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Monday, Dec. 1, 2014: Maine-Endwell, Indian River earn titles in Syracuse

   Leading off today: Adam Gallagher scored three touchdowns, two of them defensively, as Maine-Endwell built a big lead and then fended off Schalmont 27-19 for the NYSPHSAA Class B championship on Sunday in Syracuse.

   Maine-Endwell (13-0) won its state record-tying 51st straight game and became the first team to win four straight New York State Public High School Athletic Association football championships. Hornell won 51 in a row through 2012, losing the state final that year in its bid for a fourth straight title.

   Gallagher's touchdowns came on a 26-yard interception return, a 5-yard run and a 91-yard fumble return midway through the third quarter to make it 27-0. With Schalmont sitting at first-and-goal at the 4, QB Anthony Yezzo bobbled the snap, and the ball popped into the arms of Gallagher at the 9.

   "Luck of the Irish," M-E coach Matt Gallagher said of his son's fumble recovery and score. "We'll take it."

   Indian River roars back: Indian River withstood three Queensbury TDs in the first eight minutes, rallied to lead by halftime then stampeded to a 63-38 win in the NYSPHSAA Class A final at the Carrier Dome.

   Junior Romel Washington ran for 196 yards and scored two TDs as the Warriors piled up 439 rushing yards to end the reigning state champions' 25-game winning streak and earn Section 3's first championship in the sport since 2007.

   "I know it's not going to sink in for awhile," said senior QB Densel Barnes. "This is a team that believes in itself and what we want to accomplish. We weren't going to let anything stand in the way."

   Senior fullback Dustin Sharrit ran for three TDs and Barnes added two in Indian Rivers' follow-up to a nearly 500-yard rushing day in the semifinals vs. Irondequoit. The Warriors threw only one pass -- a 40-yard completion from Barnes to Gary Ruckman.

   "We don't think anyone can stop us," said senior offensive lineman Tyler Wright.

   After falling behind 19-0, Indian River drove 75 yards to a short Barnes TD run and Washington cashed in a Warriors fumble recovery with a 36-yard TD rush to start the second quarter. Queensbury tacked on another score, but the Warriors scored the final two touchdowns of the half -- Sharrit's 9-yard run and Barnes' 4-yarder -- to take the lead for good.

   Long Island finals: Roosevelt recovered an onside kick and scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, but Shoreham-Wading River would not be deterred in the Class IV championship.

   A season that nearly ended following the death of junior Tom Cutinella in an on-field collision Oct. 1, ended with a 47-13 win at Stony Brook University.

   It was the first Long Island Championship for Shoreham-Wading River.

   The Rough Riders opened up a 13-7 lead, but the Wildcats responded by scoring on their next seven drives. QB Danny Hughes rushed for 119 yards and three TDs, Chris Rosati gained 121 yards on eight carries and had a TD and Isreal Squires and Aaron Harley-Rey also had rushing scores. Shoreham-Wading River finished with 410 yards of total offense.

   Roosevelt senior Shamari Kirkpatrick, who came into the game with a Long Island-best 2,244 yards as well as 30 touchdowns, picked up 126 yards on 26 carries.

   In Class II, Carey was dominating in a 41-7 win over East Islip.

   Senior Conor Colasurdo helped extend Long Island's longest winning streak to 24 games by scoring on a 57-yard punt return and leading a defense that constantly pressured QB Jack Hannigan, who had minus-20 yards rushing on 13 carries and was 6-of-14 for 86 yards in the air -- 55 coming on one throw. The junior was sacked six times, including twice by Thomas Gallant.

   "I think they just did what they've done all year long, which is be disruptive up front and our linebackers and D-backs got down to the ball and did a good job," Carey coach Mike Stanley said.


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  •    A soaring Eagle: Eagle Academy completed its first varsity season with a PSAL Cup division football championship Sunday night, beating Stuyvesant 34-23 in Coney Island.

       Sophomore Remell Redd put the game away with a 38-yard TD run with 1:09 left.

       "We started seven years ago and to get to this point right now is amazing. There are no words that can describe this feeling," coach Kyron Jones said.

       On Saturday, FDR defeated McKee/Staten Island Tech 22-14 for the PSAL Bowl Division title.

       League streak snapped: One day before her brother's big football win, Kammiak Barnes scored 13 points as Indian River beat South Jefferson 49-33, , snapping the Spartans 85-game Frontier League win streak in girls basketball.

       Kammiak added five steals and four assists.

       UB announcement: Lance Leipold, who has coached Wisconsin-Whitewater to five NCAA Division III national championships in seven years, was introduced Monday as the new football coach at the University at Buffalo.

       Leipold, 50, has a record of 106-6 over eight seasons. His team is 12-0 and in the NCAA quarterfinals this season, and UB is allowing him to stay at Wisconsin-Whitewater for the duration of the playoff run.

       "When you start something, you finish it. I do need to finish our obligation of making sure we play our fullest as long as we can in the playoffs back in Wisconsin," Leipold said in Buffalo.

       The Warhawks (12-0) have won 29 consecutive games, the longest streak at any level of NCAA play.

       "We were targeting successful head coaches and head coaches who have won," said Bulls AD Danny White.

       UB finished its season 5-6. Coach Jeff Quinn was fired on Oct. 13 after a 3-4 start, and offensive coordinator Alex Wood served as the interim coach.

       Before taking the UB job, Leipold contacted Turner Gill, with whom he worked as an administrative assistant at Nebraska when Gill coached there from 2001-03. Gill later became the UB coach.

       Extra points: Following up on yesterday's blog item on six teams qualifying for the Nike Cross Nationals, 10 New York individuals also scored berths.

       Among the boys, the qualifiers are Marco Pompilj (Collegiate), Keith Baird (Mount Academy), Aidan Tooker (Saratoga), Jeremy Spezio (Greenwich) and Dan Dracup (Ithaca).

       The girls advancing to Portland, Ore., are Bella Burda (Arlington), Jessica Lawson (Corning), Abbey Wheeler (Elmira), Ana Kostarellis (Churchville-Chili) and Emily Mackay (Union-Endicott).

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