Leading off today:
Reversing a 28-point loss a week earlier, Saratoga
withstood a fourth-quarter rally and defeated Shenendehowa 34-26 in the Section 2 Class AA football semifinals Friday.
"We had to forget about that and we were really motivated after getting smacked by them. We got embarrassed," Saratoga junior Christian Kondo said. "But this is the one that meant something."
With their win against the No. 18 Plainsmen, 30th-ranked Saratoga advances to take on No. 9 Shaker in Friday's final.
Saratoga fell behind 35-0 last week before scoring. This time. the Blue Streaks drove 71 yards in seven plays with the opening possession to go ahead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jake Williams (12-for-24, 189 yards, two TDs) to Kondo.
Shenendehowa responded by driving 73 yards over 15 plays to pull within 7-6, but 'Toga's Carter Steingraber returned the ensuing kickoff up the middle for an 85-yard TD.
More Class AA: Lancaster pulled out a 21-20 victory over Williamsville North in a semifinal rematch of last year's Section 6 AA title game, driving 78 yards to a short Gianluca Fulciniti TD run early in the fourth quarter.
WSW barely advances: QB Maurice Robertson, who played the second half with an injury to his left leg, ran in a 2-point conversion after Bryan Ball's TD with :41.3 left as defending NYSPHSAA Class A champion West Seneca West edged Starpoint 50-49.
John Speyer then capped a four-touchdown night by intercepting Starpoint QB Aaron Chase (29-for-39, 382 yards) with :32 left to wrap up the Indians' 24th straight victory.
No. 21 Starpoint fought back from a 21-0 deficit created by three Speyer scoring carries in the first quarter and led 49-42 with 3:38 left.
"Starpoint caught us off-guard and found our weaknesses," said Speyer, who ran for 253 yards on 12 carries for the state's co-No. 1 team. "They just kept doing it. But we overcame it, and we came back."
Rye pulls upset: Sixteenth-ranked Rye scored three touchdowns in the second quarter and avenged its only loss with a 28-21 win over No. 6 Clarkstown South.
QB Declan Lavelle punched in a 1-yard touchdown with 5:19 left in regulation to cap a 97-yard drive and close out the scoring.
"It wasn't perfect, but man, we did enough perfect stuff," Rye coach Dino Garr said.
More Class A: No. 23 Victor and No. 4 Irondequoit will play for the Section 5 crown next weekend.
Victor scored on the third play from scrimmage on a 55-yard run by sophomore Rushawn Baker en route to a 27-7 win over No. 12 Canandaigua. The Blue Devils' next possession was an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by Baker's 8-yard rush.
"We weren't ready to play, for whatever reason," said Canandaigua coach Jeff Welch. "And we were making mistakes that we hadn't made all year and you just can't do that in the playoffs."
Irondequoit crushed No. 25 Rochester East 39-8, holding its opponent without a first down in the first 23:39 of the contest and to just 33 yards of offense in its first 34 plays on the night.
"We spent a long week in practice reading their offense, watching their plays and that really paid off tonight," senior linebacker Jimmy Clements said. "We read their guards, our corners played great and locked down. I'm proud of what we accomplished tonight."
QB Freddy June Jr. helped stake the winners to a 39-0 lead with TD runs of 23, 37 and 8 yards. He finished with 14 carries for 116 yards.
• D'Andre Lashley and Vincent Daviero ran for more than 100 yards apiece as No. 18 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake posted a 35-12 win over No. 20 Troy, winner of the previous two Section 2 Class AA champions and a 2018 state titlist.
Jakai Townsend's 64-yard TD run gave the Spartans a 14-0 advantage early in the third quarter before Lashley scored his second touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run with 6:08 left in the period. Following a Troy fumble, Daviero scored on a 3-yard run to push the lead to 28-0.
Troy lost sophomore quarterback Alex Wolfe to a hyper-extended knee late in the first half.
• Carthage avenged one of its two losses this season with two TDs by Fombo Azah and a 38-yard field goal by Casey Farrell to upset No. 9 Whitesboro 31-9.
Jacob Demko finished with 148 yards and a TD on 33 carries.
Class B: Donovan Pacatte threw three TD passes, rushed for a touchdown, returned a fumble for a score and kicked a field goal to lead Cobleskill-Richmondville past Schuylerville 36-30.