Oneida just misses state championship

As cliche as it might be, too little too late should be the slogan of the Class B State Championship between Oneida and Rye Sunday night at the Carrier Dome.

Although Oneida got on the board first (in stunning fashion on their very first possession, it was all Rye until the fourth quarter when Oneida tried hard to overcome a 16-6 deficit.

The Indians scored one more touchdown to make it 16-12 with a little over two minutes left in the game, but a failed onside kick attempt gave Rye the ball.

Rye recovered the kick despite the best efforts of the Indians' special teams who pummeled the receiver. It was to no avail as Rye held on to retain possession.

The Garnets capitalized on the opportunity to run out the clock and as the seconds ran out, so did the dreams of a state championship for the Indians.

It was a run to be pleased with, however, as the Indians kept it close despite Rye's storied history, which includes a state championship last year and a finals appearance in five of the last six years.

Oneida had never even competed in the state playoffs prior to this season.

The community showed its support as well as the Oneida crowd nearly filled their half of the lower bowl of the Carrier Dome.

Considering the weather was terrible and the city's population is only 10,000, it was quite a showing.

For more details about the game including awards won by Oneida, quotes from coaches and players and photos, check back to cnylink.com throughout the week and pick up this week's Oneida Press, available on Wednesday.

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