For Jamestown, the close of its Section VI championship chapter could not have been more fitting.
The Red Raiders set three Ralph Wilson Stadium offensive records as they completed their quest of winning a Section VI title with an overpowering 42-7 defeat of Frontier. An estimated 2,000 at The Ralph saw Jamestown score 21 points in each half Saturday night as it won the school’s first Section VI championship since 2000 in its third straight trip to the finals.
“It’s just unbelievable – but at the same time knowing that this was the vision,” said sixth-year Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy. “We’re glad that we can play on. We feel like we’re trying to climb a mountain, and we feel like this is one of those stops, and we’re going to keep climbing.”
Senior quarterback Jake Sisson, as he has done all season, led the prolific Jamestown offense to a performance never seen before in the Section VI championships, which have been held at The Ralph since 1979.
Sisson threw for a Ralph record of 402 yards to surpass the mark set by Clarence’s Zach Lauricella in 2010. Sisson was 13 of 29 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions while he also ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
“The record goes underneath my name but it’s a team effort,” said Sisson. “The receivers have to catch the balls, the line had to protect for me, the run game had to be working to open up the pass game. It might go under my name but it’s an overall team record.”
Sisson’s two touchdowns went to junior receiver Zack Panebianco, who set a Ralph record with 181 yards receiving, breaking the mark of 167 that was shared by Dave Austin of Albion (1981) and Jim Canfield of Alden (1983).
Panebianco needed one half to break the mark, recording all of his yardage on five receptions before halftime, including touchdowns of 78 and 46 yards.
Jamestown also set the stadium record for total yards with 607 yards of offense to break the mark of 546 set by Starpoint in 1984.
“I think it shows that we’re talented, but it’s not just a couple of guys, we have talent across the board,” said Langworthy. “But in addition to the talent, it’s kids who don’t care who gets the credit, it’s kids that can set up other people to make plays.
“Our team is a group of guys who really love each other and care about each other and they want to play for each other, and I think that’s what wins championships.” Jamestown had lost the Section VI final the last two years, both times to Orchard Park.
“It’s amazing,” said Sisson. “The third time’s the charm here, I guess. It was just great to go out and get it.”
Jamestown (10-0) moves on to the Class AA Far West Regionals next Saturday at 6 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester. Its opponent is a very familiar one in private school power Aquinas, the top-ranked AA team in the state. Aquinas routed Rush-Henrietta, 50-6, in Saturday’s Section V (Rochester area) Class AA championship.
Jamestown, which entered the game averaging 55 points, made a statement on the second play of the game as Sisson found Panebianco for the 78-yard score. A Sisson 31-yard run and the 46-yard touchdown to Panebianco gave the Red Raiders a 21-0 halftime lead.
Frontier had a good drive to start the second half, but Jamestown stopped the Falcons on downs deep in Jamestown territory. Jamestown steadily increased its lead, as Sisson added a 5-yard run in the third quarter for a 28-0 lead. In the fourth, Sisson ran in from 1 yard out after a long pass completion to Brian Park, and sophomore Zacc Kinsey had a 6-yard score with 8:14 left to play for a 42-0 lead.
Frontier did not score until there was 5:12 left, when senior quarterback Tyler Gaglia (7 of 15, 64 yards; 16 carries for 64 yards) ran in from 10 yards out.
Stephen Carlson, a 6-4 junior, had four catches for 98 yards while 6-3 senior Park caught two passes for 105 yards for Jamestown.
“I’m very thankful and feel very blessed to be involved with these young men,” said Langworthy. “We’ve got great kids with outstanding character and integrity and really that’s the cornerstone of what we’ve done at Jamestown High School.”