Leading off today:
Jake Zembiec threw four touchdown passes and Jamir Jones made five receptions and an interception for Aquinas
in a 42-7 win over Orchard Park on Sunday in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association football quarterfinals.
Zembiec connected with classmate Earnest Edwards for touchdown throws of 52 and 24 yards. He also hit Jones on a 4-yard TD throw and Jason Hawkes on a 33-yarder. The Penn State-bound quarterback was 15 of 21 for 230 yards with no interceptions.
Jones, who made eight tackles at linebacker, had 78 yards worth of catches.
Edwards' 33-yard punt return set up a Little Irish TD in the game's opening minute. Junior Tyler Olbrich scored from four yards out.
The Quakers tied, but Edwards' 52-yard catch and run and Jones' TD shortly afterward sent Aquinas off to the races and on to next weekend's semifinals at Cicero-North Syracuse.
"It's a terrific way to go out," Aquinas senior lineman Bishop Simmons told the Democrat and Chronicle. "It's been a great honor to play here, with these teammates, my brothers."
In the Western Region's Class B game, Cheektowaga fought back to beat Batavia 43-36.
Junior QB Eric Bartnik completed 26 of 32 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 61 yards and two scores. Stephan Parker caught 12 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown., and running back Tyree Billingslea carried 21 times for 210 yards and three TDs. Billingslea's score with 1:36 to go broke a 36-36 tie.
Saturday football: Time constraints prevented me from rounding up the highlights yesterday, but I did want to make note of a few tidbits:
In the NYSPHSAA Class AA quarterfinals, New Rochelle broke to a three-TD lead on the strength of three fumbles -- two of which were forced by sophomore linebacker Lloyd King -- and held on to eliminate Newburgh 21-20.
New Ro's all-time record in the quarterfinals is now 6-1.
In the other game, Liverpool dug its way out of a two-TD deficit and beat Elmira 27-22 to reach the semifinals for the first time in 17 years.
The Warriors advanced by driving 59 yards to a TD in the final two minutes. Jaydakis Scott (25 carries, 146 yards) ran for three TDs, including the winner with :48 remaining.
In Class B, Cazenovia took home a 17-14 victory over Waverly on a 22-yard overtime field goal from the right hash by Cole Willard, a senior in his first season of football after previously playing soccer.
Cazenovia then stopped Waverly on its possession to wrap up the triumph.