Just one win away from a state finals appearance, Batavia's magical season ended to a perennial state power.
Reigning state champion Maine-Endwell of Section IV will return to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class B final, riding its superior offensive line and running back Aidan McHugh's three-touchdown performance to a 61-20 win over Batavia's Blue Devils Saturday at Union-Endicott's Ty Cobb Stadium.
Batavia coach Brennan Briggs' Blue Devils finished 12-1 after capturing their sixth Section V title in the last nine seasons, thanks to Ja'Vin McFollins and Vincent Arroyo connecting on a miracle, last-second Hail Mary touchdown reception against Monroe two weeks ago.
Maine-Endwell coach Matt Gallagher's Spartans will enter the state championship game 12-0, improving to 25-1 over the last two seasons as they seek the program's seventh state championship.
On Saturday, Batavia coughed up three turnovers and was no match for the Spartans' counter running attack. Maine-Endwell scored the game's first 28 points and led 49-7 in the third en route to 501 total offensive yards. Six different Spartans scored touchdowns in Gallagher's 140th career victory.
Players of the game
Aidan Anderson, Batavia: The senior running back scored two touchdowns on runs of 1 and 37 yards. He finished with eight carries for 57 yards.
Aiden McHugh, Maine-Endwell: The Spartans' running back had 12 carries for 139 yards and scored rushing touchdowns of 41, 12 and 19 yards. He also scored two two-point conversions.
Vincent Mancini , Maine-Endwell: Scored his two touchdowns on 28- and 1-yard runs. He finished with seven carries for 61 yards.
Karvel Martino, Batavia: The freshman offensive lineman scored a touchdown, recovering a fumble and scoring from 2 yards out with 1:19 remaining.
Noah Gray, Maine-Endwell: The junior lineman recovered a fumble on defense and guided a dominant rushing performance at center.
Play of the game
Dontae Creveling's punt return crushed Batavia's chances at staying within striking distance in the first half.
The Blue Devils trailed 14-0 when they faced a third-and-four from their own 28-yard line. McFollins overthrew a wide open Cole Grazioplene for a potential 72-yard touchdown, which led to a punt, making way for Creveling's 57-yard touchdown after breaking several tackles to lead 22-0 early in the second quarter.
Martino's scoop-and-score touchdown and Ethan Sadler's 26-yard touchdown rumble were honorable mentions.
What's next for Maine-Endwell?
Maine-Endwell will play Section I's Pleasantville in a rematch of the 2021 NYSPHSAA Class B final at noon Sunday, Dec. 4, at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse. In last year's title game, the Spartans scored 21 straight points during a 21-12 win.
Anthony Legare contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Football: Batavia's magical season ends with loss to Maine-Endwell