WARRIOR NATION CELEBRATES PERFECT REGULAR SEASON WITH 48-14 WIN IN NEW HARTFORD
Whitesboro running back Matt Felitto (30) drives through a big hole for a touchdown.
MIKE BUNAL-MATT FELITTO-MONSTER ENERGY DRINK PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Class A National Champs…check…Perfect regular season…check…Just a couple of more checks and the Whitesboro Warriors football team will have made it a Section III title three-peat.
Whitesboro also cruised in to the 2011 post-season on a major roll, with a perfect 7-0 record, in anticipation of winning their third straight Section III Class A crown.
Entering the season, Whitesboro had reeled off back-to-back 10-2 seasons and back to back visits to the New York State Tourney semi-finals, only to lose to the eventual state champs, both years.
If coach Tom Schoen’s Big Blue Wrecking Crew can continue at this pace the tradition rich program will earn its 9th Section III Championship.
The state’s #6 ranked Warriors had little trouble stating their case for a trip to states, as they had the spotlight all to themselves on a special Thursday night edition of the MHTS Friday Night Lights High School Football game of the week.
The game was moved to Thursday to accommodate coach Schoen’s Friday Night induction into the Ithaca College Football Hall of Fame.
His troops sent him off in style, racking up almost 500 yards of offense, 491 to be exact, and 458 yards on the ground against the Spartans.
In seven regular season outings Whitesboro has averaged 47.1 points per game, to leave those in their wake wondering what had hit them in the mouth.
On Thursday night it was a one-two punch of Mike Bunal and Matt Felitto, who delivered the biggest blows, for the visitors, en route to the big win.
Felitto, a 210 pound battering ram, showed his stuff, in style, as he ran over, around and through the Spartans defense for 236 yards on 14 carries and also scored twice.
One of Matt’s six pointers was a 51 yard dash, up the middle, with 10:00 minutes left in the game and came just :43 seconds after New Hartford’s Derek German found his way home on a nifty four yard run to put the Spartans on the board, with 10:43 to go.
German, one of New Hartford’s 14 seniors, had another solid night with 77 yards in receptions, hauling in 7 Steve Tomaino passes. Speaking of Tomaino, the QB rushed for 71 yards on 18 carries.
The other Felitto touchdown run came, from 15 yards out, with 1:35 left in a busy second quarter for Whitesboro.
Bunal who shared Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game honors with Felitto had a great all-around game, starting at QB for the injured Adam Eberly, and playing great on defense.
His defensive efforts were capped off by an attention grabbing pick six early in the game that set the tone in the latest chapter of this rivalry.
With fans barely in their seats Bunal laid in the weeds, like a hungry Tiger Muskie, and cut in front off New Hartford’s Derek German, the intended receiver, to pick off a Steve Tomaino offering and return in 59 yards for a score. The pick came with 9:09 left in the opening quarter.
To cap off the half Bunal dialed up his own number and scored on TD runs of 70 and 15 yards. Bunal amassed 111 yards on just 6 carries.
The 70 yard dash came with 2:10 left in the opening twelve minutes. The 15 yarder made it 26-0 Warriors with 4:05 left in the first half.
By the time the half rolled around Whitesboro was up 35-0. CJ Brucker also scored in the first half as the, rough and tumble, fullback muscled his way home from two yards out with 5:44 left in the first quarter.
The Brucker plunge was set up by a 30 yard rip by Matt Felitto on the previous play.
The third quarter was scoreless but the Spartans showed their longtime coach Bob Jones that they would not quit driving for two late scores in the final twelve minutes of play.
We already mentioned the Derek German four yard run but still need to talk about his second TD burst from 14 yards out, that came, with 4:47 to go in the game.
Whitesboro fans got a glimpse just how deep the Warriors roster is, when junior QB Jared Muraca raced to the promised land from 10 yards out with 2:55 left on the clock.
The Warriors played without three front line starters, Steve Almond, Adam Eberly and Connor Passalaqua, showed fans just how much depth they have on this roster and they get set for another late season, now post-season run.
That run will get under way next Friday night at home for the Class A number one seed now (7-0).
New Hartford (0-7) will play a cross-over game next week as well. Pairings for the Section III Playoffs and cross-over games will be determined at a meeting on Sunday.
Whitesboro 48 New Hartford 14
1 2 3 4 Total
Whitesboro 20 15 0 13 48
New Hartford 0 0 0 14 14