Class AA Semifinals
(1) McQuaid 35, (4) Aquinas 14
The Knights got one step closer to their fifth straight sectional title after knocking off rival Aquinas Friday night. It was the second time in three weeks that the Knights defeated the L’il Irish.
Aquinas held a 14-10 lead into halftime after Trent Buttles found Alexis Rosado into the end zone for a touchdown.
However, the second half was all McQuaid as the Class AA semifinal turned into the John Harding show. The senior running scored three of his four touchdowns of the night in the final 24 minutes of play.
For Aquinas, Buttles completed 11 passes for 166 yards and two total touchdowns. On defense, CJ Flaherty and Tano Auriuso had eight stops.
McQuaid (10-0) moves on to the Class AA championship game where they will take on UPrep. The last time the two teams met was in the 2022 regular season where UPrep came out on top 36-30.
Aquinas saw its season come to an end with a 6-4 record.
(2) UPrep 22, (3) Hilton 14
UPrep avenged their only loss of the regular season with a strong second half to advance to the Class AA championship game.
The Cadets led 14-8 at the half thanks to rushing touchdowns by quarterback Colton Thorp and Robert Lowry, who returned after missing the end of Hilton’s quarterfinal game with an injury. UPrep scored when Tavion Byrd fumbled near the goal line, but the ball was picked up by CJ Robinson and carried in for the touchdown.
The Griffins took the lead on their first drive of the third quarter as Jayvon Johnson made a phenomenal 27-yard touchdown catch, jumping over a Cadet defender. The Griffins kicked an extra point to go up 15-14.
After forcing a Hilton punt, Robinson finished off another scoring drive, this time a more traditional 22-yard touchdown as he tight-roped the sideline.
Hilton had two chances to tie the game down 22-14. On their first attempt, Hilton’s pass tipped off a would-be receiver and fell into the lap of Juelz Russell.
After the Griffins were stopped on 4th down, Hilton got the ball back again but turned the ball over on downs with less than a minute to play.
Byrd completed 9 of 12 attempts for 136 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Robinson had 26 carries for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson had three receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. Tyrell Simmons had three tackles and a sack on defense.
Lowry ran the ball 35 times for 202 yards and a touchdown for the Cadets.
UPrep (9-1) will face McQuaid in the Class AA championship game on Saturday, November 11th at 1:00 p.m. at Victor High School. The Griffins have won a sectional title once previously, taking the Class A2 crown in 2021.
Hilton’s season ends with a 7-3 record.
Class A Semifinals
(4) Brighton 35, (1) Victor 13
Trailing 7-0 near the end of the first quarter, Brighton’s Wes Sturrup returned a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. That was the first of 35 straight points that the Bruins scored, leading to an upset of the top-seeded and unbeaten Blue Devils.
Brighton scored a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead at the half and never looked back.
Gavin Parks ran for 188 yards on 34 carries with two touchdowns for the Bruins. Quarterback Tyler Martinovich ran the ball 13 times for 80 yards and had a 28-yard passing touchdown to John Ahrens. Jayden Lian added four carries for 16 yards and a touchdown. Kieran Hughes had an interception on defense.
Victor scored its first touchdown on a trick play as on fourth down, Keith Kriegelstein lined up in the backfield and took a pitch from quarterback Jacob Loughlin. Kriegelstein then launched a pass down the field for Dennis Cole, Jr who took it 34 yards for a touchdown. Jameson Ricigliano added a rushing touchdown in the final minutes of the game.
The Blue Devils were playing shorthanded as star wide receiver Adam Ruffalo left the game with an injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Brighton (7-3) will take on East in the Class A title game as the Bruins look for their first sectional title in school history. The game will be played on Friday, November 10th at 7:00 p.m. at Fairport High School.
Victor’s season ends with a 9-1 record.
(2) East/World of Inquiry 30, (3) Canandaigua 14
The Eagles knocked off Canandaigua for the second time this season en route to another sectional final appearance. Entering the Class A semifinal, East lost three of the last four playoff matchups with Canandaigua.
Just 30 seconds into the game, Zymier Jackson tossed a long touchdown pass to Ervin Wiggins to give the Eagles an early 7-0 lead. Later in the first quarter, Trey Comella plowed it for a one-yard score on fourth and goal to tie the game up at 7.
Early in the second quarter, Jackson rolled out and found Wiggins once again in the end zone once again for their touchdown connection of the night. On the ensuing possession, Wiggins intercepted a Canandaigua pass and took it the other way for a pick-six to make it 21-7.
With 25 seconds remaining in the first half, Jackson ran it in from eight yards out as East held a commanding 21-point lead into halftime and never looked back.
Jackson completed 16 of his 25 attempts for 277 passing yards and three total touchdowns. Wiggins had a stellar day with four catches for 121 yards and 12 tackles.
Kelvin Shepard had four catches for 82 yards while Anthony Diaz collected eight passes for 74 yards. De’Andre Leonard and Brandon Franklin led the Eagles defense with 14 tackles each while Damari Green finished with 13.
For Canandaigua, Comella finished with 70 rushing yards to go along with two touchdowns.
East (10-0) advances to the Class A sectional final where they will take on Brighton on Friday, November 10th at Fairport High School. The two teams did not meet in the regular season.
After winning four straight sectional championships, Canandaigua ended their 2023 season with a 7-3 record.
Class B Semifinals
(2) Honeoye Falls-Lima 26, (3) Batavia 20
A short touchdown run from Conner Finn proved to be the game-winning score which sent the Cougars to the sectional championship game.
On their opening possession of the game, Batavia’s Zailen Griffin scored from eight yards out to give the Blue Devils the early 6-0 lead. Just two minutes later, Ben Cook answered with a touchdown run of his own as HFL took a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Matt Meacham connected with Landon Hammond on a 29-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 13-6. On the next Batavia drive, Griffen punched in another short touchdown run to tie the game up at 13.
Early in the third quarter, Griffen took a 54-yard to the house to re-take the lead for Batavia. On the next drive for HF-L, Meacham pitched a 16-yard pass to Keaton Yates for a touchdown to tie the game up at 20.
With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, HF-L drove the length of the field and set up for a 32-yard field goal. The attempt was blocked and went past the line of scrimmage. However, Batavia picked up the blocked field goal and tossed it toward a ref, which led to an HF-L fumble recovery on the Batavia 14-yard line.
Two minutes later, Finn rolled in for a four-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars the go-ahead score.
For HF-L, Meacham completed seven passes for 172 yards while also adding 30 yards on the ground. Batavia’s Griffen ended up with 160 rushing yards on 20 carries.
Honeoye Falls-Lima (8-2) will advance to the Class B sectional title where they will face the winner of Monroe vs. Wayne. Batavia had their season come to a close with a 7-3 record.
8-Man Championship Game
(1) Pembroke 70, (2) Bolivar-Richburg 30
Tyson Totten scored eight rushing touchdowns to power the Dragons to their second straight sectional title.
Totten finished with 393 rushing yards on 34 carries. His longest two touchdowns came from 94 and 85 yards out.
Pembroke (10-0) advances to the Western Regional Championship game which will be played against the top team from Section VI on Friday, November 10th at 5:00 p.m. at Pittsford Sutherland High School. Pembroke won the regional 8-man championship last year, the final game in the NYSPHSAA season. The Dragons have won every game this season by at least 27 points.
Bolivar-Richburg’s season ends with a 6-3 record.