Leading off today:
Defensive lineman Oliver Janvier sacked the quarterback on a 2-point conversion play for all the marbles Saturday, lifting Newburgh Free Academy
into the state Class AA football championship game by virtue of a 20-19 win over Shenendehowa in overtime.
Janvier sacked Ryan VanGalen on the conversion after running back Aaron Forbes gave Newburgh the lead on a 20-yard run on the Goldbacks' first OT snap and Matt Taft countered with a 1-yard run for Shenendehowa.
Newburgh had tied the game 13-13 with a 21-yard field goal by freshman Pete Matthews with 1:20 left in regulation to conclude a 10-minute drive aided by a personal foul on a Shenendehowa defender on a third-and-17 snap.
"I knew everything was at stake when I made that field goal," Matthews, who made a 33-yard field goal in the first half, told The Times Herald-Record. "We have been working for this since January. It feels great that we are going to the Dome. I had to keep my head straight."
In OT, Shenendehowa called a timeout after Taft's TD run. After a Newburgh timeout, VanGalen dropped back in the pocket and was flushed out, with Janvier hauling down the QB near the Newburgh sideline.
Newburgh's previous game was a 15-7 win over Monroe-Woodbury in the Section 9 championship game two weeks earlier.
"This is a dream come true," Forbes said. "I thought we could do it, but finally its happening. After two overtime wins. We just have to win this game next Saturday."
Newburgh's opponent in next weekend's final will be Jamestown, a 28-12 winner over Syracuse Henninger as QB Nikkolas Holland led the way.
Holland, the successor to first-team all-state quarterback Jake Sisson, went 14-for-19 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown and also ran 20 times for 103 yards and a score.
"Coming into the season, I think maybe we all had a little bit of doubt in our minds, including him," senior Stephen Carlson told the Post-Journal, "but looking at how far we've come and everything he's done throughout each game, every game he's gotten so much better. Right now, he's like a veteran quarterback. He has so much experience and he knows when to make the right plays and how to make the right plays."
Class B semifinals: Quarterback Nick Gallo scored three touchdowns to highlight Schalmont's 49-14 win over Marlboro, setting up a potential rematch with Maine-Endwell after a heartbreaking 22-21 loss to the Spartans in the 2013 final.
"We've been working since the day after that state championship game," Gallo told The Times Union. "We just want another chance. It doesn't matter who it is. We got back there, and now we want to finish the job."
The Sabres scored on their first four possessions, rolling up 211 yards on 26 snaps to build a 28-0 lead. Marlboro battled back to within 28-14, but senior Devin Higgins raced 98 yards on a kickoff return for a score.
Class C semifinals: Hoosick Falls recovered four fumbles and won for the 36th time in 37 games, blanking Millbrook 29-0 at Dietz Stadium. Jake Bataikis fell on a bad snap for a touchdown in the second quarter to make it 12-0, and the Panthers held Millbrook to 124 yards.
"I could not be more proud of the special teams and the defense," Hoosick Falls coach Ron Jones said. "They were bigger than us, but most teams are, and these guys pride themselves on their toughness."
Hoosick Falls will return to the Carrier Dome for the NYSPHSAA championship game against top-ranked Chenango Forks, the defending champion.
"We don't mind being the underdogs," said senior linebacker Evan Hand, who finished with seven solo tackles.
Chenango Forks advanced in impressive fashion by beating Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake 27-0 after the Section 6 champion had allowed only 37 points all season. The Blue Devils intercepted four passes and recovered two fumbles to clinch their eighth trip to the finals.
Sophomore L.J. Watson's 61-yard run put Forks up 6-0 before linebacker Hunter Luybli intercepted a pass and returned 41 yards to set up quarterback Jack Sherwood's 25-yard pass play with Ryan Bronson for a TD.
CHSFL championship: Archbishop Stepinac broke to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter and fought off Iona Prep 16-14 for the 'AAA' championship before more than 6,000 fans at Fordham University.
It is the first CHSFL title for the Crusaders since they split with St. Francis Prep in 1955.
Senior Malcolm Major led Stepinac with 16 carries for 88 yards, including a 29-yard TD 1:11 into the game. Damarcus Miller made two interceptions, including one that he returned 55 yards for a touchdown to give Stepinac its 16-0 lead with 4:24 left in the first quarter.
Stepinac advances to the inaugural state CHSAA championship vs. Canisius or Bishop Timon-St. Jude on Dec. 7 at Mitchel Field in Uniondale.
Section 11 finals: Shoreham-Wading River QB Danny Hughes ran for 301 yards and six touchdowns -- four on carries of 20 or more yards -- as the Wildcats rolled to their first Suffolk championship in school history with a 47-10 victory over John Glenn in the Division IV final.
Three Hughes runs amounted to one-play scoring drives, including a 76-yard burst. The others were a 20-yarder in