Leading off today:
The Aquinas defense bent but did not break. The result was the school's eighth NYSPHSAA championship thanks to a 21-14 victory over New Rochelle in Saturday's Class AA championship game a the Carrier Dome.
"It was a great feeling (when the final horn sounded), a great feeling. I'm happy that I'm able to add to the legacy. Now, I get to go down as a state champion at Aquinas Institute," said senior James Jones, who intercepted two passes and forced a fumble to go along with nine tackles.
Aquinas built a two-score lead and then broke a 14-14 tie as sophomore Ulysees Russell pulled in a 4-yard touchdown reception over tight coverage with 4:25 remaining.
Caron Robinson rushed for 156 yards on 17 carries and scored on first-half carries of 16 and 89 yards. He was also one of the leaders on a defense that got the job done by stopping five New Rochelle drives inside the 35.
One of the big plays was Jones stripping junior receiver Kayshaun Thomas at the 1-yard line early in the second quarter, resulting in a touchback. Later in the quarter, the Huguenots turned the ball over on downs at the Aquinas 6.
Jones intercepted two passes deep in Little Irish territory in the third quarter.
"That was the ultimate bend, but don't break," Aquinas coach Derek Annechino said.
Class B fireworks: The star-driven NYSPHSAA Class B final was must-see viewing. By the time it was over, Glens Falls had overcome an early 14-0 deficit to beat Batavia 55-32.
With Orange coach Jim Boeheim looking on, Syracuse-bound basketball player Joe Girard III completed 10 of 18 attempts for 314 yards and two TDs, repeatedly scrambling out of danger to extend plays. He also ran for two touchdowns.
His work helped negate an astonishing third straight 400-yard day by Batavia running back Ray Leach, who also threw for a score and caught a TD pass. On the ground, he carried 30 times for 410 yards and TDs covering 83, 19 and 80 yards.
Leach staked the Blue Devils to a 14-0 lead on a 28-yard reception and by throwing 46 yards for a score. But Glens Falls finally kicked into gear after Girard intercepted a pass on the next Batavia possession and then drove the offense 93 yards in eight plays.
The next five scoring drives would cover 71, 51, 62, 79 and 63 yards. Two ended with Girard TD passes of 33 and 55 yards, and Glens Falls found itself safely ahead at 35-20 as Batavia dealt with the loss of QB Ethan Biscaro, who left in the first half and then was sidelined for good with another apparent knee injury in the third quarter.
"Joe is so special -- if you give him any time, he'll be able to do special things, and that's what we were able to do today," senior center Thompson Collins said. "We did a good job up front and Joe was able to sling the ball downfield."
Long Island finals: Justin Lescouflair's 58-yard TD run late in the third quarter broke a tie and led Freeport to a 20-19 win vs. William Floyd for the Long Island Class I championship at Hofstra.
Floyd closed within 20-19 on a 31-yard TD pass from Mack Driver to Jordan Clinton with 8:18 left, but Jordan Jackson came off the edge to block the extra point. Freeport intercepted two passes in the final 2:03 to close out the victory.
"I can't remember a game like this -- it was a real heavy- weight battle," Freeport coach Russ Cellan said. "Either team had a shot. Neither team quit. It was two great programs going at it and giving it everything."