Leading off today:
The Section 5 depth in Class AA this fall is quite possibly the best it's been since New York went to five classes in football. That was in evidence on a crisp Friday night.
Josh Mack rushed 49 times for 353 yards and four touchdowns as Pittsford defeated Orchard Park 41-28 in an intersectional confrontation between state-ranked teams.
Sixth-ranked Pittsford rallied past the No. 4 Quakers by scoring 19 fourth-quarter points, with Mack scoring runs of 7 and 23 yards bookending a 72-yard interception return for a TD by Colby Barker.
Dylan Janca ran for two TDs and threw for two more for Orchard Park.
Meanwhile, third-ranked Aquinas improved to 5-0, riding four more Earnest Edwards TDs to a 28-6 win over Bishop Timon-St. Jude, tied for 30th in the NYSSWA ratings.
Edwards scored on a 51-yard carry and TD receptions of 19, 38 and 35 yards from Penn State recruit Jake Zembiec (11-for-17, 160 yards). Edwards also batted away three passes on defense.
Edwards has 11 TD receptions, three on rushes and two on returns in his senior season.
In an all-Section 5 battle between ranked large schools, No. 17 Victor downed No. 16 Rush-Henrietta 21-7. Dan Barrow, Pat Barrow and Jamie Trimboli all ran for a touchdowns, but it was the Victor defense that set the stage for the win on the game's first series.
After receiving the opening kickoff, Rush-Henrietta drove to a first down at the Blue Devils' 4-yard line. An R-H penalty and three defensive stops sent the Royal Comets offense back to the sideline scoreless.
"That was big for us, they drove it right down the field to start," Victor coach Geoff Mandile told The Daily Messenger. "We were able to get a sack and then stop them on fourth down, it was huge."
Victor then answered with a drive capped by Trimboli's 10-yard TD run.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for Victor next week as the Blue Devils travel to Hilton, tied for 30th in the Class AA rankings.
In another matchup of ranked Class AA teams, No. 25 Syracuse CBA rode two TD runs by sophomore Stevie Scott in the second half to a 28-17 win over No. 11 Liverpool.
Down 10-7 at the half, CBA opened the third quarter with a 16-play, 59-yard scoring drive that consumed almost 9 minutes and included three fourth-down conversions. Sophomore Sirvocea Dennis' interception on the ensuing Liverpool possession set up Scott's 9-yard run for a 21-10 lead.
Into the record book: Maine-Endwell now stands alone on the list of unbeaten streaks in the history of New York football. The Spartans defeated Johnson City 45-30 for their 56th straight win, beating a 54-0-1 run by Massena that ended in 1957.
A pre-game ceremony retired the No. 9 worn at M-E by movie producer Thomas Tull, now a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and those in attendance included Pro Football Hall of Famers Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis, Super Bowl-winning coach Bill Cowher and former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Chris Hoke. Johnson City was repped by current Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Daquan Jones.
"Coach Cowher gave the best pre-game speech before the game," said M-E senior running back John Cerra. "That's one moment I'll never forget."
Fullback Scott Clark, subbing for the injured Cordell Woolfolk, finished with 23 carries for a game-high 133 yards.
Class B: Greg Mruczek was 12-of-17 with 287 yards and six touchdowns for No. 10 Batavia in a 50-20 rout of No. 12 Penn Yan. Mruczek also ran 10 times for 68 yards.
Dominic Mogavero added 100 yards on 19 carries for Batavia, and Ryan Hogan rang up six catches for 154 yards and three scores.
Class C: Thirteenth-ranked Liberty shut down a No. 7 Chester squad averaging 62.75 points a game and walked away with a 27-0 victory.
Senior running back Kevin Morgans scored a pair of TDs and sophomore Roy Penn-Cosentino returned a punt 52 yards to build the lead to 21-0 in the fourth quarter.
Big plays: Two huge plays by Pat Nelson carried Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake, the state's No. 14 Class C team, past Class D No. 2 Randolph 12-7. Nelson scored in the second half on a 75-yard pass play and a 27-yard interception return.