The Class A final at 7:30 Friday night is, like Class D, a situation where a long-time power confronts a real upstart. Whitesboro is the power, its only defeat coming by a single point at Indian River before a dominant through October that, for coach Tom Schoen's Warriors, included playoff romps over J-D and Cortland where a rash of turnovers broke things open.
Watertown is the newcomer, breaking free of a long stretch of mediocrity (or worse). Vince Williams, a Watertown alum, has transformed the Cyclones, first by putting together a dominant offensive line, then finding a superstar named Tevion Cappe to handle the rest.
And Cappe has taken over, to the tune of 2,080 yards and 35 touchdowns. Half those yards have come in the last three weeks, including the first-round romp at Whitesboro (458 yards) and a semifinal where Cappe got "only" 258 yards, but the Cyclones still avenged a regular-season loss to Indian River 42-22.
Everyone is waiting to see how the deep, physical and dominant Whitesboro defense deals with Cappe - which may give Watertown quarterback Tyler Augliano a chance to air it out. Also, the Cyclones have to take care of the ball, or Whitesboro could match the 60 it rang up on New Hartford in last year's final.
For the first game Sunday at 11 a.m., it's the only confrontation between two undefeated teams - 9-0 General Brown, the defending champions, against 9-0 Cato-Meridian, in its first final since 1993.
And few will give the Blue Devils a chance. They'll point out that Cato needed a rash of turnovers, plus double overtime, to survive Utica-Notre Dame in the first round, then got more gifts from Watertown IHC in the semifinals - try 10 turnovers - that turned what looked like a toss-up into a 42-7 romp. What they forget is that Nick LaLone is a terrific quarterback and great athlete (note his wrestling record), and that with a senior-heavy lineup, Cato does not get rattled.