It was Curt Jones left, Curt Jones right, Curt Jones up the middle Saturday morning. But it wasn't enough for Falconer to earn a trip to the state semifinals.
Despite 181 yards from their senior tailback -- who cracked the 2,000 mark for the season -- the Falcons fell behind early and never caught up in a 14-7 loss to LeRoy in the Class C Far West Regional before about 1,500 fans in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Jones carried 33 times to push his season total to 2,172 yards and was named the game's most valuable player on offense. He scored Falconer's only touchdown on a 17-yard run with 36 seconds left in the second quarter and nearly broke through the line to daylight on several second-half runs.
"It was close almost every play," Jones said. "It was really aggravating. I'm running like that, it looks like you're open with one or two guys to beat and someone would pop in from the side and hit you and take your legs out from you."
There was no scoring in the second half. Falconer's last-ditch effort to force overtime was looking good when Jones went for 13 yards to the LeRoy 45 on a second-and-8 play with less than seven minutes left. He then dragged tacklers for 17 to the LeRoy 28, where the Falcons looked like they had another first down.
But wait. Just near the end of the run, a flag was thrown for a dubious holding penalty away from the tackle. The momentum was gone and the Falcons never got another first down.
"That's just the way that it goes," Falconer coach Dan Krenzer said diplomatically. "You've got to really play mistake-free at this level. Whether or not that was a mistake, I don't know."
"We were going pretty good," Jones said. "Just a couple unlucky breaks here and there really ruined it."
The game was contested almost exclusively on the ground as Falconer (9-2) misfired on its only two pass attempts while LeRoy (11-0) was just 2 for 6 for 11 yards. Falconer rushed for 210 yards, LeRoy for 200.
LeRoy scored on its first drive as Mike Farabella (25 carries, 110 yards) took a pitchout and scampered for a 32-yard touchdown with 6:53 left in the first quarter. Andrew Fox's 2-yard run with 3:25 left in the second quarter made it 14-0.
Falconer cut the deficit in half when Jones shed four tacklers on his touchdown run, which capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive.
But the Falcons never got even.
"Our seniors did very well and we've got a lot of juniors (18) coming back," Krenzer said. "I'm very proud of the kids for their on- and off-field performance. It was simply a great year."