Football Frenzy: September 4, 2021

Football Frenzy

Pittsford 43, Monroe 36 F/2OT

Nick Sanko scored the winning touchdown and then sealed the game with an interception as Pittsford survived an incredible battle from Monroe in downtown Rochester.

With Monroe down eight, Mark Mathis scratched and clawed on a five-yard TD run to get the Jackets within two midway through the fourth quarter. Noah O’Nell Hill-Billings threw to Christopher Edmunds who made a tough catch in traffic for the game-tying two-point conversion.

Both teams had the ball past the 50 with a chance to take the lead in regulation and both failed on fourth down passes.

Monroe opened the overtime scoring with a four-yard Melqui Montalvo touchdown run. Hill-Billings found Jaeden Johnson for the two-point conversion. Pittsford answered two plays later on a 12-yard Sanko scoring run and Sanko also added the two-point conversion.

The Panthers had the ball first in overtime number two and Sanko found paydirt on first and goal from the 15. Pittsford initially lined up to go for two, but took a false start penalty and elected to kick after being backed up to the eight.

It didn’t matter. Monroe’s second play on their second overtime possession was an overthrown pass that Sanko caught over his shoulder. It was a fun finish to a super exciting game.

Monroe scored first just over two minutes into the game on a Hill-Billings pass to Christian James. Jake LaRocca quickly answered on a 10-yard end-around to give Pittsford a 7-6 lead.

The advantage lasted all of one snap. Monroe’s next play from scrimmage was an 80-yard connection from Hill-Billings to Johnson. At 6-foot-3, Johnson looked like Randy Moss leaping over a Pittsford double-team and galloping to the end zone for an 80-yard score. He was an incredible force, catching six passes for 176 yards and a touchdown plus a two-point conversion catch.

While Monroe scored with a bolt of lightning, Pittsford’s offense wore Monroe down with a run game that rolled up over 300 yards. Nathan Rodi tied the game with a two-yard plunge among a pile of linemen. Sanko followed with a three-yard score in the second quarter that put Pittsford in front 21-14.

Again, Monroe struck one play later. This time, it was Mathis weaving through the defense and then riding the left sideline for another 80-yard touchdown. Pittsford missed a field goal at the halftime buzzer, but still led 21-20 at the break.

Quarterback Caleb Lewis kept and scored from two yards out for the only points of the third quarter. That extended the Pittsford lead to 28-20 and set up the overtime finish.

Sanko finished with 190 yards and three touchdowns, including both overtime scores and the overtime two-point conversion for Pittsford.

Hill-Billings totaled 224 yards passing and Mathis finished with 115 on the ground for the Red Jackets.

Pal-Mac 21, Wilson 14 F/OT

Jakob Day scored the game-winning touchdown for the Red Raiders who rallied from 14 down in the final five minutes to stun the Wildcats in Palmyra.

Wilson’s defense smothered Pal-Mac for the first 40-plus minutes and, appropriately, scored the game’s first points on a long Kydell Myrie pick-six just before the end of the first half. Jeremiah Redden and Raejon Ridgeway hit Pal-Mac QB Devon McCoy as he threw force the interception.

The Wildcats added a second TD on a Demond Clark six-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Khalil Lewis hit Casmier Bradford-Sawyer for two more points and it appeared the game was all but over.

Pal-Mac faced a fourth and ten at the Wilson 30 yard line with just under five minutes to play. Freshman quarterback Rocco Ross came in cold off the bench and still found Sage Hunter for 20 yards and first down. Hunter had to body off a pair of defenders for the catch.

McCoy cashed in the conversion a couple of plays later with a rugby scrum-esque five-yard touchdown and Pal-Mac was within 14-6.

The Red Raiders followed with an onside kick and Ivan Reynolds-Diaz recovered to keep the comeback alive. After a couple of first downs, Ross came back in and fired a dart to Dylan LaBerge for a 20-yard score and the Wilson lead was down to two with a minute to play.

Controversy struck next.

On the two-point try to tie, McCoy kept and needed an incredible spin just to avoid a tackle at the line of scrimmage. He reached out at the goal line, but had the ball poked away. The fumble turned out to be an incredible stroke of luck for the Red Raiders. Reynolds-Diaz was “Johnny On The Spot” again to recover the fumble in the end zone for a successful two-point conversion.

Wildcats coaches and fans were upset because the official on the goal line blew his whistle while the ball was still free. It was inadvertent but likely would not have changed the outcome of a Pal-Mac recovery. The fumble call was incredibly close, but the ball did come out an instant before McCoy’s knee went down. He would have been a half-yard short of the goal line had he retained possession.

With only a minute to work with, Wilson used a pair of facemask penalties to get inside the Pal-Mac 15. The drive wasn’t even stopped by the clock. Wilson failed on a fourth and 10 from the 12.

Pal-Mac caught a break on the first overtime possession with a pass interference penalty negating a fourth-down incomplete pass. Day scored a couple of snaps later to give the Red Raiders a 21-14 lead.

Wilson had first and goal from the five on their possession in overtime, but followed with a pitch that got stuffed for a loss of five. On third and long, Aiden Grapensteter got a sack that pushed Wilson back to the 16 yard line. The fourth and goal pass fell incomplete at the goal line.

Wilson had plenty of chances to put this game away. Along with their last possession in regulation, the onside kick, and the fourth and ten play at 14-0, the Wildcats also missed the chance to recover fumbles on both of Pal-Mac’s touchdown drives in regulation. Turnovers for both teams were the theme in the first half.

Webster Thomas 42, Gates Chili 14

Quarterback Eli Adams had a dominating performance for the Titans, totaling three touchdowns on the ground and two in the air to give his team a week one victory.

Jonathan Vance gave the Spartans a 6-0 lead in the first quarter as the QB scrambled in for a touchdown on 4th and goal from the ten-yard line.

In the second quarter, the Titans found their groove as Adams hooked up with David Petz from 13-yards out and Will Henry from 8-yards away to take the lead. Then Marley English recovered and returned a fumble to the end zone for a 20-6 halftime lead.

In the third, Gates Chili got it within a score as Demarion Mewborn sprinted through a big hole for a 35-yard touchdown to make it 20-14.

But Adams took over, scoring the next three touchdowns all on the ground to put the game out of reach. The second touchdown was set up by a Will Henry interception as he tipped a screen pass in the air and caught it himself.

Thomas hosts Churchville-Chili in Week 2 while Gates Chili travels to Webster Schroeder.

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