If you’ve ever heard ESPN’s Chris Berman say, “Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick” as a team is trying to score late in a half or a game, the same thing has to be going through the minds of three area high school football teams.
Although in this case, it has nothing to do with in-game time concerns.
Instead, it’s in reference to an opponent. As in, Unatego, Bainbridge-Guilford and Walton don’t know who they’ll play this coming weekend in the Section Four Class D quarterfinals.
In Walton’s case, the Warriors still aren’t sure if they’re even in the quarterfinals.
“I’m told a decision will be made (today),” said Walton coach Jim Hoover, whose team defeated Deposit/Hancock, 46-6, on Saturday to possibly secure the second playoff berth in Division VIII.
Here’s the problem: Last week, the Section Four Football Conference announced that the top two teams from each of the four divisions would qualify for the Class D quarterfinals. Under that scenario, Walton would make the playoffs.
Last weekend, Delhi coach Dave Kelly said the aforementioned scenario was agreed to in a coaches’ meeting before the season, but that’s not how it was worded in a handbook that went out to the coaches. In the handbook, it said Class D playoff spots would be awarded strictly based on seeding points. Kelly said he thought it might have been a clerical error.
Spencer-Van Etten has protested last week’s ruling, Hoover said. The Panthers are 5-2 and would qualify for the playoffs if it went by seeding points.
“They’ve changed their minds three times in the last week, so I guess they could do it again,” Hoover said. “The Section Four football committee is in some pretty good trouble right now.”
Hoover said Walton (3-4, 2-1 Division VIII) would be seeded eighth, so if the committee reverses what it said last week, the Warriors wouldn’t make the playoffs and S-VE would take their place.
Meanwhile, Unatego (5-2) and B-G (5-2) — the top two teams in Division VII — are waiting to see who they’ll play this weekend.
“We’re game-planning for three teams,” Unatego coach Frank Microni said. “In a normal week, we have one-to-two films of the team we’re playing and we break down film (Sunday). Every coach wants to be prepared on Monday. It’s hard to do that and we may end up playing Friday night, but every team is in the same boat. Right now, we’re stuck not knowing.”
Microni added he might not know his opponent until Tuesday.
Walton 46, D/H 6
Trevor Spencer, Austin Kilmer and Mike Beers combined for 338 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the Warriors’ Division VII victory Saturday.
The Warriors scored 24 points in the first quarter, with Beers scoring on a 3-yard run, Kilmer going in on a 50-yard dash, and Spencer running in on a 27-yarder. Those three had two-point conversion runs in the quarter as well.
Spencer (129 rushing yards) and Beers (90) finished with two touchdowns apiece, and sophomore quarterback Trevor Zandt contributed a 24-yard scoring pass to Brandon Scofield.
“We needed a win like this early in the season,” Hoover said. “The schedule didn’t help with getting confidence for our young people.”
Hoover added that if Walton does make the playoffs, it will open at top-seeded Tioga (6-1), a rematch of last year’s Section Four Class D final that the Tigers won, 19-18.
“They’re a lot better football team than last year and they’re young,” Hoover said. “They have three seniors starting on offense and three seniors starting on defense. They’re young and they’re very, very good.
“We have to play four quarters, which we haven’t done all year,” he continued. “It’s tough with (senior quarterback) Dalton (Kaminsky) out for the year. To lose a quarterback who’s started for three years is hard. We’re experimenting with two 10th-grade quarterbacks (Zandt and Matt Sinistore), but we want a shot at playing Tioga. They’re one of the best teams in the state. We’d like to see what we can do. Last week, we started five 10th-graders on defense, so this would do us good.”
Kaminsky broke his left arm in Walton’s 28-18 win over Delhi two weeks ago.
Harpursville 46, Delhi 16
Steven Lee scored on runs of 13 and 25 yards in the second quarter and returned an interception 77 yards for a TD in the fourth quarter as visiting Harpursville wrapped up the Division VIII title with a road victory Saturday.
The Hornets (6-1) went 3-0 in the division, including a 20-14 win over Walton last Saturday.
Delhi (3-4, 1-2), which failed to make the Class D playoffs, opened the scoring in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by quarterback Ben Denison. A successful two-point try gave the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead.
Harpursville followed with 46 consecutive points.
Lee’s 25-yard run gave the Hornets a 14-8 lead. Mason Dean followed with scoring runs of 1 and 41 yards.
Denison hit Noah DeDominicis on a 62-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter.
Brian Ingram had 71 yards for the Bulldogs, who’ll play a non-league game this weekend against an undetermined opponent.
JC 52, Oneonta 21
Senior quarterback Brendan Lord threw for 166 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for a touchdown, but Oneonta High lost a non-division game at Binghamton Alumni Stadium on Saturday.
The Yellowjackets (0-7) have allowed a Section Four-high 314 points this season — an average of 44.9.
Oneonta’s Sam Sherrill had 50 yards rushing and a touchdown. Mat Robinson caught Lord’s TD pass. Robinson finished with 67 receiving yards on two catches and Joe Spataro caught a 76-yard pass from Lord.
The Yellowjackets play host to Windsor on Friday in a Division III game.
UV 42, R/D 0
Justin Hofer scored three touchdowns, Kody Homann had two TDs, and Kurt Haycook had a pair of TD passes during Unadilla Valley’s non-league win over visiting Roscoe/Downsville on Saturday.
“The 3-H club (Homann, Hofer and Haycook) played their tails off on both sides of the ball,” UV first-year coach Daryl Decker wrote in an email.
Hofer caught a 32-yard scoring pass from Haycook to open the scoring in the first quarter. Homann’s 4-yard scoring run and Haycook’s two-point run gave the Storm a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Homann finished with 151 rushing yards, and Hofer had 39 rushing yards and 82 receiving yards.
Dillon Rifanburg also scored for the Storm, on a 14-yard pass from Haycook.
UV (3-4) will play a non-league game this weekend against an undetermined opponent.
Kevin Segit finished with 60 yards on the ground and a touchdown during Cooperstown’s home loss in Section Three.
“I am very proud how the boys played against their fourth ranked team of the season,” first-year Cooperstown coach Mark Segina wrote in an email.
An interception and a blocked punt helped Sauquoit Valley, which is ranked 13th in Class D, to a 23-point splurge in the second quarter.
Segit’s 13-yard scoring run came in the third quarter. Noah Sims then hit Scott Segit on a two-point pass.
Cooperstown (1-6) will close its season at Clinton at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Windsor 24, B-G 7
Isma’il Griffin had two rushing touchdowns and Josh Cady threw a pair of TD passes as host Windsor won a non-division game Friday night.
Bainbridge-Guilford took a 7-6 lead in the first quarter when Corbin Palmer found Austin Bauerle on a 21-yard play. Lucas Butcher’s extra point gave the Bobcats a one-point lead.
The Black Knights (3-4) took a 13-7 lead into halftime after Cady hit Dylan King on a 27-yard pass play.
Cady then capped the scoring in the third quarter, hitting Griffin with a 12-yard TD pass and then reaching the end zone on a 2-yard run.
Windsor’s defense held 1,000-yard rusher Jake Mazzarella to 30 yards on 10 carries.
The Bobcats will play a Section Four Class D quarterfinal this weekend.