SECTION 5 CLASS C CHAMPIONSHIP 2005
stop Letchworth Indians 34-6
LEROY - The Knights welcomed the Letchworth Indians on Friday evening to Hartwood Park and played the role of inhospitable hosts as they contained the aggressive and never-quit visitors by a final of 34-6. Tim McMullen's Letchworth squad came to play and made the Oatkan Knights earn every yard in the physical battle. LeRoy star RB Mike Farabella netted 100 yards via 19 rushing attempts, and those yards did not come easy against the 2-2 Indians. The Knights played excellent defense as well, intercepting 3 balls, recovering 2 fumbles, and blocking one punt for a TD. With the win, LeRoy moves to 4-0 on the year, which places them in a first place tie with the Avon Braves in the LCAA Division 2 standings. That tie will be broken in Week 6 when the Knights travel to Avon for a game that will have a large impact on the Section 5 Class C sectional seedings.
The Knights opened the contest with the ball and struggled against the hard-charging, scrappy defense posed by the visitors. An interception on 3rd-and-long earned the Indians a first down at the LeRoy 42. Letchworth's first possession would be as short-lived as the Knights' when LeRoy DB Alex DiFrancisco picked off an errant Letchworth throw, giving the Knights the ball at the LR 24.
The Knights went on a methodical 6-minute drive that featured the hard running of Farabella and backfield mate Justin Casper. LeRoy QB Mark Bennetti chipped in nicely with a 13 yd scramble and a hookup with Boo Hinett to set up a first-and-goal at the Letchworth 8. The LeRoy O-line blew open a huge hole for Farabella to steamroll into the end zone at the 4:14 mark of the first quarter. Shaun Swanson added the kick for a 7-0 LeRoy lead.
The Knights forced a 3-and-out on Letchworth as Kevin Brady, Chad Condidorio, and Farabella swarmed all over the visitors. The Indians' first drive netted minus-5 yards, forcing a punt. The Knights once again returned the ball to the Indians in rather quick fashion as a midfield fumble gave the ball back to Letchworth at their 46.
Letchworth moved the ball into LeRoy territory after a fine counter run put the pigskin at the LeRoy 46 as time expired in the first quarter. The Knights fully expected Letchworth to go for it on 4th-and-2, but since the visitors were down by just a 7-0 score, a punt was called for to pin the Knights deep into their own end of the field. LeRoy soph linebacker Brady Bonacquisti muddied up the Letchworth 4th down plans as he stormed in and blocked the punt. Farabella scooped up the ball in stride and dashed the remaining 35 yards for the score. The Swanson kick was true and the Knights were now up 14-zip with 11:48 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
The Indians could do nothing again on their third possession as the entire LeRoy defense covered the running and passing lanes with intensity. The Knights received the ball after the punt at their own 35. The cold and slick conditions resulted in another LR fumble which turned the ball over to the Indians just 24 yards from the end zone.
The Indians utilized a beautiful slant pass and an interference call against the Knights to set up a first-and-goal at the LeRoy 5. A score would definitely make matters interesting as the Indians were playing with a great amount of heart. Some hard hitting led to a Letchworth fumble and the ball came squirting out of the pile at the one yard line, covered by Farabella.
incensed by the missed opportunity, kicked their defense up a notch and
smothered the Knights' offense. A short punt from the end zone on 4th
down gave the Indians great field position at the LeRoy 25.
The Knights answered the Letchworth score with a 69-yard scoring march that featured some heads-up running by Farabella and some critical pass hookups between QB Bennetti and wideout Boo Hinett. Farabella slashed through the Indians on a 4th-and-1 at the Letchworth 34 to the 19. The Knights were able to spike the ball to stop the clock, allowing Bennetti to throw a scoring strike of 15 yards to Hinett with just 2 seconds left on the clock. 21-6 at intermission made for an easier enjoyment of the halftime homecoming festivities for the local hometown crowd.
The Knights kicked off to start the 2nd half and immediately pinned the Indians to their 15. Coach Paladino's defensive troops had made some adjustments at the half. The results were just 3 yards for the Indians on their first 3 downs and a subsequent punt.
LeRoy gained possession at their 42 and picked up some first downs via the ground with Farabella and through the air with stellar WR Craig Tiberio. The Knights charged to the Letchworth 10 after a great 15 yd dash by RB Mike Frew. Justin Casper blew through the visitors for the final 10 yards to make it 28-6 LeRoy with 5:12 remaining in the quarter.
Letchworth received the kickoff and a Tim Andrews pop of the returner to start their next drive at their 41. The Indians got off the ball well and penetrated into the LeRoy side of the field. Another great reception by Buttles sparked the Indians' drive which eventually led to a first-and-goal at the LR 4. LeRoy's Craig Tiberio snagged the first of his 2 interceptions of the evening to put an end to the Letchworth drive.
LeRoy managed to work the remaining time of the 3rd quarter with some great inside running by FB Dan Horning and Mike Frew. Linemen 'Big Cat' Marcus Epps and Robby Morgan blew open some nice holes in the Letchworth D to fuel the runs.
The Knights pounded the ball at the Indians at the outset of the 4th quarter with Casper going up the gut and Bennetti scrambling about. Bennetti added the final score of the evening on a spectacular 42-yd run which had him going left, middle, and then right through the Indian would-be tacklers. The run was made possible by some outstanding downfield blocking by Dan Horning, Shaun Swanson, Tommy Smith, and Colin Dailey. The PAT pass was knocked away and the score was now 34-6 with 10 minutes remaining.
The final stanza of the contest saw some excellent play by LeRoy's Chad Condidorio, Mike Alexander, Brady Bonacquisti, Chet Brassie, Mike Frew, Tim Herron (sack), Craig Tiberio (interception #2) and Dan Horning (fumble recovery). In total, the Knights earned 293 yards of total offense while Letchworth gained 169. Kevin Brady had 9 total tackles, 8 of which were solo. John Whiting, Mike Alexander, Mike Farabella, and Alex DiFrancisco each posted 4 tackles. Chad Condidorio was outstanding on kickoff coverage.
Next up in Week 5 are the Hornell Red Raiders, currently the #4 state ranked team in Class B. The Raiders coached by classy Gene Mastin, feature a team laced with power, speed, and versatility. RB David Zapata of Hornell has literally been unstoppable for the 4-0 Red Raiders. The game is on the Hornell synthetic surface and will be well-attended. The Oatkan Knights are currently ranked as the #2 team in NY Class C, behind defending state champions Dobbs Ferry of Section One.
Stats courtesy of the accounting firm,
B. Mase Associates LLC
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Murray and Marcus Epps blow open a big hole for RB Mike Farabella
Farabella shoots the gap to stop this Letchworth running play
Check out the 'hops' on Farabella (32) and DB Craig Tiberio on this play
Farabella stiff-arms his way through the Indians for a big gain
QB Mark Bennetti zips a TD pass to WR Boo Hinett with 2 seconds remaining in the 1st half
Mike Frew shows great vision and speed on this nice run for the Knights
FB Justin Casper blasts up the middle for a LeRoy score from 10 yards out
LeRoy's Tim Andrews labels the Letchworth runner on this kick return
Lineman Marcus Epps leads the way for a Dan Horning run off the left side
Bennetti follows some excellent team blocking on this 42 yd TD journey
Chad Condidorio (25) and Alex DiFrancisco (12) team up to stop this Indian rush
Letchworth makes the mistake of lobbing the ball up around DB Craig Tiberio