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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.


Blue Devils handling the targets on their back

Last year the Chenango Forks Blue Devils set out to prove that Forks Football was back.  Well, they did, in a 28-27 thriller over Rye Neck in the State Finals.  After a decisive 27-0 win over Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake in this year's state semis, Forks is headed back to the Dome in search of back-to-back state titles.  When trying to repeat, the target on your back gets bigger and the Blue Devils next opponent, Hoosick Falls would make their season to upset the reigning champs.  For that reason alone, you would think that the Blue Devils would be feeling a little bit of pressure.  But, you'd be wrong.

Chenango Forks vs. Hoosick Falls, Saturday, 3:00, Carrier Dome.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Maine-Endwell advances to 4th straight Class B State Final with a 54-28 win over Cheektowaga

The Spartans rushed for 6 touchdowns as Kyle Balmer rushed for 199 yards and 3 scores while Adam Gallagher gained 127 yards on the ground with 2 scores in the 54-28 win. The defense also forced 5 turnovers and only allowed a powerful Warriors offense to score 28 point while the offense did score on six of seven drives to take an early lead.

Now M-E's win streak is at the big number 50 but 51 is a rematch of the state final against Schalmont. That game will be played on Sunday at 3pm in the Dome.


Blue Devils fast start, key to semifinals victory

Blink and you missed the Chenango Forks Blue Devils get off to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter against Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake on Saturday, in what would finish a 27-0 rout.  The Thunder Dragons had previously not allowed more than 12 points in a game since Week one, but the Blue Devils needed less than five minutes to fix that.  As Forks prepares for a second straight State Finals trip, they take some time to reflect on how important that quick start was to Saturday's win.

Forks plays Hoosick Falls on Saturday at 3:00 in the Carrier Dome.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Chenango Forks will go back to the Dome after 27-0 win over Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake

Chenango Forks got off to a fast start scoring on the first drive, a 61 yard run from LJ Watson. Then after a Hunter Luybli interception, Jack Sherwood found Ryan Bronson for 20 yards to take a 13-0 lead. After several turnovers, the Blue Devils ended up shutting out the Thunder Dragons who came into the game averaging 39 points a game. Next week, Forks will take on Hoosick Falls in the State Final next Saturday at 3 pm.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Tigers fall in fourth straight State Semifinal, third to Randolph

The Tioga Tigers may be the cream of the crop in Class D Football in Section IV, but there's something about playing in Rochester that seems to derail an otherwise great season.  The Tigers fell to Randolph Friday night 20-8, recording a safety in the first half and a touchdown in the second for the only offensive output.  It's the fourth straight year that Tioga has made it to, but failed to get past the semifinal round, and the third straight year that Randolph has put an end to Tioga's season.  Good news for Randolph though, that each of the last two year's the Cardinals have beaten Tioga one week before winning a state title.

Understandably the Tigers are upset at calling it an early end to the season, but Head Coach Nick Aiello said after the loss that in a few days he'll be able to look back on the season and take it for all of it's spectacular accomplishments rather than just Friday's defeat.


Spartans! Prepared for Glory!

The Maine-Endwell Spartans, like their cinematic namesakes, are battle tested (although one could argue to different degrees).  The football Spartans, while riding a 49 game win streak into the state semifinals have faced some tough competition not only in years previous, but this season as well.  The regular season pitted them against Class C semifinal participant Chenango Forks, Section finalist Elmira, and playoff bound Susquehanna Valley.  M-E then beat SV and a red hot Norwich en route to yet another Section IV Crown.  The state postseason has been no easy task for M-E either, a 27-10 win over Homer, final score not indicative of how close the game actually was.

The Spartans found themselves down early to Homer 7-0 and entered the half tied at 7.  The Trojans made it 10-7 with a field goal in the third before M-E took over for good.  At this point, you can't call it luck.  It's hard coached, well disciplined, smart football, not to mention a great deal of experience.

M-E takes on Cheektowaga on Sunday in Rochester at 3:00.  That game originally scheduled for Saturday, but pushed to Sunday to accommodate Cheektowaga which was affected by the massive blizzard in Western New York.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Spartans state semifinal pushed back to Sunday

LATHAM, NY – Due to historic snowfalls in western New York, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced schedule changes to two of its State Championship events this weekend. Its West Football State Semifinals being held at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester will see two games moved to Sunday due to participating teams impacted by the storm. The NYSPHSAA has adjusted the game schedule to the following: 

Class A - Indian River vs Irondequoit NOW scheduled for Sunday, November 23rd at Noon (originally Friday at 8 pm)
Class B - Maine Endwell vs Cheektowaga NOW scheduled for Sunday, November 23rd at 3 pm (originally Saturday at 3 pm)

The Class AA (11/22, 6 pm), Class C (11/22 Noon) and Class D (11/21, 5 pm) west football semifinals will remain as originally scheduled. 

Due to teams traveling to Ithaca College for the NYSPHSAA Swimming & Diving State Championships on November 20-22, the NYSPHSAA has delayed the start of the event by two hours. On Friday, November 21st the NYSPHSAA Swimming & Diving State Championships will begin at 11 am with warm ups, then start its Parade of Seniors at 1:05 pm followed by competition at 1:15 pm. Saturday’s competition will remain as scheduled with the meet kicking off at 10:15 am. 

"Anytime our schools and students are impacted by a weather event of this magnitude, we must consider all aspects of the situation and make accommodations where possible,” said NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas. “We have adjusted our State Championship schedules to allow for teams to travel to our events and it is my hope that the communities and families who are impacted by the storm travel safely this weekend. We keep them in our thoughts and prayers."

For news, state championship results and schedules visit and follow us on Twitter. For state championship photos “like” us on Facebook and for athlete/coach interviews visit our You 
Tube channel.

(Courtesy: NYSHPSAA)


Blue Devils balancing the attack with passing game

When you think of Chenango Forks football, strong defense and a great running game come to mind.  Just when you think they're an easy team to scout, they surprise you and go to the air.  Traditionally the Blue Devils are a run first program but in the playoffs the passing game has made quite an impact.  Head Coach Dave Hogan says that he still runs a run first offense but he has a lot of faith not only in QB Jack Sherwood's arm but in the hands and speed of his receiving corp.  As the Blue Devils gear up for Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake on Saturday the pass will likely factor into their anticipated success.

Forks plays in the state semis Saturday at noon at Rochester's Sahlen's Stadium.


Highlights: Maine-Endwell and Chenango Forks advance to Class B and C Semifinals next week

The Chenango Forks Blue Devils and Maine-Endwell Spartans are both advancing to the NYS Semifinals after big regional wins.  Forks trounced Section III's Utica Notre Dame 57-14 and draws Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake in Rochester next weekend.  M-E will also travel to Sahlen's Stadium after a 27-10 win which was much closer than the final score indicates.  M-E will play Cheektowaga.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Tigers ready for Randolph rematch

Each of the last two years, the Tioga Tigers season has ended in the state semifinals at the hands of Randolph.  Each of the last two years, after dispatching Tioga, Randolph has gone on to win a state title.  While every team wants to end it's season with a win in the Carrier Dome, for the Tigers, they would only be truly satisfied if it came on the heels of beating Randolph.  Well, ask and you shall receive.

For the third straight year, Tioga and Randolph will square off at Rochester's Sahlen's Stadium and this time around the Tigers are confident that this is their year.  While they rank third in the state and Randolph first, the Tigers have their opponent well scouted just from the experience in the last two years alone.

Tioga vs. Randolph, Friday, 5:00.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Highlights from Class A and D State Quaterfinals in Syracuse

Class D: Tioga 46 - Dolgeville 22 Final Tigers advance to play Randolph in Semifinal next week Class A: Union-Endicott 0 - Indian River 19 Final

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Blue Devils playing with targets on their backs

Last year the Chenango Forks Blue Devils were the ones looking to make a statement by making it to the Carrier Dome and taking home a state title.  Now, as the defending state champion, they're the ones being hunted down by the rest of the state.  They know that last year took a lot of effort to get over the top and into the State Finals, but this year they know it's going to take even more effort because as hard as it is to win a state title, it's even harder to repeat.  At the same time, they're still two games away from the Dome having to get through regionals first.  Head Coach Dave Hogan says the approach in states is the same as it's been all year: "one game at a time."

Chenango Forks kicks off Saturday at noon against Utica Notre Dame at Cicero-North Syracuse.


Spartans not satisfied yet

They've won three straight state titles, five straight sectional titles, and 48 straight games.  It's hard to imagine that they Maine-Endwell Spartans have anything left to accomplish or prove.  If you ask them though, they're not yet satisfied with what they have.  They want another state title and they want to keep winning.  Who can blame them?  No team in the state has ever won four straight state titles, and a state title win would tie them for the state's win streak record (Hornell's 51 game streak which ended in 2012) and land them four shy of the state's record for unbeaten streak (Massena's 54-0-1 run which ended in 1957).  But first things first, the Spartans have a regional matchup against the third ranked team in the state, Homer.  M-E remains ranked number one, so while on paper, the Spartans are the favorite, they know that anything can happen, making Saturday's game a big game.  Good thing they have plenty of experience when the lights turn on and the intensity kicks up.

M-E and Homer kick off Saturday at 6:00 at Cicero-North Syracuse.


Tioga taking the pressure off for Regional

The Tioga Tigers have set a high standard for success in Class D taking home four straight Section IV Titles.  But, when it comes to the state playoffs, they've been unable to make it past the state semifinal round.  But in order to get past that hurdle, they first have to go through Section III and the Regional round.  While every stage of the state playoffs gets tougher and tougher, Tigers head coach Nick Aiello is taking the pressure off his boys as he says that after winning a Section Title, everything else is icing on the cake.

Tioga kicks off Friday at 5:00 against Dolgeville at Cicerno-North Syracuse.


Section IV matches up well with Section III in State Rankings

With the Sectional finals in the rearview mirror, all eyes are focused ahead on the Carrier Dome.  But to get there, first you have to go through Regionals and for Section IV that means going through Section III.  In the past two years Section IV has taken four of five games against the neighbors to the north, and hopes for similar success again in 2014.  As regional weekend draws closer, the weekly state rankings reveal that things, for the most part, seem evenly matched.

Class AA:
Regional: Corning (Honorable Mention) vs. Heninger (5)

                 Elmira (HM)

Class A:
Regional: Union-Endicott (NR) vs. Indian River (5)

Class B:
Regional: Maine-Endwell (1) vs. Homer (3)

                Susquehanna Valley (22)
                Norwich (HM)

Class C:
Regional: Chenango Forks (1) vs. Utica Notre Dame (5)
                Newark Valley (15)
                Lansing (18)
                Waverly (25)
                Watkins Glen (NR)

Class D:
Regional: Tioga (3) vs. Dolgeville (5)

                Unatego (8)
                Moravia (18)
                Walton (19)
                Deposit/Hancock (HM)
                Seton (HM)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Tigers need big effort to pull out upset

The U-E Tigers may be an unlikely Section Champion, only winning 3 games all season (2 wins over Vestal, 1 over Ithaca), but that's the luxury afforded to them by being one of two teams in Class A, having a berth in the Section Finals since day one.  However, now the tough part begins.  The Tigers have a Regional Finals date against Section III Class A Champ, undefeated Indian River.  To call U-E an underdog would be an understatement.

But, the Tigers think they're up to the task.  Sometimes all you need to win is to believe in yourself.

U-E and Indian River kick off on Friday night from Cicero-North Syracuse at 8:00.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Class B and Class C Section IV Championship Games

Highlights and post game reaction from Chenango Forks and Maine-Endwell after their big wins on Saturday afternoon.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Tigers (x2) take home Section IV Titles

Friday night was a good night to be a Tiger.  In two Section IV Title games the Tigers won both.  Tioga Tigers won their 4th straight Class D Title over Unatego 43-13 led by a 297 yard, 5 TD performance by Jesse Manuel.  Manuel also set the career Section IV Title rushing touchdown record adding to his impressive resume which already includes the Section IV career rushing yard record... and he's only a junior.  Tioga draws Section III's Dolgeville next weekend at Cicero-North Syracuse.

In the nightcap, the Union-Endicott Tigers upset rival Vestal 28-7 to claim a third straight Section IV Title.  The Tigers, entering the night with two wins on the season have now claimed 10 straight victories over the Golden Bears.  Still not as lopsided as the 21 game win streak for Chenango Forks over Chenango Valley, but it seems to be on its way.  U-E draws Section III's Indian River next weekend at C-NS.


Spartans ready for 4th straight Section Title appearance

The Maine-Endwell Spartans have been the best and beaten the best over the last several years en route to three straight state titles and 47 straight wins.  Despite a 13-6 win over Susquehanna Valley in the Section IV Semifinals, the Spartans lowest point total and smallest win differential all year, those M-E boys are still confident heading into Saturday's Section Final.

They know their next opponent well, however, the Norwich Purple Tornado have come a long way since the week 3 42-7 loss to M-E.  Since then, the Tornado have not lost a game, that's 6-straight if you're counting.  After starting the season 0-3 with a -52 point differential, the Tornado have since then gone 6-0 outscoring opponents by 130 during that win streak.

While M-E is still confident in it's own ability and the scouting report compiled on Norwich, Matt Gallagher and the Spartans coaching staff expect just a tough a game against the Tornado as against the Sabers last Saturday.

Kick off scheduled for 3:00 Saturday at U-E's Ty Cobb Stadium.


Fourth times the charm for Newark Valley?

The Newark Valley Cardinals sure have a flair for the dramatic - winning their first playoff game in 29 years, but needing overtime to do so.  Not before, however, needing an interception to end Lansing's first offensive threat in OT and then on their own possession, opting to kick a field goal which for typical Section IV kickers and teams would be considered wildly out of range.  With that game in the rearview and all lanes cruising ahead into the Section Finals, the Cardinals know their next opponent all too well.

The Chenango Forks Blue Devils are the gold standard in when it comes to Section IV playoffs, 11 section titles in the last 13 years, the last four in five years coming in Class C, the other 7 coming in Class B.  The Cardinals know first hand the kind of effort it will take to dance with the Devils in the pale moon light.  Tim Burton Batman references aside, NV has not had too much luck when it comes to games against Forks lately.  In their last three meetings, all in the regular season, Forks has won all three by a combined score of 113-24.

Come Saturday, the Cardinals are obviously hoping for an upset and are looking to ride the emotional high of last Saturday's win, the teams first in the postseason since 1985.

Kick off scheduled for Saturday at 12:00 from U-E's Ty Cobb Stadium.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Class D Title Game shaping up to be a doozy

For the third straight year the Tioga Tigers and the Unatego Spartans will square off in the Section IV Class D Championship.  Each of the last two years have gone to Tioga.  That may be a good thing for Unatego because they're hungry.  Also, they have two years of experience in scouting Tioga.  Spartans Head Coach Frank Microni says that while he knows what to expect from Tioga, subsequently so do the Tigers know what to expect from his team.

Meanwhile, for the Tigers, their advantage is in their discipline and execution, primarily on the running game.  If, and that's a big if, you can stop Section IV's all-time leading rusher Jesse Manuel... and yes, he is only a junior, you then have to deal with running back 1A Brad Jump.  No one has ever been able to get one without the other.  They've been sharing a backfield since they were kids.  Head Coach Nick Aiello has no problem with how close they are, especially when they put up the kind of numbers they do, both surpassing 2,000 yards a season regularly.  Not to mention, they're close relationship brings the rest of the team closer together.

The Tigers and the Spartans clash on Friday night at U-E's Ty Cobb Stadium at 5:00.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Spartans have "it"

To be a champion, you need to be tested, and more importantly, survive those tests.  The Maine-Endwell Spartans are four wins away from their fourth straight state title and after Saturday's Section IV Semifinal, the Spartans have proved they can win close games.  M-E needed every last effort to hold off Susquehanna Valley in a 13-6 win in the bitter cold.

Last year, the Spartans went relatively untested all year, their closes margin of victory, 35-15 in the Section Finals.  That is, until they survived with a one point win over Cazenovia in the regionals and a one point, come from behind win in the state finals against Schalmont.  This year, they've gotten at least one of those nailbiters out of the way, proving most importantly to themselves that they have what it takes.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


High School Football Sunday Recap: Class C Semifinal Games

On Sunday, we recap the 17-14 overtime victory Newark Valley had over Lansing Saturday afternoon, and a 13-6 win Chenango Forks had over Waverly in the Class C Semifinals.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Section Semi Saturday

Scores and Highlights from Saturday's Section IV Semifinal round:

Class AA:
Horseheads 16 - Elmira 52

Binghamton 24 - Corning 58

Corning @ Elmira, Saturday, 11/8, 3:00 at U-E (for now)

Class B:
Susquehanna Valley 6 - Maine-Endwell 13

Norwich @ M-E, Saturday, 11/8, 6:00 at U-E

Class C:
Waverly 6 - Chenango Forks 13

Newark Valley 17 - Lansing 14 (OT)

NV @ Forks, Saturday, 11/8, 12:00 at U-E

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