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Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019: Moriah storms into state 'D' rematch with C/S/P

   Leading off today: Junior Maddox Blaise rushed for 305 yards and scored five touchdowns Friday as Moriah dominated Tuckahoe 46-12 in the NYSPHSAA football Class D semifinals at Middletown High School.

   Blaise became the first running back in Section 7 history to eclipse 2,000 yards while raising his season totals to 2,125 yards and 21 touchdowns.

   "Holes were just opening up and my guys were just winning in the trenches," Blaise said.

   Blaise opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 16-yard run. The Vikings extended the lead to 16-0 with a 95-yard drive. Blaise carried five times for 82 years on the possession, including the final 31 for the TD that matched another Section 7 record.

   The Vikings (8-3) next face a rematch with defending state champ Clymer/Sherman/Panama (10-1), a 28-27 winner against Tioga despite falling behind by two scores.

   C/S/P junior Brendon Ramsey scored two second-half touchdowns and John Swabik dove into the end zone at the pylon for the go-ahead 2-point conversion early in the fourth quarter. The outcome wasn't decided until junior Connor Cooper intercepted a pass with just over a minute remaining.

   Tioga had raced to a 27-13 lead on the strength of a combined four TDs from sophomore running back Emmett Wood (30 carries, 204 yards) and senior quarterback Brady Worthing.

   Class A semifinals: Cornwall running back Amin Woods piled up 183 yards and three TDs on 34 carries to help tun back Rye 45-34 in Middletown.

   The Dragons' 23rd consecutive win moved them one victory from becoming the first Section 9 squad to win back-to-back state titles.

   Cornwall took a 28-20 lead into the half following Woods TD runs of 3 and 54 yards. Woods opened the second-half scoring with a 9-yard TD run to put the Dragons ahead 35-20 with 4:37 left in the third quarter, and Bryce Brown sprinted 31 yards for another score to stretch the team to 42-20 entering the fourth quarter.

   Cornwall's opponent in the final will be Carthage, which overcame a pick-six 30 seconds into the game to post a 16-6 win over Canandaigua at Cicero-North Syracuse.

   Carthage got a pick-six of its own from Nathan MacLean, and forced the Braves into six turnovers overall. Thomas Albright accounted for three with two interceptions and a game-clinching fumble recovery to go along with his TD following a blocked punt.

   Albright's final recovery went for a TD following a Canandaigua fumble at the Carthage 1 in the closing seconds.

   "To end the game like that, for them to get so close and our defense play so hard all game and not let them score any points, to end the game like that? It was a statement," Albright said.


   Long Island action: Plainedge overwhelmed Rockville Centre South Side on both sides for the second time in a month and rolled to a 41-13 victory in the Nassau Conference III championship game at Hofstra University.

   Running back Dion Kuinlan carried 21 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns. QB Dan Villari ran 15 times for 161 yards and the other three touchdowns.

   "We were a 1-2 punch," Kuinlan said. "We made for a good combination."

    • William Floyd downed Longwood 34-14 to present coach Paul Longo with his 200th victory and capture the Suffolk Division I championship at Stony Brook University.

   A bobbled snap on a Longwood punt set William Floyd up at the Lions' 5, and Tyshawn Lopez scored on a 3-yard run for a 13-7 Floyd lead with 7:29 left in the first half.

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  • Longwood's next possession was stopped on downs and William Floyd marched 76 yards in six plays, capped by Lopez's 11-yard scoring run. A third Lopez TD run made it 27-7 in the third quarter.

       NYSPHSAA swim meet: Alice Diakova of Brighton captured the New York State Public High School Athletic Associ- ation diving championship at Ithaca College. She scored 527.85 points for five dives to outdistance Madison Yager (Minisink Valley, 496.10) and Madelyn Seltzer (Scars- dale, 483.25).

       Finals in the swimming events are Saturday.

       College shenanigans: Someone at Florida Gulf Coast University sent out 100 fake scholarship offers to high school football players, creating a mess for the school, which only plays the sport at the club level.

       FGCU is best known for its men's basketball team, which has reached the NCAA Division I tournament three times in the last seven years. But as a club football program, it has nothing to offer in the way of scholarships in that sport. That hasn't stopped prospective college football players from tweeting about offers from the Fort Meyers school, setting some teems up for disappointment.

       "There's just been a large amount of social media chatter, young people congratulating each other on offers to play football at FGCU," university VP Susan Evans said. "We just wanted to clear up a few things in case there was some confusion. First off, these offers aren't being made by anyone in the athletic program as the football club isn't affiliated with our athletic program. Second, any of these players getting so-called offers would have to apply for admission to the school just like anyone else. And third, there are no plans for football to be added as an NCAA sport."

       Notes send to prospective students by club football coach Kevin Van Duser offering roster spots may have added to the confusion. Van Duser said some local businesses have stepped forward to offer $2,000 scholarships to players but none of those have allegedly been received or assigned for the 2020-21 school year.

       Indiana crackdown: The Southport (Ind.) boys basketball program is banned from the 2019-20 Indiana High School Athletic Association tournament, for what commissioner Bobby Cox termed "as egregious of a violation of undue influence" as he has seen.

       The school's entire athletic department was placed on probation for a year.

       The IHSAA determined that coach Eric Brand provided a tuition payment to Perry Township Schools in the amount of $5,548 on behalf of Nickens Paul Lemba, a recent arrival from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The payment allowed Lemba to comply with U.S. immigration laws related to student visas but crossed IHSAA lines.

       "You have a high school coach write a check to pay the tuition for a student from out of the country, so he can stay in the country," Cox said. "It doesn't get much more obvious than that."

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