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October 6, 2012

Unatego football clinches division title

The Daily Star

---- — Staff Report

Tyler Butler scored on a pair of 3-yard touchdown runs Friday night, leading host Unatego to a division-clinching victory in the Section Four Football Conference as the Spartans downed Unadilla Valley, 37-16.

“I’m happy for the seniors we have,” said Unatego coach Frank Microni, whose team went 3-0 in Division VII to secure the title. “They went through a one-win season – we were 1-8 in 2010 (Microni’s first as head coach) – and the same guys up there now are seniors. They came a long way, stuck with the program and believe in what we do.”

Butler scored less than two minutes in and Josh Feyerabend followed with the extra point for a 7-0 lead. Butler also hit Jon Wingate for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 6 minutes, 26 seconds left in the opening quarter and had another 3-yard TD run a little more than three minutes later. David VanAlstine’s two-point conversion run after Butler’s second TD run gave Unatego (5-1) a 21-0 lead after one quarter.

The Spartans also received touchdowns from Kevin Thayer (6-yard run) and VanAlstine (41-yard run) en route to a 37-0 lead after three quarters.

Kurt Haycook had a 13-yard TD run for Unadilla Valley in the fourth quarter, which also featured a 5-yard TD run by teammate Kody Homann.

VanAlstine finished with 148 rushing yards on 14 carries. Butler contributed 83 rushing yards and went 8-for-13 for 170 passing yards for the Spartans, who visit rival Sidney next Friday for a non-division game.

“Sidney is the premier team in the area,” Microni said of the Warriors, who lost a Division V game, 31-30, to Chenango Forks on Friday. “They’re very strong and physical. Hopefully can play with them.”

Haycook completed 14 of 29 passes for 149 yards and was intercepted three times. Justin Hofer had seven catches for 76 receiving yards, two fewer than Kellen Komenda’s game-high for Unatego.