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Sunday, November 29, 2015


He's the Man-uel


Forks Seniors go out with a bang

Friday, November 27, 2015


Back-to-Back-to-Back for the Blue Devils

There was little doubt from the opening kickoff that the Chenango Forks Blue Devils were going to win a third straight state title making Forks history.  The Blue Devils beat the Greenwich Witches 42-7 in the Class C State Title Game.  Scoring the first three touchdowns of the game, Forks allowed the only Greenwich score late in the first half and never looked back.

Tony Silvanic was named Finals MVP.

Highlights and Reaction below.  We'll have continuing coverage in the days to come.


Tigers finally bring home well deserved state title

After seeing their season end in the state semi-finals each of the last four years, the Tioga Tigers not only got over that hump but bring home a pretty nice piece of hardware after a 33-26 Class D State Title win over Ticonderoga.

Jesse Manuel took home Finals MVP.

Highlights and reaction below.  We'll have continuing coverage in the days to come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Blue Devils and Tigers prepare for State Finals

The Chenango Forks Blue Devils and Tioga Tigers will head to the Carrier Dome on Friday for a chance to bring home state titles.  Tioga will play Ticonderoga at 12:00 and Forks will play Greenwich at 6:00.  Hear from both teams as they prep for the final game of  the season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


CF's Layton and M-E's Finch prove girls are just as tough as guys

Don't tell Hanna Layton and Jaden Finch that they "play ball like a girl."  Although, if you did, it'd be a compliment.  Layton is a fullback and linebacker for Chenango Forks and Finch a lineman for Maine-Endwell and both are just as tough as their male teammates and opponents.  Here's their story:


Gallagher reflects on the last five years

Friday in the New York State Semis the Maine-Endwell Spartans season came to an end.  More importantly, so did the longest win streak in New York State History - 62 straight wins.  The previous record for win streak in the state was set by Hornell at 51 in 2012, but the state unbeaten streak was Massena's 54-0-1 mark set back in 1957.  If 62 is ever matched or passed in New York, chances are it will be in the distant future.

The sting can still be felt by the players and even Head Coach Matt Gallagher, but even so, he's focused on week one next year and took some time to reflect on the last five years.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Blue Devils back into state finals

The Chenango Forks Blue Devils all but coasted into a third straight state finals Saturday with a 44-22 win over Bath.  For Forks, it's also a chance to clinch a third straight state title, a feat not yet accomplished in school history.

Forks plays Greenwich on Friday at 6:00 at the Carrier Dome.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Maine-Endwell's historic streak ends at 62 and in state semis

The streak is over.  After five years, a state record 62 wins, and four straight state titles, the Maine-Endwell Spartans have suffered their first loss and it came in a season ending 43-26 defeat in the state semis at the hands of Buffalo South Park.

The Spartans got off to a quick 14-0 lead and looked to be in control early in the first quarter, but the Sparks rallied and tied the game at 14 just before the half thanks to three turnovers, one which was a 55 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown.

The second half, perhaps a continuation of the most uncharacteristic version of M-E football we've seen in years, saw five more Spartan turnovers and another South Park defensive TD.

All good things must come to and end, and as everyone has been saying for years, "it could end next year." Unfortunately for M-E, the streak ends this year, two wins shy of where their previous four have ended.

What may take a while to process and get over will give way to a reflection on what an accomplishment this was for a program to turn a 7-3 season in 2010 into a 62-1 run over the next five years.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Tioga finally crests the hill and clinches state finals berth

After falling in the Class D State Semis each of the last three years the Tioga Tigers are finally headed to the Carrier Dome with a 38-36 win over Bishop Kearney.  The Tigers got off to a quick 21-6 lead in the second quarter but that lead evaporated late in the 4th.  Adam Zweirlein got the clinching tackle to stop the Kings on 4th down to seal the victory.

Tioga will play Ticonderoga next Friday at 12:00.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Tioga breathing easy with Randolph not in future

The last three seasons for Tioga have all ended in the state semis, all three in losses to Randolph.  The Tigers are once again in the state semis, but the Cardinals are not.  While no game is easy this late in the season, mentally it's a sigh of relief for the Tigers to not have to face the team that's caused to many problems the last few years.

"I think it might a little bit, losing to them three straight times and not playing them this year will be a little different," said Jesse Manuel.  "I don't think the guys will be worrying as much going into the game and I think it'll help us out a lot."

"You get to this point in the season and everyone's good," said Head Coach Nick Aiello.  "It really comes down to how you play and execute.  If we've learned anything in the last four years that's what it boils down to.  You have to execute in big games, you have to block and tackle.  You're playing against top notch competition and you have to take that mentality into the week, and your preparation and your focus and we have to get after it next Friday."

Tioga plays Bishop Kearney Friday at 5:00 at Cicero-North Syracuse.


Silvanic growing as quarterback

At the start of the year LJ Watson was calling the plays for Chenango Forks but in recent weeks that job has fallen to Tony Silvanic.  Having Silvanic under center frees up the faster Watson to run the ball and makes him harder to defend.  Silvanic is now slouch on the ground either and might have the stronger arm of the two, so really, it's a no lose situation.

Still, Silvanic is naturally a tight end, so the adjustment to QB might have taken some getting used to, but he's growing into the role at a pretty convenient time.

"He seems to be getting week after week," said Head Coach Dave Hogan.  "He's definitely a lot more comfortable back there.  With his reads, running the ball as well.   He's getting better on both sides of the ball and it's just in time for the playoffs, right?"

Forks plays Bath on Saturday at noon at Cicero-North Syracuse.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Spartans, Blue Devils, Tigers all tops in the state

As it was in the first few weeks of the season, it is again: Maine-Endwell, Chenango Forks, and Tioga are the top ranked teams in their classes in New York State.  The Spartans and Blue Devils have been the top teams in Class A and Class C respectively all season, but Tioga dropped to as low as 6th after a Week 4 loss to Newark Valley.  The Tigers regional win over Sandy Creek last Friday was enough to once again put them in that number one spot.

With only four teams left in each class, it stands to reason that their state semi-finals opponents would be in the top four.  M-E will play 3rd ranked Buffalo South Park on Friday at 8:00, Forks will play 3rd ranked Bath on Saturday at noon, and Tioga will play 2nd ranked Bishop Kearney at 5:00 on Friday.

Several other teams in Section IV remain ranked despite their seasons ending as recently as this past weekend:

Elmira - 12th (AA)
Binghamton - Honorable Mention (AA)

Waverly - 17th (B)
Chenango Valley, Owego - Honorable Mentions (B)

Newark Valley - 9 (C)
Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour - 19 (C)

Deposit/Hancock - 5 (D)
Walton - 12 (D)
Harpursville/Afton - 15 (D)
Elmira Notre Dame - Honorable Mention (D)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Spartans keep level heads during frustrating times

It's understandable that a team would become frustrated and start playing a little chippy.  That was the case during Friday's Regional Finals between Maine-Endwell and Whitesboro.  The Spartans won 42-7 causing the Warriors to try to take as much frustration out as possible which gained the ire of the M-E sideline.

Yet, throughout all of that, the Spartans kept a level head and stayed discipline which will help them achieve their end goal of a fifth straight state title.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Blue Devils cruise past Utica Notre Dame in State Regionals

The Chenango Forks Blue Devils are back in the State Semis for a 4th straight year after a 35-8 win over Utica Notre Dame.  Regional Finals MVP Tony Silvanic scored four times, three on the ground, one in the air.  Forks took a 14-0 lead into the locker room before the Jugglers cut it to a one score game early in the third.  But the Blue Devils answered right back, with Silvanic's final score of the afternoon to seal the deal.

The Blue Devils improved their state-record for playoff wins to 24 and return to the State Semis.

They will play either Maple Grove/Chataqua Lake or Bath next weekend in Syracuse.


Wolverines season ends in OT loss to Cazenovia

The Waverly Wolverines left in all on the field in Saturday's Class B Regional Finals.  The Wolverines fell 17-14 in overtime to top ranked Cazenovia.  Waverly scored the tying touchdown with 30 seconds to play in the 4th to force the extra session.

In overtime, the Wolverines held the Lakers on their first possession forcing the field goal attempt which made it 17-14.  Then, after the Lakers did the same, a bad snap forced the Wolverines to improvise a pass play which got intercepted ending the contest.

The Wolverines finish the season 8-3.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Spartans Cruise to Fifth Straight Regional Title and 62nd Win

The Maine-Endwell Spartans are headed to their fifth straight State Semis with a 42-7 win over Whitesboro in Friday's State Regional Finals.  The Spartans ended the first up 28-0 thanks to two passing touchdowns from Kyle Balmer to Michael Palmer, a 55 yard Kevin Barrett run, and a Balmer pick 6.  From there, it was into cruise control with the next score coming in the 4th quarter.

The Spartans continue their New York State Record 62-game win streak and avenge the 2010 loss to Whitesboro which was the last time that M-E lost a game.

M-E will next play the winner of Saturday's Section V/Section VI matchup between Brockport and South Park.  That semifinal game will be at Cicero-North Syracuse at 5:00 on Friday the 20th.


Tigers wallop Sandy Creek for fifth straight State Semis berth

The Tioga Tigers coasted past Sandy Creek in the Class D State Regional Finals Friday, 50-14.  Jesse Manuel was the driving force behind the win, picking up 238 yards and five touchdowns in just the first half.

Tioga will play the Section V/Section VI winner Bishop Kearney or Franklinville/Ellicotville/West Valley on Friday the 20th at Cicero-North Syracuse at 8:00.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Forks sticking to the gameplan that got them to Regionals

As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."  The Chenango Forks Blue Devils are sticking to the same brand of hard nosed football that got them to the State Regionals.  Even so, against an explosive offense like Utica Notre Dame, similar to that of Newark Valley's the blocking and the tackling is getting a lot of attention in practice this week.

"Definitely that smash mouth football," said Section Finals MVP Tony Silvanic.  "Our line played awesome and we want to continue to do that all the way to the Dome"

"We talked about blocking and tackling," said Head Coach Dave Hogan.  "We're going to keep working on that.  It's not rocket science.  We're going to keep doing the things that got us here, we just try to elevate it and do it that much better the following week."

Forks and Utica Notre Dame kick-off on Saturday at noon at Alumni Stadium.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Does Whitesboro provide motivation and added pressure to Spartans?

November 12, 2010, Maine-Endwell headed into the first of its now 6th straight Regional Finals only to fall to Whitesboro 40-18.  That was the football team's most recent loss - almost five years ago to the day.

Kevin Barrett, now a senior QB/S for the Spartans, was in the stands for that loss watching his brother Sean's season come to an end.

"It was hard to watch," Barrett said.

Now, five years and four state titles later, the Spartans are on the best run of any high school football team in New York State History.  Friday night they play that sixth straight Regional Final looking for a fifth straight berth in the State Semis.  Standing in their way?  Whitesboro.

Getting a chance to beat the last team to beat them could add pressure to the Spartans, but also provide motivation.  Barrett's older brothers have all been talking to him about getting back at Whitesboro for that 2010 loss.  It's rare to see one of Head Coach Matt Gallagher's players disagree with him, but he says that it's no more pressure or extra motivation, but Barrett says otherwise.

"It's definitely a little bit of both," Barrett said.  "Pressure wise, just because we don't want the last team to beat us to beat us again and end it.  But it adds motivation, we want to keep the streak going and we just come out here and practice and do what we do every single day."

"It's actually neither, I don't think," Gallagher said.  "We're just trying to focus on it's the next game and it's Whitesboro, so they're the most important and our guys are approaching it that way.  So I don't think it really matters to be honest with you."

M-E plays Whitesboro at 5:00 on Friday at Alumni Stadium.


All Section IV and Section III Champions are ranked heading into Regionals

With the number of Section IV teams able to win a state title whittled down to five, there are only nine teams from the section that remain in the state rankings.

All five Section IV Champions are ranked.  Elmira ranks 12th in Class AA, Maine-Endwell 1st in Class A, Waverly 18th in B, Chenango Forks 1st in C, and Tioga 2nd in D.  Their Section III opponents are all also ranked.  Liverpool is ranked 10th in Class AA, Whiteboro 12th in Class A, Cazenovia 1st in B, Utica Notre Dame 7th in C, and Sandy Creek 7th in D.

Other Section IV teams in the state rankings are: Newark Valley 10th and Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour 19th in Class C; and Deposit/Hancock 6th, Walton 12th, and Harpursville/Afton 15th in Class D.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Spartans maintain tradition of winning with 6th straight Section Title

When a team is on a run like the Maine-Endwell Spartans have been for the last five years, there's bound to be pressure.  Sixty-one straight wins, six straight Section IV Titles, and eyes on a fifth straight State Title, even Head Coach Matt Gallagher admits the pressure is there but adds that they try not to think about it.  The longer the era of dominance goes on, the less the current (or future) team wants to be the ones to see it end.  Consider, that in 2010, the last time the Spartans lost a game, this year's senior class was playing modified football.

Now, in 2015, the Spartans have once again earned the title of Section IV Champions beating Johnson City 40-16 on Friday night.  It's an accomplishment to be enjoyed by this team, but to be celebrated by all those that have been involved in this record breaking era of high school football.

"It's just awesome, said RB/DB Kevin Barrett.  "The legacy that everyone behind me has left behind is just crazy.  To fill in for this and to get to six straight is awesome."

"That's great, that's tradition," Gallagher said.  "We've been consistent and that's what we try to do. 
We have our alumni come back all the time, they're on our sidelines, they come to practice, which is a great feeling.  They're welcome anytime and they know that.  The kids on the team now want them there, and it just seems to be one big family and we want them there."

Back in Class A for the first time since winning the State Title in 2011, Maine-Endwell next plays Whitesboro in the State Regionals.  Whitesboro was the last team to beat M-E back in Regionals in 2010.  Kick-off scheduled for 8:00 Friday night at Binghamton Alumni Stadium.


Blue Devils celebrate Section Title as piece of a bigger pie

There's no denying that a team should be allowed to celebrate a Section Title.  Most school's consider anything after a Section Title icing on the cake, but most teams aren't Chenango Forks.  After beating Newark Valley 42-15 Saturday afternoon to win a fourth straight Section Title, Head Coach Dave Hogan told his Blue Devils not to take this one for granted, joking that most of the fans might because it's almost expected of them to win a Section Title, but then added "we're not done yet."

That mindset of not being done is what has helped not only propel Forks to 13 Section Titles in the last 15 years, but to back-to-back State Titles with a third in the cross hairs.  It's a fine line to walk, celebrating a Section Title while staying humble knowing that the ultimate goal is still three weeks away.

"We know it takes a lot of hard work to get to where we have been so we just got to keep going week in and week out, grinding so we can be ready for that," said Tony Silvanic, Finals Defensive MVP.

"It's challenging at times but again, we have great leadership this year and that helps out," Hogan said.  "The seniors, they're veterans.  I think if anyone is getting off task they help us get back on task and I think we'll be ready for next week too."

Forks gets a Regional rematch with Utica Notre Dame next Saturday at 3:00 at Alumni Stadium.  The Blue Devils beat the Jugglers 57-14 one year ago.


Millers share Waverly's Section Title

Like a script out of a movie, after failing to win a Section Title in each of the last two years the Waverly Wolverines outlasted the Chenango Valley Warriors 48-26 allowing Head Coach Jason Miller to hoist the trophy alongside his son and Finals MVP Peyton Miller.

Through the air and on the ground, Peyton picked apart the Warriors defense for 236 yards rushing on 24 carries and five touchdowns as well as 143 yards passing completing 10 of 18 passes.

It was a special performance and a special moment for his father Jason to enjoy from the sidelines.

"It's been awesome.  From the beginning of the year and all the hard work you put in, this is his third year starting at quarterback on varsity, we spend a lot of time together, sometimes too much time together, said the elder Miller.  "But, it's always nice, I'm very blessed to have a son that has that kind of athletic ability but a son that works at it too.  He's a great leader, he's a quiet leader.  I've never seen him become over confident and cocky to the point no one wants to follow his lead, so he's been very reserved.  It's a special moment, special for his mother for sure, so it's pretty cool."

Waverly draws a tough matchup for Regionals in Cazenovia, the top ranked team in Class B in the State.  Kickoff scheduled for 3:00 Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Express take down Patriots to regain Class AA Crown

Despite a one score deficit at halftime, the Binghamton Patriots were unable to derail the Elmira Express in the Class AA Finals.  Elmira took home its first Section Title since 2013 in a 64-50 shootout.

Taking a 34-28 lead into the locker room, the Express jumped out to a 64-36 lead with 8:58 remaining in the game before the Patriots put up a few last minute scores.

The Express will play next Saturday at 6:00 at Alumni Stadium against Liverpool which knocked off top seeded CBA.


Wolverines outlast Warriors in tight Class C Finals

The final score did not indicate exactly how close the Class C Section Finals was as Waverly won its first Section Title since 2011 in a 48-26 win over Chenango Valley.

The Wolverines and Warriors were scoreless after one quarter and Waverly was the first to strike in the second.  Tied at 7 with 2:06 left in the half, Brendyn Stillman intercepted a Mark Mullins pass and took it back 55 yards to go up 14-7.  But, the Warriors ran an effective two-minute drill to drive the length of the field to score but missed the two-point conversion allowing the Wolverines to take a 14-13 lead into the break.

The Warriors took a brief lead in the third, scoring first in the half to go up 20-14 but the Wolverines and QB Peyton Miller answered right back to regain the lead.  Mark Mullins then found Matt Slezak for their third touchdown connection of the evening to regain the lead briefly.  That would be the last score and the last lead for the Warriors.

Miller earned his Finals MVP Honors on the next Waverly scoring drive.  Three times the Wolverines scored only to have it called back by penalties, two of those scores Miller's, before Miller punched it in for what would be  the go-ahead score.

Dan Blackman sealed the victory with a key interception of Mullins, Miller promptly followed with a 36 yard TD and the Wolverines cruised from there to win the school's first Section Title in four years.

Waverly will play the Cazenovia, the top ranked team in Class B, next Saturday at Alumni Stadium, at 3:00.


Blue Devils win 4th straight Section IV Title in blowout of Newark Valley

The Chenango Forks Blue Devils won their 4th straight Section IV Title on Saturday in a 42-15 win over Newark Valley.  LJ Watson got the scoring early with a 72 yard rushing TD and from there Forks never looked back.

Watson was named Finals MVP, Tony Silvanic Finals Defensive MVP.

The Blue Devils will advance to the Regionals next Saturday at noon, again at Alumni Stadium.  They will play the Utica Notre Dame Jugglers for the second straight year.  Last year Forks won that contest 57-14.

Friday, November 6, 2015


Tioga wins 5th straight Section IV Title

By seeding in the Section IV playoffs it was an expected win, by State Rankings it was an upset.  The Tioga Tigers beat the Deposit/Hancock Eagles 53-26.  The Tigers got off to a quick 22-0 score before the Eagles soared back within five, 25-20.  Then, just before halftime, Nick Klossner intercepted his second pass off D/H's Darren Shaver and returned it for a touchdown. 

Tioga next plays the winner of Class D in Section III in the State Regionals at Alumni Stadium next weekend.


Spartans win 6th straight Section IV Title and 61st straight game

The Maine-Endwell Spartans continue to make history as Friday night marked the 61st straight game they've won and this one was to clinch a Section IV Class A Title.  The Spartans have now been the top team in their Class in six straight years, winning Class A in 2010, 2011, and 2015 with Class B Titles in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

The Spartans defeated the Johnson City Wildcats 40-16 at Binghamton's Alumni Stadium.  M-E got off to a quick start thanks to a big 39 yard run by John Cerra and a 60 yard pick 6 by Andrew Grassi in the first quarter and never looked back from that early 12-0 lead.

Quarterback Kyle Balmer was named Finals MVP with two rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown to Michael Palmer.

The Spartans will play the Section III Champ Whitesboro next weekend at Alumni Stadium for the Regional Championship.  Whitesboro was the last team to beat Maine-Endwell at the end of the 2010 season.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


What to watch for as Forks and NV battle for Class C Title

The Chenango Forks Blue Devils and Newark Valley Cardinals are very familiar with each other.  The two have met five times in the last four years with Forks winning all five including a 42-12 Section Finals a year ago.

This time around, the Blue Devils are looking to make it 13 Section Titles in 15 years.  They've won every title game in which they've played, missing out on the finals in 2008 and 2011.

For the Cardinals, they're post game mantra has been "Road to the Dome" all year, and as far as they're concerned, there's no reason this isn't the team to be playing in Syracuse after Thanskgiving.

CORRECTION: Forks and Newark Valley battle for the Section crown on Saturday at 12:00 at Binghamton's Alumni Stadium.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Section IV Teams enter Section Finals ranked statewide

Ten teams will compete for Section IV Titles on the gridiron this weekend and of those ten, seven are ranked among the best in the state.

Class AA:
Elmira - 14
Binghamton (Honorable Mention)

Class A:
Maine-Endwell - 1

Class B:
Waverly - 21
 Chenango Valley, Owego (Honorable Mention)

Class C:
Chenango Forks - 1
Newark Valley - 8
Watkins Glen/Odessa Montour - 19

Class D:
 Deposit/Hancock - 2
Tioga - 3
Walton - 12
Harpursville/Afton -15
Elmira Notre Dame (Honorable Mention)

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