Leading off today:
Noah Sims, an exchange student from Tatura, Australia, made an impressive American football debut Saturday in pacing Cooperstown
past New York Mills 43-20.
The 6-foot-1 quarterback/linebacker ran for one touchdown, threw for three and kicked a 25-yard field goal. He also posted two of the Redskins' four sacks as Cooperstown and first-year coach Mark Segina snapped a 10-game losing streak.
“The Rotary youth exchange program encourages you to get involved with the community and school,” Sims, whose previous experience consisted of the rugby-like Australian Rules Football, told The Observer-Dispatch. “So I thought, ‘Why not join the football team?’ I knew it was fun to watch, but to play -- that’s even better.
“It’s that sense of team, of being there for each other. We’re just one beautiful family.”
Sims was 7-for-12 for 109 yards through the air, though he was intercepted twice. Junior Lucas Lyons, who transferred from Unadilla Valley but missed most of the 2011 season with a broken collarbone, scored TDs on a 13-yard run, a 27-yard reception and an 82-yard kickoff return that opened the second half.
Another streak snapped: Hoosic Valley, playing its first game under new head coach Chris Lutgens, snapped a 22-game losing streak by opening with a 38-13 victory against Bishop Gibbons in Schagticoke.
Alex Bevis rushed for 114 yards and scored one TD and three two-point conversions.
New class, same results: Aquinas, playing its first season in Class AA after five state Class A championships since 1998, rolled to its 24th straight win over Monsignor Martin Association competition by blowing out St. Francis 44-7.
The Little Irish scored 30 first-quarter points with Billy Lombardi, state co-player of the year in Class A a year ago, hitting paydirt from 14 and 53 yards. Freshman QB Jake Zembiec went 8-for-10 for 68 yards and two TD throws to Alex Bianchi.
Many Section 5 observers are expecting a Class AA final between Aquinas and 2010 state champion Rush-Henrietta. The Royal Comets opened with a 14-7 win over a solid Hilton squad. Bay Barley threw a TD pass on a halfback option and QB Chauncey Scissum ran 57 yards to another score.
Section 3 shootout: Romero Collier hit Brandon Wilbur for a 9-yard TD on an improvised play in the fourth quarter as Syracuse Henninger edged Liverpool 40-35.
The second Collier-to-Wilbur score of the game was improvised by offensive coordinator Mike Meloa. "I think Mike drew that play up on the sidelines, because we had never run it before," coach Dave Kline told The Post-Standard. "But I trust him and it paid off."
Chris Hicks scored for Henninger on an 81-yard kickoff return.
Difficult day for Queensbury: Playing four days after the death of junior lineman Johnathan Vasiliou, Queensbury