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Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018: Can you imagine scoring 81 points ... and losing?

   Leading off today: Two Iowa high school football teams combined for a state-record 180 points in their game Friday.

   Final score: Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson 99, Sioux City North 81. Jefferson's total was the state's highest output in 11-man football since 1933.

   Jefferson had a chance to crack 100 on the scoreboard after Cameron Baker's eighth touchdown -- he ran 34 times for 371 yards -- but coach Brant Anderson had his team take a knee on the conversion attempt.

   "I just felt that football's not a sport where you're supposed to score 100 points," Anderson said.

   Jermaine Green rushed 12 times for 199 yards, and quarterback Cameron Lukavsky added 169 rushing yards on 19 attempts as Jefferson outgained the Stars 745-280 on the ground.

   North QB Matt Hagan completed 11 of 22 passes for 309 yards and eight touchdowns.

   Thomas Jefferson broke to a 22-0 lead and held a 57-21 advantage at halftime.

   Tribute to a teammate: Ardsley plans on starting each boys soccer game this season a man short in tribute to Harris Halperin, who died from cancer in March at the age of 17.

   Ardsley began its 10-man tradition Friday during a 3-0 loss to New Rochelle. Ardsley maintained possession in the first minute and was able to sub in a player when New Rochelle sent the ball out of bounds.

   "Harris was an integral member of the team as a sophomore," Panthers coach Eric Petrone said. "He was an integral member of the team last year when he was sick.

   "When he passed away, we wanted to do something more than just wear armbands. We wanted to not only honor him but let him do what he was on track to do, which is start and be our captain. … We felt him out there today."

   Dept. of Awesome Storytelling: Buffalo News reporter Maki Becker, who normally reports on courts and crime, dipped a toe into high school sports and wrote a beautiful feature off the lead-up to the Iroquois girls soccer team's season debut.

   Becker reported in great detail on how her teammates have dealt with the death of first-year varsity player Rachel LoFaso in a January automobile accident.

   The crowning touch in the team's return to the soccer field without her came Wednesday when they had to wait out a thunderstorm that threatened to force a postponement. The game ended up being played, but not before a lengthy delay -- and the appearance of a rainbow over the field during warmups.

   "You guys know who that is, right?" coach Rich Violanti asked his players.

   They knew.

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   "We all felt she was watching over us," said Story Kirkham, 17, who had been friends with LoFaso since seventh grade.

   I recommend reading the story in its entirety, though it might best be accomplished with a tissue or two nearby.

   Another great feature: Paul Gagliardi, 77, and Pat Dempsey, 76, are each in their 50th season officiating high

  
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school football games. They are the longest-tenured officials in Western New York.

   Both were scheduled to work openers on Friday.

   "The 50 years have gone by like I was shot out of a cannon," Dempsey told The Buffalo News.

   "I still get pumped up for kickoff," Gagliardi said. "I still get that adrenaline going."

   Gagliardi is a retired Depew High School guidance counselor, while Dempsey is a retired shipping and loading coordinator at General Mills.

   Said Section 6 football chairman Ken Stoldt: "People take it for granted. They think these guys just show up but the things they do in the offseason -- they have to keep themselves in physical shape to keep up, especially with today's fast-paced game. If you really sit back and look about it, to be officiating high school football for 50 years -- that is just an amazing accomplishment."

   This should be fun: Do not adjust your monitor. There is nothing wrong with your picture.

   It seems Oxford/Gilbertsville-Mount Upton from Section 4 will play at Clinton of Section 3 in a Sept. 15 football game.

   The oddity is that Clinton will be dropping down from 11-man football to play eight-man style so that both schools can fill a hole in their schedules.

   Staying on the subject of eight-man, there is a possibility that the champions from the Section 3 and Section 4 leagues could get together for an overall Central New York title game in November. League officials are still working on the logistics.

   Extra points: I didn't catch this when it transpired in the spring, but Former all-state running back Josh Mack from Pittsford has transferred from Maine in the FCS to Liberty University in the FBS. Mack was the top rusher in the Football Championship Subdivision as a sophomore in 2017, carrying for 1,335 yards. He was also second on the team in receiving with 30 catches.

   He is redshirting this fall and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining at Liberty.


  
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