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Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015: Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake upends Bennett

   Leading off today: Freshman Dustin McCaslin kicked the extra point after a 4-yard touchdown run by Bradley Benson to give Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake a 29-28 victory in overtime over Buffalo Bennett for the Section 6 Class C football championship Friday.

   Benson (129 rushing yards) staked Maple Grove to a 14-0 halftime lead on rushes of 3 and 40 yards. Bennett scored 22 straight points before the Thunderwolves set up OT with a 14-yard Mitch Sandberg touchdown reception with 4:26 remaining.

   Bennett is ranked second and MG/CL 10th by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake survived a last-minute drive, stopping a fourth-down play at its 1-yard-line with :07 to play. In overtime, Bennett scored first when Isaiah McDuffie ran in from 4 yards out, but MG/CL stuffed him on a 2-point conversion attempt.

   Bennett coach Steve McDuffie, whose team lost the 2014 Class B final, was outraged by calls against his team.

   "This was the worst officiated game I've ever been a part of," McDuffie told The Buffalo News. "We love our kids too." The officials "gave them the second touchdown, and they gave them the third touchdown. They did not drive the ball on us. They were not the better team this day.    "They did not deserve to win."

   'Toga triumphant: Dakota Harvey rushed 26 times for 230 yards and a pair of scores as ninth-ranked Saratoga fought off No. 3 Shaker 19-14 in the Section 2 Class AA championship game.

   All the scoring, including Harvey's TD runs of 75 and 15 yards came in the first half as the Streaks won their first crown since 2009.

   "I give props to (our) defense," Harvey, a two-way starter, told The Saratogian. "We worked hard all week on it and we knew that they were going to come out with a lot of fire in them. They have a great offense that we knew we had to run to the ball every time. They have a lot of fast and quick players. We just knew if we stepped up and did what we had to do like we game planned all week that it would come out in our favor."

   Breakthrough championship: Fifth-ranked South Park became the first Buffalo Public Schools football team to win a Section 6 crown by defeating No. 10 West Seneca East 54-30 for the Class A title at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

   Senior QB Tyree Brown accounted for five touchdowns, passing for 274 yards and rushing for a team-high 76 yards. Senior Dave Thomas added 96 yards on four receptions, caught three 2-point conversion passes, rushed for two conversions and ran for a TD. Daryl Moore caught five passes for 118 years and two scores in the win.

   Brown completed his first eight passes for 147 yards.

   "It means a lot to our family, our school, to our team to make history this year," Brown told The Buffalo News after going 14 of 19 for three TDs and no interceptions. "This is a great feeling."

   The Buffalo schools began participating in the Section 6 playoffs in 2010.

   Tioga shows its muscle: Third-ranked Tioga struck for 22 early points, weathered a rally by No. 2 Deposit/Hancock and went on to a 53-26 victory for its fifth straight Section 4 Class D title.

   Senior Adam Zwierlein ran for a game-high 189 yards and two touchdowns. Backfield mate Jesse Manuel, Section 4's career rushing leader, tacked on 158 yards and four touchdowns. They combined for the three TDs as Tioga raced to a 22-0 lead in the first 7:12.

   Deposit/Hancock fought back, but Manuel's 4-yard run in the third quarter made Tioga's lead 39-20.

   Tioga finished with 355 rushing yards.


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  •    "Our linemen put Jesse and me in position to find those lanes," Zwierlein told the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

       One for the books: Brendan Stout returned the opening kickoff 90 yards and Greenwich scored on its first four offensive possessions on the way to a 49-14 Section 2 Class C championship victory over Hoosic Valley.

       It gave Greenwich its first crown since 1997.

       "We're extremely proud of all our guys, our coaches and our town, everybody who supported us," senior running back Mike Brandow told The Post-Star after carrying 21 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns. "We played great football -- it feels awesome. I can't even express it in words."

       The game featured an apparent state record of sorts. Greenwich kicker Linnea D'Acchille went 7-for-7 on extra-point conversions, raising her season scoring total to 40 points. The presumed state record for scoring by a girl belonged to Heather Sue Mercer, who recorded 39 points (making five field goals along the way) for state champion Yorktown in 1993 en route to all-state honors.

       And two more for the books: Plainedge senior quarter Davien Kuinlan goes into Saturday's Nassau County Conference 3 quarterfinal game against Lynbrook with 5,879 career yards. By going for 114 last week on just three carries, he surpassed the Section 8 record of Jerone Pettus, who ran for 5,841 yards for Roosevelt and Freeport between 1996 and 1999.

       Kuinlan is third on Long Island's all-time rushing list, trailing Miguel Maysonet of Riverhead (5,963) and Jason Gwaltney of North Babylon (7,800).

       "It's the team's record, not mine," Kuinlan told Newsday. "It's 100 percent the team. The way they help me get better at practice, the way they block every play. I couldn't do it without them."

       Two weeks ago, teammate Dylan Burns kicked his way into the Long Island record book. The senior converted all five extra points to break the career record of 121 held by Sean Moller of East Islip. He nailed five more last weekend to go 42-for-42 for the season and raise the career mark to 129.

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