Game Recap by Brian Hillabush - Batavia Daily News Sports

Caledonia - Jamie Fitch rushed the ball 19 times for 114 yards and 2 scores in the second half as the Caledonia-Mumford offensive line showed it can get stronger as the game rolls on. Fitch's second half and some mistakes by the LeRoy offense gave the Red Raiders a 21-0 win in Livingston Conference football action Friday (9-5) night at Hamilton Field.

"We've got good backs and it's a matter of finding the right one they aren't picking on," Cal-Mum coach Mike Monacelli said. "They played a very good defensive ball game and they held Jeremy Darron in check and Nate Rodgers ran the ball well a few times. I guess we were able to find the guy they weren't accounting for."

Fitch had 2 carries for 6 yards in the first quarter and 2 more for 19 yards and a TD in the second quarter before erupting for 94 second half yards on 15 carries. "Our line is our team," Fitch said. "With our line pushing, nothing can stop us this year."

It looked like mistakes were going to stop the Red Raiders in the first quarter. After both teams went 3-and-out to open the game, Darron gave the Cal-Mum offense great starting field position when he returned a punt 38 yards to the LeRoy 28-yard line with just under 8 minutes left in the frame. Aaron Scott saved a TD when he tackled Darron in the open field. Three plays later, QB Paul Keeley fumbled the snap and Mike Pacer recovered for the Oatkan Knights.

"We were shooting ourselves in the foot," Monacelli said. "We were having trouble and they forced us to have trouble. You can't play giveaway football in a Caledonia/LeRoy game. You can't make mistakes and you have to take advantage of their mistakes."

The Oatkan Knights again went 3-and-out. The Red Raiders still couldn't get going and went 3-and-out themselves. LeRoy took over with just over a minute left in the opening quarter and the ball at its own 30-yard line, but QB Brandon Klinkbeil fumbled the hand-off attempt. Ryan Sherman recovered the fumble, giving the Red Raiders excellent field position.

"The nice thing about this is that it's Week 1 and hopefully we'll see them again some place down the road," LeRoy coach Brian Moran said. "We just have to get better by then."

Fitch took the first 2 hand-offs of the second quarter and scored the game's first TD just 30 seconds in. The conversion run failed. "Being a senior, it's nice to get the season started off like this and set the tempo," Fitch said. "We're probably going to see LeRoy again in the playoffs."

The Oatkan Knights started their next drive at their own 31-yard line and went on a 15-play drive that moved the ball to the Cal-Mum 28. On fourth-and 1, Andrew Fox was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, ending LeRoy's best scoring chance of the game. Cal-Mum's size up front stopped 2 fourth-and-short runs in the second quarter. "They are little bigger than we are," Moran said. "But this is high school football and sometimes size doesn't always dictate. You just have to get ready to play."

LeRoy went 3-and-out on its first 2 possessions of the second half before Klinkbeil made a costly mistake on the third. The senior QB rushed for the first down on a third-and-inches, but fumbled the ball. Keeley recovered the ball and gave the Raiders a first-and-10 at their 43.

"That was the difference," Moran said. "We're into the fourth quarter down 6-0 if we don't turn the ball over and get a first down, but things happen with a young, inexperienced team. I thought we fought and played hard. Today that team was better."

Cal-Mum drove 57 yards on 14 plays, with Fitch capping off the six-minute drive with a 5-yard TD run. Keeley hit Nate Rodgers with the 2-point conversion pass. Fitch again scored on a 6-yard run with 45 seconds left in the game. This time Rodgers kicked the extra point.

LeRoy's young players are using this game as a learning experience according to Moran and will be geared up if the 2 teams meet in the Section 5 playoffs. Klinkbeil, who attempted one pass in the game, struggled but will get better as the year progresses.

"This is the kind of game where you want to keep the game in hand," Moran said. "As Brandon progresses throughout the year, we'll progress with him and add some things in." The Raiders have 6 more regular season contests - with the biggest win of the season already out of the way. "It could be tough (not to feel a let down), but we have a good coaching staff that is going to push us and they're not going to let us fall off," Fitch said.

Jake Whiting 10-27 yds
Andrew Fox 11-22
Mike Farabella 11-9
Steve Angora 3-8
Brandon Klinkbeil 3-7
Brandon Klinkbeil 0-1

Tim Dieffenbacher - 10 tackles
including 6 solos
John Zinni - 8
Brandon Klinkbeil 7 (4 solo)
Jason Spencer - 6 (4 solo)
Ryan Duthe - 4 FF
Mike Pacer - 3 solo, FR, FF
Mike Farabella - FR

FR = Fumble Recovery
FF= Forced Fumble

Total Yardage
Cal-Mum - 184 yards (180 rush/4 pass)
LeRoy - 73 yards (73 rush/0 pass)


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Cal-Mum's Jamie Fitch breaks around end for a 10 yd TD

LeRoy's Andrew Fox picks up a first down with this tough run

Knights' Mike Farabella makes a nice return of the 2nd half kickoff

LR linebacker Ryan Duthe stops speedy Raider RB Jeremy Darron

Fitch is stopped on this 4th down attempt by the LeRoy defense

Cal-Mum's Jeremy Darron finds no room to run up the middle

Fitch notches his 2nd TD of the night with this 5-yd scamper

LeRoy's Jake Whiting picks up a nice gain against the tough Raider D

Fitch completes his TD hat trick with this quick run off tackle


SCORING SUMMARY - LeRoy @ Cal-Mum - Friday, September 5, 2003
1st Quarter
No scoring  
2nd Quarter
Jamie Fitch - 10 yd run Run failed
C-M 6 LR 0
3rd Quarter
No scoring
4th Quarter
Fitch - 5 yd run Keeley to Rodgers pass
C-M 14 LR 0
Fitch - 6 yd run Rodgers kick
C-M 21 LR 0

Congratulations Cal-Mum Red Raiders