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Monday, Dec. 8, 2014: Kicker sparks Canisius win in CHSAA title game

   Leading off today: Senior Michael Tarbutt kicked three field goals, including the second-longest in New York history to help Canisius to a 23-10 win over Archbishop Stepinac for the first state CHSAA football championship.

   Tarbutt, a UConn recruit, made a 60-yard kick in the first half that grazed the crossbar at Mitchel Athletic Complex. It broke the school and Monsignor Martin record of 52 yards that he set earlier this season and ranks behind only a 62-yarder by Todd Sauerbrun (Ward Melville, 1990) in state history. (See: List of longest FGs)

   Tarbutt finished his season with 11 field goals for the state's top-ranked team.

   Stepinac (12-1) quarterback Brandon Coleman broke a 50-yard run to the Canisius 25 with just over two minutes remaining, but he was intercepted by Jerome Brundidge, who returned the ball 73 yards for the clinching touchdown.

   Stepinac, ranked second in Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association, opened the second half with a nine-play, 74-yard drive ending in Coleman's 7-yard run for a 10-6 lead. Jakob Loucks put Canisius ahead for good on a 16-yard touchdown run with 9:52 remaining in the game, and Tarbutt's third field goal made it 16-10 with 3:05 to go.

   Canisius (13-0) intercepted five passes and blocked a pair of punts.

   Today we're absolutely the best team in New York State," Canisius coach Rich Robbins told The Buffalo News. "To beat Stepinac, to beat Aquinas, to beat Jamestown, beat all the teams in our league, three teams from Ohio, this is a special group."

   Girls cross country: Arlington senior Bella Burda capped a perfect season in New York cross country action by being selected the NYSSWA runner of the year. Burda won the Nike Cross Nationals regional qualifier, Federation championship and NYSPHSAA Class A title last month. She placed 44th at the NXN finals over the weekend in Portland, Ore.

   Abby Wheeler of Elmira was selected the junior runner of the year and Corning's Jessica Lawson was recognized as the top sophomore. Carly Benson of West Genesee (freshman) and Mary Hennelly (junior high) rounded out the class honors.

   Annika Avery and Samantha Levy of NXN champion Fayetteville-Manlius earned first-team spots in Class A. Teammates Jenna Farrell, Olivia Ryan and Sophia Ryan were selected to the second team.

   The full all-state list has been posted to our reference section.

   Girls soccer: Rockville Centre South Side midfielder Keri Cavallo has repeated as the state Class A player of the year on the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports all-star team.

   The award gives South Side the top player honor in Class A for the third straight season. Christina Klaum was selected in 2012.

   The Class AA player of the year is Massapequa senior midfielder Meghan McCabe. Bronxville senior forward Caitlin Fryer was selected in Class B.

   The Class C player of the year is Haldane junior forward Bailey McCollum of Haldane. Arkport senior midfielder Amanda Swarts and Poland junior forward Mikayla Blumenstock share the Class D award.


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  •    The full all-state list has been posted to our reference section.

       A trying start to season: Long Island Lutheran point guard Lauren "Boogie" Brozoski suffered what she termed a "severe ankle sprain" in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 65-41 girls basketball win over North Rockland, Newsday reported.

       Brozoski, a dazzling Michigan recruit who shared state Class AA player of the year honors a season ago, writhed in pain before her father, Owen Brozoski, carried her off the court and into the trainer's room, the paper reported. The injury to her left ankle was treated at an urgent care center in Jericho, and coach Rich Slater said X-rays appeared to be negative for a fracture.

       Brozoski already had a scare early in her senior year, suffering a sprained ACL during an all-star game in October. On top of everything else, she briefly left Sunday's game in the first quarter after jamming her right pinkie."

       LuHi next plays on Saturday vs. Wilmington, Del., Ursuline Academy.

       Milestone: Syracuse Girls volleyball coach Greg Jewett won his 300th career match, and 250th at Syracuse CBA, on Saturday when the Brothers swept Altmar-Parrish-Williamstown 3-0. Jewett, a 21-year veteran, won 50 in his stint at Syracuse Corcoran.

       What's their motive? In its continuing effort to increase the conference's national visibility to fans and recruits, the Big Ten has announced its 2018 men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden.

       A colleague of mine may have nailed the message that will be conveyed to prospects by playing in New York City the week before the Big East tourney there:

       "Look, New York Kids. You could play slow, plodding hoops for us."

       Sorry, but it needed to be said.

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