Leading off today:
Senior Shane Parry, a first-year football player on a run-heavy team, had a dream game Saturday to open the Section 2 Class C football playoffs.
Parry caught just five balls, but all of them went for touchdowns as Voorheesville defeated Mechanicville 42-16. For good measure, he also scored on a 36-yard run. It made for a much better stat line than his Week 3 showing vs. Mechanicville -- two catches for eight yards in a 10-7 win.
"You couldn't dream of that," Parry told The Times Union after finishing with 193 receiving yards. "We had to take advantage of their corners. We didn't the last time we played them. We definitely took advantage of what we could."
Not that the ground game wasn't also working. Voorheesville gained 420 yards, including 160 on runs. Matt Feller rushed for 104 yards to complement QB Robert Denman, who was 8-for-11 for 247 yards and four touchdowns. Back-up QB Ryan Daly also threw a TD to Parry after Denman had to come off the field for one play after having his helmet knocked off.
Parry's final touchdown catch came from Denman in the third quarter. He now has 23 receptions for 567 yards and nine touchdowns, but this was his first contest with more than one score.
"Their athletes beat our athletes today," Mechanicville coach Kevin Collins told the paper.
Zembiec returns: Aquinas quarterback Jake Zembiec, the New York State Sportswriters Association's 2013 player of the year in Class AA, returned to the field Friday in the Section 5 Class AA quarterfinals.
Zembiec, out since breaking his non-throwing wrist in the opening-day loss to Canisius, was in the starting lineup and threw two TDs Saturday against Pittsford. The game was suspended by lightning and resumed Sunday, with Aquinas earning a 37-20 victory for its 25th consecutive Section 5 tournament win.
Zembiec was only 4-for-15 135 yards before rain stopped Saturday's action, but the highly recruited junior connected deep to Earnest Edwards for a 55-yard score and threw a screen pass that Taylor Riggins took in from 58 yards out.
When the game resumed Sunday, Aquinas was without head coach Chris Battaglia. He left Saturday night with his son C.J. on a previously planned trip to the University of Michigan for the Webster Thomas freshman lacrosse player's visit with the Wolverines coaches.
Zembiec had prepared for his return throughout the week, and doctors gave Battaglia the OK on Friday to let him play.
"I think he looked great," Battaglia told the Democrat and Chronicle. "A couple of his passes were unbelievable. We had a couple of drops, too."
M-E comes up big: Maine-Endwell stepped up two classes and just kept on rolling. The Spartans, three-time defending NYSPHSAA champions, ran their winning streak to 46 games with a 29-0 win over Class AA Elmira, ranked 24th in the state, in the regular-season finale.
M-E limited the Express' 44-points-per-game offense to 95 yards and five first downs. Elmira never drove inside the Maine-Endwell 26.
"We pride ourselves on our defense and our hard-running offense," senior defensive tackle Hunter Hazen said. "So for them not to score any points was huge for us. It was great."