September 22, 2012
One way or another, Section III football teams have crossed the midway point in the incredibly short regular season they have around here - in places like Texas, Ohio and Georgia, the regular-season games go into double digits.
About the only good thing is that it brings big-time urgency to every contest, especially when league play starts, since that's the basis for the playoff brackets come mid-October.
The Class AA season had a big turning point on Friday. F-M, once thought to be in charge in the AA-1 division, lost that control thanks to Liverpool, who avenged a series of previous losses to the Hornets, including last year's playoff heartbreaker.
This means that the Warriors and Utica Proctor (who beat Auburn) share first place going into their showdown at LHS Stadium next weekend. It also means that Baldwinsville, who flattened Rome Free Academy behind 366 yards from Tyler Rouse, controls its own fate in the AA-1 race because it still has Liverpool and Proctor up ahead, in that order.
Then there's AA-2, where the only undefeated side resides, wearing purple and gold. CBA was powerful and physical in taking down West Genesee Thursday night, and the Brothers are 4-0, now only worried about Henninger in the division after the Black Knights got its third win in a row over Central Square.
Clarity has emerged in the Class A divisions. All is in line for J-D against Nottingham next Friday night, with first place in the American division at stake, as the Red Rams, led by an inspired and emotional Josiah Williams, routed Fulton and the Bulldogs did the same to Fowler.
In the National division, just when it looked like Watertown was poised to upend Whitesboro from the top spot, the Warriors went to the north country, held Diamond Wililams under 100 yards and ran for 396 of its own to beat the Cyclones 38-28. Now Whitesboro has to avoid a letdown next week against 3-1 Indian River in order to secure the league crown again.
No question, though, who's in charge of Class B West. Chittenango is no. 3 in the state, and deservedly so, as Homer found out the hard way on Friday night in Bear Country. The 42-0 win served notice that perhaps no one, other than Maine-Endwell, has the capacity to keep the Bears from a serious state title run. Between the ground game and that ferocious defense, Chittenango is that good.
Friday was a big night in the Class C divisions. Up north, General Brown still has got the key to the throne, recording its third straight shutout Friday over Watertown IHC. The Lions have outscored its last three foes a combined 129-0, which is rather good.
Just as powerful is Skaneateles in the West division. After the Lakers saw Conor Herr throw six touchdown passes against Marcellus on Friday, they got to see Bishop Ludden take down Tully, meaning that Skaneateles has sole possession of first place, though it still has to beat the Black Knights in two weeks' time to get first outright.
Herkimer has maintained its grip on the C East division, winning the sectional final rematch with Utica-Notre Dame 26-7 to move to 4-0, the same mark as C South division pace-setter Canastota, who fought off Waterville 20-13.
Weedsport still is cruising through Class D, making it four in a row with Friday's 35-14 dusting of Cato-Meridian, but all eyes will fixate Saturday on Westmoreland's showdown with Dolgeville, not to mention some juicy Class B games that include the annual Oneida-VVS rivalry renewal and Cazenovia taking on Cortland.