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Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018: Aquinas, Glens Falls cap season with NYSPHSAA titles

   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."


  • 2018 NYSPHSAA football brackets
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  • 2018 NYSPHSAA cross country: Boys | Girls
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  •    The last five of Freeport's six Long Island championships in 19 seasons have come against Floyd.

        • Half Hollow Hills West captured the Class III championship with a 34-6 win over Plainedge.

       Junior halfback Justin Brown opened the scoring with a 75-yard touchdown run and Gerald Filardi returned a kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown that built the lead to 20-6 at the half.

       The Hills West defense contained a Plainedge offense that had averaged 41 points per game. Plainedge lost junior quarterback Dan Villari to an arm injury midway through the second quarter with his team trailing 6-0.

       CHSAA final: Archbishop Stepinac swamped visiting St. Francis 49-7 for the Catholic High School Athletic Association state crown. Junior quarterback Joey Carino threw for four touchdowns and rushed in a botched snap for another score.

       Stepinac, which sacked sophomore Jake Ritts 12 times, has won the championship game three times in four years.

       PSAL semifinals: Petrides built a 30-7 lead early in the second quarter and outlasted Stuyvesant 52-40 in the PSAL Cup semifinals. Tyheer Tucker overcame an early fumble to rush 24 times for 171 yards plus 55 yards through the air, and he finished with four touchdowns.

       Stuyvesant cut the deficit to 30-28 at the half and then went ahead early in the third quarter. Petrides went back ahead 44-40 and linebacker Angelo Sereno then forced a fumble -- one of five Stuyvesant turnovers -- that the offense converted into a short TD run by quarterback Mike Diforte, who finished with 152 passing yards and 75 on the ground).

       Stuyvesant QB Lucas Dingman missed the game with a thumb injury suffered in practice on Friday.

       Petrides' opponent in Sunday's final will be KIPP NYC College Prep, a 28-8 winner over Cardozo as Keenen Bingham threw for two TDs.

        • South Shore and Erasmus Hall will play for the City Conference title Dec. 4 at Yankee Stadium.

       South Shore QB Darius Thompson rushed 41 times for 250 yards to highlight a 30-12 win over Abraham Lincoln. Erasmus Hall QB Tyrique Alston ran for one score and threw for another to beat Midwood 13-6.

        • James Madison and Eagle Academy II will meet for the Bowl Conference championship on Sunday.

       Madison toppled Tilden 26-12 as sophomore Alex McBurnie ran for 112 yards and TD. Eagle Academy II upset Bayside 15-14 with the help of Savion Johnson's 65-yard TD catch.

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