The LeRoy Oatkan Knights have been a thorn in the side of the Avon Braves
for a long while, seemingly most frustratingly in the last decade as
they've thwarted Avon's resurgence under the tenure of head coach Andy
So last Friday's 34-20 win at Avon was especially gratifying for him.
"This is the first time we've beat them on our field for as long
as I've been here," he said. "We've had some close ones, including
a loss in overtime, but we've never got past them here. So it feels
That good feeling was courtesy of a solid team effort, a couple of hiccups
by a tough, well-coached LeRoy squad, and another jaw-dropping performance
by senior Brandon Fuentes, something that has become a reoccurring theme
this fall in Braves Country.
Fuentes was almost untouchable as he rushed for 167 yards and four touchdowns
on just 11 carries. A ghost in the open field, Fuentes deked, jumped,
cut, spun and otherwise shimmied and sped his way through traffic on
some big runs that left fans on the edge of their seats, and many would-be
tacklers on the seat of their pants.
His first big carry came on the game's opening series as the Braves
faced third and two from their own 47. Taking a pitch right, Fuentes
cut back across the middle of the field and blazed his way to the end
zone for a touchdown. He then kicked the extra point to make it 7-0
with 10:55 to play in the first quarter.
But then it was time for the Knights to take over, and the power-running
combo of Tommy McQuillen and fullback Dylan Johnson pounded up the field
from their own 38 in 13 plays, ending with a McQuillen 1-yard TD run.
Johnson kicked the PAT, and it was 7-7 with 5:14 left in the first.
LeRoy got another crack at it right off the bat when they recovered
their short kickoff at midfield, and seven plays later McQuillen was
in the end zone on a 15-yard carry. The Johnson extra point made it
14-7 with 2:42 remaining in the first.
The Knights then held the Braves to three-and-out, and drove from their
20 to the 42 before being forced to punt. That's when they Avon a gift
as a high snap sailed over the punter's head, and the Braves took over
at the LeRoy 20. On first down Avon quarterback Zach Pumputis went up
the middle to the three, and Fuentes took it in on the next carry. The
extra point attempt failed, leaving the score at 14-13 with 10:36 to
play in the second.
The Knights answered on their next possession as once again the Braves
couldn't stop their running game, and McQuillen capped a 12-play drive
from the Avon 40 with an 11-yard TD run. But Fuentes burst up the middle
to force the PAT kick wide, and the score remained 20-13 with 4:07 to
go in the half.
Both teams would have two more possessions in that short time span as
the action remained furious, but neither would score until the third.
when the Braves began to take over the game.
It started on the first series with another gift from the Knights. Avon
held on fourth-and-two from the LeRoy 20, and two plays later Fuentes
took another pitch right, got bottled up, but reversed field and outran
everyone to the end zone for the 19-yard score. He then added the PAT
to make it 20-20 with 9:26 on the clock.
The Avon defense would remain firm the rest of the way, and the offense
would add two more scores in the fourth. The first came with 8:54 to
play as Fuentes went up the middle on a fourth-and-five from the 50,
cut to the left sideline, then back inside, leaving bodies strewn all
over the field on a stunning run all the way to the house. His extra
point would make it 27-20, and Pumputis interceptions on consecutive
drives helped keep the Knights from matching it. The senior QB would
then rush for the bulk of the yardage on a 7-play drive from the LeRoy
45, finishing it with an 11-yard TD run with 1:34
to play. Fuentes capped the scoring with the PAT, and remained humble
when confronted with the notion that his heroics were what made the
"It was a total team effort," said Fuentes. "If it wasn't
for the guys blocking, I couldn't get it done." The senior Pumputis,
who struggled throwing the ball, did manage 52 yards on the ground on
seven carries. Danny Welch and George Spezzano led the Avon defense
as each registered 15 tackles. Pumputis had 12 tackles to go along with
his two picks.
For Le Roy, McQuillen finished with 166 yards on 34 carries with three
TDs while Johnson added 57 yards on 19 tries.
Quarterback Andy Lowe finished 7-of-19 passing for 69 yards and two
INTs Jeremy Poles caught four passes for 31 yards.
Tom Kelso and Steve Cappotelli each led Le Roy's defense with four tackles
while McQuillen had two INTs.