Leading off today:
"Playing was a victory in itself."
Those were the words of Holy Trinity junior lineman Tom Thayer on Saturday after his team overcame a devastating fieldhouse fire a day earlier to play its Section 2 football quarterfinal.
Hoosic Valley, ranked fourth in the state in Class C, emerged with a 46-12 win, but Holy Trinity -- consisting of players from Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Catholic Central -- walked away with a moral victory.
Holy Trinity was playing with cleats, uniforms and helmets either borrowed or donated outright. The uniforms came from the University at Albany after the institution got an OK from the NCAA.
"I have tons of respect for how they rallied together and gave it everything," Hoosic Valley running back Isaac Sanchez told The Daily Gazette after scoring two touchdowns in his team's win. "Tons of credit to them. I felt horrible, but of course I couldn't show it on the field."
Said Thayer: "This is the first time we've ever been to the playoffs, and the first time I've made the playoffs since third grade. One thing I can say, without a doubt, is we did not give up. We played hard. We played with pride."
Back on the field: Gouverneur observed a moment of silence for Brennan Stevens before its 35-20 win over Canton in the Section 10 Class C semifinals.
Blue and gold balloons were released into the sky in honor of Stevens, a Wildcats player who died in a single-car accident eight days earlier.
"The mindset was, for whatever reason, whatever was in your head while playing, if it was playing for us, if it was playing for the community, or playing for number 88, we had to remember we still had a job to do," said Gouverneur coach Sean Devlin. "The Stevens family still wanted us to do that job and fortunately enough, we were able to do that job today."
Senior Derek Stowell rushed 15 times for 107 yards. He scored on a 63-yard kickoff return in the second quarter and sealed the win with a 40-yard touchdown carry in the third quarter.
Gouverneur, ranked fifth in Class C, will play No. 17 Ogdensburg Free Academy next Saturday for the Section 10 championship.
Monster performance: Roy Penn-Cosentino ran for 371 yards and six touchdowns on 24 carries as No. 20 Liberty defeated Red Hook 63-12 in the Section 9 Class B quarterfinals.
Raeleigh Ranne added 89 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
Milestone win: Rob DiNota and Andrew DiBiase (22 carries, 144 yards) ran for two TDs apiece as Westlake opened its Section 1 Class B title defense by jumping ahead early and downing Blind Brook 35-8.
The victory was the 200th for John Castellano, who is in his second season at Westlake.
Westlake had to move the game to Blind Brook when its field was deemed unplayable, but it jumped ahead 21-0 at halftime and didn't allow a first down until the third quarter.
Class A upset: On what was otherwise a mostly routine Saturday across the state, fifth-ranked Christ the Kings was the most noteworthy loser.
Nicholas Egan recovered a fumble and made an interception as St. John the Baptist forced eight turnovers in a 26-13 CHSFL win over previously undefeated Royals.
Sean Cavanagh rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
Class C: West Point-bound running back Garnett Nicolas ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns on 18 attempts to help Burke Catholic to a 35-20 win over 16th-ranked Chester.
Chester's Mike Sannino ran back the opening kickoff 85 yards to help his team to a 12-point lead before Burke Catholic responded with five straight touchdowns.
Burke's Austin Londo returned the second-half kickoff 83 yards to break open a 14-12 game.