Elmira Notre Dame halted in state football semifinal - Catholic Courier

Elmira Notre Dame halted in state football semifinal

Elmira Notre Dame’s memorable football season has finally ended, one stop short of the state-championship game.

The Crusaders suffered a 20-6 loss to Jamestown Southwestern of Section 6 in a state Class C semifinal played Nov. 22 at PAETEC Park in Rochester. Notre Dame finished with a 9-3 record and its first Section 4 Class C title since 1998.

Though they never led against Southwestern, the Crusaders hung tough much of the way against the Buffalo-area school. Southwestern drew first blood, taking a 7-0 lead by scoring on its opening drive as Dan Imfeld made a 1-yard touchdown run. Notre Dame then got on the board when Joe Thurber connected with Sam Karam for a 31-yard touchdown pass with four minutes remaining in the first half. The score was set up by a Zach Stephens interception. However, ND could not convert the two-point attempt for the lead, so the score remained 7-6. ND had another chance to go ahead with a first-and-goal opportunity just before halftime, but came away with no points.

Southwestern upped its lead to 13-6 in the third quarter on a 12-yard touchdown run by Zack Sopak. ND was still within striking distance in the fourth quarter, but Sopak’s 38-yard TD run proved to be the game’s final score.

Notre Dame was outgained in total yards by the Trojans, 335-190. Matt Buice led the Crusaders with 47 rushing yards and 17 tackles.

Southwestern marked the third straight team to come into its postseason game against ND with a perfect record. The Crusaders had reached the Final Four with a 48-21 quarterfinal win over Section 3’s Westmoreland on Nov. 15 behind 424 yards of total offense. In the contest prior to that, on Nov. 8, Notre Dame claimed the Section 4 crown by winning 14-6 over Greene.

Copyright © 2024 Rochester Catholic Press Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!

No, Thanks

Catholic Courier Newsletters