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Thursday, December 4, 2014

 

Spartans set goals higher than "52"

The Maine-Endwell Spartans have set the bar for excellence in high school football across New York State.  After securing the school's fourth straight state title, a state record, and 51st win in a row, tying a state record, there's little doubt that M-E has one of the best programs in NYSPHSAA history.  Looking ahead, the Spartans have to wait the better part of nine months waiting for a chance to surpass Hornell's record and set their own record of 52 straight wins, which could come in Week 1 of 2015.

After four straight titles you'd think that win number 52 would be a big enough goal for the Spartans.  But, you'd be wrong.  Michael Palmer will return to the team next year as a senior and says that the goal will remain the same "13-0 and a fifth straight state title."  It may sound like a lofty goal, but it hasn't stopped them yet.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

 

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Catching up with "KG" and "Wiz"

As the Maine-Endwell Spartans set a NYSPHSAA Record with four straight state titles and tie a state record of 51 straight wins, the final game of the 2014 season came in a 27-19 win over Schalmont in the Class B State Title Game.  For that last one, they had some special guests on the sidelines Kyle Gallagher and Alec Wisniewski.  Kyle, the older brother of this year's MVP Adam and Drew, and son of Head Coach Matt wasn't going to miss this one if he could help it.  "Wiz," nearly inseparable from Kyle since growing up together was there to watch his younger brother Brady make big play after big play on the state's biggest stage.  After this year's Spartans made history, we caught up with two of last year's state finals heroes who certainly played a part big part in this M-E Dynasty.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

 

Maine-Endwell state champs for 4th straight season with 27-19 win over Schalmont

Maine-Endwell football was looking to do something no high school football team in the state has done up to this point, win 4 straight state titles. The Spartans only had one  team in their way, the Schalmont Sabres.

A nice crowd of Spartans, definitely over 300 made the trip to support the blue and gold in the championship contest.

M-E jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter after Adam Gallagher brought back and interception 25 yards for a score and Kyle Balmer found Michael Palmer for a 35 yard touchdown pass.

In the second, Adam Gallagher rushed for a 5 yard score to take a 21-0 lead into the break. Last year, the Spartans were down 14-0.

In the third quarter with the Sabres driving, Adam Gallagher picked up a bad snap and went 95 yards to the end zone for the score to take a 27-0 lead and M-E never looked back.

Maine-Endwell forced 5 turnovers which was the key to getting their 51st straight win and fourth straight title.

If the Spartans win week one in 2015 they will surpass Hornell's 51 game win streak set a few years back.

Steve Pham was named MVP Offensive Lineman, Offensive MVP was Kyle Balmer. Defensive MVP was Brady Wisniewski and game MVP was Adam Gallagher.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

 

Blue Devils come from behind for back-to-back titles

It certainly wasn't the prettiest of State Title wins, but it doesn't matter how you got there, only that you did in fact get there.  The Chenango Forks Blue Devils are your 2014 NYSPHSAA Class C State Champions after coming from behind twice to beat Hoosick Falls 20-14 on Saturday.

The Blue Devils only took the lead for the final time late in the 4th quarter thanks to a 42 yard Ryan Bronson touchdown.  They kept the lead thanks to a Trevor Borchardt punt block and a Tony Silvanic sack on the Panthers final two drives.  But, the road to that point was not typical of Chenango Forks Football.

The first two Forks drives of the game ended in fumbles, one resulted in a touchdown.  The first two drives of the second half ended on fumbles, fortunately with no points resulting.  Six total fumbles, one recovered by Jack Sherwood, the other five going to Hoosick Falls.  Based on casual observation, those fumbles probably beat Forks entire season total.  Down 14-12 at the half, but not out.  The Blue Devils rallied behind each other, rather than a speech from the coaching staff.

Head Coach Dave Hogan said that even after being down on the scoreboard and on the wrong end of a few fumbles, his players were still confident they would win.  Bronson, who took home Finals MVP Honors with 192 yards rushing and 2 TD's, said that they knew they were going to win, they just had to prove it and that started with the eliminating the turnovers.

While winning a state title is a dream come true for any student-athlete, this year is extra special because it's two in a row.  It's the second time Chenango Forks has won back-to-back state titles, the first time coming in 2003 and 2004.  The seniors on this year's team were 10 years old when that group put it's mark on the history books, and to this year's team, the players on those teams are role models, folk heroes, and legends.  Now, their names are in the record books right next to those 2003, 2004 teams.

"Words don't describe what that really means to us, it's just amazing," Bronson said.

"It's an amazing feeling.  Those guys are so good, we looked up to them so much," Jack Sherwood added.  Sherwood took home Finals Offensive MVP Honors.

While Hogan says he knows how big it is to win back-to-back titles, and how difficult it is, when asked about next year and the chance of three-peating, he laughs and says "I'll have to get back to on that tomorrow, tonight I just want to enjoy this one."  And who can blame him.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

 

Last year's thriller fuel for thought for M-E

A year ago, the Maine-Endwell Spartans were down by one score against Schalmont with under two minutes to play.  From there, then senior QB Kyle Gallagher led the Spartans on what became known in the months following as "The Drive" - a 75 yard excursion down the field, scoring a touchdown with seconds to spare, lining up to kick only for Schalmont to call a timeout prompting Head Coach Matt Gallagher to tell his son Kyle to line up and go for two, fullback Darnell Woolfolk missing his blocking assignment only to be wide open in the endzone to make the game winning reception on the two point conversion and securing a 22-21 win.  Got all that?  Because I'm certainly not going over it again.

Now, a year later, the Spartans find themselves heading to the dome looking for a 4th straight state title, and who should be standing in their way but the Schalmont Sabers.  This time, it's safe to assume those Sabers returning from last year are making the trip with a bit of a chip on their shoulders ready to dethrone the Spartans.  Luckily for M-E, Gallagher has faith in his team after, as he says, "they've been through it all."  Close games, blow outs, come from behind wins, the M-E Spartans have done it all this year and as far as he's concerned, that only bodes well for Sunday.

M-E and Schalmont kick off at noon on Sunday.


 

Playing for the seniors

While it would be a bit of an obvious statement to say that every high school athlete wants to win a state championship, it's understandable that it would mean a bit more coming in your senior year.  For that reason, Chenango Forks Head Coach Dave Hogan says that every member of his team is playing for each other, but even more so for the seniors.  For him, it's all about how they end their careers, and you can't argue with going out on top.  For one senior, running back Ryan Bronson, this whole season for him is about trying to play as much football as possible, and you can't play much later into the year than the state finals.

Forks takes on Hoosick Falls on Saturday at 3:00.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

 

Making History is not a daunting task for M-E

As impressive as the Maine-Endwell Spartans program has been over the last four years, they haven't done anything that hasn't been done before.  Four other schools in the state have won three straight state titles and Hornell won 51 games in a row.  Hornell's win streak came with three straight state titles as well.  That being said, the Spartans have a shot at history on Sunday.  Maine-Endwell heads to the dome for a fourth straight year.  A win means two things: 1) an unprecedented four straight state titles and 2) 51 straight wins, tying Hornell's state record and four shy of the state unbeaten record held by Massena (54-0-1) which ended in 1957.  With all that on the line, you would think that even though they don't like to talk about and dwell on the streak, it's got to start to weigh on their minds and feel like a lot of pressure.  But for the Spartans, the only pressure they feel, is the pressure of a playoff game, which they've dealt with for the last four weeks.


M-E takes on Schalmont on Sunday at noon at the Carrier Dome.  It's a rematch of last year's epic state title game, which, if you don't remember, the highlights are below.


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