- After Friday night's season-opening game between Le Roy and Hornell
at Hartwood Park, it certainly seems as though there has been a changing
in both the Livingston Conference, not to mention all of Class C.
And the Oatkan Knights made it look easy.
After a three-and-out on its first possession, the Le Roy offense
scored touchdowns on 10 consecutive series, while the defense held
the Red Raiders without a first down in the entire first half on its
way to a convincing 68-14 win over the recent Section 5 powerhouse.
"I thought we played pretty well tonight," said Le Roy head
coach Brian Moran. "And through the first half we had just one
penalty and for opening night that was nice and impressed me too.
Overall it was a great performance; it's only week one so we have
to keep getting better."
Senior Peter Privitera led a dominating offense with 115 yards and
two touchdowns on 18 carries, while junior quarterback Mike McMullen
was an impressive 6-for-10 for 174 yards and three more scores to
pace the Oatkan Knights.
"I thought he threw the ball very well, especially early,"
said Moran of his signal-caller. "And it makes it difficult for
a defense when you've got Jon Pierce on one side and Ryan McQuillen
on the other. Those two guys can score from anywhere on the field."
Le Roy outgained Hornell 317-22 in the first half and 455-124 in the
game and registered 10 first downs in the decisive first half.
"A lot of vengeance, a lot of excitement and we were ready to
go," said Privitera. "Buckle it up and play Le Roy football.
Junior Tom Kelso added 36 yards and two touchdowns and junior Jake
Henry carried the ball five times for 81 yards - including a 49-yard
score - in the second half as Le Roy made it look easy.
The win for the Oatkan Knights ended Hornell's 28-game regular-season
winning streak, a run that dated back to a 2008 loss to Le Roy; the
Red Raiders' 51-game overall streak ended in the Class C state title
game last season.
"It feels great," said Le Roy lineman Anthony Paladino,
who won a sectional title last season while at Notre Dame. "We're
a pretty good team. We went out there and put a whooping on them."
Yet the story on Friday was definitely LeRoy, which made an early
statement as it looks to try and garner the program's Section 5 record
15th sectional crown. Early on, it was uncharacteristic Hornell mistakes
that led to the rout.
Following a fumbled snap on a punt attempt, Privitera ran it in from
one yard out to make it 7-0 just over three minutes in. Then, following
Jason Scialpa fumble that was recovered by Kody Lamkin, Le Roy struck
quick again when McMullen found his favorite wide receiver Ryan McQuillen
streaking down the left sideline for a 33-yard score on the first
play of the drive to put the Oatkan Knights up 14-0.
After a Hornell punt, Le Roy shocked the Red Raiders in a hurry again
when McMullen hit Jon Pierce with a short pass to the left and Pierce
did the rest as he cut it back to the middle and raced 71 yards for
another score and a 21-0 lead.
"Since day one we were ready for this game," said Privitera.
The speed of the Oatkan Knights was simply too much for Hornell to
handle. Not to mention a powerful line on both sides of the ball,
led by senior Brandon Van Grol and Paladino.
"Obviously, you're only as good as those two areas," said
Moran of the line play. "I say it all the time, the offensive
line especially. I thought today we got off the ball extremely well
and I thought they played pretty well as a unit."
Another Hornell three-and-out set up Le Roy again as it went 70 yards
on just six plays in 2:33 - capped with a seven-yard Tom Kelso burst
up the middle - to make it 28-0, still in the first quarter.
The second quarter was much of the same as Privitera scored on an
eight-yard pitch to the left just under two minutes in; following
a Kelso run on a bad snap it was 36-0. Kelso would score again from
seven yards out later in the quarter to make it 43-0 before the Oatkan
Knights went 73 yards on 14 plays that took virtually the last six
minutes off the half off of the clock to score again, this time on
a beautiful pass from McMullen to Pierce on the slant and the rout
"We came out to show everyone that we're here to play this year
and we're ready to take on anyone," said Paladino.
The Red Raiders' initial first down of the game came with under 11
minutes remaining in the third and led to an Andrew Cappadonia to
Luke Morgan 19-yard score on fourth-and-10 to put Hornell on the board.
McMullen and sophomore Nick Egeling would each score on short scoring
runs for Le Roy - McMullen's in the third and Egeling's at the beginning
of the fourth quarter - before Kelso's long jaunt capped the Knights
scoring with just over a minute remaining.
Hornell backup QB Trenton Smith scored the Red Raiders' other touchdown
on a one-yard option late in the fourth quarter.
Morgan, who had over 1,000 yards rushing as a junior last season,
finished with just three carries for -1 yards, as well as a pair of
catches for 30 yards and the score.
McMullen hit four different receivers on the night - McQuillen, Pierce,
Kelso and Steve Cappotelli; McQuillen had two catches for 51 yards,
Pierce had two for 77.
Hornell's leading rusher was Jason Scialpa, who ran 11 times for 31
yards; Tyler Crouch had 27 yards and Smith ran three times for 22
The Red Raiders rushed for just 91 yards on 33 totes, while Le Roy
had 42 carries for 281 yards and it was a measure of redemption for
the Oatkan Knights after last year's loss in the Class C title game
"I think it was in the backs of some of the kids' minds,"
said Moran. "They had a tough loss to a great football team last
year and thought they did the work in the offseason and in the weight
room and focused to get themselves ready for tonight and I thought
"Hornell is a great football program and when you play them you've
got to get ready and I thought our kids mentally came to play today
and that's what we needed to do," said Moran.
"This feels great, it feels wonderful," added Privitera.