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Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

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

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

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

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

The Lancers won the defensive battle 7-6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both coaches said they were proud of their defenses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hornets QB Alan Chatt.

Hochmuth grabs for an O-A runner.

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

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Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 8:46 am

Oakfield-Alabama scores 33 against Pembroke for second win

To whatever degree the Pembroke Dragons might have had a chance against the Oakfield-Alabama Hornets on Friday night, too many scoring opportunities were snuffed out by turnovers.

Most of the Dragon's possessions ended with a fumble or interception.

"We're always emphasizing creating turnovers," said O-A Head Coach Brian Palone after the Hornet's 33-6 win on their home field. "We work on it a lot. So I was happy to see that we were able to execute."

The Hornets are now 2-1 and Pembroke falls to 0-3.

On offense, the Hornets were pretty much able to have their way.

QB Alan Chatt was 16 for 19 passing and 199 yards. He tossed touchdown completions of 55, 17 and two yards. He also rushed for 85 yards and a TD on eight carries.

Ryan Emery rushed for 33 yards and a TD on eight carries and Jon Harris gained 47 yards on five carries.

Receiver Reice Woodward had a big night with two touchdowns on four receptions for 85 yards.

Defensively, Pat Caprio had six tackles, Harris, five, Jake Valletta and Tyler Hamm, four each, Chatt had two interceptions, Casey Arnold, two sacks, Trent Stack, an interception and Emery had a sack.

Collin Scheiber was one for three on point after attempts. His make was the first of his kicking career.

"I'm very proud of way we finished the game," Palone said. "We talked all week about finishing, especially after last week. We weren't able to finish and we let it get away from us, but tonight they were really focused for four quarters of football. They really finished. I'm proud of the way they executed at the end."

Next up for O-A, Elba/Byron-Bergen, who takes a 2-0 record into today's match up with Notre Dame (0-2).

Pembroke will host Notre Dame next week.

Top photo: Alan Chatt picks a Mitch Lewter pass in the first quarter. The pass was intended for Dakota Swimline.

Pembroke receiver Zack VonKramer with a reception in the first quarter.

Pembroke's Cal Neurohr was hard to bring down on a run play in the 4th quarter.

Mitch Lewter sacked in the 4th quarter.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 10:53 am

Oakfield-Alabama students place wreath on Tomb of Unknown Soldier

post by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama

This past weekend, Dani Baxter, left, and Kylie Schlagenhauf, helped place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Washington, D.C., as part of a freshman class trip to D.C. for students at Oakfield-Alabama High School. 

Dani and Kylie were selected for the honor based on their winning essays on the topic of why we should honor veterans.

As part of the three-day trip, the students also had a moonlight tour of Washington monuments and the White House. They also visited the Holocaust Museum, Air and Space Museum, National Art Gallery and the Museum of American History.

Photo and info submitted by Nancy Baxter.

Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Hornets savor win over Notre Dame after years of frustration

NOTE: The information we were given about how long it's been since O-A beat ND was wrong.

It's been nearly 20 years since Oakfield-Alabama beat Notre Dame, and after holding on for a 16-13 win against the Fighting Irish on their home turf, Hornet players celebrated like they had just won a sectional title.

"It feels great," said wide receiver Reice Woodward, a sophomore starting his first game on varsity. "We haven't beaten Notre Dame in a long time and we're starting the streak now."

With seconds left on the clock and Notre Dame in possession of the ball well into O-A territory, a Hornet's victory was far from assured. Then Woodward scooped up a Josh Johnson fumble and Hornet's captain Allen Chatt jumped high in the air, knowing at long last, a win was a cinch.

"With everything my team has been through this pre-season, and my being on the squad since eighth grade and losing to Notre Dame every year, I can't explain it," Chatt said. "It's the best feeling ever."

The first half of the game was all Oakfield-Alabama. The Hornet's defensive line was pushing around the smaller Irish offense seemingly at will. QB Connor Logsdon tasted turf several times. Fans and coaches kept yelling for him to throw the ball away, throw the ball away. After a play where a wall of white jerseys descended on him, the 5' 9" Logsdon yelled that he couldn't see anything over the line.

The Hornets would have ended the half up by four touchdowns instead of just two, except for wide open receivers twice dropping catchable balls.

It was looking like it was going to be a long afternoon -- if not a long season -- for Coach Rick Mancuso and his squad.

Then Logsdon, from deep in Irish territory completed a pass. RB Peter Daversa gained some ground and the Irish got another reception down field.

It was starting to look like a drive, then a short little run that ended in an apparent fumble (ND's coaches insisted the whistle had already blown, but to no avail) was recovered by the Hornets.

Whatever adjustments Mancuso made, they seemed to stick in the second half. Logsdon played with more confidence, feeling less pressure from O-A's defensive line, and Notre Dame showed it could move the ball down field

"We got a little flat right before the half," said O-A's Head Coach Brian Palone. "And Notre Dame did a great job of making adjustments."

Palone said his team has developed a new defense this season, and he expected the defense to struggle and the offense to do well, but the opposite happened he said. It was really the defense that won the game, so he was proud of his team in that regard, and at how hard they worked to protect their lead even as the team struggled in the second half.

"The way we ended the game here shows a lot about their character and never giving up," Palone said. "We had the lead the whole time, but momentum shifted over to Notre Dame the whole second half and I felt like our defense really stepped it up."

Senior linebacker Casey Arnold said the win was a real team effort. 

"The defensive line couldn't have been better," Arnold said. "We played as a team. We flew to the ball. I'm really proud of this team."

Chatt said all along, he's thought this year's Hornet's squad is something special, but nothing is more special than coming out on top against Notre Dame to open the season.

"I have a good feeling about this squad," Chatt said. "They're 27, 28, whatever we have, strong. They come down with the pads, loading the balls on the bus, whatever it is that needs to be done. I'm as proud as I can be about these guys today. Nothing tastes sweeter than to beat Notre Dame."

Chatt was 12 for 31 passing for 166 yards with two TDs and two INTs. Woodward led the receivers with two catches for 66 yards, including a 56-yard TD reception. He had one fumble recovery. Sal Schwabble had one catch for 41 yards. Ryan Emery, two for 30 yards, and Trent Stack, two for 26.

On defense, Jon Harris had one sack and 10 tackles. Schwable had eight tackles and a sack. Jacob Natalizia had two interceptions.

We didn't receive stats for Notre Dame.

UPDATE: Notre Dame stats: Peter Daversa, 18 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD; Jack Sutherland, 15 carries, 37 yards; Joe Zickl, 3 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD; C.J. Souzzi, three receptions, 26 yards; Zickl, 8.5 tackles; Souzzi, five tackles; Ethan Osborne, sack.

Touchdown, Joe Zickl.

Appearances can be deceiving. Despite a great effort by O-A's Ryan Emery, Casey Midwick did catch this pass for Notre Dame.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 9:31 am

Football Preview: O-A looking for young receivers and backs to step up and make plays

Hornets fans have much to be hopeful about in the 2014 season: A third-year starter at QB with a strong arm, a strong offensive line, experienced coaching leadership, but there's also a couple of question marks.

The big issue is who among a young group of receivers and running backs is going to step up and be the playmaker to complement QB Allen Chatt.

Head Coach Brian Palone is looking to improve on last year's 5-3 record in what promises to once again be a tough Genesee Region.

"It all depends on how those guys coming in at skilled positions do for us," Palone said. "We've got some guys who are really competing at those spots for us. It will be interesting to see how we perform in the first game."

Chatt has continued to improve at QB and has become a true team leader, Palone said. He's stepped up, providing leadership to his young receivers.

"He knows what I expect of him and what we expect of the offense," Palone said.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Oakfield-Alabama election results

post by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama

Voters approved the Oakfield-Alabama budget today, 226 to 70. 

There were three vacancies on the school board.

Results: 

  • William Snyder, 217
  • Bonnie Woodward, 213
  • Tim Edgerton, 212
  • Joel D'Alba, 195
Friday, March 21, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Photos: Oakfield-Alabama winter carnival

Four-year-old Ethan Pritchett watches a marble roll through a track as part of a game at Oakfield-Alabama's annual winter carnival.

More than 1,500 people who attended the event were able to enjoy more than 40 carnival games, music, food and entertainment during the carnival Friday evening.

The carnival is hosted by Oakfield-Alabama Elementary Community School Organization and is a major fundraiser for the group.

David Schichler, 5.

Kadeen Cusmano, 10.

Ashley Ostrander, 8.

Amora Mabon, 5, watches as Deputy Snyder and Deputy McCarthy create a child identification card for her little brother.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Oakfield-Alabama middle-schoolers compete in 'Turkey Bowl'

post by Howard B. Owens in football, Oakfield, oakfield-alabama, sports

A cold, cold night, the ground frozen, what better conditions could there be for a flag football game among middle-schoolers?

Last night Oakfield-Alabama held its Turkey Bowl. There was no trophy, just a chance for students to a unique football game -- a chance to play under the lights of the varsity football field.

The event was the brainchild of teacher Dan Gilbert and was put together with the help of James Patrick and Katie Hilchey.

"We thought something like this around Thanksgiving might promote the family feeling of a small school," Patrick said.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm

O-A students participate in National Make a Difference Day

post by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, oakfield-alabama

Saturday was National Make a Difference Day and 32 JV and varsity athletes at Oakfield-Alabama Central School along with six teachers participated in a community clean-up day in Oakfield. Participants raked leaves, picked up branches and cleaned up the village.

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Alexander rips Oakfield-Alabama on Senior Night

Alexander kept their hopes alive for a share of the Genesee Region League crown with a 36-8 victory over Oakfield-Alabama on Senior Night.

The Trojans used their muscle to dominate the tempo right from the start, marching 55 yards on 11 plays on the opening drive before recovering a Dylan Scharlau fumble in the end zone to take a 6-0 lead.

Oakfield-Alabama got off to solid start as quarterback Allen Chatt completed his first two passes for 34 yards. The drive, however, was derailed after Alexander recovered a Chris Nanni fumble on their 36-yard line.

From that point on, the Trojans rode their senior Scharlau for the rest of the night.

Scharlau capped off an eight-play drive that took over four minutes off the clock with a 10-yard touchdown run to go up 14-0.

Following a Hornet three-and-out series, Alexander marched 80 yards on 16 plays, taking nearly nine minutes off the clock before Scharlau plunged in from three yards out for his second touchdown of the night, sending the Trojans to halftime with a 22-0 lead.

The senior running back finished the night with 187 yards on 40 carries and three touchdowns in his final home game.

After holding the Hornets to a three-and-out to start the second half, Scharlau finished another 12-play, 65-yard drive that took over seven minutes off the clock, with his third touchdown of the night.

“We always joke about giving [Scharlau] the ball 40 times, but we hadn’t done it yet,” said Alexander Head Coach Tim Sawyer. “By giving him the ball, we were able to dominate time of possession and the first down total in the game.”

Alexander held the ball for over 34 out of 48 minutes of the game, including 18 out of 24 in the first half. The Trojans also out-gained Oakfield-Alabama 363 to 110 for the game.

In a battle of two of the top quarterbacks in the Genesee Region League, Alexander’s Nelson Burke went 5-of-7 passing for 94 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Sam Browne, while also rushing for another 40 yards on the ground.

Hornet sophomore Chatt, struggled to find his rhythm all night, finishing 5-for-17 for 90 yards, with a 16-yard touchdown to Jon Korzelius, and an interception.

Oakfield-Alabama drops to 3-3 on the season and will play at Holley next Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Alexander (5-1) keeps their hopes alive for a share of the Genesee Region League crown and possible top seed in Class D.

“This was a big win for us,” Sawyer said. “Had we lost, Oakfield-Alabama would have swapped places with us in the standings because of a tie-breaker, but the kids really worked hard this week and really wanted to win this game. It has been a pretty magical season so far.”

Alexander travels to Pembroke next Friday night.

Other Friday night games (update by Howard Owens):

Le Roy 13, Wellsville 0. Peter Privitera rushed for 113 yards and one TD on 30 carries and Nick Egeling carried the ball nine times for 92 yards. Kody Lamkin had 11 tackles. Le Roy is now 6-0 and plays Cal-Mum next.

Pembroke beat Holley 23-20.

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