If you were confused when New York Yankees old-timer Yogi Berra once suggested that people could observe a lot by watching, then you're positively dizzy after taking a gander at the first weekend of upstate New York football.
Games that should have told coaches and fans quite a bit about who might be playing deep into November instead left them scratching their heads.EXHBIT No. 1
edged Webster Schroeder (Webster)
in an opening-day nail-biter for the second straight season, this time by a 32-26 margin.
But Schroeder got its revenge by a 24-19 score last year in the Section V semifinals and went on to represent the Rochester area in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA playoffs.
So what's the lesson you're supposed to take home from Saturday's clash at R-H? That what happens in September means far less than late October? That R-H has matured and won't make the same mistake two years in a row behind all-state quarterback Ashton Broyld?
The safest conclusion to draw is that as a coach you'll want your team to have the last possession of the afternoon in any potential rematch. The end of Saturday's game had more twists than a corkscrew.
The Royal Comets gave away a 25-10 lead in the fourth quarter than rallied to win on Broyld's 23-yard TD pass to junior Christian Harris with 16.9 seconds to play.
A 76-yard rushing touchdown by Harris in the third quarter helped R-H take its lead, but Cody Henry fell on a fumble in the end zone in the fourth quarter as Schroeder clawed back to within 25-17.
Andrew Nix ran 13 yards for another score, but the conversion run attempt to forge a tie failed. Then, the Warriors thought they had pulled out a victory on Chris Ingrassia's 30-yard field goal, his second of the game, with :36.9 left on the clock.
An excessive celebration penalty following the kick plus sophomore Bay Barley's kickoff return to the Schroeder 23 set up Broyld's winning strike down the middle to Harris on the next snap for his third TD pass of the afternoon.EXHIBIT No. 2
Kenmore West (Buffalo)
turned Section VI Class AA into a guessing game right off the bat by inflicting a 30-22 loss on North Tonawanda
, which won the NYSPHSAA championship a year ago and returned more than half its starting lineup.
The Lumberjacks made two mistakes that are typically fatal 98 percent of the time – they turned the ball over (five times) and they surrendered big plays. The Blue Devils' Marcus Lobdell threw 53 yards to Martin Bailey (nine carries, 123 yards), who also hit paydirt on carries of 46 and 53 yards to snap NT's 13-game winning streak.
North Tonawanda was limited to 152 yards.
The development at NT seems to establish 2008 state champion Orchard Park
as the early favorite in Section VI Class B following a 27-10 victory over a solid Lancaster
squad. Okaya Anderson rushed for 135 yards and a score and also returned an interception 59 yards for a score late in the fourth quarter. He recorded three of OP's six sacks.MAGNIFICENT 7
We were thinking of doing a roundup each week of noteworthy individual performances from across the state, but what's the sense? Zay Richardson put up such sick numbers on Friday that everybody else is playing for second the rest of the season.
Richardson, an Albany Academy for Boys
all-state running back, rushed five times in the first half of a 67-12 win vs. Broadalbin-Perth
. All five resulted in touchdowns, with Richardson picking up 307 yards in the process to get a huge jump on surpassing the 1,086 yards he accumulated in 2009.
* Proctor (Utica)
quarterback Jordan Treen went 11-for-12 for 348 yards and three TD passes in addition to running for two short scores to beat Auburn
made a triumphant return to Class AA by beating LaSalle Institute (Troy)
55-0 courtesy of 552 yards on the ground, led by Shatiek Lewis' nine carries for 179 yards and four touchdowns.
* Joe Licata
went 16-for-28 for 269 yards and five TDs through the air as Williamsville South
chopped down Lake Shore (Angola)
* Carl Williams of Greece Olympia (Rochester)
forced two fumbles and recovered three in a 24-0 triumph against Eastridge (Rochester)
* Marshall/Charlotte (Rochester)
senior Jacob Wims
rushed for 303 yards and four TDs during a 40-0 blowout of Edison Tech/Monroe (Rochester)
beginning with a 79-yard run on the second play from scrimmage.CELEBRITY CORNER
* There was a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback in the stands in Rochester as host Aquinas Institute (Rochester)
beat St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute (Buffalo)
48-21. Former Buffalo Bills great Jim Kelly was on hand to watch his nephew, St. Joe's QB Chad Kelly in action. Kelly finished 13-for-23 for 165 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions, showing some elusiveness and durability along the way.
Aquinas junior Cory Benedetto threw for 172 yards and a touchdown, returning all-stater Chris Bostick had 104 yards receiving and one touchdown, and Mike Messina scored on a 12-yard carry and a 90-yard interception.
spoiled Tim Green's debut as the coach at Skaneateles
, 33-20. Green is a former Atlanta Falcons defensive stalwart as well as a TV analyst and best-selling author. You have to love his can-do attitude, too: Green has declined an invitation for a Falcons alumni event Thanksgiving weekend because it would conflict with the state finals in Syracuse.MILESTONES
* Monroe-Woodbury (Central Valley)
coach Pat D'Aliso chalked up career victory No. 200 with the Crusaders' 48-13 triumph against Middletown
. He's 178-48 in his 23rd season at Monroe-Woodbury after a 22-10-1 mark at Pulaski from 1977-80.
Junior Ryan Spelman made a successful debut at quarterback as heir to Dan Scalo. And Andrew Tolosi, who missed all of last season following a car accident and was granted an extra year of eligibility, caught a touchdown pass and returned an interception for another score.
Spelman, replacing last year's Gatorade State Player of the Year, had 237 passing yards with three touchdowns. He ran for another 72 yards in his debut as a starter after getting quite a bit of fourth-quarter experience last fall.
* Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse)
player Joe Casamento, who was an early adapter of the now-commonplace spread offense, won his 100th in 12 seasons as the Brothers topped Cicero-North Syracuse (Cicero)
return to varsity football was successful with a 41-6 win over Highland
. Sophomore quarterback Shane Jackson was 11-for-15 for 280 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran seven yards for a score and returned a punt to the house from 60 yards out in Monticello's first win since 1935.
suffered a 28-0 loss to Onteora (Boiceville)
in its varsity debut as Chris Pollo scored on a 4-yard run and 40-yard interception return. Onteora snapped a 33-game losing streak dating to a 20-19 win over Stissing Mountain in 2003.
* Rondout Valley (Accord)
, unable to field a team last season due to low player turnout, lost to Liberty
26-6 in its return to the varsity field.EXTRA POINTS
* New Hartford
quarterback Vinny Servadio rushed for five scores Saturday — all from a yard out — in a 42-12 win over Jamesville-DeWitt (DeWitt)
* Buffalo city schools went 3-6 on opening weekend in their debut as full-fledged members of Section VI. Bennett
and Grover Cleveland
scored Week 1 triumphs. John Schiano, who has written about high school sports in western and central New York for more than 25 years, covers New York for MaxPreps. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.