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Proctor football aims for momentum in Week 6

Ben Birnell
Sports writer
email / twitter
Posted 10/13/22

The Thomas R. Proctor football team knows where it stands.

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Proctor football aims for momentum in Week 6


The Thomas R. Proctor football team knows where it stands.

After the Raiders had a three-game win streak snapped last week in a tough road loss to Baldwinsville, the team is looking to build some momentum with two regular-season games remaining and the Class AA playoffs looming in a few weeks.

Proctor (3-2 overall) is set to play Henninger (1-5) at 6 p.m. Friday on the turf at D’Alessandro Stadium in Utica. 

It is a notable game for a few other reasons for Proctor: It is the first night home game for the school in more than eight years. It is also Homecoming. And, it is Senior Night for the 16 seniors on the roster. 

“We’re pretty much locked into the four-seed (for playoffs),” said Proctor coach Steve Strife, whose team was among those to receive honorable mention in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association (NYSSWA) Class AA poll. “So, no matter what we’re (likely) going to get Liverpool at home in the playoffs. … Obviously, we want to win (Friday) and then play (second-place) Cicero-North Syracuse (next week) and see what we can do.” 

In Class AA, Proctor is 2-2, just ahead of Liverpool (1-3), Rome Free Academy (1-3 entering Thursday’s game at CNS) and Henninger (0-4). So, a victory would help solidify their spot in the standings. Christian Brothers Academy (5-0, 6-0) has a hold on the top spot. 

“I think we’ve improved,” Strife said. “This league is (like) Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots every week. You’re getting bashed. You got to get used to it. It is not like regular football.” 

Proctor has won the last three meetings against Henninger, including last fall’s meeting by 28 points.

“They had a close game with (Rome Free Academy). We kind of handled Rome pretty well, if that’s a measuring stick,” Strife said. “They’re playing a lot of guys both ways. If they gotta chase our guys around on offense, they’ll be getting tired pretty quick. We run that Jet Sweep stuff, you have to run every play.”

Proctor had some troubles snapping the ball against Baldwinsville, which contributed to the setback. 

Senior quarterback Todd Abraham, who is committed to play baseball at NCAA Division I Binghamton, continues to be one of the top players in Section III. He’s been “outstanding,” Strife said. 

He has has more than 500 yards passing and eight touchdowns to go along with 500 on the ground. He has six rushing touchdowns. 

The run game has multiple contributors: Senior Domante Cook and junior Jerquell Henderson – both explosive and hard to guard, Strife said – as well as Kenijaymes “Magic” Johnson.

Strife said Proctor has improved their sweep blocking and the offensive line has picked up its play “quite a bit.” The defense – allowing 19 points per game over the the last three weeks – has “played better.” 

He said the strong side of the offensive life has been really good, noting senior tight end Joe DePaul and linemen Fehmi Ahmeti and junior Vito Arcuri have been strong contributors. Senior Oliver Rodgers and junior ends Ibrahim Jabril and Katrell Jackson have been solid defensively.

Senior wide receiver and free safety Joe Gentile has been the team’s unsung hero as a two-way player, Strife said. 

“He’s blocked his (butt) off,” Strife said. “He’s caught balls. I think (last week) he had 25 tackles. He’s been awesome.” 

Adirondack steps up

With help from a three-point win over Class C-2 foe General Brown last week, Adirondack showed it has the talent to win key games.

That’s an obvious positive for a team that advanced to the Class D title game last fall.

Adirondack — ranked ​​​​No. 7 ranking in Class C in the latest NYSSWA poll — is 5-0 overall and one of three teams in Class C that is undefeated late into the season. The others are No. 14 Holland Patent (6-0, set to play General Brown) and No. 3 Cazenovia (5-0).

Adirondack or Holland Patent have put themselves in position to claim a top spot.

Dolgeville undefeated in D

Dolgeville (3-0, 5-0) is sixth-ranked in the NYSSWA poll, the Class D East Division leader and reigning sectional champion following a win over Cato-Meridian.

Dolgeville has scored more than 40 points in each game this season. Up next is Mount Markham (2-1, 5-1), which has outscored opponents 107-0 in the last two wins.

Thursday’s games

Class A

New Hartford at Corcoran

Friday’s games

Class A

Whitesboro at Auburn, 6:30 p.m.

Class B

Cortland at Oneida, 7 p.m.

Camden at Indian River, 7 p.m.

Class C

Cazenovia at VVS, 7 p.m.

Holland Patent at General Brown, 7 p.m.

Class D

Herkimer at Sherburne-Earlville, 7 p.m.

Little Falls at Waterville, 7 p.m.


New York Mills at Sauquoit Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Class C

Canastota at Clinton, noon

Adirondack vs. Westmoreland/Oriskany at Westmoreland, 1 p.m.

Class D

Mount Markham at Dolgeville, 1:30 p.m.

Onondaga vs. Notre Dame at Utica’s Sal Longo Field, 6 p.m.


South Lewis at West Canada Valley, noon

Frankfort-Schuyler at Cooperstown, 7 p.m.


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