East Rochester/Gananda gets upset win to reach state semis, Batavia’s season ends

High School Sports

Bombers use special teams to advance to take down top-ranked Medina

Class C Far West Regional: East Rochester/Gananda 26, Medina 24

In a battle of undefeated teams, special teams play was the difference as the Bombers took down the top-ranked team in the state in the Far West Regionals.

First quarter touchdowns by Adrian Letta for the Bombers and Noah Skinner for the Mustangs made it 6-6 at the half.

In the third, an interception by Greg Thompson led to another touchdown by Skinner to give Medina a 12-6 lead.

A 38-yard run by Chaunsey Gilbert set up a one-yard Letta touchdown to even the game at 12-12.

Another short touchdown by Thompson in the third quarter would put Medina back in front 18-12, but Manny Sepulveda picked up the ensuing kickoff and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to tie the game back up at 18.

In the fourth quarter, the Bombers special teams excelled once again. On a short Mustang punt, Jeremy Blanchard grabbed the ball off of the bounce and raced 32 yards to the five-yard line. Carter Lathrop scored two plays later and Caleb Carpenter ran in the two-point conversion for a 26-18 lead.

The Mustangs would score one final touchdown midway through the fourth on a bullet from Xander Payne to Greg Thompson to make it 26-24, but the failed two-point conversion keeps them from tying up the game.

“These kids all year they believed in what they’re doing and our motto has been one team, one family. They’re not afraid of anybody,” said head coach Brian Touranjoe. “They knew what Medina was and we said let’s go beat the number one team in the state. We’re number five so it’s not like we weren’t up there ready to go. I’m just so proud of the kids’ physicality. Their mental toughness all year has been tremendous.”

The Bombers got a final stop on defense with under two minutes remaining to secure the victory. East Rochester/Gananda will take on Chenango Forks of Section IV on Saturday, November 27th at noon at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

Class B Far West Regional: Maritime/Health Sciences 22, Batavia 14

Addison Copeland’s fantastic touchdown run with two minutes to play pushed the Falcons past the Blue Devils in the state quarterfinal matchup.

Batavia’s Cole Grazioplene returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead. After a Falcon touchdown later in the first by Braylen Boyd, Jesse Reinhart hit Javin McFollins on a 58-yard touchdown pass to give Batavia a 14-8 lead.

The Falcons responded with a WR-pass by Zyke Taylor to Addison Copeland to tie the game at 14.

The score would remain tied until two minutes left in the game when Copeland reversed field for a tremendous 22-yard touchdown run, sealing the game with a 22-14 margin of victory.

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