahan with daughter, Jamie.

Tom Hoitink with wife, Kathy, left and sister, Gail

Tim Buckley with Rob Hale. Rob quarterbacked the Blue Devils to the state title in the fall of '91. Rob and the entire '91 football team were inducted into the Blue Devil HoF in 2005.

Pauline Fricano flanked by sons Pat and Mike.

Master of Ceremonies Paul Spiotta HoF committe member John McGowan.

The ever-smiling Joe Marchese.

Ben Bakos and Jim Saraceni on hand to celebrate with their life-long friend Pat Fricano.

Long time friends and teammates, Sam Pilato and Tom Hoitink, co-captains of the Blue Devil basketball team during the '64-'65 campain.

Mary Hale with son Rob.

Sharon and John Buckley with John's former football coach, Ray Jamalkowski, HoF inductee from the class of 2005. Blue Devil fans remember John as a passionate football player, who would, as they say, "bring it" on every down. His message last night, like his play on the gridiron, was equally moving, providing plenty of impact.

It was a great night to see old friends, renew old acquaintances and celebrate the Blue Devil Hall of Fame's latest edition. Congratulations to all!!  

Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Elba/BB holds on in defensive battle for win over Oakfield-Alabama

It was Robert Neyland, the legendary Tennessee head coach, who first observed that the team which makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.

Neyland also said teams need to make their breaks and pounce on opportunity.

While Elba/Byron-Bergen wasn't without its own miscues in a Saturday afternoon scrap on its home field, the inability of Oakfield-Alabama to strike from the red zone on successive drives in the second quarter turned out to be a deal breaker for the Hornets.

The Lancers won the defensive battle 7-6.

Brian Palone, O-A's head coach, gave credit to the Lancers' defense, but also said mental errors by his players and a lack of execution on the details in the red zone hurt his team's chance of notching a win.

"I also have to do a better job with play calling down here at times to give us a better opportunity," Palone said. "I'll point the finger at myself  for some of the stuff we had down here in the red zone. Some of it is on them. It goes both ways, but we just didn't finish."

On one possession, with the ball inside the five, Elba/BB even gave O-A a whole new set of downs on a pass interference call, either because of a stout defense or an inability to finish, the Hornets couldn't punch it in.

The Hornets would return the favor, stopping a Lancers drive on the goal line, in the 4th quarter.

Elba/BB also had its share of turnovers and penalties to help keep points off the board.

"I'm just glad we both did have mistakes," Lancers Head Coach Mike Cintorino said. "I'm glad we're both kind of even. We've seen games and we've had games ourselves where those mistakes aren't even and it ends up being a game you give away.  It very easily could have gone the other way today.  We had some opportunities that we didn't capitalize on and our defense bailed us out. They came up big."

The way Cintorino sees the game is that two well-prepared defenses shut down a pair of powerful offenses.

"You get two offenses like this, one that really passes the ball well and one that really runs the ball well and you think it's going to be this high scoring game, but both teams did a really nice job preparing for the other offense and it turned out to be a great defensive game," Cintorino said.

Both coaches said they were proud of their defenses.

"It was a real grinder of a game that was just going to come down to who had the ball last," Palone said. "We're all really proud of the way our team held together."

O-A put points on the board first when Trent Stack pulled in an Alan Chatt nine-yard pass just over the goal line (top photo).

Being down 6-0 seemed to give the Lancer's offense a spark it lacked through the entire first half.  The combination of Garrett Chapell  to John Hochmuth seemed unbreakable as QB and tight end connected for reception after reception, including a leaping grab by Hochmuth on the sideline to secure another first down.

"Early on, John had a drop, but the best athletes I have ever coached know how to come back from adversity in a game," Cintorino said.  "He had that same idea in the Holley game where he had a drop and came back with a huge touchdown for us on the next drive."

Hochmuth had 10 receptions for 142 yards on the day, but it was Chapell who finished off the winning drive.

With the ball on the three, Chapell ran a keeper wide right and found little in the way of opposition from the Hornet's defense.

An extra point kick and the Lancers had the seven points that would prove enough to move the team to 3-1 on the season.

Chatt threw a lot of passes -- 40 on the day, and completed half of them for 259 yards, with a TD toss and an interception. Sal Schwable had five catches for 86 yards and Stack had four receptions for 65 yards.

Chapell had 13 completions on 23 attempts for 154 yards. Truax carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards. He also had 16 tackles on defense and a fumble recovery.

Trent Stack holds the ball aloft after putting the Hornets on the board first in the third quarter.

John Hochmuth with a grab on the sideline to help keep the Lancer's eventual winning drive alive.

Reice Woodward found that one pass near the sideline in the second quarter was just a bit beyond his grasp.

Hornets QB Alan Chatt.

Hochmuth grabs for an O-A runner.

Steele Truax on a big gainer in the 4th quarter that would help put the Lancers on the two-yard line with a chance to extend the team's lead, but O-A stopped the drive and took over on downs.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 11:23 am

Football Round Up: Week #4

Alexander 28, Holley 0. On homecoming night, the Trojans shut down Holley and scored 28 points. The scoring started with a punt return for a TD by Sam Browne. Browne also had two receptions in the game for 110 yards and a TD.  LB Derrick Busch scored on a 20-yard dash after scooping up a blocked punt. Busch also had a 30-yard TD reception. Jared Browne made both TD tosses. Zach Shilvock was 4-4 on PATs. Tristan had 10 carries for 82 yards. Defensively, LB Tyler Laird had 8 tackles.  LB Cody Trezcieski had 7 tackles.  LB Jake Wozniak had an interception as did DB Tristan Aldinger, who now has 2 picks on the season.  Alexander is 2-1 in the GR and 2-2 on the season.

Notre Dame 28, Pembroke 18. The Fighting Irish spoiled Pembroke's homecoming by erasing a 12-7 deficit in the second half. Joe Zickl was 3-7 passing for 45 yards and a TD for Notre Dame. Jack Sutherland rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries and Peter Daversa had 47 on 18. Zickl and Jacob Weatherwax both scored on the ground. Josh Johson had a TD reception and gained 52 yards on three catches. For Pembroke, Mitch Lewter was 5 for 12 passing for 63 yards and a TD. Dakota Swimline had 81 yards on 15 carries and a TD. Cal Neurohr rushed for 77 yards on 23 attempts and scored a TD.  Swimline also had five catches for 63 yards and a TD.  On defense, Zickl had 13 tackles.

Le Roy 61, Cuba-Rushford, 13. The Oatkan Knights continued to pound its way through its regular season schedule with its fourth straight big-margin victory. Ryan McQuillen scored four touchdowns, with two on punt returns, along with a TD on the ground and one through the air. He had a total of 184 yards gained on the night.  Tom Kelso rushed for 165 yards on nine carries, including longs of 58 and 61 yards. Nick Egeling had 13 carries for 72 yards and a TD. Brian Hodges scored a TD. Mike McMullen only completed three passes on 10 attempts, but all three were for scores (42, 43 and 15 yards). Kelso had eight tackles, Egeling six, along with an incerceptions and fumble recovery. Luke Hogle had six tackles and McMullen and McQuillen had five each. McMullen also had a fumble recovery.

Batavia 31, Dansville 17. The Blue Devils improved to 3-1. Greg Mruczek 10-18 passing for 165 yds and four touchdowns. Ahdeosun Aiken had 6 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.  Jarrett Laskett had three receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Gallo caught three passes for 55 yards and racked up 190 yds in kick returns. James Cryer had 9 tackles. Trevor Rittersback, 8 tackles. Devon Koepp had 7 tackles. Gunner Rapone, 6 tackles. Dominick Mogavero, 5 tackles. Dansville is now 2-2.

There's one game this afternoon, Oakfield-Alabama at Elba/Bryron-Bergen.

For coverage of Geneseo at Perry last night on the Wyoming County Free Press, click here.

Alexander/Holley photos by Rick Franclemont.  Click here for more.   Pembroke/Notre Dame photos by Rick D. Fraclemont. For more pictures, click here.

Pembroke's Cal Neurohr  blocking for Mitch Lewter  after an interception

Pembroke's Dylan Miserantino tackeling Notre Dame's Peter Daversa

Pembroke's Mitch Lewter with a straight arm on Notre Dame's C.J. Suozzi

Pembroke's ake Jasinski with a tackle on Notre Dame's Jack Sutherland

Notre Dame's Jack Sutherland being pursued by Pembroke's Dakota Swimline

Friday, September 26, 2014 at 6:00 am

Johnny Bench got his Batavia Muckdog's hat

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, Batavia Downs, Batavia Muckdogs, sports

This past weekend we told you about the visit Hall of Famer Johnny Bench paid to Batavia Downs, and we mentioned that Bench expressed an interest in seeing a Batavia Muckdog's baseball cap.

The person with Bench at the time was season ticket holder Ross Fanara. Fanara called his wife and confirmed that they in fact had a brand new Muckdog's hat at home, so she brought it to Batavia Downs and they presented it to Bench.

Fanara sent over this picture of him with Bench wearing the Batavia Muckdogs hat.

Ross said, "Johnny Bench is a class act."

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