SUPERNATURAL: Batavia’s Ray Leach outdoes himself in NYSPHSAA Semi win over Skaneatles

Posted By on Nov 19, 2018 | 0 comments


(Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

Alex Brasky | @BataviasBestHS
Monday, November 19, 2018 | BataviasBest.org

 

8 touchdowns, over 400 yards of total offense, 9 tackles, and 1 interception defensively.

The Ray Leach Experience.

Skaneatles QB Patrick Hackler was a worthy adversary for Leach and the Blue Devils on Saturday evening. (Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

Batavia’s star running back had already made a name for himself going into Saturday’s NYSPHSAA Semifinal matchup with Skaneatles (III), but what he accomplished against the Lakers superseded anything he had previously done – which is saying a lot.

“He’s the best football player in the state,” said Batavia head coach Brennan Briggs after his team’s semifinal victory. “He’s showing what he can do every single week against big-time competition. I’m just proud of him, happy for him, and happy for our offensive line who has done a nice job blocking in front of him.”

Batavia head coach Brennan Briggs has led his team to the program’s first-ever state final appearance. (Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

In the Blue Devils’ 54-49 win over Skaneatles, Leach recorded 52 carries for 474 rushing yards and 8 rushing touchdowns, a performance which vaulted his team into the State Championship game for the first time in the program’s history. His totals broke his own record for yards and touchdowns in a state tournament contest.

“I just come to practice and work hard,” said Leach about how he has been able to elevate his game over the last three weeks. “In the game (all my hard work) just transfers over.”

Batavia QB Ethan Biscaro was the only other player who got significant work on offense. This game was all Leach. (Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

Now, we all know about Leach and his ability on offense, but his contributions to his team on the defensive side of the ball have been overshadowed throughout the past few seasons due to his success offensively. On Saturday he showed up once again, totaling 9 tackles, and grabbing a huge interception which gave his team a chance to extend their lead.

“I told our defense we needed to step up,” continued Leach. “We definitely allowed too many points, but when I got that interception (in the second half) it gave us a little momentum.”

Batavia defensive back Andrew Francis also came up with an interception on Saturday, on the first play of the second half.

Despite the turnovers, the Blue Devils’ defense certainly wasn’t at their best on Saturday and must improve upon their mistakes if they hope to stop their opponent in the Class B Final – Glens Falls of Section II.

Batavia’s defense wasn’t at it’s best on Saturday. (Photo credit: Alex Brasky | Batavia’s Best)

Skaneatles quarterback Patrick Hackler had his way throughout the game and the Devils will face a more-talented signal caller this weekend in GF’s Joe Girard III – who is the all-time leader in NYS HS basketball history.

“We’ll have to get (to the) film,” continued Briggs. “They’re going to be a team who can throw the ball and run the ball as well with (Girard). We’ll be prepared and excited to make a trip to the dome.”

The Class B Final between Batavia and Glens Falls will be played this Saturday afternoon at 12:00 pm at the Carrier Dome (Syracuse University).

Stay tuned for coverage of that game.

 

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