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Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015: One player, one game and four returns for TDs

   Leading off today: If Jack Piscitelli didn't set some sort of sectional, state and/or national record, he had to have been close.

   The Port Jervis senior scored four defensive touchdowns Saturday during a 55-0 win against Monticello. Three came on fumble returns and the fourth on an interception.

   The feat went somewhat under the radar. I completely whiffed on noticing the writeup by the Times Herald-Record while blogging some weekend highlights, and I don't think national media picked up on it. Tom Faggione, an Orange County legislator who has been broadcasting football on local radio for more than 20 years, brought the details to the attention of Paul Hutzler, whose record book has long been the definitive compilation of New York football achievements.

   Neither Paul nor I could unearth another four-touchdown day by a defender anywhere. The most noteworthy performance I'm aware of along those lines is a 1973 game by Pete Preston of Cattaraugus vs. Hinsdale in which he returned three fumbles for scores. The National Federation of State High School Associations lists him as tied for the U.S. mark in that category but its record book does not track interception returns or total return TDs in a game.

   "All the guys were falling on the ball, and I was lucky enough to hop on it," Piscitelli said. "We were all blitzing the quarterback, making things happen, and the ball just happened to bounce my way."

   Said coach Matt Polanis: "The ball got up and was sitting right there. "That's what good ballplayers do. They find the ball."

   Johnnies land local recruit: Guard Shamorie Ponds, a fourth-team all-state player for the PSAL's Thomas Jefferson in Class AA last season, announced Tuesday that he's committed to the St. John's basketball program.

   Ponds said new Red Storm coach Chris Mullin played a big part in why he chose to stay home rather than select Creighton, Minnesota, Providence or his other suitors.

   "He is a NBA Hall of Famer. He knows the game, and I know he can help take my game to the next level of where I want to go," Ponds told The New York Daily News.

   The allure of playing some home games in Madison Square Garden also may have influenced Ponds.

   "It is a dream come true," Ponds said. "I'm going to be playing in Madison Square Garden and I'm going to do my best to make my parents proud and make the Garden my home."

   Coaching change: Delhi is now on its fourth football head coach in three years following the dismissal Monday of first-year coach Anthony Sampogna, The Daily Star reported.

   Former Hartwick College defensive coordinator Mike Tracy will coach the remainder of the season.

   "It's a personnel issue," said Superintendent Jason Thomson in confirming Delaware Academy has changed varsity head football coaches for the third time since Dave Kelly stepped down after his 48th season in 2013. "We had to make an internal change. I really can't say much else because it's a personnel issue."

   Sampogna became the interim head coach in July when Matt Newman resigned after one season. He said his firing followed an incident involving Tracy during Friday's 28-6 loss to Unadilla Valley.

   "I was speaking to our players during one of our timeouts and two kids started fighting, so I was trying to talk to them and Mike comes into the huddle and looks right at me and says, 'Will you shut up!'" Sampogna said. "I said this isn't football site

going to happen, and as we were walking to the sidelines, we tried to work it out, but he walked away from me.

   "Mike and I had a great conversation Saturday night and we worked it all out. In the Marine Corps, you can't talk to an officer like that. But this was just a one-time thing. Then I don't know what happened this morning. I'm still in shock mode."

   Sampogna said he was summoned into a Monday meeting with Principal Laurie Alberti and AD Jeff Ferrara to give a statement about the incident. He said he was asked to resign but refused, then was handed a letter of termination stating he had spoken to another employee in an inappropriate manner.

   Two games called off: The state's No. 1 football team in Class C has drawn an unscheduled bye this week. With injuries having piled up during an 0-4 start, Whitney Point informed Chenango Forks that it does not have enough healthy players to take the field this weekend.

   Also, Ron Moshier of The Observer-Dispatch tweeted that a shorthanded South Lewis team has forfeited to Waterville.

   Sticking with it: The Granville boys soccer team entered Tuesday's action with an 0-9 record and had been outscored 69-0 this fall according to The Post-Star. The drought ended with is first Wasaren League victory in five-plus years, a 1-0 verdict over Cambridge.

   More soccer: Schalmont senior Chris Hamilton recorded a hat trick and reached 100 career goals in a 13-0 win over Cobleskill.

   Indian Lake-Long Lake's Zack Hoag scored seven goals and assisted on the eighth Friday during an 8-1 win vs. Minerva-Newcomb.

   Extra points: The boys cross country team rankings we normally post on Wednesday nights have been delayed. They'll be put online as soon as they arrive.

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