The first part was simple enough - Mike Sullivan scoring on a 31-yard run to put the Warriors ahead 20-14. Even the fact that Maine-Endwell fumbled the ensuing kickoff was conventional enough. Then Bradee Holtslag threw to the end zone, seemingly too far for mortals - but Mike Bunal dove full-out, caught it with one hand, brought it under control and stayed inbounds at the back of the end zone. Touchdown.
Everything after that was academic as Whitesboro pulled away, and attention turned out west, where a crown was relinquished. Sweet Home, the two-time state champs, winners of 36 in a row, finally gave in to Rochester Aquinas, who used blinding speed and aggression to wipe out the Panthers 36-6 and get revenge for 2008 and '09.
Put simply, the "Little" Irish (who really should be in Class AA, and that's a sore spot in Rochester high school circles) provide as severe a challenge for Whitesboro as Sweet Home did 12 months ago. The Warriors have to keep the ball for long periods of time and avoid giving up big plays to Aquinas to have a chance. Burnt Hills and Harrison meet for the other finals spot.
General Brown got to the state semis once before - in 2003. But the Lions' trip might be sweeter now, given that it had to gain some revenge on Chenango Forks in a regional final sequel to 2009, when the Blue Devils blanked the Lions 22-0.
At one point early in the fourth quarter of the rematch, GB led 21-6, but Forks scored and got a two-point conversion to make it 21-14, then made a frantic drive in the closing minutes. When second-string QB Zach Jeske hit Derek Foster on a 21-yard scoring pass with 15.1 seconds left, Forks was within one, and had to make a decision. Tie, or win?