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

Quarterfinals - Falconer
Semifinals - Walton
Finals - Dobbs Ferry

Knights are Domeward Bound
after 14-7 win over Section 6 Falconer
Farabella (110) and Fox combine for 209 yards and 2 TDs to pace offense;
Phil Niccloy (11 tackles) named as a Defensive MVP for 2nd straight game



Recap by Batavia Daily News Sportswriter Brian Hillabush

ORCHARD PARK - Tim Dieffenbacher and Andrew Fox remember the final game of the 2002 season very well.
In that game the Le Roy football team - including sophomores Dieffenbacher and Fox - lost a heartbreaker to current Michigan running back Mike Hart and Onondaga in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals. They’re going back to Syracuse after the Oatkan Knights beat Section 6 Class C champion Falconer 14-7 in the Far West Regionals Saturday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“Having leaders like Joe Shaughnessy and those other guys that led us to that game (will help the current team leaders),” said Fox, a senior linebacker/running back. “That was the hardest game Hart had played in he said after the game, and it was the greatest game I have played in. That gives us a ton of experience.”

Shutting down Jones was the key in the second half for Le Roy, but Falconer shot themselves in the foot on their final drive of the game. “You can’t make mistakes in the Regionals or the state playoffs,” said Le Roy coach Brian Moran.

Cody Spicer picked off a Mark Bennetti pass with just over 7 1/2 minutes left in the game. He returned the ball from the Falconer 35-yard line to the Le Roy 40, but an illegal block was called and the Falcons had to start the drive at their own 40. Running back Curt Jones had a 13-yard run and followed it up with a 15-yarder. But on the second run, holding was called, pushing the Falcons back. Then on third-and-5, John Whiting stopped Jones for loss and the senior back was stopped on fourth down, allowing Le Roy to run out the clock.

“We just have to take advantage of those mistakes,” Fox said. “That’s exactly what we did and we were able to stop them, take time off the clock and drive.” “When you play great backs, you just try and limit the damage,” Moran said. “I thought we did a good job of just limiting the damage.”

The first half was a battle. The Falcons started the game with the ball and were able to gain some initial yards but Jones was tackled by Pacer for a 5-yard loss and Spicer was sacked by Matt Forti, setting up a punt. The Oatkan Knights only needed five plays to score as Farabella took a pitch to the right side of the line on a third-and-two and took it 39 yards for a score.

“It was early and we hadn’t run that play yet,” Moran said. “We thought they were squeezing down a little bit and we tossed it off tackle. We were in a situation where we figured we’d toss it and see what happens. Mike made a couple of nice moves and he played extremely well today.”

The next three possessions were all punts as the defenses for both teams tightened up. Jones did have a 25-yard run near the end of the first quarter but Phil Niccloy had a sack after Falconer had a false start penalty, forcing the Falcons to punt. In the second quarter the Oatkan Knights had took a 14-0 lead after Pacer caused a fumble that Niccloy recovered. The scoring drive was huge. Le Roy had a 10-play drive that went for 61 yards and ended on a 2-yard touchdown run by Fox, who had a key 16-yard run on third-and-17.

“I knew we had to get up near the first down,” Fox said. “We had great field position and we had to do something, so I worked my hardest and the line blocked great for pretty much the whole game.”
Falconer answered right back, driving 70 yards on 11 plays. Jones had an 18- and 24-yard run before scoring on a 17-yard run. Jones - the offensive player of the game - had 126 yards on 19 carries in the first half. But the Oatkan Knights had an answer for Jones in the second half, holding him to 55 yards on 14 carries.

“He was fast and he was quick,” said Niccloy, the defensive player of the game. “But after we hit him a few times, he broke down and couldn’t do what he was able to do earlier.” “We knew he was a good runner, but we’ve gone against good runners like Hart before,” Dieffenbacher said. “We just had to wrap him up and gang tackle.”

Le Roy managed a first down on a fake punt to open the second half, but Bennetti was picked off by Kevin Vincent to kill the drive. Falconer managed one first down but was forced to punt the ball away. After an incomplete pass and a short run, Fox gained 25 key yards on a draw up the middle. This allowed Le Roy to get to midfield and punt the ball deep into Falconer territory.

“They are big runs because it tilts the field defensively for us,” Moran said. “It gives us an opportunity to defend the entire field and when you are playing against a great back like Jones, 80 yards is easier to defend than 40.”

Jones got three straight carries and only picked up five yards, meaning the Falcons had to punt again. Le Roy was able to run some time off the clock before Bennetti was picked off, setting up Falconer’s final drive.

Le Roy (11-0) will play against Walton (11-0)/General Brown (11-0) in the state semifinals at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. “It’s going to be tough, everybody at this level is tough,” Dieffenbacher said. “We just have to go play Le Roy football and hopefully we will get a win.”





Western Regional Game MVPs:

Offense: Curt Jones (Falconer) 33 carries for 181 yards
Defense: Phil Niccloy (LeRoy) 11 tackles, FR, SACK









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LeRoy LB Mike Pacer shoots the gap to rush this pass attempt by the Falconer QB

Pacer storms into the Falconer backfield to stop star RB Curt Jones

Falconer QB Cody Spicer has nowhere to run as the LR defense wreaks havoc

RB Mike Farabella utilizes a devastating block by FB Drew Fox to score from 39 yards out

Pacer once again slashes into the Falconer backfield to smother the QB

The Falconer QB is flushed from the pocket and popped out of bounds

Pacer strips the ball and DL Phil Niccloy recovers to set up a LR scoring drive

Farabella sweeps right on the Falconer D and picks up big yardage

Drew Fox excites the LR fans with this refuse-to-go-down run up the middle

Farabella lowers his shoulder on LR's second scoring drive

Linemen John Whiting, Pacer, and Niccloy provide the push for a Fox TD blast

Fox gets the Knights out of a huge hole with this 25-yard gain from the 10

DL Whiting secures a key tackle late in the game to stop Curt Jones on 3rd down

Knights feed the bull-like Fox at game's end to keep the chains moving


SCORING SUMMARY - Falconer vs. LeRoy - Saturday, November 13, 2004
1st Quarter
Mike Farabella - 39 yd run Swanson kick
LR 7  Falc 0
2nd Quarter
Andrew Fox - 2 yd run Swanson kick
LR 14   Falc 0
Curt Jones - 17 yd run Jaszcz kick
LR 14   Falc 7
3rd Quarter
  No scoring    
4th Quarter
  No scoring