Game story by Brian Hillabush - Batavia Daily News Sports

CALEDONIA - The Le Roy football team is one of the favorites to win the state title in Class C. But in order for the Oatkan Knights to win that title, they had some growing up to do. After squeaking out a win over Batavia last week, Mike Farabella and company grew up a lot in a 20-0 win over rival Caledonia-Mumford at Hamilton Field Friday.

"I thought they were two great tests and I thought we grew up today," Le Roy coach Brian Moran said. "We
have some young people and some people playing in different positions and today they really grew up. The
important thing is to put these two games behind us and keep getting better every week."

It was a classic Le Roy/Cal-Mum battle in the first half as both teams' defenses dominated play. Farabella
- who came into the game leading the Livingston Conference in rushing - was held in check, only gaining 36 yards on 11 carries. Le Roy did the same thing to Red Raiders back Aaron Hallett, completely stopping him after he rushed for 26 yards on his first two carries of the game. Neither team had made it into the opposing red zone until there was 24 seconds left in the opening half.

Le Roy had to punt the ball away and the Red Raiders botched the snap on their second play from scrimmage.
Marcus Epps recovered the fumble, giving the Oatkan Knights a first down at the Cal-Mum 20. "When the ball was dropped, I saw the ball and I knew it was my responsibility to jump on it. I had to do what I had to do," said Epps, who had six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and the fumble recovery.

Farabella had a short gainer and then Craig Tiberio made a spectacular catch of a Mark Bennetti pass in the end zone for the first score of the game with just 12 seconds to play in the first half. "We had 24 seconds left in the half and it was a key turnover," Moran said. "More importantly, it was important to take that opportunity and score. They made a great play and that's what you need sometimes." That was it. Le Roy had all the momentum from that point on.

After receiving the second half kickoff, Farabella finally got going and ripped off a 56-yard run on the first play from scrimmage. "In the first half I came out slow," said Farabella, who finished with 158 yards rushing on 24 carries. "We adjusted to some things in the second half and everything was right. We were ready to start playing."

An illegal block moved the ball back from the Cal-Mum 10 to the 25. Bennetti scored on a 1-yard run eight
plays later. The Shaun Swanson kick made the score 14-0.

The Le Roy defense forced Cal-Mum into a three-and-out. The Red Raider punt was returned by Boo Hinett to the Cal-Mum 36. Farabella ended up finishing off the short drive with a 15-yard touchdown run.

Brandon Erhard hooked up with Hallett on a 49-yard pass with just under three minutes remaining in the frame, but that was about it for the Cal-Mum offense in the frame. Alex DiFrancisco picked off a pass in the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter to end Cal-Mum's only good scoring chance of the game.

"Sometimes we coach not to give the big play," Moran said. "Sometimes we get on our heels in the secondary,
and then the kids need to realize they need to make plays. They started to flow to the ball better, especially in the second half."

Cal-Mum did attempt one more drive in the fourth quarter, but Hinett picked off a pass with just over five minutes left in the game to seal the victory. "This week, the defense knew we needed to do what we had to do and step it up," Epps said. "Basically we need to just keep this up and win the state games."

The Red Raiders managed only 156 yards of total offense and drops to 1-1, but will still be a powerhouse in the Livingston Conference and in Class C when the playoffs start. "In our album for this season, there is 13 pages," Cal-Mum coach Mike Monacelli said. "This is one page in the album. We're going to flip the page and go on to the next page next week. We've been getting better and better each week; some teams don't."

The Oatkan Knights are through the most difficult part of their schedule and are 2-0, rolling towards a division title and a run towards a sectional and then state title.

"I would say we are pretty confident right now because we've played two pretty good teams," Farabella said.
"As the weeks go on we are going to get better and better."
Game story by Kevin Oklobzija - Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Sports

(September 10, 2005) - CALEDONIA - The trophy presentation wasn't even over and already the scoreboard at Hamilton Field was shut down.

Who needs to see Visitor 20, Home 0 any longer than necessary. Especially when the visitor is the longtime rival LeRoy Oatkan Knights. Not that those wearing the white and black of the Oatkan Knights needed a scoreboard to tell them of their domination.

Taking advantage of a turnover just 24 seconds before halftime, LeRoy needed just two plays to score. Buoyed by the unexpected touchdown, the Oatkan Knights then steamrolled the Red Raiders in the second half to post their second win in a row in the storied 71-game rivalry.

"This has to be one of the five best rivalries in New York state, and this win is really big," said LeRoy junior quarterback Mark Bennetti, who tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass just before halftime, then scored on a 1-yard keeper on the first possession of the second half for a 14-0 lead in the third quarter.

When senior workhorse running back Mike Farabella scored on a 15-yard scamper late in the third quarter, LeRoy was rolling to victory and a 2-0 record. "We're undersized and they've got a real good football team," said Cal-Mum coach Mike Monacelli, whose team slipped to 1-1. "It was a typical Cal-Mum/LeRoy game. No one tries to get too fancy."

What the Oatkan Knights were was opportunistic. Cal-Mum senior quarterback Brandon Erhard was content to run out the clock with just 24 seconds left in the first half but fumbled the snap. Sophomore defensive lineman Marcus Epps shot through and smothered the loose ball at the Cal-Mum 19.

"I penetrated through and when I saw the ball, it was like tunnel vision," Epps said. "I just saw red around everything and the ball was the only thing in my sight." Two plays later Bennetti lofted a perfect pass to the right corner of the end zone, where Tiberio eluded senior cornerback Aaron Hallett and made a diving catch.

"At first I didn't think I would get it because he (Hallett) had inside position on me," said Tiberio, who maintained perfect concentration on the ball while fighting through Hallett. The 7-0 lead quickly became 14-0 as LeRoy took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 66 yards on nine plays.


"Who's to say they would have come out like that if they hadn't scored right before the half," Monacelli said.
Farabella and his offensive linemen did most of the work. He darted 61 yards down the left sideline of the first play from scrimmage, then carried six more times to take the ball to the one. From there, Bennetti leaped over for the touchdown.

"I think the touchdown before the half gave us a lot of momentum but the real turning point was when we came out and scored to start the second half," Bennetti said. "Farabella's run was big." The LeRoy defense forced a three-and-out punt on Cal-Mum's next possession, then delivered the knockout punch.

Starting on the Red Raiders' 36, LeRoy needed just six plays to score, with Farabella running through a big hole straight up the middle for a 15-yard touchdown jaunt. "I thought we did a good job at halftime making some adjustments up front," LeRoy coach Brian Moran said. "Our line got off the ball well, did some things they needed to do and opened some holes."

Cal-Mum finally moved into LeRoy territory as the third quarter ended, its first visit across midfield since the opening drive, but the march ended on an interception by junior defensive back Alex DiFrancisco. "Our kids are going to get better," Monacelli said. "It's easy to dress the day after a win. There are 13 pages in the album. This is just the second page. We'll flip the page and deal with the third page."



LeRoy Knights Stats courtesy of the accounting firm,
B. Mase Associates LLC

Friday, September 9, 2005 (7:00 PM)
League game at Hamilton Field, Caledonia NY

LeRoy Oatkan Knights 20, Cal-Mum Red Raiders 0

Score by quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
LeRoy Oatkan Knights 0 7 13 0 20
Cal-Mum Red Raiders 0 0 0 0 0

Scoring Review
1st quarter: No scoring

2nd quarter:
LR - Bennetti 17 yd pass to Tiberio (Swanson kick ) 0:11

3rd quarter:
LR - Bennetti 1 yd run (Swanson kick) 7:33
LR - Farabella 15 yd run (Pass failed) 2:59

4th quarter: No scoring

Team statistics
First downs
Rushes - yards
Passing yards
Comp - att - int
Return yards
Punts - average
Fumbles - lost
Penalties - yards
Time of possession

Individual statistics

LeRoy Oatkan Knights - Mike Farabella 23-151, Mark Bennetti 10-18, Mike Frew 5-12, Justin Casper 2-8, Dan Horning 3-6, Tom Bestor 1-2

Cal-Mum Red Raiders - Aaron Hallett 14-55, Matt Poole 1-6, Aaron Rodger 1-0, Quentin Marrozi 2-(-1), Brandon Erhard 3-(-3), Joel Santora 1-(-4)

LeRoy Oatkan Knights - Mark Bennetti 6-9-1-56
Cal-Mum Red Raiders - Brandon Erhard 7-15-2-113, Aaron Hallett 0-1-0-0

LeRoy Oatkan Knights - Mike Farabella 2-18, Colin Dailey 2-14, Craig Tiberio 1-17, Boo Hinett 1-7

Cal-Mum Red Raiders - Aaron Rodger 3-25, Aaron Hallett 2-56, Chris Hall 1-18, Joel Santora 1-14

LeRoy Oatkan Knights - Alex DiFrancisco - 7 tackles (4 solo), Kevin Brady - 5 & FR, Colin Dailey - 5 (all solo), Brady Bonacquisti - 4, John Whiting, Chad Condidorio, and Craig Tiberio - 3 each, Marcus Epps - FF, FR, & SACK

Return Yardage
LeRoy Oatkan Knights - Craig Tiberio - 1 kickoff for 14 yards, Boo Hinett - 1 punt for 20 yards

Game start time: 7:00 PM
Game length: 2:16; Attendance: 3215



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The Knights cover the opening kickoff with a vengeance

Sophomore Marcus Epps forces a Cal-Mum fumble to end the Raiders' drive

FB Justin Casper earns some tough inside yards against the tough Raiders D

QB Mark Bennetti connects with RB Mike Farabella for a nice pickup

Bennetti picks up a LeRoy first down around left end

WR Colin Dailey snags a Bennetti pass in the flats

LeRoy soph LB Brady Bonacquisti is once again in the right spot on defense

Farabella shoots around the left end to pick up good yardage

Bennetti is cheered on by the LR sideline on this nice gain around end

Bennetti laterals to Farabella at the very last moment on this option play

WR Craig Tiberio hauls in the Bennetti toss to put the Knights up 7-0

Farabella ignites the LeRoy offense with this early 3rd quarter run

The Oatkan Knights excel at aggressive kickoff coverage, as witnessed here

The Knights defense swarms to the ball to stop the C-M runner

LB Kevin Brady (84) gets a kick out of stopping this Raider counter play

Farabella displays quickness and strength on this TD run to put LeRoy up 20-0

Sophomore sensation John Whiting and company see to the end of this Raider run

DB Alex DiFrancisco intercepts a Raider toss to preserve the shutout victory

Farabella displays some fine inside running against the Raiders D

DE Mike Alexander and LB Brady Bonacquisti make for a short-lived Raider play