Leading off today:
It's not as though Rush-Henrietta had any "bad" losses on its resume. Rather, the Royal Comets had too many losses during a 4-3 regular season, albeit all to state-ranked football teams.
On Friday, they put frustration and disappointment aside, beating third-ranked Pittsford 35-28 in the Section 5 Class AA quarterfinals to avenge one of the losses.
"We lost to Pittsford (at homecoming), we lost to Victor, (then at Hilton, too). Our heads were down, but sectionals are a new season," senior two-way starter Reggie Robinson told the Democrat and Chronicle.
Reggie Robinson scored on a 13-yard run up the middle with 42 seconds remaining to break a 28-28 tie with the previously undefeated Panthers. Pittsford had defeated R-H 36-33 in Week 3.
Rush-Henrietta moved ahead 28-21 midway through the third quarter as QB Jared Gerbino and receiver Joseph Ortiz, who hooked up for a 72-yard touchdown pass during the first half, connected for a 10-yard score.
R-H missed a field goal early in the fourth quarter, and Pittsford's Josh Mack responded with an 80-yard scoring run to tie the game.
Two possessions later, the Royal Comets drove 84 yards to the win, converting three third downs along the way.
"We prepared all week for that," Gerbino said. "We had third-and-long in practice, so when it happens in a game, we just do what we do."
Next up. R-H gets its rematch with 12th-ranked Victor.
Close call: No. 23 Longwood nearly became the second team ranked in Class AA to fall but pulled out a 42-35 win over a Connetquot team that responded after falling behind by three TDs in the first half.
Khalil Owens rushed for 144 yards and three touchdowns in the Lions' win, despite leaving for a time with a leg injury. He scored from 30 yards on fourth-and-8 in the fourth quarter for what would be the deciding touchdown.
"I didn't even know he was back in, and he scored," coach Jeff Cipp told Newsday. "He has a lot of heart, and he plays like a champion."
Class A squeaker: After Dylan Laube scored for Westhampton with 1:01 to play, Eastport-South Manor responded with a 65-yard drive -- ending with a 37-yard pass down the sideline from Matt Kane to Brandon Stiles with :09 remaining -- to give No. 22 Eastport-South Manor the 27-26 victory.
Nick Garone rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns on offense and made 12 tackles on defense, and Kenny Dunne had three sacks, three pass deflections and a fumble recovery.
Reign ends: Randolph will not play for a fourth consecutive NYSPHSAA Class D championship next month.
Alex Chelton scored the winning touchdown for Westfield/Brocton in a 20-13 win in the Section 6 quarterfinals over the fifth-ranked Cardinals, who were shorthanded due to disciplinary suspensions.
"We got them at the right time," Westfield/Brocton coach Frank Quagliana told The Post-Journal. "After we lost to Sherman in the shootout (in Week 6), we knew it would be Randolph (Week 7), Randolph (this week). Last week they go up 35-0 in the first half and then put in their reserves in the second half. I tell you, this week of practice was phenomenal the way the kids kept going at it. They really believed and had fun."
Chelton finished the game with 88 yards on 10 carries and made 11 tackles on defense.
In other Section 6 action, Kellen Martin made a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the game to give Cattaraugus-Little Valley a 23-21 triumph over Portville.