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Ludden claims tiebreaker, goes to Class C playoffs

All season long, the Bishop Ludden football team proved to be adept at putting up points early.

And that was the deciding factor in allowing the Gaelic Knights (5-2) to reach the Section III Class C playoffs.

When the regular season was over, Ludden, along with Tully and Canastota, shared a three-way tie for second place in Class C North, all with 3-2 league marks

The tiebreaker was first-half point differential, and the Gaelic Knights had a better margin than the Raiders or Black Knights, allowing it to move forward.

This followed a regular-season finale last Friday where Ludden jumped all over winless Pulaski in a 59-14 romp.

Through a steady succession of big plays, the Gaelic Knights amassed 31 first-quarter points and built its lead to 45-0 by halftime before easing up.

Four different Ludden players scored in the first quarter. Connor Sweeney threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Wendall Williams and ran 45 yards for another score, while Daquan Grobsmith (32 yards) and Craig Martin (30 yards) also had long TD runs. Ben Searle also hit on a 21-yard field goal.

Adding to the damage in the second quarter, George Eunice ran 70 yards for six points and Grobsmith got a 33-yard TD run. For the night, Grobsmit had 133 yards on just 10 carries.

Ludden's starters rested most of the second half, but Williams still returned a fumble 20 yards for one TD, and Julio Ortiz got on the board for the first time all season by scoring from 33 yards out.

Now the Gaelic Knights take its big-play ability to the big stage of the Class C playoffs when it visits Adirondack (6-1) Saturday at 2 p.m. in the first round.

Adirondack shared the Class C East title with Mount Markham and Herkimer, but claimed the top spot for the playoffs by winning its own three-way tiebreaker. If Ludden can survive its tough trip to Boonville, it will meet Westmoreland or Herkimer in the semifinals next weekend.

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