Submitted by Andrew Crofts on November 26, 2012 - 10:35pm
The Genesee Community College men's basketball team topped 100 points for the first time this season, on their way to a 103-50 victory over visiting Medaille JV in their home opener of the 2012-2013 season.
Vaughn Boler scored 15 first half points and 19 total points to lead the way for Genesee. Stanley Peacock added 16 points and nine rebounds, Maurice Bailey chipped in 12 points and Donte Meredith, Terryl Coombs and E.J. Blackwell each scored ten points.
(Vaughn Boler (white) scores two of his game-high 19 points in win over Medaille JV)
GCC opened a 55-21 first half lead and shot better than 64 percent in the game en-route to their fourth victory of the season.
The Cougars (4-3) will host Mohawk Valley Community College on Saturday at 3pm for their next contest.
Submitted by Billie Owens on November 25, 2012 - 5:01pm
By Brian Mazurek, for Batavia Downs
It was Ladies' Night Friday (Nov. 23) in the featured $8,200 Open I-II Handicap Trot at Batavia Downs as the lone mare in the field of seven, Starbux Eden, beat the boys by 1-1/4 lengths in 2:00.4.
Owned, trained and driven to victory by John Cummings Jr., of Williamsville, the favored Starbux Eden ($4.40) sat the pocket behind the pacesetting Perfect Man (Dave McNeiught Jr.) through quarters of :29.0, 1:00.2 and 1:30.1.
But just before the top of the stretch, instead of dropping down to the passing lane, Cummings Jr. tipped the 6-year-old Striking Sahbra mare to the outside and trotted home smartly in :30.3 on the blustery evening, easily beating Keystone Bernard (Shawn Gray). Partici Pator (Jim McNeight) finished third.
It was the 10th win of the season for Starbux Eden in 35 starts and increased her 2012 earnings to $60,005.
Reinsman Dan Noble, currently second in the Downs' standings, was the driving star of the evening winning six times on the 12-race card.
Submitted by Billie Owens on November 20, 2012 - 6:37pm
Batavia Downs Casino will celebrate the accomplishments of world champion and trotting track record holder Archangel with a coffee mug giveaway on Wednesday night (Nov. 21). The locally owned trotter took Western New York by storm when he competed in the historic $1.5 million Hambletonian.
To receive a collector’s edition photo mug, patrons simply need to swipe their Player’s Club card beginning at 5 p.m. at Players Club to receive a ticket that can be redeemed in the Paddock Room after the seventh race for an Archangel mug. Supplies are limited.
Archangel, a son of Credit Winner-Michelle’s Angel, was purchased for $120,000 in 2010. Earlier this year he set a world record on a half-mile racetrack on July 7 at Yonkers Raceway when he won the Yonkers Trot, the first leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, in 1:54.1. Then on Sept. 9, he lowered the Batavia Downs trotting all-age and 3-year-old record when he cruised to victory in a New York Sires Stake event in 1:54.3. His final time was more than two seconds faster than the previous record of 1:56.4 set by Earl in 1993 in the Provenzano Trot.
In two years of racing Archangel earned $906,579, including $771,386 during his sophomore season. His lifetime best of 1:53.1 came at Vernon Downs and was equaled at Lexington, Ky. In addition to the giveaway, a special meet-and-greet session with owner/trainer Peter Arrigenna and co-owner Alan Hainsworth will be held in the track lobby beginning at 5:30 p.m. On display will be some of the trophies won during the 2012 campaign.
“We wanted to buy a top quality horse, one that could be dominant on the New York Sire Stakes and eventually become a Grand Circuit horse,” Hainsworth said. “He did that and more. He earned a lot of money for us and it’s really been an amazing ride. I got a chance to meet some great people along the way.”
Hainsworth and partners purchased another son of Credit Winner for $170,000 at the recently concluded Harrisburg Sale and are hopeful they have another champion.
“He’s extremely well bred and is a carbon copy of Arch,” Hainsworth added. “Not only do I have confidence in his breeding but in my trainer as well.”
The Downs is expecting a nice crowd on Wednesday night.
“Back in the day, the night before Thanksgiving used to be one of the biggest nights of the year,” said Todd Haight, track general manager said. “I’m confident we’ll have a nice crowd on hand, many thanks to Pete and Alan for making this happen.”
Submitted by Billie Owens on November 18, 2012 - 5:19pm
By Brian Mazurek, for Batavia Downs
Taking advantage of a perfect trip from the rail, Looks R Deceiving used the passing lane down the stretch and captured the $27,000 finals of the Henry Tojj Claiming Pacing Series in 1:58.0 at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 17).
Looks R Deceiving, dismissed at 9-1, just missed by a neck off the rail last week in the third leg of the Tojj, losing to The Classic Z Tam in 1:57.3. But driver-trainer Bobby Verney made sure he took advantage of the rail in the finals as he caught the pace-setting Johnny Grippa (Jim Morrill Jr.) midway down the lane.
Johnny Grippa had set the fractions of :27.4, :57.4 and 1:27.4 but started to get leg-weary down the lane. Looks R Deceiving ($20.80) dropped down into the passing lane and stepped away for the one-length win over the fast track. Vasvixen N (Shawn Gray) rallied late inside for the place spot while Johnny Grippa held on for third.
Looks R Deceiving, a 5-year-old Modern Art gelding, is owned by Stephen Andzel of Williamsville. The victory pushed his 2012 earnings to $46,388 and has now nine wins in 35 starts this season.
In the $10,000 consolation of the Henry Tojj Claiming Pacing Series, driver Anthony Morgan guided Dawn Of Trey ($31.80) to the surprise one-length victory, beating Square John (Jim Morrill Jr.) in 1:58.
Dawn Of Trey is owned by Doug Neely of Barberton, Ohio, and trained by Larry Clabaugh.
In the $9,000 Open Pace, What The Sheik, after a solid third-place finish at Yonkers Raceway last week, returned to Batavia Downs and once again proved he is currently the best pacer on the grounds, scoring a convincing length victory over Cole Hard Cash in 1:54.1.
Settling in fifth place at the start, What The Sheik ($4.70) and driver Jim Morrill Jr. watched the four lead changes that took place in front of them before the first half mile was completed. Down the backstretch the final time, Morrill Jr. went three-wide and collared Cole Hard Cash midway down the stretch and easily pulled away for a three-quarters of a length victory.
What The Sheik, claimed for $12,000 back in August by owners JML Stables, Inc., of Heathrow, Fla., and Mike Torcello of Hamburg. has now earned $49,526 this season. What The Sheik is a 5-year-old Western Terror horse and is trained by Gerry Sarama.
The racing resumes at Batavia Downs with a 12-race card on Wednesday night beginning at 6:25 p.m. The night before Thanksgiving program is always popular and this year the evening should be extra special.
The night will be highlighted by a Archangel Collector's Mug giveaway. Coupons will be distributed beginning at 5 p.m. at the Player's Extra desk and redeemed after the seventh race. There is also a "Meet and Greet" session beginning at 5:30 p.m. with Archangel's owners Alan Hainsworth and Pete Arrigenna.
Submitted by Billie Owens on November 17, 2012 - 2:08pm
By Brian Mazuek, for Batavia Downs
Under The Stars and driver/trainer Jim McNeight were first under the wire in the featured $8,500 Open I-II Trot at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 16).
Under The Stars had finished second in three of his last four starts in the Open trot but finally broke through for the win.
Sitting second over going to the three-quarter pole, Under The Stars ($11.60) swept three-wide around the final turn and trotted around the pace-setting and favored Perfect Man (Dave McNeight III) and the cover of Big Baller (Dan Noble).
Down the lane Under The Stars trotted strongly to the wire, beating the pocket sitting Starbux Eden (John Cummings Jr.), by a length in 1:59.2, while Ziegfeld (Jim Morrill Jr.) rallied late to finish to third.
Owned by Mike Calimeri of Falconer, N.Y., it was the fourth win of the season for Under The Stars, a five-year-old Yankee Glide gelding. The win also moved his seasonal winnings to $44,952.
A 12-race program is slated for tonight at 6:25 p.m. with some top late-season races on tap.
The $27,000 Henry Tojj Pacing Series finale is the feature, scheduled for the seventh race. Johnny Grippa, with driver Jim Morrill Jr., is the morning line choice at 5-2 starting out of the four post.
The $10,000 consolation of the Henry Tojj will follow as the ninth race with D J Supreme and driver Shawn Gray the favorite from the four spot at 5-2.
The weekly $9,000 Open Pace will go as the sixth race with What The Sheik with Jim Morrill, Jr. in the sulky as the 6-5 morning line favorite despite starting from the eight hole.
Submitted by Howard Owens on November 16, 2012 - 11:55am
Last week's winner was Matt Scott, who was selected in a random drawing from among the 10 people who correctly named Arian Foster as the running back most likely to rack up the most rushing yards (from among the 10 choices in the contest).
Submitted by Billie Owens on November 13, 2012 - 3:36pm
The “Jack Flanigen Milestone Watch” has officially begun. When racing resumes on Wednesday night at Batavia Downs Casino, all eyes will be on Flanigen, who is closing in on 4,000 lifetime wins in the sulky.
The veteran driver, a lifelong resident of Western New York currently sits at 3,992. The 46-year-old Flanigen is a native of the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg and now lives a little more than five miles from the Batavia track, in Oakfield. In two-plus decades of driving he has become Western New York's winningest driver, and now he's closing in on another milestone.
He reached 3,000 victories on Oct. 20, 2007. There are other drivers from the Batavia-Buffalo Raceway circuit -- past and present -- who have won more races. Jeff Gregory of nearby Churchville is the current leader with 6,583 lifetime wins. Jim Morrill Jr., is at 5,432; Hall of Famer Buddy Gilmour 5,381; Ken Holliday 5,092; Ben Webster 4,378; and John Stark Jr. 4,119.
But most of their wins came at other racetracks. For Flanigen it’s been all about Western New York. Well, at least after the very beginning. His first career drive (and win) didn’t come on his hometown circuit but rather at Lake Shore Meadows, in Erie, Pa. He sat behind a horse named Mighty Mite for trainer Jim Crossan. By 1990 Jack was one of the most sought-after drivers on the Western New York harness racing circuit.
During the '90s he drove in 11,899 races and won 2,279 times. His best year was 1996, when he brought home 271 winners. During his career the horses he has driven have earned more than $11 million. His 3,992 wins best WNY legends, Ed McNeight Jr. (3,456), Jim McNeight (3,089) Gaston Guindon (3,080), Dave Vance (2,894) and Gerry Sarama (2,630).
Flanigen was the Downs dash leading reinsman in 2011. He missed the entire 2008 Downs season with concussion suffered on closing night at Buffalo Raceway. This season, during the 2012 summer-fall meet, he is currently fourth in the driver standings with 74 wins.
And to think it wasn't all that long ago that he actually pulled back on his driving career. In 2001, Flanigen began a second career, taking a full-time job with the New York State Department of Transportation as a truck driver.
“I wasn’t sure which way the business was headed; Batavia was closed and Buffalo was racing reduced dates,” Flanigen said. “So I decided I needed to get a job with benefits just in case.”
When purses climbed at Batavia and Buffalo Flanigen gave up driving trucks for the DOT in 2009 to go back driving horses full-time. He also added training to his resume again, something he hasn’t done since 1994.
“I was just looking for another way to supplement my income so I went back training," he said. "I currently have six in my barn.”
Looking back Flanigen said his career has been a bit of a surprise.
“I never dreamt sitting on driver/trainer Franny Bond‘s lap when I was 10-years-old, while he was out jogging horses, that I would have ever come close to his accomplishment."
Submitted by Eric Geitner on November 12, 2012 - 12:38pm
It was a sweet repeat for Notre Dame Senior Jeffrey Antolos at the New York State Cross-country Championships at Elma Meadows. Jeffrey won the Class C race to become only the 5th Section V cross-country runner in history to ever win more than one XC State Title.
Jeff's time of 15:41 beat out second place by 26 seconds and was the 7th fastest time of the day. Jeff will next compete at the NXN Northeast National Qualifier on November 24 at Bowdoin Park in Wappinger Falls.
The girls' team made ND history by placing 4th in Class D to become the best placing XC state team in ND's history. The Irish were led by 9th-place finisher Laurie Call who covered the course at Elma Meadows in 19:42. Anna Warner's third state meet garnered her a 20th place finish with her time of 20:09. Emily McCracken wasn't too far behind in taking 29th place with her time of 20:35.
Shelby McGinnis rose up to run her best race of the year with her time of 21:38, good for 54th place. Rose Flumerfeldt was again ND's 5th girl, running 24:33 and placing 93rd, with Madison Gluck closing out her high school cross-country career with a time of 25:28 and a 99th-place finish, while Emily Sherman took advantage of the day to run 26:16 good for 105th place.
Congratulations to all the runners and their parents on a great 2012 cross-country season, one of the best in NDXC history!
Submitted by Andrew Crofts on November 7, 2012 - 8:57pm
The Genesee Community College swimming and diving team came away with a tri-meet sweep on Wednesday night, defeating both Alfred State College and Mercyhurst North East.
The men’s team downed Alfred 48-46 and Mercyhurst North East 70-17. The women edged Mercyhurst North East 37-33 and defeated Alfred 44-16.
(Melissa Krause competes in the 200 yard IM for the GCC Swimming and Diving team on Wednesday night)
Calla Wolfley got things going for GCC by placing first in the 200 yard free with a finishing time of 2:21.80, and followed it up later in the night by winning the 500 yard free. Kylie Bank tallied a pair of first place finishes, topping the 50 yard free and the 100 yard breaststroke. Brianne Strong paced the 100 yard backstroke, winning by more than 14 seconds with a finishing time of 1:12.11.
Yusuke Inami continued his strong start to the season on the men’s side with a pair of first place finishes. He won the 100 yard butterfly with a finishing time of 53.10 and the 100 yard free with a finishing time of 51.71. Randi Rudnik and Jacob Finkney also earned top finishes for the Cougars, winning the 200 yard IM and 500 yard freestyle respectively.
The Cougars will return to action next Wednesday when they travel to Jamestown Community College for a 6pm start.
Submitted by Andrew Crofts on November 4, 2012 - 10:42pm
Vaughn Boler scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Genesee Community College men's basketball team on Sunday afternoon, but it was not enough as the Cougars fell to Delaware Tech Community College, 82-71 in the finals of the Erie Community College Tip-Off Tournament.
GCC built an early lead but Delaware took a 38-28 advantage into the break.
A 4-0 start to the second half had Genesee back within six, but the Spirit responded and extended their lead back to double-digits and to as many as 17 with twelve minutes remaining.
GCC fought back and cut it down to five late in the second half, but Delaware held off the Cougars and converted at the free-throw line to seal the victory.
E.J. Blackwell added 14 points for Genesee, Theirry Ngarambe grabbed 11 rebounds and Joe Gray and Malik Brown each chipped in ten points.
Boler was named to the All-Tournament Team for Genesee, who returns to action next Saturday at the Monroe Community College tournament.
The Genesee Community College men's basketball team downed conference rival Niagara County Community College 82-77 in their opening contest of the season at the Erie Community College Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Genesee used a late surge to take a 20 point lead late in the first half, before taking a 43-28 lead into halftime.
The Thunderwolves got off to a fast start in the second half and cut the GCC lead to single-digits before Terryl Coombs scored nine straight points for the Cougars to extend their lead back to 15.
Niagara CCC hung around and closed the gap to within two at 79-77 with about two minutes remaining, but GCC was able to convert three out of four at the freethrow line and came away with defensive stops to hold off the Thunderwolves.
Vaughn Boler and E.J. Blackwell each scored a game-high 18 points for GCC. Boler also added six rebounds and Blackwell chipped in five assists. Coombs ended the game with 14 points, all of which came in the second half. Malik Brown was also in double-digits for GCC, scoring 13 points, Carlton Wright scored nine points and Maurice Bailey added seven points.
Submitted by Howard Owens on November 4, 2012 - 10:40pm
The last time the Hornell Red Raiders lost a football game, George W. Bush was still president.
Le Roy's Oatkan Knights did their best to bring the streak to an end, but came up short in a 21-7 loss in Rochester.
With 49 straight wins, Hornell ties a Section V record (the state record of 55 wins has stood since 1955).
For Le Roy, the Knights missed out on a chance at its 15th Section V title.
"If we make one catch here or there, who knows," said Head Coach Brian Moran. "We just didn't make the plays today. Sometimes that happens. I thought (Hornell) played extremely well. There's a reason they're 49-0. I thought we played as well as we could."
The Knight's took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter on a Tom Kelso dive into the end zone and held the advantage into halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, the wheels came off.
The Knights, so stout through the first half, let the Red Raiders march the ball down the field and score on a 15-yard run by game MVP Zack Bacon.
On the first play of the next possession, a pitch from QB Mike McMullen to Kelso hit the turf and Hornell recovered the ball on about the 20-yard line. A few plays later on the shortened field, Luke Morgan's two-yard run put Hornell up 12-7.
"The things that usually cost you football games in games like this are penalties and turnovers," Moran said. "Obviously today, we did have a couple of those and it did cost us."
Le Roy continued to fight the tough fight, stopping one drive 10-yards short of the end zone.
There was still hope when a questionable chop-block penalty pushed Le Roy back, followed by a turnover that appeared to be a muffed foward pass ruled as a fumble.
Stuck on their end of the field, Le Roy couldn't advance the ball and on a 4th down play, McMullen was sacked in the end zone for a safety, making it 14-7.
With a little more than two minutes left in the game, Moran's squad tried an on-side kick on the post-safety free kick. The ball traveled a mere eight yards and Hornell recovered.
That put Bacon within striking distance for a 14-yard run make it 21-7.
"He’s good," Moran said of Bacon. "I’d run him, too. He kind of wears you down. He’s a very physical young man. I give credit to him. I’m sure he spends a lot of time getting ready physically and mentally to play."
The 2012 season was a good run for Le Roy, which is well stocked with young players. Moran said his boys came to Sahlen's Stadium ready to play.
"I thought our guys played as as hard as they could," Moran said. "I was proud of them. That’s all you can ask. In high school sports, if the kids come out and give you everything they’ve got, at the end of the day, you’ve got to be proud of them."
Besides Bacon's MVP trophy, awards for Le Roy included Archie Cappotelli for offensive lineman, Tom Kelso for most valuable offensive back and Chris DeFelice for the sportsmanship award.
At halftime, Elba Byron-Bergen's Andy Underhill was named Class C defensive player of the year (photo in slide show).
To purchase prints from this game, click here. If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.
Submitted by Andrew Crofts on November 4, 2012 - 10:39pm
The Genesee Community College swimming and diving team held their season-opening invitational meet on Saturday afternoon, competing against Jamestown Community College, SUNY Delhi, Alfred State and Herkimer County Community College.
The men's team combined for 260 points and a second place finish and the women's team combined for 181 points and a third place finish.
Men (team totals):
SUNY Delhi- 296
Alfred State- 252
Jamestown Community College- 207
Herkimer County Community College- 86
Women (team totals):
Jamestown Community College- 346
SUNY Delhi- 184
Genesee Community College- 181
Alfred State- 136
Herkimer County Community College- 118
Brianne Strong led the way for the women with first place finishes in the 200 yard free, 100 yard free, 100 yard backstroke and was part of the top 200 yard medly relay team. Melissa Krause earned the top spot in the 100 yard breaststroke with a finishing time of 1:20.22, and Calla Wolfley added a second place finish in the 1000 yard free.
Yusuke Inami was the top swimmer for the men's team, earning three first place finishes. He paced the 100 yard fly, the 50 yard free and the 100 yard free. Randi Rudnik swam to a second place finish in the 100 yard breaststroke.
The Cougars will swim again on Wednesday night when they host Alfred State and Mercyhurst North East at 6pm.
Submitted by Howard Owens on November 3, 2012 - 9:08pm
Notre Dame girls dominated the Class D Section V Cross Country Championship today to take the title, and Jeffrey Antolos repeated as a Section V champion in the boys run.
Laurie Call won the Class D girls race with a time of 20:25. Teammates Anna Warner and Emily McCracken came in second and third with times of 20:58 and 21:29. Shelby McGinnis was seventh at 22:15 and Rosemary Flumerfeldt was 11th at 22:56.
Antolos was tops in Class C and CC boys at 16:09.
In Class DD girls, Oakfield-Alabama's Kerry Mills was third at 21:08.
Submitted by Nick Sabato on November 3, 2012 - 8:20pm
Notre Dame’s football season came to an abrupt end.
The Avon Braves downed the Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon, 43 to 7. The loss eliminates Notre Dame from sectional playoffs, just one game shy of the Far West Regional.
Notre Dame got off to a fast start on their first possession of the game, taking the ball 82 yards on 13 plays, capped off by a Tim McCulley 1-yard touchdown run to take an early, 7-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, things began to go south for Head Coach Rick Mancuso and company.
“We lost the turnover battle,” Mancuso said. “We made a lot of mistakes that we haven’t in the past few weeks.”
Avon got on the board on their next possession after a 30-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Crye to Jake Martinez. The Braves then forced Notre Dame to put on the ensuing possession, and McCulley’s punt hit one of his blockers in the back. Avon marched 39 yards and Martinez punched in the go-ahead score from a yard out.
When the Fighting Irish got the ball, the Braves pounced on an Andrew Mullen fumble, giving them the ball at the ND 34-yard line. Crye hit Brandon McCaffery four plays later and converted on the 2-point conversion to take a 22-7 lead.
McCulley and his offense did not give up just yet, as they drove all the way to the Avon 1-yard line. However, the Braves defense stood strong, denying Notre Dame of any points and taking over on downs.
Crye, the Section V Class DD Offensive Player of the Year, would then take over on his own 3-yard line, and proceed to drive 97 yards in 2:35 before punching in a back-breaking touchdown run with 39 seconds remaining in the half to make the score 28 to 7 at intermission.
Notre Dame would never get any closer coming out of the half as their state championship dreams were dashed. Avon keyed in on McCulley, holding him to 6-of-17 passing for 57 yards.
“I hand it to Avon,” Mancuso said. “They are a great group of kids and (Head Coach) Andy Englert does a great job with them. They took full advantage of our mistakes and it just wasn’t our day.”
Taylor ended his high school career on a personal high-note, rushing for 80 yards on 13 carries after receiving the Section V Class D Defensive Player of the Year at halftime and he was voted his team’s Player of the Game by Section V.
Mullen chipped in with 71 yards.
Crye earned Player of the Game honors for Avon after finishing 7-of-16 for 137 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 136 yards and two scores on the ground. The Braves will play Section VI Champion Randolph next Friday for the right to represent Western New York in the State Tournament.
Despite losing, the Fighting Irish (8-2) had an outstanding season. They held a share of the Genesee Region League Championship and won their first sectional title since 2006.
McCulley was 6-17 for 67 yards. Jerad Thornton had two receptions for 15 yards and Taylor caught the ball twice for 16 yards. Anthony Paladino has six tackles and Charlie Hebert, five.
To purchase prints of these photos, click here. If you're unable to view the slide show below, click here.
Submitted by Howard Owens on November 2, 2012 - 7:19am
There were 12 people last week who correctly concluded that Tony Romo would develop a rubber arm and toss the most interceptions. Romo turned the ball over four times. Among those 12 contest participants, we randomly selected Larry Wooster as the prize winner.
Submitted by Howard Owens on November 1, 2012 - 6:09pm
The Batavia Muckdogs, Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, have announced their schedule for the 2013 season. Batavia will open the 2013 season Monday, June 17, when the Auburn Doubledays host the Muckdogs at Falcon Park. Batavia opens its home schedule Tuesday, June 18, when they entertain Auburn at 7:05 p.m.
The Muckdogs will host their annual Independence Day celebration on July 3rd this year, as they are not home on July 4th. In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the Tampa Bay Rays (Hudson Valley), Baltimore Orioles (Aberdeen), Houston Astros (TriCity) and the Oakland A’s (Vermont) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2013.
Ticket packages, coupon books and season tickets for the 2013 season are all currently on sale. Holiday Packs are also on sale. For just $25, fans can purchase four undated general admission tickets, a T-shirt and a voucher for a 2013 program. They can be purchased by calling 585-343-5454, or in person at Dwyer Stadium Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Submitted by Nick Sabato on October 31, 2012 - 6:36pm
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1) vs. Avon Braves (8-1)
Notre Dame captured their first sectional championship since 2006 after dominating Clyde-Savannah last week, 26 to 6. The Fighting Irish shut down the Golden Eagles’ offense that came in averaging nearly 46 points per game on the season. They managed to sack star quarterback Tom Molisani seven times and intercept him four times.
The game was billed as a showdown between two standout quarterbacks, but Notre Dame’s Tim McCulley only attempted three passes. McCulley became a defensive stalwart, picking off two Molisani passes. Head Coach Rick Mancuso controlled the game, using the running game to control the tempo. Nick Taylor ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns, while Andrew Mullen picked up 88 and a score.
On the opposite side, Avon used a similar game plan to defeat the undefeated Red Jacket Indians to win the Class DD title. The Braves held the ball for over 28 minutes, and three different players carried the ball 14 or more times. Jake Martinez carried 19 times for 87 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback T.J. Crye carried 18 times for 65 yards and a score.
Avon has three players who have gained over 500 yards rushing this season. Dan Welch (655), Crye (580) and Martinez (504) have led the Braves offensively, while Welch and Martinez have 133 and 99 tackles on the season, respectively.
The winner of this game will advance to the Far West Regional against the winner of the Section VI Class D Championship game, which will either be Randolph (7-2) or Maple Grove (9-0).
Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.
#2 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (8-1) vs. #1 Hornell Red Raiders (9-0)
Le Roy is aiming for their 15th sectional championship in program history, and the 14th under Head Coach Brian Moran.
The only problem is that the three-time defending state champion Hornell Red Raiders are standing in their way. Hornell is riding in on a 48-game winning streak after shutting out Attica in the second round of the Class C playoffs last week, 35 to 0.
The Knights will be their stiffest test yet, especially if quarterback Mike McMullen can duplicate last week’s performance. The sophomore went 7-of-10 for 151 yards and a touchdown in the victory over Bath. He will be an integral part of the offense, because the Red Raiders were stout against the run last week, and he can add balance to the offense.
Le Roy will most likely look to control the tempo of the game with their stable of backs. Leading rusher Peter Privitera’s status is up in the air for the third-straight game after tweaking his knee in the third quarter last week. If he cannot play, Moran will rely on a quartet of backs in Tom Kelso, Marcus Mistersaro, Dylan Johnson and Kylan Carter.
Defensively, the Knights will need to stop Hornell’s double-pronged rushing attack of Zack Bacon and Luke Morgan. Bacon ran for 260 yards on 21 attempts and scored twice, while Morgan ran for 111 yards and a touchdown last week against Attica. If Le Roy can stop the run, they should be raising another sectional banner.
The Class C Championship was originally scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, but due to Hurricane Sandy, Hornell was forced to close school on Tuesday. The game has been rescheduled for noon Sunday, Nov. 4. The site will remain Sahlen’s Stadium.