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Saturday, November 30, 2013


Class B Scouting Report: M-E vs. Schalmont

The Maine-Endwell Spartans have been making plenty of headlines this season.  Having won 37 straight games and in position to win a third, straight State Title, the Spartans are ready for their next opponent Schalmont.  Head Coach Matt Gallagher compares the Sabres to his Spartans, not the biggest team, physically but both teams have strength and speed.

Meanwhile, Schalmont Head Coach Joe Whipple says that if his Sabres want to take home the top honors, they can't get caught up in the accomplishments of the Spartans, and just stick to their game.

Kick-off at 3:00 on Sunday at the Carrier Dome.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Forks ready for Sunday, not overestimating Rye Neck

While the Chenango Forks Blue Devils are ready for the school's first appearance in the State Finals since 2007, they know it won't be an easy game.  Their opponent, Rye Neck, as Forks Head Coach Dave Hogan says, runs a very similar 5-2 defense and there are many other similarities in their games.  The Blue Devils are averaging 40 points per game, the Panthers, 38.  Forks allows an average of 10.9 pts per game, Rye Neck just 6.  So, while the Blue Devils have been confident throughout this week of practice, they know beating Rye Neck won't be a walk in the park and will take an all around effort.

Kick-off at 12:00 on Sunday at the Carrier Dome.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Blue Devils Return to Glory

It's been six years since the last time the Chenango Forks Blue Devils have made an end of season appearance in the Carrier Dome.  State Champs in '03 and '04, runners up in '01, '02, '05, and '07, Chenango Forks has a strong history of football excellence in the 21st century alone.  For this year's squad, the goal at the beginning of the year was to make it back to the state finals, where Hornell ended their season the year before.  After getting over that hump on Saturday, the Blue Devils now have their eyes on the prize... a state title, and a return to Forks glory.


Win Streak? Three-peat? No pressure for Spartans

Logic would dictate that at 18 years old, or younger, one might start to feel the pressure of a 37-game win streak dating back to 2011.  One might also feel the pressure of being the two-time defending state champions, going for three in a row.  One would also expect to feel the weight of the expectations from a community and Section IV fan base.  But, one is not a Maine-Endwell Spartan.

Despite having plenty of importance riding on Sunday's state championship game against Schalmont, the Maine-Endwell Spartans are still focusing on one game, one week at a time.  That game, that week, comes Sunday at 3:00 in the Carrier Dome, and they're ready for it.


East extends Ernie Davis win streak

It was a cold night at U-E's Ty Cobb Stadium, and despite earlier concerns that the game might be postponed, the 23rd annual Ernie Davis Exceptional Senior Classic went off without a hitch.

For the 4th straight year, the East won the battle.  This year's contest was a 20-6 victory.  Binghamton's Joe Crowley scored the first two touchdowns of the game.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Spartans, Blue Devils get shot at Title

While Section IV Teams went 0-2 in Semifinal games Friday night, Saturday was much better for the Southern Tier.  The Chenango Forks Blue Devils blanked Cleveland Hill 22-0 in the opening game of the day.  The Maine-Endwell Spartans followed up with a 35-13 victory over Depew.

For the Blue Devils, it's the first trip to the Carrier Dome since 2007, having made six State Finals since 2001, and winning it all in '03 and '04.  Since the opening of training camp, the Blue Devils have been working towards a return to the semis, to secure a better outcome than last year's loss to Hornell.  While that goal is complete, the larger goal, a state title, will have to wait one more week.  Chenango Forks faces off against Rye Neck, who beat Hoosick Falls 14-0 in the East Semis, at the Dome on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 12:00.

The Maine-Endwell Spartans also battled the whiteout conditions in Rochester and bested Depew.  It was the 37th straight win for the Spartans and secures a third straight State Title berth.  M-E goes for back-to-back titles in Class B, and a third straight state title overall (having won Class A honors in 2011).  M-E draws the 3:00 game on Sunday, against Schalmont.  Schalmont blanked Marlboro Central 66-0 in their semifinal game.


Saturday, November 23, 2013


Both Tigers fall in bad night for Section IV

ROCHESTER -- It was a bad night to be a Tiger on the gridiron.  In the first of two matchups at Sahlen's Stadium, Tioga fell to Randolph 35-6.  In the nightcap, Union-Endicott fell to Williamsville North 27-14.

For Tioga, all roads led to this game.  Last year, the Randolph Cardinals put an end to the Tigers season 7-6 in the State Semis.  Since then, the Tigers have been waiting, hoping that the Cardinals would find their way back to the Semifinals for a bit of revenge.  Unfortunately for #2 ranked Tioga, #1 ranked Randolph came out with a sense of urgency.  The Cardinals scored on their first two drives of the game, and led the Tigers 21-0 at the half.  Tioga eventually trailed 28-0 after three, before Brad Jump found his way into the endzone, but it was too little too late as Tioga's season once again ended at the hands of Randolph, 35-6.

Union-Endicott also saw it's season end in the Semis last year, but at the hands of Sweet Home.  With Sweet Home out of the way, the Tigers had their eyes on the Dome, but like their striped counterparts, U-E's Tigers were caught flat footed out of the gate.  The Spartans put up 20 unanswered points in the first half and took a 27-0 lead at the start of the 4th quarter.  U-E made a run late in the 4th, scoring twice, but it was also too late.  U-E's six game win streak ends with the 27-14 loss, the Tigers finish the season 8-4.



Spartans stand tall with back to wall

As the Maine-Endwell Spartans prepare for Saturday's semi-final against Depew, everyone is still talking about the one point win over Cazenovia in the quarterfinals.

With 1:12 left to play in regulation, the Lakers scored to make it a 35-34 game.  Rather than playing it safe and kicking the extra point to, hopefully, force overtime, Head Coach Tom Neidl opted to let QB Kevin Hopsicker go for two and the win.  The call on the field was no-good, but no one, including myself, is sure if the ball did or did not cross the plane of the goal line.

The Spartans certainly agree with the officials and look to carry that momentum and that heart into Saturday's semi-final matchup.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Forks not taking Semis for granted

Since training camp, the Chenango Forks Blue Devils have had their eye on this weekend - the State Semifinals.  It's the same game that brought an end to their season a year ago in a loss to Hornell.  In past years, the Blue Devils seem to be at home in the semis, making appearances in all but three seasons since 2001.  They've also advanced to the State Finals in six of those years, including state titles in 2003 and 2004.  Forks, however, has not made it past the semifinal round since 2007, leaving this year's team hungry for the spotlight.  To get past Cleveland Hill on Saturday, the Blue Devils know it's going to take a little extra effort than previous weeks, and that begins with an emphasis on keeping up the stellar job on blocking.

Chenango Forks plays Cleveland Hill at noon on Saturday, at Rochester's Sahlen's Stadium.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Regrouping following one point thriller

Saturday's 35-34 win over Cazenovia was unfamiliar territory for the 2013 M-E Spartans.  In the 10 games previous, the Spartans outscored their opponents by 401 points, with their smallest margin of victory coming in a 35-15 win over JC in the Section Title game.  To be tested the way they were Saturday night and still emerge victorious, Head Coach Matt Gallagher said his team showed a lot of heart and a lot of guts, especially playing without six of their teammates who were serving a one game suspension for breaking a team rule.

All 51 Spartans will make the trip to Rochester and be eligible to play in the team's third straight semifinal appearance.  Kick-off against Depew is at 3:00 Saturday.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Road to the Dome: Regional Saturday

The Maine-Endwell Spartans cruised through the regular season and into the playoffs, with their smallest margin of victory coming just last week in the Section Finals, a 35-15 win over Johnson City.  Enter Cazenovia, the #3 ranked team in the State in Class B, and M-E's opponent last year.  It came down to the final minute, but the Spartans survived with a 35-34 win to advance to the state semis.

Aside from the first score of the game, which went to the Lakers, the Spartans never trailed.  They scored back-to-back to go up 14-7 and then both teams traded scores the rest of the way.  The toughest test for Maine-Endwell came with 0:08 on the clock in the 4th quarter.  The Lakers on 4th and goal from the 8, lining up to kick, QB Kevin Hopsicker the placeholder, from two knees, tries to run but is hit.  Referees throw a flag in the direction of a 15-yard facemask, Spartans Head Coach Matt Gallagher wanted Hopsicker ruled down.  Ball moves to the 4 yard line with 0:05 left.  Hopsicker goes back to pass, Spartans flagged for pass interference with no time left on the clock.  With one last play before the quarter, and 4th and goal from the 2, the Lakers go for it and fall just short to end the quarter.

After a Kyle Gallagher fumble on the 1 to start the 4th, the Lakers tie the game at 28 and plenty of football left.  But Kyle would get his redemption, finding little brother Adam from 5 yards out for the eventual game winning score.

But enter the drama, Andrew Vogl scores with 1:12 left to pull Cazenovia within one point.  After both teams call a timeout, the Lakers opt to go for two, and the win.  Hopsicker calls his own number and lunges for the goal line.  The ball comes lose, but the whistles already blew the play dead.  Both teams are celebrating before any official call was made.  Eventually, Hopsicker was ruled down before the ball crossed the plane and the Spartans maintain their one point lead.  Cazenovia with one last chance, goes for the onsides kick, but the Spartans recover and take a knee to secure their 36th straight win.

M-E advances to the State Semis for the 3rd straight year.  Next weekend they play Depew at Rochester's Sahlen Stadium.

In Class C, the Chenango Forks Blue Devils hold off a late surge from General Brown for the 35-18 win.  JC Sweeney and Andrew Ziegenfus connected for two touchdowns through the air.  LJ Watson and Isaiah Zimmer each added one score apiece on the ground.  Watson also found the endzone on a 65 yard punt return.  The Blue Devils advance to the State Semis for the 2nd straight year and they have plenty of unfinished business.

The Forks team has been talking about this next game (and beyond) since training camp.  After losing to Hornell in the State Semis, their entire season has been played with the goal of returning to the Carrier Dome where they have historically had plenty of success.  The Blue Devils, most recently, went back-to-back in 2003 and 2004.

The Blue Devils draw Cleveland Hill in Rochester next weekend.

Finally, in Class AA, possibly the upset of the year, the Elmira Express hold on to defeat Christian Brothers Academy 24-18.  The go-ahead touchdown was scored by Eli Thomas with 2:28 left on the clock.  Rasean Brooks then came up with an interception to tip the scales even more in Elmira's favor.  But CBA had the ball with 53 seconds left but could not convert on 4th down.  From there, it took just a few knees to run out the clock.

An impressive 5-0 weekend sweep for Section IV in the State Quaterfinals.

Friday, November 15, 2013


The Road to the Dome: Friday Regionals

Scores and highlights from the State Quarterfinal games on Friday Night:

Class A:

Carthage 7 - Union-Endicott 43

UE vs. winner Eastridge/Williamsville North (at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester)

Class D:

Herkimer 13 - Tioga 43

Tioga vs. Randolph @ Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester - Fri. 5:00

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Union-Endicott hopes for second straight semifinals appearance

After an 0-2 start to the season under first year Head Coach Tom Baleno, Union-Endicott has responded quite nicely.

The Tigers are currently riding a five game win streak and have come out on top in seven of their last eight contests. On the docket for the Tigers is Class A's 16th-ranked team, Carthage. U-E comes in at No. 18 in Class A.

On the heels of its second straight sectional title, Union-Endicott hopes to make their second straight state semifinals appearance as well.


Maine-Endwell could be in trouble in quarterfinals

The Maine-Endwell Spartans could be in some trouble in their state quarterfinal game against Cazenovia this Saturday. Six Spartans, according to Head Coach Matt Gallagher, broke an undisclosed team rule.

Gallagher said that disciplinary action will be taken care of in-house. When asked if the unnamed players will be in the lineup Saturday, he said it is quite possible that some will be sitting out.

All 51 Spartans will dress for the quarterfinal contest, however.

Maine-Endwell enters the state playoffs with hopes of a third straight Class B Title. Their quarterfinal matchup is against Cazenovia at 6 PM Saturday, at Union-Endicott's Ty Cobb Stadium.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Tigers(x2) and Blue Devils take home Section Titles

Three games left on the Section IV Finals schedule for Saturday, none disappointed.  Class D started off the day with a bang as Tioga blasted Unatego 80-53.  Class C followed with a Chenango Forks 49-15 victory over Waverly.  The night concluded with the Union-Endicott Tigers holding off the rival Vestal Golden Bears for the 20-14 win.

The Class D Shootout, as it were, saw Tioga take a 59-12 lead into the locker room.  Finals MVP Jesse Manuel led the first half attack with 16 carries, 217 yards, and three touchdowns but he and the rest of the first stringers for the Tigers did not see any action in the second half.  Meanwhile, quarterback Ryan Vergason threw the ball once.  One complete pass for 28 yards.  Outside of Manuel's running game, the rest of the Tigers ran the ball  41 times for 405 yards and six touchdowns.  That's a total running game of 57 carries, 622 yards and nine TDs.  But that's not the most impressive stat of the day.

The Unatego Spartans came out guns a-blazing in the second half.  Offensive Player of the game, Spartans QB, Josh Feyerabend set the NYS single game record for passing yards.  His 29-40, 581 yard, 7 TD performance stole the record away from CBA's Greg Paulus who went 30-50 with 543 yards.  Feyerabend also came up just one TD shy of the record 8 set by St. Joseph's Gary Castine.  Feyerabend joins 8 other NYS QBs to throw for 7 TDs in one game.

The Tigers follow their third straight section title with a Regional matchup agianst Herkimer at 7:00 on Friday at U-E's Ty Cobb Stadium.

For the Chenango Forks Blue Devils, it's their second straight Class C title, and 4th in 5 years (with 2013 opponent Waverly taking 2011 honors).  Including their previous seasons in Class B, Forks has won Section titles in 11 of the last 13 seasons.  Saturday's 49-15 victory over the Wolverines was highlighted by the play of Finals MVP Isaiah Zimmer.  Zimmer's four TDs came on 25 carries and 219 yards rushing.  The Blue Devils have successfully integrated a solid passing game over the last few seasons, but Saturday, Head Coach Dave Hogan said the ground game was working too well to throw the ball.  A classic case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  JC Sweeney picked up just seven yards passing on one completion and four attempts.  Ryan Bronson was named Offensive Player of the Game, Mike Zurenda, Defensive Player of the Game.

Chenango Forks draws the winner of Immaculate Heart and General Brown (those two play Sunday at the Carrier Dome).  Blue Devils regional game is at noon on Saturday at U-E.

The nightcap featured two bitter rivals, the U-E Tigers and the Vestal Golden Bears in a rematch of last year's Class A Finals.  The Tigers got the best of that one, 27-3 but this year, it would be a little closer.

Trailing 20-14 late in the 4th quarter, the Golden Bears forced a fumble and took over possession.  On 4th down, QB Nick Wegmann took off scrambling, gained significant yardage, but fell mere inches shy of the first down line.  From there, the Tigers took over possession and just needed to take a knee to make it back-to-back titles in Class A.

Sammy Davis led the Tigers on the ground with 20 carries, 122 yards, and 1 TD.  Joey Orlando 8-16 with 123 yards and two interceptions.

The Tigers next opponent, Carthage, scored it's last TD with 21 seconds left to beat Indian River 21-20 for the Section III Class A Title.

U-E and Carthage battle it out at 7:00 Friday night at Vestal (U-E is not allowed to play on its home field).

Friday night's winners, Elmira (AA) and M-E (B) also now know when their next game is, but only Elmira knows who it's against.  Elmira will play CBA at 3:00 Saturday at U-E.  M-E gets the winner of Cazenovia and Oneida (Sunday), that game at 6:00 Saturday at U-E.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Spartans 4-peat, Patriots fall in Section Finals

Five Sectional titles this weekend.  With three games Saturday, Friday night provided a teaser with plenty of thrills.

In the evening game, the M-E Spartans rode three consecutive touchdowns by Darnell Woolfolk to take down the JC Wildcats 35-15.  For the Spartans it's their 4th straight Section IV Title.  They won the Class A Title in 2010 and '11 and made it back-to-back Class B Titles Friday evening.  Next up: the winner of Cazenovia and Oneida.  Those two teams play for the Section III Title on Sunday.

In Class AA nightcap, the Binghamton Patriots gave the Elmira Express a run for their money, but couldn't get the job done late in the game.  Trailing 22-14 at the half, the Patriots tied the game up early in the 3rd, but the Express, appropriately, quickly scored and subsequently ran away with it and ended the game 42-22.  For Elmira, it's the team's first Sectional title in the three years since the ESS/EFA merger.

Saturday's schedule:

Class D: Tioga vs. Unatego, 12:00, Alumni Stadium

Class C: Chenango Forks vs. Waverly, 3:00, Alumni Stadium

Class A: Union-Endicott vs. Vestal, 9:00, Alumni Stadium

Monday, November 4, 2013


Blue Devils, Tigers ready for Section Title games

As we prepare ourselves for the excitement that is the Section IV Finals, the teams on the field have plenty of preparing to do as well.  In Class AA, Binghamton and Elmira met in week 8, so the Patriots loss, is all too fresh in the memory bank, and they're ready for revenge, U-E and Vestal get a second rivalry showdown for the Class A Title, and in Class B, another rivalry, the Spar-Cat,  M-E and JC head-to-head in a rematch of week 4.

Meanwhile, in Class C, the Chenango Forks and Waverly go head-to-head in a rematch of last season's Section Final.  The Blue Devils won that won, and if not for Waverly in 2011, would be looking for five Section titles in a row.  But as Head Coach Dave Hogan knows, the biggest chink in his team's armor is it's pass defense.

Finally, in Class D, the Tioga Tigers are putting their 9-0 record on the line in their quest for a third straight title.  To do so, they will go up against the 8-1 Unatego Spartans.  The Spartans have scored 122 more points than they've allowed this year, a differential second only in Class D to their next opponent Tioga.  While most Class D teams are known for their ground and pound offenses, both teams showed off impressive and blossoming air attacks in their semi-final games on Saturday.  For Tigers Head Coach Nick Aiello, the arm of three-year starter Ryan Vergason will be a key to victory.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Semi-Final Saturday: Scores and Highlights from Section IV Football

Several games on the schedule to set the schedule for the Section IV Finals (home team listed second):

Class AA:
Elmira vs. Binghamton, 11/8, 8:00pm, Ty Cobb Stadium

Class A:
Horseheads 0 - Union-Endicott 50
U-E vs Vestal, 11/9, 6:00, Alumni Stadium

Class B:
Owego 6 - Maine-Endwell 49
Norwich 14 - Johnson City 35
JC vs. M-E, 11/8, 5:00, Ty Cobb Stadium

Class C:
Lansing 26 - Chenango Forks 48
Newark Valley 20 - Waverly 25
Waverly vs. Forks, 11/9, 3:00, Alumni Stadium

Class D:
Spencer-Van Etten 0 - Tioga 54
Notre Dame 12 - Unatego 20
Unatego vs. Tioga, 11/9, 12:00pm, Alumni Stadium

Friday, November 1, 2013


Section IV Semi-final weekends: Friday Night

Scores and highlights from around Section IV in the Section IV Semi-Final round (home team listed second):

Class AA:
Ithaca 24 - Binghamton 54

Class A:
Corning 14 - Vestal 33

Non-Playoff Games:
Walton 6 - Sidney 20

Greene 0 - Windsor 32

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