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Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016: Chenango Forks looks dominating in win over Vestal

   Leading off today: I've had several email conversations with various folks this month about how stacked Class B football is this season. Some of the usual suspects returned with plenty of talent and Maine-Endwell dropped down from Class A.

   I've told people that Batavia and Livonia might be as good as any Class B teams to come out of Section 5 in at least five years ... and they'll be hard-pressed to make it beyond the NYSPHSAA quarterfinals.

   On Saturday, one team in particular announced it's serious about hoisting the trophy at the Carrier Dome on Thanksgiving Weekend. And they're already very familiar with the concept.

   Chenango Forks, ranked No. 1 in Class B by the New York State Sportswriters Association after three straight state Class C titles, dazzled with a 27-0 win over Vestal, the state's ninth-ranked Class A team.

   The Blue Devils opened the second half with an 18-play drive to stretch the lead to three scores.

   L.J. Watson rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns for Forks, which did not allow Vestal within 45 yards of the end zone in the second half.

   More Class B: Burke Catholic stopped No. 22 New Paltz on four downs inside Burke's 5-yard line with less than 2:00 left to clinch a 14-6 upset.

   Burke's Heath Hoovler threw for two touchdowns in the third quarter.

    • Izaiah Rhim threw for 201 yards and five touchdowns in helping No. 19 Medina/Lyndonville stay unbeaten with a 44-30 over No. 18 University Prep from Rochester.

   Big win for Brighton: An unscientific survey of random thoughts ratting around my head says that Brighton scored its most significant win since Mitch Lee left for an All-American career at Cornell in the mid-1980 by beating Canandaigua, ranked fourth in Class A, 21-20 in overtime.

   Owen Davis caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Shea McDonald (19 carries, 179 yards) on the first OT possession and then the Barons stopped Canandaigua on a two-point conversion attempt.

   The Braves drove 56 yards to the Brighton 4, but a 22-yard field goal with seven seconds left in regulation missed. In overtime, Canandaigua matched Brighton's TD but the conversion pass for the win was intercepted and Brighton improved to 4-0.

   "I've never been around a group as confident as these guys," Brighton coach Stephen Lian told The Daily Messenger. "They work so hard together."

   More Class A: Buffalo South Park graduated a ton of talent from its state championship team, but the Sparks remain dangerous. They posted their third straight shutout and defeated eighth-ranked Bennett 16-0.

   "We played excellent, we played very well as a defense, we executed very well," coach Tim Delaney told The Buffalo News. "Bennett is a good football team but we played fast and physical and we made a few more plays than they did."

   South park's Nick Schaefer tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Lang late in the first quarter and finished 11-for-16 for 161 yards. He chipped in on defense with eight tackles, included two for losses. football site

   Ti pulls off a y: Ticonderoga scored twice in the fourth quarter, then held off Saranac Lake's two-point conversion try for a 21-20 victory. Ticonderoga is ranked seventh in Class D and Saranac Lake 15th in Class C.

   Also noteworthy: Filling in for injured starter Cam Sionko, Grand Island's Conner Buzby went 23-for-34 for 357 yards and four TDs to beat North Tonawanda 38-35.

   Sebastian Domenech ran 14 times for 324 yards and three TDs as Mineola beat Friends Academy 34-6. He also recovered a fumble.

   How does this happen? Archbishop Stepinac's game against Cardinal Hayes on the Macombs Dam Park turf field across the street from Yankee Stadium had to be postponed.

   The rematch of last season's CHSFL Class AAA final was shifted to Sunday at Stepinac because a split seam along one of the 32-yard lines resulted in a gap of three inches or more that stretched the width of the field, The Journal News reported.

   "This is our first home game this year," said Cardinal Hayes coach C.J. O'Neil. "We thought it was going to be remediated in time. Apparently, the Parks Department didn't get an opportunity to, so here we sit."

   Scoreboard: Here's the rundown of scores from Week 4 of the season.

   More later: A second blog Sunday evening will cover more of Saturday's news, including a follow-up on Thursday's sit-in protest by a soccer mom in Section 6.

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