Jamestown was already a great story. This week, it added a comeback to its comeback.
The Red Raiders and first-year coach Tom Langworthy had already clinched a playoff spot one year after its first one-win season since 1975.
On Saturday, the Red Raiders, who trailed by a 32-13 score in the third quarter, scored three straight touchdowns to win at Clarence, 35-32, and take third place in Class AA South.
Senior Ben Cecchini scored all three touchdowns, including a 37-yard fumble return with 7:35 left in the fourth quarter that proved to be the winning score. Jamestown (4-2) wrapped up a 3-2 divisional record when Brian Dwaileebe tackled Keith Vogel on a screen pass to stop Clarence on fourth-and-4 inside the Jamestown 40 with 1:37 to play.
"It's a huge win for us," said Langworthy. "We fought back. We made some breaks and kept believing in ourselves. We're believing in what we're doing, and everyone is doing it together and has the support of each other. The team is doing everything to be successful, and it's nice when that effort is reflected in a victory."
Clarence got a 34-yard touchdown run from Vogel and a 35-yard touchdown run from Josh Rawdin (25 carries, 132 yards) to take its 32-13 lead in the third quarter. Cecchini scored on a 1-yard run late in the third, and then hit Jaron Pollino (three catches, 182 yards) on a two-point conversion pass for a 32-21 game.
Akeem Simms forced a fumble on Clarence's opening possession of the fourth, which led to another Cecchini run and another Cecchini-to-Pollino conversion and a 32-29 game. Cecchini (6 for 11, 260 yards, two TDs, one interception; 10 tackles) then scored on defense by scooping up a fumble caused by a hard hit by Dwaileebe (11 tackles) on Rawdin.
Jamestown hosts Sweet Home next Saturday before playing at Kenmore West in the quarterfinals.
Kenmore West 40, Lockport 14: Tim Hersey tied a school record with five touchdown runs during a 16-carry, 149-yard day as the Blue Devils (4-2, 4-1) romped in the battle for second place in Class AA North. Hersey's first three scores came in a 21-0 first quarter. Sam Gagliardi and Central Connecticut's James Mallory also had five TDs for West. Damour Bailey ran 13 times for 163 yards. David Fluellen of Lockport (3-3, 3-2) was limited to 35 yards on 10 carries before leaving the game at halftime due to injury.
*Grand Island 42, Starpoint 20: Joe Oliverio threw four touchdowns, all in the first half, three of which went to Alex Neutz as the Vikings (5-1) rolled to a 4-1 record in Class A North, good for second place and home-field advantage in the quarterfinals. Oliverio completed 9 of 12 passes for 165 yards; Neutz had seven catches for 164 yards and three touchdowns. Eddie Weiser had 17 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown.
*Sweet Home 31, Kenmore East 7: Deshanaro Morris carried 16 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers (6-0) rolled to a perfect Class A North season. Casey Kacz completed 8 of 13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Durno had a fumble recovery that led to a Panthers touchdown.
JFK 22, Wilson 14: Daron Lipscomb hit Josh Klyczek with a 23-yard touchdown pass with 1:19 left to play to propel the Bears (3-3, 2-2) into the playoffs. Lipscomb passed for 101 yards and carried 21 times for 121 yards and two scores.
*St. Mary's 34, Niagara Catholic 12: Greg Justin threw for four touchdowns and 186 yards as the Lancers (4-2) jumped to a 27-0 lead in the first quarter and moved to 2-0 in League A play. Brandon Barczak not only had two touchdown passes but had two interceptions, one he returned for a 41-yard touchdown and another to set up a score.
*Cardinal O'Hara 34, Nichols 0: Shaquille Dudley ran for a touchdown, caught a conversion pass, had eight tackles and forced a fumble as the Hawks used a 21-point second quarter to even their record at 3-3 and move to 2-0 in League A. Robert Davis (six carries, 103 yards), Dawuan Hinklen (six carries, 61 yards) and Klyde Bynum each ran for touchdowns. Nichols has lost four straight.
*Grover Cleveland 14, Lafayette 6: Long touchdown runs by Chris Holland (67 yards) and Isiah Mayfield (66) enabled the Presidents (4-1, 4-0) to bring home the Mineo & Sapio Cup, which is awarded annually to the winner of the West Side rivalry. Mayfield had 16 carries for 105 yards while Holland had six for 97 as well as an interception.
*Burgard 40, South Park 6: Breon Daniels completed 8 of 13 passes for 103 yards and ran nine times for 46 yards and three short touchdowns as the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-3) ended a three-game losing streak against the winless Sparks. Derrick Ramos ran 12 times for 126 yards and a score as Burgard had 347 rushing yards.
*V-Aquinas 34, Timon-St. Jude 7: Larry Cross had seven catches for 65 yards while Fred Marinaro had nine tackles for the Tigers (4-2). The defending Class A state champions improved to 5-0 against Western New York teams.
*Williamsville East 13, Williamsville North 0: Quarterback Matt Roetzer connected with Jordan DiBernardo in the first quarter and Jon Crawford in the fourth for touchdowns and hit Mike Silvestri three times for 102 yards as the Flames (2-4) beat the neighboring Spartans (0-6).
On the Web
For much more on Saturday's action, go to the Prep Talk blog at buffalonews.com/blogs.