Submitted by Howard Owens on May 17, 2013 - 7:03pm
The Lyndonville Tigers, a semi-pro football team that plays all of its home games at Pembroke Town Park, will hold a scrimmage at 3 p.m. tomorrow and is inviting local football fans out to the park to see the team.
The event is free.
Players 18 and older are also encouraged to come out and learn more about the team.
The Tigers are entering their third season playing in Pembroke and the team is 10 years old. The NFA has 16 teams.
"We have a great returning roster but are always looking for new players and I think our pre-season scrimmage is a great way for interested parties to come feel out the team," said Taylor McCabe, president of football operations for the Tigers.
Submitted by Howard Owens on March 21, 2013 - 8:55am
A group of Batavia High School alumni are creating a BHS football alumni club. The Blue Devils Gridiron Club is an organization of current and former players, parents, families, coaches, and friends who provide financial support and volunteer services for a wide variety of functions in coordination with the Batavia High School football program.
This year’s Gridiron Club events will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4. The events will include a golf tournament, an open house and a family day at VanDetta Stadium. There will be several levels of membership available. The primary goals of the club are to foster a positive atmosphere for current players, provide financial support to the football program, provide networking opportunities for alumni, and create connections to keep the Blue Devil spirit alive.
For more information or to obtain a membership application please contact the Head Varsity Coach Brennan Briggs at Bataviafootballalumni@yahoo.com or Class of 1982 Alumni Pat Salvador at (315) 317-6365. You can also visit us on face book by searching Batavia Blue Devils.
Submitted by Howard Owens on February 2, 2013 - 7:18pm
When I drove over to Williams Park this afternoon, I expected to find a group of grown men playing softball in 19-degree weather. I didn't expect find a football game.
Dozens of Batavia residents were in the park today for a six-team tournament sponsored by Ri-Dan's Brewery on West Main Street Road, Batavia. One of the players told me putting the tournament together was kind of a last minute thing and he thinks there will be more winter football in the park.
UPDATE: Tony Ray sent the following info: "The team who won the flag football tournament: Team Game Over won the finals 28-14 going 4-0 on the day. Players are Tony Ray, Andre Kinder, Derek Kinder, Dale Buck, Travis Schultz, Ryan Gugel, Aaron Gugel, Jared Hyatt, Ramon Andino, Casey Busenbark, Chaz Weese."
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 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).
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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 October 28, 2012 - 1:59pm
Following a 26-6 Section V Class D title victory of Clyde-Savannah, Notre Dame's Head Coach Rich Mancuso said a lot of the credit for the win could go to the offensive line.
"Our offensive line and Anthony Paladino did an absolutely outstanding job of blocking and that’s really controlled the game and won it for us," Mancuso said.
The stout line allowed Nick Taylor to rush for 192 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Taylor was named MVP for the game.
The title is the first for ND since 2006 and the second in Mancuso's eight seasons as head coach.
Clyde-Savannah is a passing team, but the Golden Eagles were really forced to go the air by the third quarter with the Fighting Irish up 20-6.
While QB Tom Molisani was an impressive 17-29 for 246 yards (including a couple of competitions he tossed while in the grasp of ND defenders), the senior passer gave up four interceptions.
"The big thing is, we knew we had to stop them from throwing the ball and we knew we had to control the clock and we had to take care of the ball, which we did," Mancuso said. "We created a number of turnovers on their part. We did a great job with our game plan both offensively and defensively. I couldn’t be prouder of the kids at the moment."
The Irish amassed a total of 322 yards on the ground.
Andrew Mullen carried the ball for 88 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown. QB Tim McCulley added 37 yards on four carries.
McCulley was 1-3 for 23 yards, with the one pass completion going to Charlie Hebert for a touchdown.
The junior also had two key second-half interceptions.
Like Mancuso, McCulley was full of praise after the game for the offensive line.
"Our running game (was a key to victory)," McCulley said. "We ran the ball in the throat. Our line played great. Our running backs ran hard and everything just fell in place."
After the game Taylor said the win felt "awesome."
"I've been starting since my freshmen year and we’ve lost every time in the finals so it’s great that in my senior year, we actually win it," Taylor said. "It feels great."
Paladino, who helped led the lines on both offense and defense and was one of the players of the game, said his award wasn't just about him.
"We all work hard," Paladino said. "You shouldn’t really pick one person. The whole defensive line did everything."
On defense, Paladino had three tackles and Taylor had four, as well as a sack.
Jared Thornton had five tackles, Hebert four and Josh Johnson, four. Taylor and Aaron McDonald each had an interception.
Hebert also blocked an extra point try following Clyde-Savannah only TD.
On a night of constant rain for the entire game, neither side gave up a fumble.
Also receiving game trophies were Johnson and James Spear.
Next up for the Irish (8-1), Avon (8-1), who beat Red Jacket 14-6 to capture the Class DD title. That game will be played Saturday in Rochester.
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Submitted by Nick Sabato on October 27, 2012 - 7:27pm
Le Roy football is back in the sectional finals after a 44-27 win over Bath-Haverling at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.
After three consecutive seasons without a winning record, the Oatkan Knights will attempt to win their 15th sectional championship in school history, the 14th under Head Coach Brian Moran.
Bath-Haverling entered Saturday afternoon’s contest at Sahlen’s Stadium looking to avenge a blowout loss earlier this season, and they came out fast. The Rams took the opening kickoff and marched 71 yards on nine plays before quarterback Daniel Leonard punched in the first score of the game from a yard out.
Le Roy responded quickly, as Tom Kelso took the ensuing kickoff back 79 yards for a touchdown. The teams would trade touchdowns, as the Knights’ leading rusher Peter Privitera returned from injury to score on a 29-yard scamper to take the lead, 14-13.
Leonard would score his third rushing touchdown of the game to retake the lead as time expired in the first quarter. At that point, the Knights began to put pressure on the senior and it led to good results. After Leonard recovered a fumble, he threw an ill-advised pass under pressure on the very next play that was intercepted by Kelso.
“[Leonard] has a great arm, he’s a four-year starter,” Moran said. “We had to put ourselves into a situation to make him move his feet, get him a little uncomfortable, and I thought we did that when we came off the corners.”
Le Roy countered Bath’s passing game with their own aerial attack. After attempting only five passes last week against Holley, sophomore quarterback Mike McMullen came out throwing. McMullen went 7-for-10 passing for 151 yards and a dazzling 37-yard strike to Ryan McQuillen that would put the Knights up for good in the second quarter. Perhaps the most impressive statistic was the fact that he did not throw an interception.
“When they put 10 guys in the box, you have to take advantage of it,” Moran said. “(McMullen’s) a sophomore, but he’s played all year and he needed to step up for us. He played very well today.”
Leonard finshed 9-for-21, with 165 yards passing and three interceptions. He also ran for 109 yards and three touchdowns for Bath (6-4).
Privitera also had a big game for Le Roy, rushing for 126 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns, including a 57-yard run on the first play of the second half. However, he was forced to leave the game in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury and did not return. The coaching staff is still optimistic that he will be able to play next week.
If Le Roy (8-1) wants to win another championship, they will have a daunting task in front of them as they will face top-seed Hornell. The Red Raiders are a three-time defending state champion and are riding a 48-game winning streak.
The Class C Championship game will take place Friday, Nov. 2, at Sahlen’s Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.
PHOTOS by Howard Owens
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Submitted by Nick Sabato on October 25, 2012 - 2:04pm
#6 Bath Rams (5-3) vs. #2 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (7-1)
Le Roy survived a tough first round test from Holley last week to advance to the Class C Semifinals, where they will face sixth-seeded Bath.
The Knights ran for 314 yards last week, despite playing without leading rusher, Peter Privitera. Tom Kelso and Marcus Mistersaro continued to be workhorses, while Le Roy got a huge and perhaps unexpected spark from senior Kylan Carter, who ran for 110 yards on nine carries.
They could get another boost Saturday. Privitera was cleared to begin practicing this week, but how much and if he plays is still in question.
There is no doubt that coach Brian Moran will attempt to control the clock again this week, after holding the ball for nearly 21 minutes in the second half against Holley, and limiting them to 11 offensive plays.
On the other end of the spectrum, Bath upset the third seed, Elba/Byron-Bergen in first round play, 6 to 0.
The Rams held the Genesee Region League’s leading rusher, Zack DuBois, to only 60 yards after he averaged over 220 per game for the entire season.
It was the first time that any defense had held DuBois to under 100 yards rushing all season.
Bath also held the Lancers to only 78 total yards of offense and three first downs for the entire game. While being a low seed, the Rams also have an impressive win over Class B’s Livonia earlier in the season. If they can duplicate last week’s defensive performance, and sustain drives offensively, they could pull another upset.
Kickoff is set for Saturday 1:30 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium, Rochester.
#2 Clyde-Savannah Golden Eagles (7-1) vs. #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1)
Notre Dame advanced to the Class D Finals after vanquishing Dundee, 28 to 6.
Dundee had won five consecutive games against the Fighting Irish dating back to 1996, including three in a row from 2007 to 2009.
This week, they will face a much stiffer test in the second-seeded Clyde-Savannah Golden Eagles.
They will undoubtedly rely on quarterback Tim McCulley, who went 7 for 15 for 125 yards and a touchdown last week. The Notre Dame offense has revolved around the junior all season, and he has responded by throwing a school-record 17 touchdown passes.
If Head Coach Rick Mancuso and the Irish can get their passing game going, it will open up running lanes for Nick Taylor and Andrew Mullen, who combined for 219 yards and two touchdowns against Dundee.
Clyde-Savannah ousted third-seeded York in their semi-final matchup, 40 to 22.
The Eagles come in to this game averaging 46.5 points per game, and have not been scored less than 34 points in any game this season.
They are also winning by an average margin of 30.4 points per contest. Like Notre Dame, Clyde will rely on their quarterback Tom Molisani, who is coming off of a 19 for 22, 282-yard, 4-touchdown performance against York.
They did surrender over 200 yards of passing offense to York, although most of it was after the game had been put out of reach.
Expect to see a high-scoring affair on Saturday night at Sahlen’s Stadium, with both offenses looking to air it out. Both McCulley and Molisani have put up impressive statistics this season and have carried their teams to this point in the season. If McCulley gets off to a quick start, look for Mancuso to control the time of possession with the running game. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Submitted by Howard Owens on October 20, 2012 - 9:30pm
Bath put together two long drives in the first and second quarter, grinding out yards down after down, three and four yards at a time with runs up the gut, chewing up the clock.
On the first drive, a fumble on the two-yard line put the ball into the hands of the Elba/Byron-Bergen offense, but the Lancers were forced to punt four downs later.
On the second drive, the Rams punched through the right side of the Lancers line, and those six points stood the test of the remaining time.
In the second quarter, the Lancers' defense turned back Bath possession after possession, forcing multiple three-and-outs and claiming a couple of turn overs.
But tit-for-tat, the Rams' defense remained just as stout, bottling up the Lancers' big back, Zack DuBois, whose only long run from scrimmage was canceled by a penalty.
"They did a nice job of taking away cutback lanes and that’s where Zack has his success, cut back or get to the outside," said Lancers Head Coach Michael Cintorino.
This was a game fought in the trenches.
"We knew we had to come out and play physical football and I think they did," Cintorino said. "It was a little bit of an awakening in the first half. In the second half, I think we came out and did exactly what we needed to do."
As the clock wore down in the fourth quarter, QB Zac Gillard was forced to look for open receivers down field and with less than three minutes to go he thought he found Kyle Dougherty. But Dougherty lost his footing when he tried to cut on the soggy turf. That left Bath's Matt Nevius alone to play centerfield and haul in Gillard's pass with a basket catch.
Another interception on the Lancers' next possession pretty much sealed Elba/BB's fate and sent the Rams to the next round of sectional play. Next Saturday, they play Le Roy.
"This is a team that can definitely make a run, but at the same time I’m proud of our boys, who came out and had an opportunity to win the football game on multiple occasions," Cintorino said.
Bath had lost this year to Batavia and Le Roy, but coming into sectionals, the Rams have two starters returning from injuries, including one, Cintorino said, who otherwise missed the entire season.
"We knew coming in they were a good team," Cintorino said. "We’re the third-seeded team and we’re playing a team that probably should have been somewhere in the top four. If you could squeeze five teams into the top four, Bath definitely belongs there."
Most of this year's Lancers have been playing together since eighth grade and they've come a long way as a team, as players and as men, Cintorino said.
"I am extremely proud of them," Cintorino said. "I wish we could have gotten a couple of more weeks of play together, but I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the time we’ve had."
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Submitted by Nick Sabato on October 20, 2012 - 9:35am
It was the running game that once again carried Le Roy to victory.
The Oatkan Knights rushed for 1,975 yards this season. Peter Privitera ran for nearly half of those yards, but with the junior out due to injury, the Knights leaned on a stable of backs to run past Holley in their Class C first round matchup, 26 to 18.
After averaging 282 yards per game on the ground during the regular season, Le Roy pounded the Holley defense for 314 yards on 58 attempts.
In the absence of Privitera, Coach Brian Moran used Tom Kelso, Marcus Mistersaro, Dylan Johnson and Kylan Carter to fill the void. While Mistersaro and Kelso have played an integral part of the offense all season long, it was Carter who stepped up with several big runs.
Coming into the game, Carter had only carried the ball two times all season.
On the last home game of his career, he exploded for 110 yards on nine carries, including a 52-yard dash that helped set up the second touchdown of the game.
“This was our last home game and I held nothing back,” Carter said. “I played like a senior tonight.”
Another senior stepped up to the plate for the Knights, and that was fullback Dylan Johnson, who accounted for all 26 Le Roy points. Johnson scored four touchdowns and added two extra points, including the game-winning 18-yard run and PAT with 2:16 remaining in the ball game.
Le Roy got a break early, as Holley marched into Knights’ territory on the first drive of the game, but Mistersaro recovered a Nick Conklin fumble on a short yardage play.
After a few Kelso runs, Mistersaro burst free for a 35-yard scamper to set up a Johnson scoring plunge. Johnson would score again to put the Knights up 13-0 at the end of the first quarter
It appeared as if Le Roy might run away with the game, but the Hawks responded quickly.
Holley senior running back Cadizsh Norford took control of the second frame, cutting the lead to 13-6 as he darted up the middle for a 23-yard touchdown run.
After forcing Le Roy to punt on their next possession, the Hawks got the ball on their own 38 with just before halftime. On the first play of the drive, Norford took a direct snap, faked a pass and sprinted 62 yards for another touchdown to make the score 13 to 12 at the half.
“I’ve been here 24 years and [Norford] is as good as I’ve ever seen,” Moran said.
In desperate need of keeping the ball out of Norford’s hands after running for 124 yards on nine carries in the first half, the Knights proceeded to march 60 yards on 18 plays, consuming 10:45 of the third quarter. The long drive was capped by Johnson’s third touchdown of the game.
Even after a chop block penalty pushed them back 15 yards, the Le Roy offense continued to pound at the Hawks' defense until reaching the end zone.
“That’s old-school Le Roy football,” Moran said. “It shows that our kids are physically fit and it shows their mental preparation.”
Norford fired right back, receiving a pass from Kyle Bell for a 43-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 19-18.
After trading punts, the Knights embarked on an 80-yard scoring drive that took up 5:31 on the clock, and was finished off by Johnson’s final touchdown with 2:16 remaining to seal the game.
Moran made a point to control the clock in the second half, particularly with the explosive Norford on the opposite side. Le Roy dominated the time of possession down the stretch, ticking off 20:49.
When Holley took possession down 26-18, they had run only six offensive plays in the entire half.
“It does two things,” he said. “It puts pressure on them to score touchdowns and it puts us in a good situation to win because we have used up so much time.”
Holley (4-4) played a hard-fought game, with Norford finishing with 10 carries for 141 yards and two touchdowns, while catching four passes for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Kelso finished the game with 80 yards on 26 carries, while Mistersaro racked up 90 yards for the second consecutive week.
Le Roy (7-1) advances to the Class C Semi-Finals next Saturday at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester for a 1:30 p.m. start.
They will play the winner of today's Elba/Byron-Bergen and Bath game.
In other Friday night sectional play: Batavia fell to East Rochester in a Section V playoff match, 35-20. Justin Washington scored on a 14-yard pass from Brett Scheuerlein in the second quarter. In the fourth, James Soggs scored on a six-yard run and Cody Swimline caught a five-yard pass from Scheuerlein for another TD.
In Connors and Ferris Bowl games, Cal-Mum beat Alexander, 36-6, Oakfield-Alabama beat Bolivar-Richburg 42-0 and Pembroke topped Geneseo 26-0.
In other Section V playoff action today, Notre Dame hosts longtime post-season nemesis Dundee.
In other games of note on Friday, Attica stomped Mynderse 61-8, and Hornell, which dropped down a class this season, continued its 40+ game winning streak, beating Wayland-Cohocton 41-13. Elba, Le Roy, Attica and Hornell are all Class C teams. Hornell and Attica face off in a semi-final game next week in Rochester.
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Submitted by Nick Sabato on October 17, 2012 - 6:17pm
#7 Batavia Blue Devils (3-4) vs. #2 East Rochester/Gananda Bombers (6-1) 7 p.m., Friday
Batavia enters their Class B first round matchup against East Rochester/Gananda riding a three-game losing streak, and has lost three out of the last four.
Despite the recent lack of success and a few injuries this week, first year Head Coach Brennan Briggs is still optimistic about his team’s chances of pulling off the upset.
“We are due to play 48 minutes of football because we haven’t in the last three weeks,” Briggs said. “If we execute and know our assignments, we can win this football game.”
To key to the Blue Devils’ success will be the playmaking ability of wide receiver Justin Washington. The senior is capable of making big plans in the return game, running and catching the ball.
“We have been working on a few different ways to get him the ball, whether it’s running or passing,” Briggs said. “We think [Washington] is the best athlete on the field on any given night.”
If Washington can break loose, and the Blue Devils overcome their injuries, they have a chance to beat the Bombers on Friday night.
#7 Holley Hawks (4-3) vs. #2 Le Roy Oatkan Knights (6-1) 7 p.m., Friday
Second-seeded Le Roy will host the seventh seed Holley in the first round of the Section V Class C Football Playoffs on Friday night in a matchup of Livingston County and Genesee Region League teams.
Le Roy is coming off an emotional come-from-behind win against rival Cal-Mum last week, as they scored 10 points in the final four minutes of the game to squeak out a victory.
The Knights’ only loss on the season came against Perry in Week 6, but leading rusher Peter Privitera did not play in the game, nor did he last week due to injury. Privitera has rushed for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns in five games this season, while Marcus Mistersaro has 362 yards, 3 touchdowns and 9.8 yards per carry.
Mistersaro stepped in for the injured Privitera last week and ran for 90 yards, including 63 on the game-winning drive against Cal-Mum.
Le Roy averages 282 rushing yards per game, so Holley will have to slow down the running attack in order to have an opportunity to win.
While the Hawks enter the game with more wins than losses, they have a 1-3 record against teams with a winning record for the season.
Elba/Byron-Bergen will host Bath in a Class C first round matchup on Saturday afternoon and the player to watch is undoubtedly Lancers running back Zack DuBois.
The senior led the Genesee Region League in rushing with 1,572 yards and 16 touchdowns. DuBois also ran for 200 yards in 5 of 7 games he played this year, and never rushed for less than 113. His average of 224.6 yards per game and 10.3 yards per carry were also tops in the league.
If Elba can get DuBois rolling early, it will open up the passing game for quarterback Zac Gillard, who has 881 yards, 12 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions on the season.
Defensively, they are led by four-time Section V Class C Defensive Player of the Week Andy Underhill.
The junior linebacker led the Lancers with 132 tackles, averaging almost 19 per game. While Bath comes in with a 1-3 record against teams with winning records, they did defeat a strong Livonia squad, so the Rams will be a tough first round matchup for Elba/Byron-Bergen.
While Notre Dame is coming off an emotional high last week after defeating Attica to force a three-way tie for the Genesee Region League Championship, the 76 to 14 drubbing that Dundee gave the Irish in the 2009 Class D Championship game is still fresh in the mind of Head Coach Rick Mancuso.
Notre Dame will look to avenge that loss and the attack will begin with do-it-all quarterback Tim McCulley. The junior led the G-R League in passing yards and his 16 touchdown passes were also tops in the league.
McCulley is also extremely effective running the ball if the pocket breaks down, as he did last week 11 times for 79 yards. The McCulley-to-Jared Thornton connection has been hot as of late, with the two hooking up 10 times for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns in the victory against Attica.
If Dundee wants to upset the number-one seed in Class D, they will have to do so by shutting down Irish passing attack.
Notre Dame fell in the Class D Finals a year ago, and has not won a championship since 2006.
Submitted by Howard Owens on October 13, 2012 - 11:50pm
Tim McCulley and Jared Thornton made quite a duo on Saturday, helping to lead the way for a Notre Dame victory over Attica in an overtime game, 32-26.
The quarterback and receiver connected 10 times for 240 yards and four touchdowns.
The two biggest plays came in the fourth quarter and OT.
Down 26-18 with less than three minutes on the clock, Thornton jumped off sides to turn a fourth-and-five into a fourth-and-10.
"I just wanted to make it up to my teammates," Thornton said. "I just tried to make it up best I could."
When the ball was snapped on that fourth-down play, McCulley dropped back and looked for Thornton cutting across the field. He put the ball up and Thornton snagged it.
I just wanted to make the first down," Thornton said. "I caught the ball and somebody hit me, but I just bounced right off him so I just kept going."
The score followed by a two-point conversion knotted the game at 26 apiece.
On its next possession, Attica stalled and with less than 30 seconds on the clock, just let time expire, deciding to roll the dice on OT.
The Blue Devils won first possession of OT and on the first play from scrimmage, QB Austin Skawienski ran a sweep to the far sideline. Attica dodged a bullet when he fumbled the ball was ruled down before the ball sprung loose.
Two plays later, Skawienski tried for a corner end zone pass but Notre Dame's Josh Johnson stepped in front of the ball and pulled it down.
The Irish took possession on the 20-yard line, but before the first snap, a player jumped off sides.
From the 25, McCulley dropped back to pass, Thornton streaked toward the back corner of the end zone, McCulley tossed it high, Thornton jumped, but so did Zach Kozma. Kozma actually got his hands on the ball first, but Thornton pulled it away.
As the players tumbled to the ground, Thornton's helmet popped off, but he held firm to the ball.
TD and a ND win, 32-26.
"He’s really good at jump balls, kind of like Calvin Johnson, I guess," McCulley said of Thorton. "I just throw it up there and he goes up to get it."
With the win, Notre Dame secured a first-round home game in sectional play.
"It was a fantastic game," said Head Coach Rick Mancuso. "I thought both teams played their hearts out. It’s a shame that anybody had to lose that game. I give all the credit in the world to Attica. They lose the quarterback in the first quarter and they gutted it out and they gave it everything they possible had. We just managed to pull it out in the end. I’m really proud of our guys."
The Irish defense had their hands full with junior running back Matt Perry who carried the ball 27 times for 181 yards and one TD.
"Perry is a workhorse," Mancuso said. "He can take the ball 50 times and be as tough on the last carry as the first carry. He’s a heck of running back and they have a great line."
QB Skawienski was 3-6 for 58 yards and one interception for Attica. He replaced Corey Ruddock in the first quarter after Ruddock was transported by Mercy EMS to an area hospital with possible back and leg injuries.
While Attica dominated on the ground -- 287 total yards to Notre Dame's 139, the Irish looked at times like Air Coryell. McCulley was as likely to drop back and look for an open man as he was to hand it off. On the day, the junior QB was 14-22 for 270 yards and the four TD tosses to Thornton.
On the ground, McCulley carried the ball 11 times for 79 yards. Nick Taylor had six carries for 35 yards and Andrew Mullen had six carries for 25 yards.
In those final minutes of the fourth quarter, the situation did look pretty bleak for the Fighting Irish.
After the Blue Devils marched the ball 70 yards down field, and knocking at the door of another TD, Perry coughed the ball up on the one-yard line.
That could have been a turning point for Notre Dame, a chance, down 19-18, to move the ball into scoring position.
After a second-down penalty negated the positive gain of a first-yard play, McCulley ran a bootleg. He never made it out of the end zone. While it appeared that he was trying to pass the ball while being dragged by Jake Dollard, the play was ruled a fumble. Attica recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
For a lot of teams, that would have been the game right there.
"I just told my guys, a win starts with belief," said senior lineman John Lapple. "If you believe you can win, great things can happen, never go down on yourself. You’re always positive and you know what’s going on."
On defense, Aaron McDonald and Josh Johnson had nine tackles apiece. Johnson also had the interception. Thornton and Taylor each had 6.5 tackles. Jason Hart and Charlie Hebert had five apiece.
In other football action Saturday:
Elba/Byron Bergen (6-1) crushed University Prep 55-18. Zack DuBois had 271 yards and three TDs on 24 carries. It was his fifth game this year of at least 200 yards on the ground. He finishes the regular season with 1,572 rushing yards and 17 TD. Zac Gillard was 7 for 9 for 160 yards and two touchdowns. He added 26 rushing yards and one TD. Andy Underhill recorded 18 tackles and an interception. Nate Jonathan had 10 tackles.
St. Mary's beat Batavia, 37-14.
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Submitted by Howard Owens on October 13, 2012 - 1:02pm
Tie game, the 80th meeting of Cal-Mum and Le Roy, and a coach on the side lines yells, "Just give it to Mistersaro."
During the next drive, Marcus Mistersaro's #40 was called at least four times and the senior who is listed on the roster as a tight end, gained most of the 95 yards he had on the night in those carries.
With runs of 28 and 31 yards, Mistersaro helped set up a three-yard push by Tom Kelso with 39 seconds left in the game to give the Oatkan Knights a 19-12 win.
The loss for the Red Raiders (4-3) knocks Cal Mum out of the playoff picture for the first time in a long, long time.
The Knights (6-1) were already guaranteed a first game at home for the Section V Class C tournament.
After the game, Head Coach Brian Moran praised Mistersaro's work ethic.
"There’s a perfect example of a young man who spent his winter in the weight room and it showed in the 4th quarter," Moran said. "He just dominated the 4th quarter.
"There was a young man who put the weight of the team on his shoulders and said, ‘we’re not going to lose tonight,' " Moran added.
It was a big deal, Mistersaro said, to be given a chance to make a contribution in a big game.
"It means a lot," Mistersaro said. "It's 12-12 against Cal-Mum. You just kind of have to step it up."
For senior outside linebacker Archie Cappotelli the win was special on a couple of levels. One, his family is from Cal-Mum. Two, it's the first time senior players from Le Roy experienced a win against the Red Raiders.
"It means a lot to the whole team," Cappotelli said. "We’ve all been working hard since the beginning of August and even before that in the weight room."
The 6-1 record, Cappotelli said, proves what the players knew even before the season started. This is a good football team.
"Everybody was down on us at the beginning of the season, but we’ve been showing them," Cappotelli said. "We can play. We’re for real. We’re ready to go for sectionals now. This game is going to feel good for tonight, but next week we’ve got to focus and get ready for our next team."
You knew this was going to be a hard-fought game when the first quarter ended without a score from either side.
Cal-Mum got on the board first with a two-yard run by Kurtis Haut, but failed its two-point conversion attempt.
Le Roy struck back on the next drive when QB Mike McMullen hooked up with Ryan McQuillen on a 53-yard pass. A Dylan Johnson extra point made the score 7-6.
The Red Raiders opened the second half with a TD drive capped by Haut's one-yard dive into the end zone.
But the Knights didn't get down, Cappotelli said.
"We never gave up," Cappotelli said. "This team is like a big family. We're all good, ready to go. We knew we were going to win."
A safety later in the quarter made the score 12-9, setting up a big decision in the fourth quarter when Le Roy was near its own end zone on 4th down with four yards needed for a first down.
At first, Moran sent out the offensive unit, ready to go for it, but as the Knights lined up for a play, Moran called time out.
Thomas took the field and kicked the ball through the up-rights to tie the game.
"12-12 is 12-12," Moran said. "If we tie it up, we extend the game. Dylan did a great job for us tonight."
Moran was excited about the win and his players. After a big stop at the close of the first half when a Cal-Mum drive stalled one the one yard line, Moran charged onto the field pumping both fists, congratulating his players.
He was just as excited when time ran out and the win was secured.
"These games are always big," Moran said. "Caledonia is six miles down the street. Any time you play them, it’s a big game. It’s great for our communities, and that’s what it’s about. High school football. These kids know each other and they talk all the time. It’s just nice to get together."
He's also proud of his team's 6-1 record going into sectionals. He said this team has been special.
"It’s enjoyable when you come to practice and kids are ready to work hard," Moran said. "When you have young men who want to learn and do the things you ask them to do, it’s just a pleasure to coach them. You know, they’ve done the things we’ve asked and it’s shown on the field."
In the game, besides Mistersaro's 95 yards on eight carries, Kelso had 16 yards on 16 carries and one TD. Dylan Johnson had four rushes for 10 yards. McMullen was 2-8 for 53 yards and was intercepted twice.
On defense: Kody Lamkin, 10 tackles, 1 for loss, 1 pass breakup; Zack Fitszimmons, 10 tackles, 1.5 for loss; Cappotelli, 9 tackles, .5 for loss; Kelso, 9 tackles, 1.5 for loss; Mistersaro, 5 tackles; Sean McMullen, 5 tackles; Alex Dunn, 4 tackles, 2 pass breakups; McQuillen, 3 tackles, 1 interception.
In other Friday night action:
Holley beat Oakfield-Alabama 36-0
Alexander beat Pembroke 42-6
No stats are available for these games.
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