Knights drop overtime thriller
in State Semifinals to
Bishop Ludden 34-33

Knights end season at 11-1; Bonacquisti and Fenstermaker named LR game MVPs

Game recap by Brian Hillabush - Batavia Daily News Sports

ROCHESTER - The Le Roy football team's season came to a crashing end at PAETEC Park Saturday in the semifinals of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals. It probably shouldn't have, but it did.

Officials mismanaged the clock in the closing seconds with the Oatkan Knights at the Bishop Ludden goal line and the Gaelic Knights are moving on to the state finals next week after a 34-33 overtime win.

"It's extremely frustrating because we worked our butts off and it came down to that," said senior lineman John Whiting. "They ran a few seconds off, didn't give us a timeout, didn't stop it after the first down - there's nothing we can do. It just sucks to end that way."

The insanity that was the end of regulation started with 2:06 left on the clock when Le Roy stopped Ludden on a fourth-and-2 at the Ludden 48-yard line. Quarterback Travis Fenstermaker gained 26 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive when he went right up the middle. He kept the ball on the next three attempts, with a Le Roy false start penalty also in the stretch, and Mike Humphrey moved the ball to the 4-yard line with a run.

Fullback Brady Bonacquisti picked up a first down with a short run inside the Ludden 1-yard line. A few seconds were run off the clock before officials stopped it with seven seconds left.
At this point, Le Roy had one timeout left and had the option of bringing out the field goal unit or attempting one more play before stopping the clock and attempting the kick.

"I was in a situation where I wanted to finish the game running the football, making all 11 kids in that situation rather than the one who has to kick it," said Le Roy coach Brian Moran. "That's a lot of pressure for one kid."

The Oatkan Knights ran a quarterback dive with Fenstermaker, who was stopped inches from the goal line. The play took three seconds and Bonacquisti bounced off the pile and immediately signaled to line judge Pat Ford for a time out. The coaching staff was also yelling for a clock stoppage from the sideline, but Le Roy was not given the time out and the game went to overtime.

"I was standing (right in front of) the line judge and I (signaled for timeout) like 15 times," said the senior Bonacquisti, who was named Le Roy's Most Valuable Defensive Player. "I looked at the clock and there was one second left. He said there was no time left and didn't give it to me."

"It's obviously going to come back on me that we didn't call it sooner but I think we put ourselves in a situation to win the game and I thought our kids responded extremely well," Moran said. "We were in a situation where we didn't get the timeout when we wanted it."

High school football overtime rules allow each team to get a possession starting from the opponents 20-yard line, and Ludden had the first shot at scoring. Senior quarterback Connor Sweeney - who has received interest from Boston College, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, Penn St. and Syracuse - and tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to John Rooney. Ben Searle added the extra point.

Le Roy's possession saw Ian Humphrey rush for seven yards, Bonacquisti gain six and Humphrey cap off the drive with a 2-yard TD run. Fenstermaker's kick was blocked by 5-foot-9 junior Nate Stewart, giving the Gaelic Knights a 1-point victory and a trip to Syracuse to face Dobbs Ferry next weekend.

Moran said he thought about going for two, but decided on going for the tie and the second overtime.

Despite the controversy at the end of the game, the contest was an epic battle between two great teams that will be remembered as one of the most exciting contests either team has played all season.

Ludden marched right down the field to start the game, but Le Roy's defense made a stop on a fourth-and-goal play from the 4-yard line.

The Oatkan Knights had a long way to go for a score, but made it look easy as on the eighth play of the drive, Fenstermaker hooked up with Andrew Alexander, who broke a couple of tackles and scored on a 66-yard pass.

The Gaelic Knights answered right back with the running game as Daquan Grobsmith went for 44 yards on an option pitch and Sweeney kept the ball on an option play for a 19-yard touchdown run on the next play.

Le Roy's next drive came to a quick end as a trick play failed. Fenstermaker tossed the ball to Mike Humphrey, who attempted to throw a deep pass to Alexander. The ball was picked off by Grobsmith.

Ludden's high-powered offense gained 37 yards on a pair of simple fullback blasts and Sweeney threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Wendell Williams. Searle's extra point attempt came up short of the goal post, giving Ludden a 13-7 advantage.

Le Roy used the rushing attack to march 66 yards on 11 plays to answer with a 4-yard Bonacquisti touchdown run. Fenstermaker injured his foot near the end of the drive and went to the sidelines to get taped up during the extra point. Sophomore Quentin Humphrey had to kick while Fenstermaker was getting taken care of, and he missed the extra point.

Ludden took a 20-13 lead into halftime as Sweeney rushed the ball four times during a 10-play drive, including a 10-yard touchdown run.

The Oatkan Knights mounted a drive on the final possession of the half, but couldn't score from the Ludden 19-yard line on the final play before the break.

Ian Humphrey broke a 29-yard run to set up a Fenstermaker 1-yard TD plunge to open the second half. Le Roy took the lead when a Fenstermaker 22-yard pass to Jordain Holly set up a 2-yard Fenstermaker keeper for a score.

Williams had a 45-yard kick return, with 15 yards tacked on for a late hit call on Le Roy to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Grobsmith.

Le Roy had nine penalties for 85 yards while Ludden was flagged just twice for nine yards.
"I don't mind calls, but you have to look overall at the management of the game," Moran said. "And I don't know how well the game was managed."

Sweeney was the Most Valuable Offensive Player for Ludden (11-1) with 14 rushes for 81 yards while going 10-of-19 passing for 123 yards. Stewart was the Most Valuable Defensive Player because of the blocked kick in overtime and his 17 tackles.

Bonacquisti had seven tackles while breaking up a pass and rushed the ball 23 times for 98 yards. Ian Humphrey had 20 carries for 93 yards and Fenstermaker was Le Roy's Most Valuable Offensive Player with 16 rushing attempts for 178 yards while going 12-of-17 passing for 164 yards.

The Oatkan Knights graduate 15 seniors and end the year with an 11-1 record.

"Football teaches life lessons and you don't always come out on top, that's the way you have to look at it," Bonacquisti said. "These were the two or three best years of my life spending every day at practice with these guys. I've always enjoyed that."

Blocked kick costs LeRoy
Game recap by James Johnson - D&C Sports

ROCHESTER - November 18, 2007 - At the end of an emotional afternoon, LeRoy's football team carried home a big dose of frustration. The Bishop Ludden Gaelic Knights from Syracuse peeled off their clothes and equipment during their celebration. And there is no question, coaches and players from both teams will remember the Class C state tournament semifinal Saturday, won in overtime by Bishop Ludden, 34-33. Everyone involved will have at least one reason.

For Bishop Ludden junior Nate Stewart, it is because he became a football hero. Stewart, all 5-feet-9 inches of him, blocked LeRoy's conversion kick attempt in overtime to seal the outcome. Bishop Ludden players and coaches peeled off their shoulders pads, helmets and jackets as they jumped around on the turf in celebration.

"We're a basketball school,'' Bishop Ludden coach John Cosgrove said. "For our football team to do this is unbelievable.''

That was one of the words that LeRoy coach Brian Moran could have used to describe how the game was officiated.
Moran was upset after the game during a conversation on the field with state football chairman Dick Cerone. The sad look worn by LeRoy players fueled Moran's anger.

"We expect the best of the best,'' Moran said about officiating crews for state tournament semifinals. "I don't know if we always get it.'' Moran later added, "Our kids work hard and it does come down to a play or two here or there. The best officials go unnoticed and today they were noticed.''

Operation of the scoreboard clock in the second quarter and the difference in penalties (LeRoy 9, Bishop Ludden 2) were mentioned by Moran. His biggest beef boiled over late in the fourth quarter.

LeRoy stopped the Gaelic Knights on downs at the Bishop Ludden 48-yard line and the score tied 27-27. The Oatkan Knights made it to the Bishop Ludden 1-yard line with seven seconds remaining and one time-out available. Le Roy tried another run play.

"I called time-out about 15 times while staring at the referee,'' LeRoy senior fullback Brady Bonacquisti said. He said, "No, time ran out. There was one second left on the clock. I wasn't going to argue, he wasn't going to give it to me. We still should've won.''

Moran said that a field goal attempt was considered, but that would have put "a lot of pressure'' on junior Travis Fenstermaker.
LeRoy's coach and athletic director also believed the Oatkan Knights should have had more time to work with, but clock operators let too many seconds tick away during the drive. This and past situations with officials left a "bad taste'' in Moran's mouth, and he also said that retirement for him might be "right around the corner.''

"It's almost to the point where if we win a sectional title we're going to stay home,'' he said before a good luck wish for Bishop Ludden.

Bishop Ludden's Daquan Grobsmith converted a fourth-and-four at the LeRoy 20 and knifed into the end zone from three yards out with 9:08 remaining. Ben Searle's conversion kick tied the score, 27-27.

Bishop Ludden had possession first in overtime and scored on a 12-yard pass reception by John Rooney. Searle's conversion kick put Bishop Ludden ahead by seven points. Ian Humphrey ran into the end zone from a yard out during LeRoy's overtime possession, but the Gaelic Knights protected their lead.

"I was surprised,'' Bishop Ludden quarterback/defensive back Connor Sweeney said about Le Roy's decision at the end of regulation. "I heard him call time-out but they didn't give it to him because the play wasn't over. I didn't hear the whistle blow until there was no time left on the clock.''


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

Saturday, November 17, 2007 (12:00 PM)
Playoff game at Paetec Park, Rochester NY (Neutral site)
State Semifinal Western Regional

Bishop Ludden Gaelic Knights 34, LeRoy Oatkan Knights 33

Score 1 2 3 4 OT1 Total
Bishop Ludden Gaelic Knights 13 7 0 7 7 34
LeRoy Oatkan Knights 7 6 14 0 6 33

Scoring play
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 66 yd pass to #24 Andrew Alexander (#1 Travis Fenstermaker kick)
Bishop Ludden
#7 Connor Sweeney 19 yd run (#25 Ben Searle kick)
Bishop Ludden
#7 Connor Sweeney 25 yd pass to #5 Wendall Williams (Kick failed)
#33 Brady Bonacquisti 4 yd run (kick failed)
Bishop Ludden
#7 Connor Sweeney 9 yd run (#25 Ben Searle kick)
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 1 yd run (#1 Travis Fenstermaker kick)
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 2 yd run (#1 Travis Fenstermaker kick)
Bishop Ludden
#1 Daquan Grobsmith 3 yd run (#25 Ben Searle kick)
Bishop Ludden
#7 Connor Sweeney 12 yd pass to #11 John Rooney (#25 Ben Searle kick)
#21 Ian Humphrey 1 yd run (kick failed)

Team stats Bishop Ludden LeRoy
First downs 16 21
Rushing yardage 168 318
Pass completions - attempts 10-19 12-18
Passing yardage 122 164
Pass touchdowns - interceptions 2-0 1-1
Total plays 44 79
Total offense 290 482
Fumbles - lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties - yards 2-10 9-85
Defensive sacks - yards lost 1-1 0-0
Time of possession 16:26 31:34
3rd down efficiency 2 for 6 14 for 20
4th down efficiency 1 for 3 2 for 3
Punts - average 1-31.0 0-0.0

Bishop Ludden

Name Att Yds Avg Lng TD
#7 Connor Sweeney 14 81 5.8 19 2
#1 Daquan Grobsmith 5 45 9.0 44 1
#15 James Braithwaite 6 42 7.0 22 0
Total: 25 168 6.7 44 3

Name Att Yds Avg Lng TD
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 17 112 6.6 25 2
#33 Brady Bonacquisti 23 99 4.3 13 1
#21 Ian Humphrey 20 98 4.9 28 1
#7 Mike Humphrey 1 9 9.0 9 0
Total: 61 318 5.2 28 4

Name Cmp Att Yds TD Int
#7 Connor Sweeney 10 19 122 2 0
Name Cmp Att Yds TD Int
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 12 17 164 1 0
#7 Mike Humphrey 0 1 0 0 1
Total: 12 18 164 1 1

Name Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
#5 Wendall Williams 5 74 14.8 25 1
#15 James Braithwaite 2 17 8.5 12 0
#19 Mark DeAngelis 1 13 13.0 13 0
#11 John Rooney 1 12 12.0 12 1
#1 Daquan Grobsmith 1 6 6.0 6 0
Total: 10 122 12.2 25 2
Name Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
#33 Brady Bonacquisti 6 34 5.7 10 0
#7 Mike Humphrey 4 42 10.5 26 0
#24 Andrew Alexander 1 66 66.0 66 1
#82 Jourdain Holly 1 22 22.0 22 0
Total: 12 164 13.7 66 1

Name Fum FL FR Yds
Name Fum FL FR Yds

Name FG FGA Lng XP Pts
#25 Ben Searle 0 0 0 4 4
Name FG FGA Lng XP Pts
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 0 0 0 3 3
#13 Quentin Humphrey 0 0 0 0 0
Total: 0 0 0 3 3

Name Num Yds Avg Lng I20
#25 Ben Searle 1 31 31.0 31 0
Name Num Yds Avg Lng I20

Name Num Yds Avg Lng
#25 Ben Searle 5 194 38.8 45
Name Num Yds Avg Lng
#78 John Whiting 3 116 38.7 44
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 2 72 36.0 48
Total: 5 188 37.6 48

Kickoff returns
Name Att Yds Avg Lng TD
#1 Daquan Grobsmith 2 43 21.5 22 0
#5 Wendall Williams 1 38 38.0 38 0
#19 Mark DeAngelis 1 11 11.0 11 0
#15 James Braithwaite 1 9 9.0 9 0
Total: 5 101 20.2 38 0
  Kickoff returns
Name Att Yds Avg Lng TD
#7 Mike Humphrey 3 59 19.7 21 0
#85 Josh Risewick 2 21 10.5 12 0
Total: 5 80 16.0 21 0

Punt returns
Name Att Yds Avg Lng TD
  Punt returns
Name Att Yds Avg Lng TD
#7 Mike Humphrey 1 1 1.0 1 0

Name Tkl Ast Sac TFL Int
#59 Nate Stewart 16 12 1.0 1.5 0
#21 Connor Brown 16 7 0.0 0.5 0
#15 James Braithwaite 12 4 0.0 0.0 0
#7 Connor Sweeney 10 4 0.0 0.0 0
#11 John Rooney 10 3 0.0 0.0 0
#5 Wendall Williams 9 3 0.0 0.0 0
#53 Chris Harding 6 3 0.0 0.0 0
#54 Steve Barrett 5 4 0.0 0.0 0
#56 Patrick Rosanio 4 2 0.0 0.0 0
#19 Mark DeAngelis 2 1 0.0 0.0 0
#55 Joe Rathburn 2 2 0.0 0.0 0
#3 Omar Osbourne 2 1 0.0 0.0 0
#80 Bill McGrath 1 0 0.0 0.0 0
#86 Jiyhouh Ly 1 1 0.0 0.0 0
#1 Daquan Grobsmith 1 0 0.0 0.0 1
#20 Devin White 1 1 0.0 0.0 0
Total: 98 48 1.0 2.0 1
Name Tkl Ast Sac TFL Int
#7 Mike Humphrey 9 4 0.0 0.5 0
#33 Brady Bonacquisti 8 3 0.0 1.0 0
#79 Marcus Epps 6 4 0.0 2.0 0
#24 Andrew Alexander 4 1 0.0 0.0 0
#21 Ian Humphrey 4 1 0.0 0.0 0
#51 Jordan Casper 3 0 0.0 0.0 0
#1 Travis Fenstermaker 3 0 0.0 0.0 0
#28 Chris Andrews 2 1 0.0 0.5 0
#78 John Whiting 2 2 0.0 0.0 0
#85 Josh Risewick 1 0 0.0 0.0 0
#31 Kory Cosimeno 1 0 0.0 0.0 0
#54 Travis Pangrazio 1 1 0.0 0.0 0
#77 Joe Carubia 1 1 0.0 0.0 0
Total: 45 18 0.0 4.0 0


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The Humphrey brothers (Ian-21, Mike-7) team up with "Big Cat" Epps to drop the Ludden QB.

DE Jordan Casper shuts down this Ludden rush to the left side.

RB Ian Humphrey fights hard for a LeRoy first down.

WR Andrew Alexander hauls in the Travis Fenstermaker bomb and bulls his way to the end zone.

The latter part of the Alexander catch and run for TD is displayed on the PAETEC Park scoreboard.

QB Fenstermaker was effective all day up the middle on the Ludden defense.

Fenstermaker bulldozes his way through the heart of the Ludden defense.

FB Brady Bonacquisti finds ample room on the left side for a nice pickup.

Bonacquisti blasts through the line for a LeRoy TD.

Watch how return man Mike Humphrey concentrates on not letting his knees touch the turf.

A nightmare for any defense - trying to bring down Mike Humphrey in the open field.

Not to be outdone, brother Ian Humphrey shows some great moves of his own.

LB Brady Bonacquisti fires up the defense and crowd with this shoestring tackle.

The essence of the LeRoy power run game - FB Bonacquisti running hard behind his big line.

Travis Fenstermaker rolls left and dumps the ball off to wide open TE Jourdain Holly.

Ian Humphrey working hard for every inch he can gain.

DT Marcus Epps puts a quick stop to this Ludden inside run in the 2nd half.

The always exciting return by LeRoy's Mike Humphrey.

Captains John Whiting (78) and Brady Bonacquisti (33) help Fenstermaker gain big yards.

Whiting and Bonacquisti team up on D to stop Ludden on 4th down with minutes remaining.

Spectacular running and throwing, Fenstermaker grabs a big gain in the late going with his legs.

Chris Andrews (28), Mike Humphrey (7), & Brady Boancquisti (33) stop the Ludden QB cold.