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Friday, Nov. 11, 2016: McLune erupts for seven TDs as Farmingdale coasts

   Leading off today: Senior halfback Jordan McLune finished with 390 yards on 16 carries and tied a Section 8 playoff record with seven touchdowns as Farmingdale beat Massapequa 56-0 in a Nassau I semifinal football game Thursday.

   McLune has rushed for 1,527 yards and 32 touchdowns this season.

   Farmingdale had won the regular-season meeting between the teams 45-42, but Massapequa committed three of its six turnovers in the first half and surrendered five sacks. McLune scored his third touchdown of the first half on a 76-yard run with 1:01 to go to build a 28-0 lead.

   "We were excellent up front on the line," McLune told Newsday. "I wasn't getting hit on some runs."

   Top-seeded Farmingdale will play Freeport for the Nassau I title next Thursday.

   Cross country previews: I never prep for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association cross country championships without checking out Bill Meylan's analysis.

   The founder has a long history of projecting winners and generally coming close to the order of finish for all teams.

   In the most anticipated race of the day at Chenango Valley State Park, Meylan is putting a "too close to call" disclaimer on Saturday's boys Class A team race but does see Corning (61 points) edging Saratoga (62), with Liverpool (79) close enough to threaten.

   "Corning's handicapping advantage is Chenango Valley State Park," he writes. "It is their home sectional course, and they are very familiar with it ... That's the reason I gave Corning a one point advantage in the projected score above."

   Meylan has made his reputation in distance-running analysis with his speed ratings, which track individuals from across the state all season long and on various courses. The margin of difference between Noah Carey (Guilderland), Stephen Schulz (Liverpool), Kevin Moshier (Corning) and Sachem North's Jonathan Lauer and Christopher Tibbetts is so thin that and of the mathematically possible 120 orders of finish among them is plausible -- and half a dozen other runners appear capable of crashing the party.

   In the other too close to call boys team race, the projection is Watkins Glen edging Mount Academy in Class C, and he thinks the home course could be enough to reverse the Class D projection of Maple Grove pulling off a close win.

   All of the girls team races will be competitive -- even perennial national champ Fayetteville-Manlius faces a challenge from Saratoga -- but none more so than Class C, where Canton will have all it can handle to fight off Newfane and Bronxville.

   You can check out all the predictions and analysis here.

   I'd be remiss in not also pointing over the preview of the NYSPHSAA meet.    Kyle Brazeil, who also does impressive analysis, is a bit more bullish on Saratoga in boys Class A -- with a caveat.

   "Liverpool has the best 1-2-3 in the field, while Saratoga isn't far behind. But Saratoga's fifth is much closer to the front than any other team," he writes. "However, because the State Meet only fields nine teams, the displacement on those back runners is less relevant to the team scoring. This one is anyone's race. "

   Brazeil is looking forward to the girls Class B team battle, where East Aurora and Shoreham-Wading River will battle. East Aurora crushed the Section 6 field last week without No. 1 runner Maisy Webster but will need her this weekend.


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  •    Without her, the task becomes that much harder, the team average skewing lower," he writes. "Because the number of athletes in the field is lower, it aids Shoreham's fifth by being displaced less. Then again, EA won the McQuaid merge with compression, so why shouldn't it work here?"

       Weekend football: We'll plug scores into our NYSPHSAA football brackets as they arrive Friday and Saturday.

       By the way, the oddball game of the weekend is in the Class D quarterfinals. Either Haldane (2-6) or Roscoe/Downsville/Livingston Manor (2-8) will win and advance to the state semifinals with a sub-.500 record. Meanwhile, the likes of Dolgeville, Clyde-Savannah and Unatego/Franklin are sitting home with 8-2 records after losing sectional finals in the western half of the bracket.

       With the immense disparity in the number of small-school teams in the two halves of the state, there has to be a way of sliding Section 4 into the other half of the draw in future Class D tourneys to balance things out.

       By the way, here's the week's schedule for ranking teams.

       A mess in N.J.: Reversing Tuesday's shocking decision that stripped the Wayne Hills football team of eight wins and a berth in the North 1, Group 4 sectional bracket, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced Thursday that the school had been restored to the tournament.

       The reversal came about after the powerhouse program was granted a stay by acting State Education Commissioner Kimberly Harrington after several players filed an emergency legal appeal challenging the decision by the NJSIAA.

       A statement from the Department of Education explained the ruling by saying: "The forfeiture of any wins by the Wayne Hills football team for 2016 is hereby stayed pending further proceedings before the NJSIAA whereby the student athletes are given an opportunity to present evidence concerning their residency status."

       The mess began early in the week when Wayne Hills administrators self-reported that three players had arrived from Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's in October 2015 without a change of address and without sitting out the required 30 days of competition to reset their eligibility. A lawyer representing the three based his appeal on paperwork indicating they had submitted the proper eligibility forms last year.

       Wayne Hills started the week as the bracket's top seed, and the initial ruling removed them from the tournament, moved the other seeds up a notch and added Northern Highlands to the tournament.

       Now -- for the moment, anyway -- everyone is back where they started. Wayne Hills will start its postseason Nov. 18.

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