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Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013: Aquinas fends off Canisius in the rain, 3-0

   Leading off today: The immovable object was too much for the irresistible force on Friday in Rochester, where Aquinas eeked out a 3-0 victory over Canisius in a non-league football game pitting a vaunted defense against a potent offense and the state's No. 1 ranking among large schools almost certainly on the line.

   Senior Alex Bianchi's 34-yard field goal, the first of his career, late in the first quarter accounted for all the scoring in a game played mostly in a steady drizzle. Aquinas' stats showed Canisius with a 148-137 yardage advantage, with Crusaders running back Qadree carrying 23 times for 95 yards in a losing cause.

   Bianchi also caught four passes for 39 yards and averaged 47 yards on five punts.

   “What a great high school game,’’ Aquinas coach Chris Battaglia told the Democrat and Chronicle. “I didn’t want to lose, but I told our guys in the middle of the third quarter, you lose, you win, this is just a great game."

   You guys done yet? Matt Shell's 100th win took so long to materialize Friday that the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake coach should be able to count it as No. 101 as well.

   Josh Quesada's 20-yard TD run down the sideline in the fourth overtime capped the Spartans' 18-12 victory at Troy.

   "I just tried to keep my feet moving," said Quesada, who carried 18 times for 188 yards. "I got a few blocks and got around the edge. I just wanted to get the game over with."

   Burnt Hills, the defending NYSPHSAA Class A champ, fumbled the ball 10 times -- including eight botched snaps by QB Dan Maynard. The Spartans' only two turnovers came in the first half.

   "We had the ball (inside the 20) I don't know how many times," Maynard told The Times Union. "Everyone pulled together, and no one took the blame."

   What a performance: Saugerties defensive back Derek Henriksen, who doesn't even start on defense, intercepted four passes as the Sawyers edged Goshen 12-7. Two of his picks came in the final three minutes.

   Henriksen is back in school after dropping out last year and pursuing his GED.

   "He's not starting on offense or defense, but he's the first guy to be able to play corner, strong safety and free safety for us," Coach Lee Meisinger said. "Lukas (Gran, shoulder injury) got hurt today and (Henriksen) stepped in and obviously made a bunch of big plays for us."

   Section 6 surprise: Losing your starting QB to a broken collarbone the previous week isn't the preferred was to prepare for Orchard Park, but Lockport nevertheless scored a 33-27 upset of the 2012 state Class AA finalists.

   Lockport led 19-13 and then drove 67 yards to a 9-yard TD run by Nick Hamilton (who also had an 86-yard scoring run in the first half) after the second-half kickoff. The drive consumed nearly nine minutes and included three third-down conversions. Lockport extended its lead to 33-13 in the fourth quarter on a 44-yard pass play from junior Tyler Fraass to Hamilton.

   Comebacks: Albany Academy rallied late but still had to sweat out a missed 31-yard field-goal attempt with :03 to go to edge Cohoes 39-38. Austin Zeh rushed 26 times for 166 yards and four touchdowns, including an 18-yarder with nine minutes left as Academy trailing by 30-20 at the time.

   Lansing fell behind by three TDs before rallying to edge Chenango Valley 22-21. The momentum turned when Elijha Burns pinned the Warriors inside their own 5-yard line with a 76-yard punt. After a three-and-out, Burns capped a short drive with a 2-yard TD run.

   Burns scored on a 3-yard run in the third quarter, and threw a 41-yard TD pass to Tyler Winslow with 1:46 left. On the extra point, holder Jared Strait executed a fake and threw a 2-yard pass to Ben Rourke to give the

  
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Bobcats the lead.

   Sorting out Section 3: A couple of Friday games will probably go a long way in sorting out the Central New York pecking order.

   In Class AA, junior Tom Scarfino field goal at the end of the first half proved to be the difference as Baldwinsville edged Syracuse Henninger 10-7. Earlier, the Bees' Ricky Sparks raced 77 yards after catching a screen pass to tie the game.

   Sparks, who ran for 301 yards in the opener, rushed 26 times for 113 yards vs. Henninger.

   Among small schools, Class B Homer edged defending sectional Class C champion Skaneateles 23-13 behind a pair of rushing touchdowns by Jake Casey.

   Out of action: East Meadow running back/linebacker Billy Andrle, just the second junior ever to win the Thorp Award as Nassau County's outstanding player, sat out a 15-13 loss to Syosset on Thursday. Andrle, who scored 23 TDs last season, injured his right hand in practice and underwent surgery.

   Senior Travis Hammer kicked a 25-yard field goal with 7:06 remaining to secure the lead and the win.

   More big efforts: Collin Bourcy ran eight times for 162 yards, caught seven passes for 256 yards and scored three TDs as Thousand Islands beat South Lewis 40-6. Tyler was 7-for-7 through the air for 256 yards and two TDs to Bourcy.

   Rensselaer beat Fort Edward 38-6 as Steve Harwood passed for 278 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for 85 yards and another score.

   Also noteworthy: AuSable Valley broke an 11-game losing streak by downing Plattsburgh 42-6.

   The word on the tweet: Fan mail regarding two of the hardest-working sportswriters from the left end of the state:


  
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