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Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014: Irondequoit topples Sweet Home in Class A football

   Leading off today: Senior Dylan Harrington picked off two passes in the final three minutes Friday, preserving Irondequoit's 24-21 win over Sweet Home in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A football quarterfinals.

   Freshman Jacob Sampson completed Irondequoit's comeback from a two-TD deficit in the second half by scoring the final points on a 22-yard field goal with 3:11 to play.

   The Eagles churned out 285 rushing yards on 49 attempts to reach their first state semifinal game in program history.

   Randolph advances: Randolph took a crucial step toward defending its NYSPHSAA championship as the state's top-ranked Class D team held off No. 2 Red Jacket 19-12 in the quarterfinals in Buffalo.

   Devyn Nelsen ran 82 yards for the go-ahead score and then hauled down the clinching late interception at All High Stadium. Randolph had defeated Red Jacket 49-0 a year ago in the most lopsided Western Regional game in tournament history.

   After a first half that saw just 162 yards of total offense, Red Jacket's Sean Sheets ran 58 yards for a score 56 seconds into the third quarter to go up 12-7. One play after the ensuing kickoff, Nelsen (21 carries, 144 yards) went 82 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown that put Randolph up 13-12.

   Randolph added to the lead on a 10-yard pass from Bryce Morrison to Mason Bolsey.

   "That Red Jacket team, I'll give it to them, they came to play," Morrison told The Buffalo News. "We knew it was going to be a fight. I didn't know what our team would do when we got down, but we responded."

   Morrison finished 7-for-9 for 63 yards and the touchdown.

   Randolph advances to the semifinals against Tioga for the third straight year. Tioga advanced with a 46-22 win over Dolgeville as Brad Jump and Jesse Manuel combined for five touchdowns in the first half.

   Manuel and Jump combined for 65 yards on their first drive, and the latter scored on a draw for a 6-0 lead. After Tioga recovered an onside kick, Manuel ran 44 yards to the Dolgeville 1 and scored on the next play.

   Jump scored on a 2-yard run with 5:56 left in the first quarter for a 20-0 lead.

   Schalmont coasts: Seniors Nick Gallo and Hunter Gac each ran for three touchdowns as Schalmont posted a 60-20 win over Peru in the Class B quarterfinals.

   Next up, the Sabres face Marlboro a year after beating that Section 9 team 66-0 in the semifinals.

   "In the back of our minds, we have Maine-Endwell (which beat Schalmont 22-21 in the 2013 final); in the back of their minds, they have Schalmont," Gallo said of Marlboro. "They have a bad taste in their mouths from last year. I know I would. They are all competitors and hit hard. Their juniors last year told us after the game, 'We'll see you next year.' Don't doubt them. They'll be ready for us."

   Island history: Dom Cassella returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, and Patchogue-Medford went on to a 38-22 win over Longwood, the state's sixth-ranked Class AA team, in the Suffolk I semifinals.

   The Raiders (6-4) became the first No. 7 seed to beat a No. 1 and 2 seed in the playoffs in Long Island history.

   "No one gave us a shot, no one," quarterback Rich Ciufo, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more, told Newsday. "We got off to a slow start this season but we always believed in each other. The offensive line was phenomenal."

   Said coach Gary Marangi: "This is essentially our fourth playoff game. Our whole attitude has changed and we've been playing with an edge."


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  •    More from Long Island: Syracuse commit Jordan Fredericks left early with a shoulder injury, but Lawrence still went on to rout Hewlett 55-0 in the Nassau III semifinals.

       Fredericks (13 carries, 132 yards) helped Lawrence amass 458 yards rushing, scoring from 13 and 45 yards out to run his season total to 32 touchdowns.

       Also in Nassau III, Plainedge executed the hook-and-ladder for a 72-yard TD to beat Bethpage 28-27.

       Trailing by six points and facing third-and-25 early in the fourth quarter, the Red Devils' Davien Kuinlan threw short to Matt Miles, who pitched to trailer Corey Hill near the sideline. The sophomore took the ball the rest of the way for the 72-yard score, and Dylan Burns kicked the extra point for the deciding point.

       Kuinlan rushed for 171 yards on 33 carries and scored three touchdowns, giving him 30 for the season. He also threw for 139 yards to help set up the final vs. Lawrence.

       Boys volleyball: Sachem North dropped its first set of the season but finally ended the Section 5 reign in NYSPHSAA Division I by beating McQuaid 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

       McQuaid (2010-12) ad Fairport (2013) had given the Rochester area a sweep of the first four state large-school titles. Sachem North, which swept a two-game pool-play match from McQuaid, finished its season 20-0.

       "This is a very experienced group and they've shown a lot of composure all year. Even though we haven't dropped a set, we've been close and we've played from behind in games," Sachem North coach Matthew Rivera told The Post-Star.

       In Division II, Victor won its fourth championship in five years by defeating Victor met Eastport- South Manor in the championship game, 25-12, 25-21, 25-18.

       Brrrrrr: In honor of the weekend weather forecast, Pete Tobey of The Post-Star dug out some memories of very cold football games from the past.

       Following up: Canisius High School's board of trustees has brought in an attorney to review the suspension of all-state football player Brad Zaffram and the firing of a top administrator earlier this week, The Buffalo News reported.

       Terrence M. Connors will investigate the circumstances, policies and procedures involving the suspension of Zaffram and the dismissal of Beck O'Connor, the longtime dean of students.

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