Offenses rule at Homecoming 2003
Knights top Perry for 39-23 win
Farabella and Fox combine for 344 yards rushing



LeRoy - Homecoming 2003 brought the Perry Yellowjackets to town under cool and crisp weather conditions at Hartwood Park. Matters heated up mightily during the gridiron clash as the Knights and the Yellowjackets combined for an astounding 778 yards of total offense in the 39-23 LeRoy victory. Perry gave further proof to the notion that Livingston County football is indeed a cut above the rest as the winless visitors came to play with their balanced and wide open offensive attack. Perry was led by standout QB Dan Leitten who had a most superb evening with 138 yards rushing and 105 yards passing. Diminutive RB Chris Miller displayed excellent speed and a strong kicking foot to complement the Perry attack well along with a host of receivers. The Knights countered with an incredible 424 yards on the ground with Andrew Fox collecting 178 yards on 21 carries and Mike Farabella jetting for 166 on 26 carries. The contest may not have been as beautiful as the princess and queen candidates on display at halftime, but it was nonetheless entertaining for fans of both programs.

Brian Moran's state-ranked Knights (#8 in the NY Class C poll) started very strong in the 1st quarter of action. QB Andrew Klinkbeil set the tone for the LeRoy rushing attack barging 15 yards up the middle on the game's first play from scrimmage. Two plays later Mike Farabella (Section 5 Class C Player of the Week after the win over Letchworth) scooted 51 yards to the Perry 7. Andrew Fox ran past the Perry goal line from 4 yards out just two minutes into the contest and the Knights were up 7-0 after Ryan Duthe booted the PAT kick.

Perry initiated their first drive of the night at their own 39 after a fine return by Chris Miller. Disaster struck on 1st down as the Yellowjackets mishandled the ball, which was recovered by LeRoy's Fox. Five plays and 40 yards later the Knights cruised in for their second TD of the night on a Jake Whiting 2-yd plunge to take a 14-0 lead just 4 minutes into the game. Big gains during the drive were picked up Farabella (24 yds) and Whiting (11 yds).

The teams traded possessions with no scoring before the Yellowjackets started their third drive at their 30. Perry managed to run their mixed offense into LeRoy territory before stalling at midfield. The 1st quarter ended with the Knights at their own 25 up 14-0 behind 90 yards of rushing by Farabella.

The Knights wasted no time in the 2nd quarter establishing their offensive line dominance. Niccloy, Moran, Whitcroft, Duthe, Dieffenbacher, Christiansen, and Panek paved the way for their fellow teammates to run strong through the Yellowjackets defense. The LeRoy backfield started to collect big yardage on nearly every rushing attempt. Farabella picked up 17 yards, Fox ran for 15, Whiting followed with 20, Farabella 10 more. Farabella's 1-yard blast at the 7:58 mark put the locals up 21-0 after the Duthe PAT kick.

Coach Bill Devitt, in his 11th year at Perry High, implored his team to fight back and they responded to the challenge. The Yellowjackets marched 70 yards to cut into the LeRoy lead. QB Leitten ignited the scoring drive with a stellar 41-yard sprint. Teammate Chris Smithgall got into the act with a 19-yarder of his own to give the visitors a 1st-and-goal at the LeRoy 10. Four plays later, Smithgall plowed over from 3 yards out to light up the Perry side of the scoreboard. With 5:12 remaining in the first half the tally was now LeRoy 21, Perry 6 after the unsuccessful Perry run for 2 points.

Perry's defense responded to the challenge as well as their offense as they held the LeRoyans to a 3-and-out on the Knights' ensuing possession. The Yellowjackets continued their air strike after the LeRoy punt and reached the LeRoy 37. Staring at a 4th-and-10 from the 37, the Yellowjackets decided to fake-punt to catch the Knights offguard. LB Ryan Duthe sniffed out the play and was not fooled, rocking the Perry punter Miller in the flats, jarring the ball loose. The score at half was 21-6 LeRoy.

Strong winds kicked up at the start of the second half in which Perry received the ball first. The LeRoy defense, led by Tim Dieffenbacher, Jason Spencer, Ian Christiansen, Brandon Klinkbeil and Boo Hinett up form the JV squad, managed to quell Perry's first drive, causing a 3-and-out. The Knights received the punt and started at their own 35. Andrew Fox busted loose for an 18-yard pickup on 3rd-and-2 from the LeRoy 43 putting the ball at the Perry 39. More LeRoy firepower, Klinkbeil to Whiting for 12 yards and another big pickup by Fox put the ball deep in Perry territory. The Perry defense came to life and forced a 4th-and-7 scenario for the Knights at the Perry 15. LeRoy QB Klinkbeil fired a well-timed slant to wideout Slade Fitch on the 4th down play. Slade fought off several Perry would-be tacklers to make it into the end zone for a LeRoy score. The PAT failed and the Knights had pushed their lead to 27-6 with just under 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.

LeRoy kicker Jake Whiting smashed the ball through the end zone on the ensuing kickoff and things were looking bleak for Perry. Not so. Perry QB Dan Leitten found yardage everywhere against the LeRoy defense as he scrambled, optioned, and passed well against the stunned black-helmeted Knights. With 1:33 left in the quarter Leitten floated a TD pass from 24 yards out to Chris Miller to make it 27-12. The PAT pass failed.

The Yellowjackets decided to onside kick and lo and behold they pounced on the mishandled pigskin to take possession at the LeRoy 40. The strong and elusive Leitten bolted up the middle and cut to the right for a magnificent 40-yd TD run. Smithgall blasted over for the 2 point PAT and suddenly the score was 27-20 a mere 15 seconds after the last Perry TD.

Perry decided to try yet another onside kick which the Knights managed to cover at the Perry 49. The contest was now in the 4th quarter and the Knights were suddenly in a barnburner. Coach Moran returned to the ground attack with Farabella and Klinkbeil picking up substantial yardage. The Knights reached the Perry 26 and fed the ball on 4 successive carries to Andrew Fox who twisted and turned through the Perry defense. Andrew scored from 7 yards out with 9:02 remaining to give the hosts some breathing room. The PAT kick was no good, making the score 33-20.

Perry responded with more big yardage of their own. Miller dashed for 27 yards to the LeRoy 39. FB Smithgall rambled up the gut for 13 yards to the LeRoy 26. The bending LeRoy defense stiffened and stuffed a run and broke up two pass attempts. With the wind at their backs the Yellowjackets opted for the strong footed Miller to attempt a field goal from 43 yards out. The kick sailed through the uprights with ease, making the score 33-23 Knights with 7:28 left in the game.

The Perry kickoff was as strong as the successful field goal and sailed out of the end zone. The Knights started at their 20 and were faced with a 4th-and-2 from their own 28. Coach Moran opted to go for it to maintain possession of the pigskin. Farabella followed the blocking of Duthe, Dieffenbacher, and Christian-sen to pick up 7 yards and the first down. From there, it was all Fox pounding away for big chunks of yardage. Jake Whiting galloped in from 15 yards out with 2:36 remaining to put the final touches on the
39-23 LeRoy win.


Andrew Fox 21-178 yds, 2 TDs
Mike Farabella 26-166, TD
Jake Whiting 4-48, 2 TDs
Brandon Klinkbeil 6-29

Brandon Klinkbeil 2 of 6 for
27 yds and 1 TD

Slade Fitch 1 rec. for 15 yds/TD
Jake Whiting 1 rec. for 12 yds

Tim Dieffenbacher - 6 tackles
Jason Spencer - 6
Brandon Klinkbeil - 4 (all solo)
Boo Hinett - 4 (3 solo)
Ian Christiansen - 4
Ryan Duthe - 4

Andrew Fox - FR

Total Yardage
LeRoy - 451 yards (424 rush/27 pass)
Perry - 327 yards (222 rush/105 pass)


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RB Mike Farabella kicks it out to the right for a big gain

The left side of the LeRoy line paves the way for an Andrew Fox TD

Farabella runs hard to the left to pick up 24 yards

RB Jake Whiting sets up his first score with this fine 11 yd run

Whiting notches his first TD of the game behind a great line push

LB Ryan Duthe is not fooled by this quick Perry pass to the flats

Fox picks up 15 of his 178 yards on this fine run through the Perry defense

Whiting takes the Brandon Klinkbeil handoff for a 20 yard gain around the end

Farabella garners the Knights' third TD on this 1 yard TD run

Duthe lays a lick on the Perry punter on this fake punt attempt

WR Slade Fitch hauls in the Klinkbeil slant pass and finds the end zone for a score

Fox finds the seam in the Yellowjackets' defense for his second TD

Perry kicker Chris Miller makes this 43 yard FG look easy

Whiting scores his second TD to make the final 39-23 Knights


SCORING SUMMARY - Perry @ LeRoy - Friday, October 3, 2003
1st Quarter
Andrew Fox - 4 yd run Duthe kick
LR 7 Perry 0
Jake Whiting - 1 yd run Duthe kick
LR 14 Perry 0
2nd Quarter
Mike Farabella - 1 yd run Duthe kick
LR 21 Perry 0
Chris Smithgall - 3 yd run Run failed
LR 21 Perry 6
3rd Quarter
Brandon Klinkbeil - 15 yd pass to Slade Fitch Run failed
LR 27 Perry 6
Dan Leitten - 24 yd pass to Chris Miller Pass failed
LR 27 Perry 12
Dan Leitten - 46 yd run Smithgall run
LR 27 Perry 20
4th Quarter
Andrew Fox - 5 yd run Kick failed
LR 33 Perry 20
Chris Miller - 43 yd FG  
LR 33 Perry 23
Jake Whiting - 15 yd run Kick failed
LR 39 Perry 23