Leading off today:
Junior running back Matt McCarthy scored seven touchdowns and rushed for over 300 yards Saturday as Fredonia advanced to the Section 6 Class C football final with a 72-42 victory
McCarthy finished with 20 carries for 316 yards. His TD runs came on carries of 11, 2, 6, 6, 19, 75 and 63 yards. The Western New York record for most touchdowns in a game is eight, last done by Homer Geoffrion of Lafayette in 1929.
"You can watch the replay and if it wasn't for the line and the receivers blocking down field, none of that would have happened," McCarthy told The Observer. "All the yards and everything, I owe it all to my team."
Akron's Austen Lauricella carried 29 times for 312 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort.
A first in Section 1: Avenging a five-touchdown loss in the 2012 final, eighth-ranked Rye Neck secured its first Section 1 football championship with a 21-7 victory over No. 18 Woodlands in Class C.
“Since last year,” Panthers coach Nick Ianello told The Journal News, “the looks on the kids’ faces last year at halftime (of that game), I told them today, I can’t get that out of my head. We have to erase that. And they did it.”
Panthers QB Tom Pipilo threw a touchdown pass and executed two successful onside kicks -- recovering one himself. The first kick, opening the game, was recovered by the Ryan Morningstar, and Pipolo turned it into points with a 33-yard TD throw to Matt Garcia.
Rye Neck's Chris Richart made three interceptions, all in the end zone.
More Class C: In a game with more than average state tournament implications, No. 5 LeRoy eliminated No. 11 East Rochester/Gananda 21-14 in the Section 5 semifinals. The Oatkan Knights will play for their 15th sectional championship next weekend against upstart Wayland-Cohocton.
Senior running back Peter Privitera broke through on a third-and-one for a 45-yard touchdown with 2:46 to play in a driving rainstorm.
Section 3 surprises: Saturday was not a good day to be a favorite in the Section 3 semifinals.
In Class AA, Syracuse Henninger quarterback Romero Collier threw for four touchdowns and ran for another to spark a 44-14 upset of No. 8 Fayetteville-Manlius. Three of Collier's TD throws were to Keisean Scott for 42, 24 and 43 yards.
Henninger broke to a 20-0 lead. After F-M got on the board, Henninger converted a third-and-39 play en route to a Collier 6-yard carry for a score and a 28-7 lead.
In Class B, No. 11 Oneida polished off No. 7 Homer 31-9 as Dylan Cafalone ran for 175 yards and two TDs.
Sweet Home milestone: Coach John Faller picked up his 200th win in 28 seasons as Sweet Home, the state's top-ranked Class A team, beat No. 25 West Seneca East 35-14 in the Section 6 semifinals. Faller has led the Panthers to six consecutive sectional titles and 69 straight wins against Section 6 opponents.
After the Trojans scored early in the second quarter, Sweet Home junior Brandon Smiley blocked the extra-point attempt and returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown for a 14-6 lead.
Smiley's 27-yard catch and run in the second quarter made it 21-6.
“He’s the kind of kid that comes up and makes big plays for us,” Faller told The Buffalo News. “I tell the kids all the time: ‘We never know who it’s gonna be, but someone’s gotta step up every game and make some plays.’ Today it was his turn to do it.”
More Class A: Jordan Fredericks carried 11 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns and turned a screen pass into an 82-yard TD as No. 6 Lawrence dominated No. 19 Bethpage 42-14. Joe Capobianco completed 14 of 25 for 247 yards and two touchdowns.
Notable in Class B: No. 12 Pleasantville won its first Section 1 championship since 1991 with a 21-6 win against No. 15 Our Lady of Lourdes.
LOurdes pulled within 14-8 with 2:31 to play, but Enrico Ruotolo broke off a long run on fourth-and-3 from midfield to set up Pleasantville's clinching TD.
In Section 7, Beekmantown turned four takeaways into touchdowns and beat No. 17 Peru 33-28.
Up 28-27, Peru fumbled the ball away on its own 4 on a center-QB exchange. Beekmantown recovered, and Justin Stevens scored his third rushing touchdown two plays later.
Nathan Currier completed 7 of 13 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns to lift Wayne into its first sectional final with a 25-14 upset of No. 14 Livonia. Justin Morrison ran for 151 yards and a score and also caught three passes for 55 yards and another TD.