Junior tailback Jeff Tundo and the Orchard Park Quakers saved Section VI from a big fat, embarrassing goose egg in the Far West Regionals on Saturday.
Western New York was 0 for 4 on the weekend until the Quakers put away Canandaigua Academy with three fourth-quarter scores in a 49-27 victory in their Class AA regional final at PAETEC Park.
Coach Gene Tundo's team will face West Genesee of Section III (Syracuse) at PAETEC next Saturday in a state semifinal game.
Tundo, the game's offensive most valuable player, led the way for the Quakers, running for five touchdowns, one a 79-yarder, and piling up 368 yards on 35 carries, a 10.5-yard average.
"I knew we were ready for the game and our line blocked extremely well," said Jeff Tundo. "There were big holes and there was only one guy I was forced to make miss. It just feels awesome. I can't wait until next week, it's really a sweet feeling."
Quarterback Kyle Hoppy (4 of 6, 65 yards) passed for the other two OP scores.
"Jeff had a marquee game," coach Tundo said. "Our offensive line did a great job and our defense held their guy [Kaheem Gist] well below his average. Our quarterback made the passes when he had to."
The Quakers (11-0) took a 28-14 lead into halftime but Canandaigua's Gist turned the left end and raced 64 yards for a touchdown to cut the margin to 28-21 with 4:03 left in the third quarter.
Gist, who finished with 179 yards on 21 carries after scoring 17 touchdowns in the previous three games, had scored earlier on a 26-yard run.
On the next possession, though, Tundo broke a 29-yard run off left tackle to the Canandaigua 20 to set up a 6-yard Hoppy-to-Joe Leavell pass that made it 35-21.
After the Braves turned the ball over on downs at their own 44, Tundo ran 35 yards for his fourth touchdown. Later he added a 60-yard run. Orchard Park won despite giving up more points in the first half than it had in its previous six games (13).
The Quakers, the top-ranked team in The News' large-school poll and one spot below Canandaigua at No. 9 in the state's Class AA ratings, had shut out their last three opponents and allowed no more than seven points in a game since a 27-17 win over Jamestown in Week Three.
Tundo had 169 yards on 18 first-half carries, an average of 9.4 per attempt.
He scored twice to give the Quakers a 14-0 lead, the first score coming after Ken Selby recovered a fumble at the Canandaigua 34.
After Gist's first score, which followed a muffed punt by the Quakers, OP struck again on Hoppy's 21-yard rollout pass to Selby.
The Braves (10-1) struck back on a 59-yard pass from Justin Tomzak to Connor Henderson, but Orchard Park answered before halftime with a 97-yard drive which ended with a 2-yard run by Tundo.
Hoppy's 34-yard run out of the shotgun formation on third and 16 kept the drive alive, moving the ball to the 50.