Leading off today:
Second-ranked Archbishop Stepinac overcame a sloppy first half Saturday to rally past No. 19 Iona Prep 35-19 in a battle of two of the states top Class AA football teams.
The Crusaders scored the game's final 28 points, led by quarterbacks Brandon Coleman and Tyquell Fields. Coleman, the starter, finished 9-for-15 for 106 yards and threw a two-point conversion. Fields threw three touchdowns and rushed for another as the Crusaders got in gear after surrendering two onside kicks and making several other gaffes in the first half.
Coleman and Fields lined up in the same backfield at times for the first time this season.
"We've been working on that since December and this was the game we wanted to bring it out," Coleman, who played some running back, told The Journal News. "I just think that was something they had to adjust to and maybe they couldn't get the right personnel on the field. I think it worked today."
The Gaels led 19-7 early in the third quarter before Stepinac took over. Fields scored from 5 yards out after Coleman connected on a 32-yard pass to Damarcus Miller. On their next possession, Crusaders junior Jesse Brown outjumped a defender for a 39-yard catch on Fields' throw to the end zone.
Aquinas back in the hunt: No. 13 Aquinas, at .500 following losses to No. 1 Canisius and Pennsylvania power Erie Prep, confirmed it's still very much in the Section 5 large-school mix by holding off No. 8 Pittsford 16-14.
Touchdown runs of 30 yards by Jamir Jones and 65 yards by Terrance Richards plus a safety gave Aquinas a 16-0 lead in the third quarter, but Pittsford responded with two touchdown passes by senior Jack Wallman in the fourth quarter before the Panthers' final possession stalled at the Aquinas 21.
Aquinas junior Earnest Edwards intercepted two passes and had a 28-yard touchdown reception wiped out just before the half on an illegal procedure penalty.
Canisius maintains momentum: Senior Mitch Thomas, fresh off a 249-yard night in a win over Jamestown, carried 22 times for another 260 yards as Canisius defeated St, Joseph's 17-0.
The Canisius defense limited St. Joe's to 10 yards on the ground and 29 overall, making 16 tackles for losses. St. Joe's finished with just four first downs, and QB David Archer was forced out just before halftime with a possible concussion.
Class A action: Third-ranked Eastridge handed No. 14 Brockport its first loss 26-20 on the strength of quarterback Jay'von Hampton's 21 carries for 180 yards and three TDs, including the game-winner with :58 to play.
Class D blowout: Second-ranked Red Jacket ran around and through No. 5 Dundee on its was to a 53-6 romp at home.
Kory Fogarty ran for 213 yards and scored five touchdowns on 29 carries.
"The linemen in front of me put the scores up," Fogarty told The Daily Messenger. "I don't do anything special. My linemen make it easy for me."