Quarterfinals - Wellsville
Semifinals - Canisteo-Greenwood
Finals - Marcus Whitman



Knights swat Yellowjackets 41-8
Casper runs for 168 yards; Bennetti tosses 2 TD passes; Fox powers defense



Perry - A touch of deja vu at the start of the Perry game on Friday night. In 2000, the then #9 state ranked Oatkan Knights visited the then #10 state ranked Perry Yellowjackets. Perry was coming off a huge upset of the Cal-Mum Raiders the previous week (17-16). 57 seconds into the game, Perry scored on a long TD run by Fred Solomon for a 7-0 lead. The Knights would rally with 43 unanswered points in the contest led by Kyle Miller's 143 yards and 2 TDs. Though the weather was incredibly better on Friday evening than in the 2000 regular season clash, the game had the same scoring flavor. The Knights fumbled the ball on their first play from scrimmage and the host Yellowjackets went the 32 yards to paydirt to take a stunning 8-0 lead after the successful PAT run. The Knights rallied in similar fashion as 4 years prior to score 41 unanswered points for the commanding victory that leaves them unbeaten on the year (5-0) and atop the state rankings for all Class C schools in New York State.

Perry got on the board with a fired up offense that mixed the run and the pass to offset the attacking LeRoy defense led early by freshman John Whiting and senior Drew Fox. The hometown supporters cheered wildly as Perry RB Pete Appleton scooted around right end for a 10-yard score at the 7:40 mark. A muddle huddle was called for the PAT and the Yellowjackets caught the Knights napping with a beautiful pitchout to Neal Eberstein who bulled his way into the end zone for the PAT run to make it 8-zip Perry.

LeRoy's first drive start was at the 27 before the fumble and the second possession started from the exact same spot after the kickoff. Rugged Justin Casper ran hard on the first 2 downs for 5 yards before breaking off a 39-yard gem around right end to kick-start the LeRoy offense into high gear. The blocking for Casper was superb as Fox, Tim Andrews, and Tim Dieffenbacher (who is enjoying just a stellar year on the O Line) led the way for the strong Casper runs. The Knights picked up a huge 1st down in the drive on a 4th-and-short from the Perry 18 as the dependable Fox blasted 10 yards to put the ball at the 8. The final 8 yards were covered by Casper. The Knights trailed 8-6 when the run for PAT was stopped shy of the goal line.

LeRoy kicker Mike Frew was fantastic all night long hitting knuckleballs, squibs, and short pops to portions of the field where the Perry returnmen were few. The Yellowjackets answered the LeRoy score with a big 22-yard run on their next possession, but incomplete passes and stuffed runs afterwards led to a punting situation which the Knights covered at their 26.

The Knights continued to feed the ball to Casper who seemed to relish the contact and become stronger with every play. If that was not enough, FB Fox was more than a load for the Perry defense to handle as the line of scrimmage was being ably manned by Swanson, Pacer, Whiting, Dief, and Forti. Casper carried the ball on 8 occasions, including a 25-yarder, as the Knights marched in for the second score of the contest at the 11:04 mark of the 2nd quarter - a one yard blast by Fox. Casper smashed though the Perry defense for the PAT run and the Knights took over the lead by a 14-8 tally.

Frew drilled a beautiful one-hopper into the chest of the Perry returner on the kickoff and the Knights' Mike Alexander was there for the recovery. Mike's stellar play has not gone unnoticed by fans and coaches - he is enjoying a very nice season for Brian Moran's Knights. LeRoy took over at the 37 and took to the air. Sophomore QB Mark Bennetti's 17-yard pass to wideout Boo Hinett backed off the hard charging Perry defense. Seven more runs followed with Casper (5) and Fox (2) picking their holes and laying the smack down on the Yellowjackets. Fox's 1 yard TD run made it 20-8 Knights as the PAT run again failed.

Perry needed to stop the bleeding and mount a successful drive as the game was taking on a blowout atmosphere. No such luck for the hosts and their talented QB Dan Leitten. Casper and Whiting clogged the middle to stuff the Perry rushing attack and a 3rd down run to the left by Leitten was contained beautifully by DE Matt Forti and finished off by Whiting and Dieffenbacher. After losing 2 yards on 3 downs, the hometown squad was forced to punt to the Knights.

The Knights began their offensive series at the 33. Fox gained 12 yards on back to back carries. LeRoy entered Perry territory as QB Bennetti displayed his strength, cutting through and around the Perry D for
an 18-yard pickup. Fox then picked up another 10 yards. Casper had his number called once more and he delivered, putting the ball at the Perry 14. Bennetti hooked up with a wide open Hinett in the end zone for a 14-yard TD pass to push the score to 27-8 after kicker Shaun Swanson booted the PAT kick. The Knights took that score into intermission as a Perry drive before the half was stalled by defensive pressure applied by Whiting and junior Zach Murray.

The Yellowjackets started the 2nd half at their 34 and QB Leitten ignited his team with a 9-yard rush. Leitten looked to pick up the 1st down with a rush on the next play, but had the ball stripped out of his hands by LB Fox. The Yellowjackets managed to cover the fumble to bring up a 3rd and 4. The option right was fumbled and LeRoy's Mike Pacer was there to cover the ball at the Perry 37. The Knights were stuffed on 1st down and a penalty pushed the ball back to the Perry 42. Bennetti found Fox in the flats to the left on the next play and Andrew ran past the Perry defenders for a 42-yard TD that was definitely a back breaker for the hosts. Swanson's kick was true for a 34-8 LeRoy lead.

Perry started at their 24 and looked for Leitten to move ball with his feet, while mixing in some throws. Leitten managed to move the Perry offense 28 yards before the Knights' defense stiffened at the 48. The Knights were pinned back to their own 7 after a bouncing Perry punt. After going 3-and-out, Perry realized their best field position since the opening drive at the LeRoy 32. Leitten was given the green light by the Perry coaches to rush the ball through any viable seam. He was successful, but the clock was being eaten up. Shortly into the 4th quarter, Dieffenbacher ripped the ball from Leitten's hands in the middle of a scrum of action and the Knights' Matt Forti covered it at the 12.

The Knights would travel 88 yards for the score. The workhorse Casper moved the Knights out of their hole with a 18-yard sweep around the left side. Perry's defense was then stunned by the fresh legs of LeRoy RB Marshall Silvernail who had entered the game. #20 went right, cut hard left, stiff-armed a would-be tackler and jetted down the left sideline for a 41-yard pickup to the Perry 25. More Silvernail runs and a penalty fueled the final stages of the long drive. Marshall capped off the LeRoy score with a leap over the pile at the 7:23 mark to push the score to 41-8 after the PAT kick.

The game ended with more suffocating defense by the Knights as Colin Dailey, Mike Alexander, Zac Condidorio, Dan Horning, Mike Frew, and Steve Lapp all came up big for D coach Andrew Paladino. The final: LeRoy 41, Perry 8. Casper led the rushing with a Herculean 168 yards on 27 touches and 2 TDs. Justin was just as quick and tough on defense and he registered 6 tackles. Fox and Silvernail split 150 yards evenly between the 2 of them as each tallied a TD. Fox continued to lead the defensive charges with 10 tackles and a forced fumble. John Whiting continues to raise his game as he duels upperclassmen in the trenches week in and week out on both offense and defense. Mike Pacer and captain Tim Dieffenbacher have been tough as nails, pulling and leading the blocking brigade for the high powered LeRoy rushing attack.

The Bath Rams visit on Friday as the Knights look to avenge last season's 31-0 loss. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 pm at Hartwood Park.


Justin Casper 27-168 yds, 2 TDs
Marshall Silvernail 7-73, TD
Andrew Fox 12-72, TD
Mark Bennetti 3-29
Dan Horning 1-3

Mark Bennetti 3 of 4 for 73 yds
and 2 TDS

Andrew Fox 1-42, TD
Boo Hinett 2-31, TD

Andrew Fox - 10 tackles, FF
Justin Casper - 6
Mike Alexander - 5, FR
John Whiting - 5, SACK
John Zinni - 5
Matt Forti - 4, FR
Zach Murray - 4, SACK
Mike Pacer - FR

Total Yardage
LeRoy - 389 yards (316 rush/73 pass)
Perry - 202 yards (118 rush/84 pass)

Look who's smiling near a referee!

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The Knights' Justin Casper sweeps around right end to spark the offense

Powerful RB Andrew Fox blasts his way for critical yardage

QB Mark Bennetti finds an open Boo Hinett for a big gainer

Defenders John Whiting, Matt Forti, and Tim Dieffenbacher clamp down on the Perry QB

QB Bennetti spins off a big initial hit to pick up a sizable gain for the Knights

Bennetti hits a wide open Hinett for a 14-yard scoring strike to make it 27-8

Bennetti lobs a perfect pass to the all-state Fox who rambles 42 yards for the score

DE Matt Forti utilizes his speed and strength to stuff this Perry run

Dieffenbacher strips the ball from the Perry QB and the Knights take over possession

RB Marshall Silvernail ignites a late game drive with this big run to the left

Silvernail bursts through the large hole created by his linemen for another big gain

Listen to the popping of the pads as the Knights cover this kickoff return


SCORING SUMMARY - Perry vs. LeRoy - Friday, October 1, 2004
1st Quarter
Pete Appleton - 11 yd run Eberstein run
Perry 8  LR 0
Justin Casper - 8 yd run Run failed
Perry 8  LR 6
2nd Quarter
Justin Casper - 7 yd run Casper run
LR 14  Perry 8
Andrew Fox - 1 yd run Run failed
LR 20  Perry 8
Boo Hinett - 14 yd pass from Mark Bennetti Swanson kick
LR 27  Perry 8
3rd Quarter
Andrew Fox - 42 yd pass from Mark Bennetti Swanson kick LR 34  Perry 8
4th Quarter
Marshall Silvernail - 1 yd run Swanson kick LR 41  Perry 8