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Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm

In clash of 4-2 teams, Alexander comes out on top, 21-0

post by Howard B. Owens in alexander, byron-bergen, elba, football, high school sports

Before facing off against Elba/Byron-Bergen, Alexander's Head Coach Tim Sawyer offered an assessment of what it would take the Trojans to beat the Lancers.

"We need 48 minutes of perfect football," he said.

After the game, Sawyer said his team got pretty close.

"I feel like we get maximum effort out of our boys, a good effort, but we still continue to make some mistakes," Sawyer said. "Today we played a pretty complete game. I'd say 42, 44 minutes of pretty good football."

The result was a 21-0 win, giving Alexander a 5-2 record on the season and carrying them into sectional play on a four-game win streak.

Pre-game, the meeting of the two 4 and 2 Genesee Region rivals promised to be a close battle, and for the first 11 minutes of play, that's exactly what it was. But as the scoreless first quarter drew to a close, LB Derrick Busch cut in front of a Lancers receiver to snag a Garrett Chapell pass and dash 28 yards unimpeded for the score.

"That gave us the momentum that carried us through the game," said senior Tyler Laird.

In the second quarter, RB Tristan Aldinger scored on a 44-yard run and RB Jacob Wozniak scored on a 50-yard run.

"Running up the middle, my fullback, Al Hadsall, had a really good block on the inside, so I broke it off on the outside of him and the whole team really put it together on that play and helped me score," Wozniak said.

Sawyer said he knew coming into the game that the Lancers feature a strong, aggressive defense, and he came prepared.

Six different players took snaps and four backs took turns taking handoffs.

"We wanted to use our speed early to get out wide and get them to spread and they did," Sawyer said. "Then we started running zone run up the middle, and you guys saw the game kind of open up for us."

Wozniak and Aldinger shouldered most of the load out of the backfield. Wozniak had 23 carries for 108 yards and the TD, and Aldinger had 128 yards and a TD on 14 carries.

Elba/BB isn't an easy team to shut down offensively. It's a good team with Chapell, John Hochmuth and Steele Truax to power the scoring.

Yet, they were shutout.

"I give all the credit to (Defensive Coach Matt) McCracken," Sawyer said. "I think he's under 30, but he's (the) mastermind."

Laird said the defensive line really sparked the performance.

"Our guys were working hard," Laird said. "Our D-line has got a push and they were opening up the lanes for me to make tackles. That goes for me and the other linebackers Cody Trzecieski and Jake Wozniak. The linemen really opened it up for us."

This is the second year the Trojans have run a three-man front on defense, and it's kind of a secret weapon, Sawyer said.

"I think that confuses our opponents a bit and we're getting pretty good at it," Sawyer said.

On Saturday, Alexander travels to Honeoye Falls for a first-round sectional game against Avon.

Last year the Trojans made it all the way to Section V finals. This year's team is a very different kind of team, with more speed and not as much power, but Laird said that's the only difference between each year's teams.

This year's team is just as ready to challenge for a title.

"It was rough at the beginning of the year trying to adjust to a new scheme, but these kids are working just as hard as that team did last year and they just keep getting better every single week," Laird said. "It's basically the same atmosphere as last year. Five and one in the GR and I'm excited. It feels great."

Top photo: Jacob Wozniak breaks free for Alexander's third, and final touchdown -- a 50-yard run.

Elba/BB's Mike Shanley comes close to blocking Zach Shilvock second of three extra points.

Steele Truax dives for a few extra yards in the third quarter.

Tristan Aldinger comes close to a third-quarter pass interception.

Samuel Browne picking up yardage in the third quarter.

Mike Shanley on a run in the third quarter.

UPDATE: Rick Franclemont also took pictures of the game. You can view them here.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Football Round Up, Saturday: Week #7

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

C.G. Finney 37, Pembroke 18. Pembroke finishes the season 0-7. No stats available. Photos from the Pembroke game by Rick Franclemont.

Notre Dame 40, Holley 13. Notre Dame scored 20 points in the second quarter to pretty much put the game away before the half. Joe Zickl was six of nine passing for 103 yards and two TDs. Peter Daversa rushed for 53 yards on 11 attempts. C.J. Suozzi gained 42 yards and scored on seven carries. Jack Sutherland had two TDs in eight carries for 42 yards. Josh Johnson had two receptions for 27 yards, including a TD. Luca Zambito had a six-yard TD reception. For Pembroke, Nick Passarell was eight for 21 passing for 87 yards. He was intercepted twice. Colin Papaj rushed for 87 yards on six carries. Touchdowns were scored by Nick Passarell, who had 43 yards on the ground, and Glenn Robb.

Alexander 21, Elba/Byron-Bergen 0. Game store coming.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Friday Football Roundup, Week #7: Batavia hands Bath first defeat of season

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

Batavia 49, Bath-Haverling 30. It was a seesaw battle through three quarters, and then Batavia put the game away with 14 unanswered points to close out the game. It was a big night for Anthony Gallo, who posted 265 all-purpose yards and scored five touchdowns. Malachi Chenault had four receptions for 128 yards and a TD. Jarrett Lasket had seven receptions for 94 yards, including a two-point conversion catch. Dominick Mogavero had 12 carries for 65 yards and a TD. Greg Mruczek was 18-27, 306 yards and two touchdowns. Trevor Rittersback had 10 tackles; James Cryer -- seven; Adonis Davis -- seven; and Noah Dobbertin had a sack and an interception. Bath came into the game undefeated.

Attica 49, Oakfield-Alabama 32. Alan Chatt was 21 for 52 passing for 316 yards and three touchdowns. He had one interception. Reice Woodward had seven receptions for 134 yards; Sal Schwable, seven for 68 yards and a TD; Ryan Emery four for 15 yards and a TD; and Trent Stack, three for 34 yards and a TD. Jon Harris had eight tackles and Jake Valletta and Devin Schroeder had six each.

Pembroke, Notre Dame, Elba/Byron-Bergen and Alexander all play this afternoon.

For coverage of the Le Roy game and Coach Brian Moran's 200th win, click here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 11:13 pm

Notre Dame falls to Attica 40-15

post by Howard B. Owens in Attica, football, high school sports, Notre Dame, sports

The Fighting Irish of 2014 may not be the champion caliber squad of recent seasons, but Notre Dame is still the team other teams love to beat.

Today's proof: Fresh off its fifth touchdown through the middle of the third quarter, with the score 33-7, the Attica Blue Devils chose to squib and onside kick.

"It's a big rivalry," said Attica Head Coach Rob Cusmano.m"It's been a rivalry for years with Attica and Notre Dame. Last year was for the league title, and this year, they've got a couple of losses, but still, you throw those records right out the window and you just keep going after it."

It was a hard fought game, even when Attica seemed to have it well in hand. Coaches on both benches tried constantly to get referees to see things their way, pointing out holds, clips and chop blocks, and disclaiming guilt when flags were thrown against their own players.

It got so hot at one point, Attica was flagged for a 15-yard penalty.

The first quarter gave little indication of where this game was going, ending at a 0-0 tie.

Cusmano said the Blue Devils made some adjustments, which enabled them to pull away from ND.

"We couldn't run between the tackles, so we needed to get outside," Cusmano said. "We got outside a few times and that made the difference."

With the score 14-0 and two minutes left in the half, Notre Dame Head Coach Rick Mancuso decided to go to the air in the hopes of a quick score before intermission.

QB Joe Zickl completed a couple of passes. There was the ember of a drive glowing when he tried to hit a receiver just beyond the line of scrimmage. The receiver reached high and tipped the ball. It fell into the hands of Alex Piechocki, who sprinted to the end zone, giving Attica a 21-0 lead.

Another drive early in the second half was reversed into a Blue Devils score on a touch down.

Cusmano gave credit to scouting and film study for the picks.

"We knew their routes and our guys did a great job stepping in front of the ball and a couple of those went for touchdowns, and I attribute that to them watching a lot of film and doing their homework," Cusmano said.

Receiver Levi Snyder said the win, after a slow start, showed the team's character.

"We had to fight a little adversity at first," Snyder said. "We came in here, got a little rattled, but stuck together as a team and stuck it out. We got the win. That's all that's important right now."

Senior Derek Walker said it was exciting, a big deal to beat the Irish.

"It's huge," he said, "because nobody really likes Notre Dame."

The victory clinched the Genesee Region title for Attica, who will take a 6-0 record into next week's game against Oakfield-Alabama (3-3).

The Blue Devils said they didn't want to look past next week's game, but Cusmano conceded, the Class C post-season is going to be tough.

First week matchups haven't been determined yet, but Bath, Le Roy and Attica have all secured spots in sectionals. The fourth team in the playoffs could be Dansville, East Rochester or Elba/Byron-Bergen.

"It's very, very tough," Cusmano said. "I saw Le Roy last night and they're a very tough team and Bath is a good ball team, plus you throw Dansville in there, throw East Rochester in there, it's a very, very, very good class."

Even so, Cusmano is hardly throwing in the towel.

"We're getting healthier," Cusmano said. "One game at a time. We're thinking Oakfield. But I like our shot."

For Attica, Damian Marchetti was eight for 13 passing for 80 yards. He had eight carries for 74 yards and a TD. He also kicked five PATs. Jake Strzelec rushed for 89 yards on 25 carries and scored twice. Derek Walker had four receptions for 48 yards and a TD. Besides the interception return for a touchdown, Alex Piechocki also rushed for a score. Kyle Zawadzki had an interception return for a TD. Levi Snyder had two interceptions.

For Notre Dame, Joe Zickl was 15 for 31 passing for 159 yards and two TD. He was picked six times. On the ground, only Spencer Misiak had positive yardage, with one yard gained on one carry. C.J. Suozzi caught five passes for 45 yards. Josh Johnson had two TD receptions and gained 37 yards. Casey Midwick had four receptions for 31 yards. Joe Zickl had 10 tackles. Jack Sutherland, six. Peter Daversa had a sack.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Football Roundup: Week #6

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

Alexander 17, Pembroke, 6. Pembroke held close through the first 24 minutes of football, trailing by only a point, 7-6 at the half. Trojans running back Jacob Wozniak gained 208 yards on 28 plays and scored a TD. Tristan Aldinger had 10 carries for 24 yds and a TD. Kicker Zach Shilvock was perfect again on PATs at 2 for 2 and he hit a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter after having missed a 48-yard fielder earlier in the game. Defensively, Alexander had two interceptions, one by Cody Trzecieski and one Aldinger. Derrick Busch led the Trojans in tackles with seven and a sack.  Dustin Schmeider had seven tackles and one fumble recovery. Wozniak had six tackles and a sack. 

Oakfield-Alabama 54, Holley, 19. Alan Catt was eight for 12 and 230 yards passing, connecting on three TDs for Oakfield-Alabama. Ryan Emery rushed six times for 137 yards and two TDs. Reice Woodward had five receptions for 168 yards and three TDs. Jake Velletta had eight tackles and a sack, Casey Arnold, seven tackles, Woodward an interception and Sal Schwable returned a fumble recovery 60 yards for a touchdown.

Elba/Byron-Bergen 16, Cardinal O'Hara, 7. In the first varsity football came ever played on the campus of Byron-Bergen, the Elba/Byron-Bergen Lancers benefitted from the 94 yards rushing of Steele Truax, who also had 15 tackles and a sack.

Batavia 52, Wayland-Cohocton, 0. On homecoming night, the Blue Devils trounced Wayland-Cohocton. Greg Mruczek was  nine for 10 for 124 yds and two touchdowns. He also carried one in for a score. Anthony Gallo had 145 all-purpose yards and two TDs. Ahdeosun Aiken rushed nine times for, 66 yards and a TD. Dominick Mogavero had six carries for 105 yards and two TDs. Jarrett Laskett scored a TD as part of a three-reception night for 18 yards. Trevor Rittersback had seven tackles.

Photos by Rick Franclemont. For more, click here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 11:25 am

Le Roy beats a good team to stay undefeated on the season

post by Howard B. Owens in football, high school sports, Le Roy, sports

Early in the second quarter, down 14-0, Bishop Kearney faced fourth down with 30 to go on the Le Roy 33.

The obvious play is to settle for a field goal attempt, but that's not the way of the Kings. Rather, QB Todd LaRocca drops back, fires a bullet and hits Ardell Brown in full stride at the 10. Brown glides into the end zone.

Even without a successful two-point conversion, the score, the entire touchdown drive, in fact, was enough to make Oatkan Knight supporters nervous.

A 14-6 lead is nothing against a team that is fearless about throwing the ball and has athletes who can score from anywhere on the field.

Brown would remind everybody of that again when he returned the opening half kickoff for a touchdown, making the score 22-12.

Even if you liked Le Roy's chances against Bishop Kearney, 22-12 still didn't feel safe.

Head Coach Brian Moran stuck with the game plan -- grind the clock away with a relentless ground attack and bend, but don't break, on defense.

In the end, Le Roy remained undefeated, moving to 6-0, and the previous undefeated Kings dropped to 5-1. The final score, 29-20.

It was the fewest points the Knights have scored in a game this season, and the most points the team has given up.

The win also secured Moran's 199th career victory.

"That's a good football team, and when you start getting towards the end of the year, you want to play good football teams, because you want to see where you are and I really thought our kids did a good job today," Moran said.

The win over a good football team was a big confidence boost for the Knights, running back Tom Kelso said.

"We've actually proven that we're a good team this year," Kelso said. "In order to be the best, you've got to beat the best, and that's one of the best teams out there right there."

Early on, it was easy to see how Moran planned to win this football game. He kept the ball on the ground on seven of the first eight plays, and of the 12 plays of the opening drive, only one (an incomplete pass) failed to gain yards.

That drive gave Le Roy a 7-0 lead and took 7:15 off the clock.

The Kings tried to strike back quickly. Brown darted for a 25-yard gain on a running play and LaRocca snapped off a 20-yard pass, and within four plays and a little more than a minute off the clock, the Kings were inside the red zone.

It would be the first of four times in the game where the Kings found themselves in the red zone, but failed to score.

"Like I told our guys, when you get in the red zone, it's about hunger and who wants it more," said Bishop Kearney Head Coach Eddie Long. "It's about hunger and manning up and beating the next man. They put a lot of pressure on you. They blitz you from a lot of different angles. They disguise their coverages. You can tell that they work hard and they practice a lot on their schemes. And they're a physical team. At the end of the day, they man up, they beat you and they want it."

LaRocca is a tough quarterback to beat. He gets rid of the ball fast, throws accurately and throws long. For most of the night, Le Roy went with only a three-man front, which meant LaRocca faced little pressure, but even when he managed to hit an open receiver, Le Roy's backfield swarmed on the ball carrier and limited positive yardage.

This made it hard for the Kings to sustain a drive.

"I thought our defensive coordinator, Andy (Andrew Paladino), did a great job, rotating back and going to a three-man front, and putting us in a situation were we had some extra secondary help," Moran said. "That really proved crucial for us today."

For all the ball-control offense, there was still McMullen to McQuillen in the playbook.

Le Roy's first TD came when Mike McMullen, facing a fourth down, hits Mike McQuillen on the five, after McQuillen bobbed and faked Brown to give himself space and an open lane for a score.

Near the end of the half, the Knights found themselves in another fourth down situation close to the end zone after a long drive. A penalty dropped them back five yards, making it fourth-and-nine.

McMullen dropped a lob over McQuillen's right shoulder, where only he can catch it. McQuillen's so fast, there's nobody between him and the end zone. The 39-yard pass play gives Le Roy a 22-12 lead.

In a manner of speaking, one of the most crucial moments in the game came on the extra points for this touchdown. Le Roy's point-after attempt failed, but there was a penalty on the play, giving the Knights another chance from the one-yard line.

Tom Kelso dove over the white line for two points, two very important points, as it turned out.

At the close of the game, after a TD for Bishop Kearney set the score up at 29-20, and then the Kings recovered an onside kick with 1:20 left on the clock, Le Roy's nine-point lead was still seemed reasonably secure. A seven-point lead would have been precarious in this situation and even eight points would have been a nail biter.

Coach Long, having seen Le Roy up close now, thinks the Knights are the team to beat this year in Section V Class C.

"First and foremost, they're so disciplined, so well coached," Long said. "They don't make a lot of mistakes. From what I've seen, they've put a couple of wrinkles into their offense that's going to make them tougher. In the past, you could just key in on their run and put eight, nine in the box, but they spread it out a little bit more, which opens up their run and you have to worry about their pass. They're well coached, they're disciplined, they play hard. You have to beat them. They're not going to beat themselves."

Le Roy's offensive stats:

Mike McMullen, 6 for 11, 95 yards, 2 TDs.
Tom Kelso, 21 rushes, 89 yards, one reception, 28 yards
Nick Egeling, 19 rushes 74 yards, 1 TD
Jon Pierce, 7 rushes, 33 yards
Ryan McQuillen, 4 rushes 35 yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 57 yards, 2 TDs

On defense:

Jake Henry, 6 tackles and a sack
Tom Kelso, 6 tackles
Mike McMullen, 5 tackles
Nick Egeling, 4 tackles
Reed Kacur, 4 tackles
Ryan McQuillen, 2 tackles and an interception

Bishop Kearney had 383 yards total offense, with only 68 of those yards coming on the round. LaRocca was 19 for 38 passing for 315 yards and one TD. Brown had nine receptions for 151 yards. Jalen Long had seven receptions for 110 yards. Dahmir Pross rushed for 27 yards and a TD on 11 carries.

Top photo: McQuillen with a reception for Le Roy's first TD of the game.

Brown with a touchdown reception on a fourth-30 play in the second quarter.

Bishop Kearney QB Todd LaRocca

Tom Kelso with the ball.

McQuillen ready for a McMullen pass to drop into his hands for a 39-yard TD reception.

Brown with the ball starting his run for a touchdown to open the second half.

Brown scoring to open the second half.

McMullen handing off to Kelso.

To purchase prints, click here.

Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Football Roundup: Week 5

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

Le Roy 53, Canisteo-Greenwood 13. Le Roy once again proved unstoppable, tallying 527 total offensive yards while holding C-G to 264. Employing six different backs, Le Roy rushed for 353 yards. QB Mike McMullen threw for three TDs. He was 10 for 16 for 219 yards and was not intercepted. Nick Egeling,10 rushes for 156 yards and a TD, Jon Pierce, eight rushes for 79 yards, and two TDs, and Tom Kelso, nine rushes 69 yards and two TDs. Kelso also had a TD reception. Ryan McQuillen had five receptions for 134 yards and a TD. Jake Henry caught a touchdown pass of five yards. McQuillen had seven tackles (all solo) and two interceptions. Kody Lamkin, seven tackles and Kelso, five tackles and an interception. Next week at home, Le Roy faces Bishop Kearney, sharing the lead with Le Roy in Livingston County Division II. Both teams are 5-0.

Alexander 31, Oakfield 24. For the Trojans, Tristin Aldinger had 123 yards and a TD on 24 carries. Jake Wozniak scored a TD and QB Jared Brown connected with his brother Samuel Browne on a 21-yard TD. Derrick Busch had a TD grab on a 37-yard pass from Samuel Browne. Zach Shilvock was 4-for-4 on PATs and kicked a 19-yard field goal, but missed a 48-yard attempt. Wozniak had three tackles and an interception and Jake Riggs have five tackles and an interception. Busch registered his fifth sack of the season. For O-A, Alan Chatt was 16 for 32 passing for 192 yards and three TDs. He was picked twice. Reice Woodward had five catches for 44 yards and a TD. Sal Schwable had seven catches for 116 yards and a TD. Ryan Emery, two receptions, 23 yards and a TD. Chatt, seven tackles, Emery, seven tackes and an interception, Jon Harris, seven tackles and a sack and Jake Velletta, seven tackles.

Attica 34, Elba 6. We haven't received Elba's stats.

Notre Dame 34, Charles Finney 6. Both teams came in 2-2, but the Fighting Irish dominated the contest. ND had 292 total yards compared to 126 for Finney. Joe Zickl was 4-7 passing for 43 yards and one TD.  Jack Sutherland rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries and scored. Peter Daversa also carried the ball 18 times. He had 112 yards and a TD. Sutherland also had two catches for 21 yards and a TD.  Josh Johnson had one reception for 23 yards. Spencer Misiak returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. Ethan Osborne had 6.5 tackles, as did C.J. Suozzi. Joe Zickl had 5.5

Holley 37, Pembroke 19. Pembroke suffered its fifth loss in five games while Holley picked up its first win of the season. Zack Ewert and Dylan Miserantino both scored on the ground for the Dragons.

Alexander/Oakfield-Alabama game photos by Rick Franclemont. For more photos, click here.

Pembroke photos by Rick D. Franclemonth.

Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 1:05 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.

To purchase prints from this game and ensure you have copies for years to come, click here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 10:40 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 12:23 pm

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

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