As if it were scripted just right, the Vernon Verona Sherrill and Oneida football teams will meet on the field Friday night in Oneida with a piece of the Class B East division regular-season title on the line.
The Red Devils made this possible by going to the north country on Saturday night and using big plays in the fourth quarter to beat South Jefferson 33-20. This came a day after Oneida, in a non-league contest, lost to Westhill 38-13.
That win in Adams moved VVS to 2-1 in league play, the same record as South Jefferson -- not to mention Oneida and Chittenango, creating a unique and exciting scenario for the final weekend of the regular season.
While South Jefferson visits Chittenango, VVS and Oneida resume their long and bitter rivalry. Any of the four teams involved could finish anywhere from first to fourth in the league standings, with the only guarantee that the winners will be at home for next weekend's opening round of the Class B playoffs.
This was what lay ahead of the Red Devils as it ended a three-game homestand and ventured to South Jefferson. What it showed was that it had learned plenty from past experiences.
In particular, the Red Devils paid attention when Marcellus quarterback Will Fiacchi lit up the Spartans for 519 passing yards (third-most in a single game in state history) on Sept. 26. Given that, Tyler Mautner knew he would be active, too.
Sure enough, Mautner threw for 289 yards against the Spartans, and would break VVS out of a 6-6 first-quarter tie, the Red Devils getting on the board when Colin Way scored on a two-yard run.
Twice in the second period, Mautner led scoring drives, capping one off with Dylan Guider's three-yard run plus a two-point pass to Tyler Curtis, then making it 20-6 just before halftime as he found Aaron Owens in the end zone from 13 yards out.