Dragons end Knights' reign in Class C
Chase & Clay Johnson, along with Josh Reinhardt, pace Pembroke to 13-6 win over Knights



St. John Fisher, Rochester, NY - The Pembroke Dragons came to St. John Fisher College on Saturday evening (11-1) to earn respect as a member of the Genesee-Region football league as well as to earn a shot at the mighty Red Raiders of Cal-Mum in next week's Section 5 Class C Championship Game. Standing in the way of the Cal-Mum matchup were the Knights, winners of 2 consecutive sectional titles and 4 of the last 5. The Dragons played with a determined resolve to end the Knights' stranglehold on Section 5 Class C and set up a rematch with the Raiders with the goal of avenging last year's lopsided semifinal loss to the Raiders. A balanced offensive attack and an aggressive defensive that bent but did not break at crunch time has now earned the Dragons the respect and title game entry they have strived for all season long. The rabid Pembroke fans were treated to a well-earned 13-6 victory over the Knights, one of New York's finest small school football programs. Respect has indeed been earned by Coach Chip Foster's green clad warriors. This weekend Pembroke's ultimate test will take place at UR's Fauver Stadium as the Dragons match their might against the current kingpins of New York Class C ball. Cal-Mum is indeed the finest small school team in the state at this time. The Dragons are indeed for real and worthy of their position in the finals. Good luck to both of these Route 5 powers of 2003.

The following is the recap of the 13-6 Pembroke win over LeRoy as written for the Batavia Daily News by Chris Metcalf of the Livingston County News:

Pembroke's Brandon Doll has heard it all before. Now it is his turn. The senior led a great defensive effort as he recorded a team-high 14 tackles to help the second-seeded Dragons upend No. 3 LeRoy 13-6 in a Class C semifinal Saturday at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford.

"You hear people say all the time that we're overrated and that our league (Genesee Region) stinks and that we aren't anything until we beat a LeRoy," Doll said. "What can they say now?"

LeRoy (6-3) came into the game ranked 12th in the state, while Pembroke (8-1) was 14th. The Knights had captured two straight sectional championships and four of the last five.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," said Doll, who just came back to action after recovering from a separated shoulder. "But we were ready for them. We have been having great practices and we believed we could beat those guys. If you want my opinion, the Genesee Region is underrated."

LeRoy wanted to challenge the Pembroke offense right from the start as the Knights won the opening toss and deferred to the Dragons to start the game. Pembroke started at its own 23 and put together a well executed 13-play drive that culminated with a 7-yard TD run by Chase Johnson. The six-minute scoring drive was methodical as Josh Reinhardt went 5-for-7 through the air for 72 yards, including a 19-yard completion to Tim Stringham on 4th-and-5. Kyle Phelps added the extra point kick.

"It was a huge start for us," Pembroke coach Chip Foster said. "It really set the tone and gave the kids a lift. Any time you can get your offense off to a good start, it's a good feeling."

LeRoy didn't help themselves early on. The Knights had troubles holding onto the football in the first half as they fumbled three times, losing two of them. LeRoy did manage to string together a scoring drive in the first half. With the ball on its own 10, LeRoy pieced together a 15-play drive that ate up more than seven minutes off the clock. Brandon Klinkbeil went untouched around the left end on a bootleg for a 7-yard TD.

Mike Farabella got the majority of the work on the Knights' scoring drive as he had eight carries for 43 yards. But it was a crucial screen pass that he caught on a 3rd-and-15 that put the ball deep into Dragons' territory.

"We knew they were capable of running the football with success," Foster said of the Knights. "We needed to do a better job of wrapping at times. On that drive, we let them go a couple of times."

A two-point pass attempt by LeRoy fell short as Pembroke stayed in front 7-6. The score stayed that way until just three minutes left in the third quarter. Pembroke broke through again, this time on an outstanding athletic play from Reinhardt, who scrambled away from several would-be sackers and found a wide-open Clay Johnson for a 25-yard touchdown pass.

"He made a great play," Foster said. "And Clay never stopped running his route. It was another big lift for us." This time the Phelps' PAT sailed wide and Pembroke had to settle for a 13-6 lead.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Stringham made a huge defensive play for Pembroke when he sacked Klinkbeil on 4th-and-6 from the Dragons' 23 early in the fourth quarter. Others set the groundwork for that play, according to Foster. "Chris Lauzze's name might not appear much in the stat sheets, but his presence out there was incredible," Foster said. "He opened up the lanes for our linebackers and ends."

The Pembroke defense, led by Doll and Stringham (10 tackles), stiffened up the rest of the way as the Dragons sacked Klinkbeil four times and didn't allow the Knights inside the Pembroke 30 for the remainder of the game.

The Knights made one last effort with 1:26 left in the game, but Slade Fitch's 10-yard reception from Klinkbeil fell six yards short on the LeRoy 41 to end the threat and the game for the Knights. For the game, LeRoy fumbled six times and lost four of them while throwing one interception.

Farabella rushed for 94 yards on 27 carries to pace LeRoy, while Klinkbeil had 43 yards on 11 carries and Andrew Fox had 39 yards on 11 carries. Klinkbeil was 5-for-9 passing for 50 yards. For Pembroke, Chase Johnson had a game-high 107 yards on 23 carries. Clay Johnson had 34 yards on five rushes and 69 yards on four receptions. Reinhardt ended the night 7-for-16 passing for 105 yards and one TD.

"This is a big win for this football program," said Foster, who is in his first year as varsity head coach. "We play some pretty tough football over here and the GR has some very good football teams in it. These kids earned their respect tonight."

This will be Pembroke's first-ever trip to the sectional finals where they will now face the state's top-ranked Class C team in Caledonia-Mumford at 1 pm, November 8th at the University of Rochester's Fauver Stadium.

Doll insisted his team is far from finished. "It is definitely going to be a hard-hitting game," said Doll. "We are going to practice hard all week - well into dark if we have to - and we will be ready."


Mike Farabella 27-94 yds
Brandon Klinkbeil 11-43, TD
Andrew Fox 11-39
Jake Whiting 1-4

Brandon Klinkbeil 5 of 9 - 50 yds

Farabella 3 rec.-34 yds
Slade Fitch 1-10
Jake Whiting 1-6

Andrew Fox - 10 (6 solo) INT, sack
Zac Condidorio - 10 (5 solo)
Steve Angora - 8, FF
Tim Dieffenbacher - 6 (5 solo)
Ian Christiansen - 4, sack
Slade Fitch - 4, FR
Jason Spencer - 4

Jake Whiting - FF, sack
Brandon Klinkbeil - FR

Total Yardage
LeRoy - 189 yards (139 rush/50 pass)
Pembroke - 259 yards (154 rush/105 pass)


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DE Jake Whiting crashes from the left side to smother the Pembroke QB

Farabella kicks it out to the left for a big gain after finding the middle clogged

Farabella shows his power by lowering his shoulder into this waiting defender

QB Brandon Klinkbeil executes a perfect screen to Farabella for a large gain

Klinkbeil runs into the end zone untouched on this 7-yard TD for the Knights

DL Ian Christiansen stops Pembroke's rugged Chase Johnson on this 4th down play

RB Andrew Fox leads QB Klinkbeil around left end for a 16-yard pickup

DL Steve Angora causes speedy Clay Johnson to cough up the ball to Slade Fitch

Punter Whiting boots the ball and neighbor Fitch lowers the boom on the returner


SCORING SUMMARY - Pembroke vs. LeRoy - Saturday, November 1, 2003
1st Quarter
Chase Johnson - 7 yd run Phelps kick
Pemb 7 LR 0
2nd Quarter
Brandon Klinkbeil - 7 yd run Pass failed Pemb 7 LR 6
3rd Quarter
Clay Johnson - 25 yd pass from Josh Reinhardt Kick failed
Pemb 13 LR 6
4th Quarter
No scoring