Ray Leach’s heroic run continued in the state semifinals as the Batavia (N.Y.) Blue Devils (12-0) downed Section III Skaneateles (N.Y.) 54-49 at Union-Endicott High School on Saturday night.
A week after he rushed for 417 yards and eight touchdowns, Leach topped that performance with 474 yards and eight more touchdowns. Over the past three games he has rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 22 touchdowns.
He broke his state tournament record for rushing yards, total yards, and tied his record for touchdowns. Leach and the Blue Devils will face Syracuse basketball commit Joe Girard’s red-hot Glens Falls team in the Class B state championship at noon Saturday at the Carrier Dome.
“Coach always tells me I’m the man on the field. I definitely had to come out here and perform like I was supposed to and I just followed my line. Things worked out,” Leach said.
“I was reading an article in the paper about ‘How do you follow up an 8-touchdown game?’ Well with eight (more) touchdowns. That’s what he did and he’s an unbelievable player,” Batavia coach Brennan Briggs said.
He needed every one of those 474 yards to down the Lakers, who were led by Yale lacrosse commit Patrick Hackler and Colgate football commit Nick Wamp. Trailing 48-35 late in the fourth Hackler connected with Wamp for a 15-yard TD to cut the lead to seven.
After failing to recover the onside kick, Leach made them pay with a 48-yard touchdown to put the Blue Devils ahead 54-42, but the No. 1 team in Class B refused to go quietly. Hackler answered back with touchdown scramble to pull the Lakers within 54-49 with 2:19 remaining.
However, Batavia recovered the onside kick and facing a 3rd-and-4 Leach converted with a powerful run to put the game on ice.