By JOHN LIKANJE
CALEDONIA, N.Y. – Notre Dame-Batavia scored 22 first-half points en route to a 52-6 domination of Bolivar-Richburg, Friday evening, at Caledonia-Mumford High School.
“Tremendous effort on both sides of the ball,” Notre Dame Batavia head coach Joseph Zambito said. “I thought our line really came to play tonight. Our backs did a tremendous job of hitting the holes.”
Jedidiah Reese capped off a 10-play, 75-play drive with an eight-yard touchdown run. The senior running back scrambled for 32 of those yards.
Reese scored touchdowns on back-to-back plays of 69 and 47 yards, respectively, in the third quarter as well. The senior running back continued his spectacular season with 21 carries for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Reese has exploded for 1,682 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in nine games.
“We just had a better spark,” Reese explained. “We knew we had to go work at practice. That’s what it was. Hit the ground running at practice and have it translate here on the field.”
Gabe Macdonald had nine carries for 37 yards and completed six passes for 52 more. The junior quarterback racked up two more touchdowns – one on the ground and another through the air. Macdonald has 864 rushing yards, 823 passing yards and 20 touchdowns this season.
“I think that we got to do a lot of work this week,” Macdonald said. “Last week, we were very distracted going into the first half. We worked this week at practice as hard as we could.”
“Our quarterback did a great job of commanding the huddle and calling the right plays at the right time with the audibles,” Zambito said about Macdonald.
Cody Henry galloped his way to nine carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. The sophomore tailback had a 31-yard catch as well.
Mark Sanders, Jr. caught a three-yard touchdown and sprinted 47 more to the house for another score in the fourth quarter. The junior running back carried twice for 96 yards and caught four passes for 46 more.
Notre Dame Batavia bullied its way to 518 yards of offense, including 466 on the ground.
Jayson Reinhart and Macdonald led the defense with eight tackles apiece. Senior Mason Randall added six while Conner McWilliams and Reese had five apiece.
The Fighting Irish compiled 72 tackles, including 13 for losses, and held Bolivar-Richburg to 74 yards of offense.
“Our defense is clicking very well,” Henry said. “Giving up six points isn’t a lot, but obviously we want to get another shutout on the board. We’ll go out next week and start working.”
For Bolivar-Richburg, junior running back Hudson Evingham scored on a 10-yard run on the first drive of the second half.
Bolivar-Richburg ends the season with a 5-4 record.
Notre Dame Batavia (9-0) advances to the class D sectional final next Friday at SUNY Brockport at 7 p.m. The Fighting Irish will play Alexander, who shut out Red Jacket, 8-0, in the other class D semifinal game. Notre Dame Batavia defeated Alexander, 40-0, in the regular season finale.
“I want to enjoy this win and I want the boys to enjoy this win,” Zambito said. “We haven’t been to a sectional final in a long time. We’re real excited for the sectional final game. It’s always tough to beat a team twice. We’re just going to put in the effort that we put in the film room and on the field at practice and hopefully, next Friday night, we’ll show up to play another one.”