BINGHAMTON — To be clear, Unatego’s football team had no chance Saturday against a big, quick and punishing squad from Tioga.
One can point to the 47-point halftime deficit the Spartans faced and the 625 rushing yards the Tigers rolled up as proof.
But along the way, the Spartans participated in what might have been the wackiest game in Section Four football history.
Sophomore Josh Feyerabend threw for a state-record 579 yards and finished with a single-game Section Four record of seven touchdowns passes during the Spartans’ 80-53 loss in the Section Four Class D final at Binghamton Alumni Stadium.
No typos appeared in the previous sentence.
As the teams were combining to score 55 points in the fourth quarter, longtime Johnson City athletic trainer Tony Cleary had a fitting summation to this one.
“There are used cars out there without this many miles,” Cleary said from Unatego’s sideline as the squads traded touchdowns at a dizzying pace.
Second seeded Unatego (8-2) and top-seeded Tioga (10-0) combined for 1,247 yards from scrimmage.
“That’s really crazy. I wasn’t thinking, 80-53,” said Tioga sophomore Jesse Manuel, who rushed for a game-high 220 yards and scored four touchdowns, despite not playing in the second half. “It’s great.”
Added Unatego senior Kellen Komenda: “We still lost, but it’s the most fun I’ve had losing. We couldn’t stop them on D. They’re a great team, but we kept fighting — Spartan pride.”
Feyerabend, who went 29 of 40, with 17 of those completions coming against Tioga’s first-team defense in the opening half, said Unatego coach Frank Microni told the team at halftime to have fun in the second half as it faced a 59-12 deficit.
And so the Spartans did just that.
Against Tioga’s reserves, Unatego’s first-team offense scored 41 points in the second half, including 34 in the fourth quarter. Feyerabend went 12-for-15 after halftime for 353 yards and five scoring passes. He also scored a rushing touchdown.