What Unatego proved Saturday is that if Tioga has a state-championship-caliber team, then the Spartans have a state-championship-caliber passing game.
Seeing as Tioga gave the vast majority of its starters the second half off Saturday after building a 59-12 halftime lead, let’s just look at what Unatego’s offense accomplished in the first half.
Put simply, the Spartans’ offense worked. And it worked against a Tioga defense that earned a 7-0 victory over Section Four Class C champion Chenango Forks in Week 2.
Before the NFL season started, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asked for his thoughts on the read option. Tomlin dismissed it as a flavor-of-the-month offense.
Having seen Unatego four times this season, I’ve become a firm believer in the offensive scheme. It stretches defenses vertically and horizontally, and the Spartans proved that even an elite squad such as Tioga can struggle to stop it.
With no running game to speak of and two possessions wiped out by onsides-kick recoveries by Tioga, Josh Feyerabend still completed 17 of 25 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns before halftime. It’s safe to say that even if Tioga kept its starters in for the second half that Feyerabend was well on his way to a 300-yard passing day (the reason he nearly threw for 600 is because Tioga opted not to play its defensive starters in the second half).
From his shotgun formation, Feyerabend had time to throw and there were plenty of open receivers in the secondary. Feyerabend had success throwing to the sidelines, over the middle and on screen passes.
That helped Unatego to four legitimate drives. The Spartans moved the ball 49 yards on its second possession, which ended with Feyerabend hitting a wide-open Kyle Spaulding down the left sideline for a touchdown.