WEEK 11 BIG BLUE-MIKE BILINSKI PLAYOFF PREVIEWS-TUNE IN TO ESPN TODAY AT 410 AS MIKE BREAKS IT DOWN
Big Blue-Mike Bilinski for My Hometown Sports
Well sports fans it’s a whole new season as the Section III teams head to the state playoffs.
Now the best of the best from around the state square off to see who will be crowned New York State champion.
# 6 Herkimer Magicians 9-1 vs. # 2 Tioga Tigers 10-0-MHTS Friday Night Lights Game of the Week on ESPN 99.1FM!
The Magicians and the Tigers will meet to see who is the best team in Class D in upstate New York. This includes sections III and IV.
Last week the Tigers, like they have done all season, crushed Unatego 80-53. The Tigers rushed for more than 622 yards in the game and their starting running backs only played in the first half.
Tioga Central will seek a third consecutive Class D state football quarterfinal victory Friday night when Herkimer provides the opposition at Union-Endicott’s Ty Cobb Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The 10-0 Tigers, ranked No. 2 in New York behind reigning champion Randolph, have averaged 43.4 points per game this season. The Magicians have countered with 43.3 per game during their present eight-game win streak following a 7-6 loss to Dolgeville.
The winner will advance to a semifinal against either Randolph or Red Jacket, 5 p.m. Nov. 22 at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.
Tigers sophomore Jesse Manuel enters state playoffs on a five-game roll in which he has rushed for 1,062 yards. That began with 262 yards in the regular-season finale against Harpursville and continued through the 217 first-half yards with which he punished Unatego.
The Herkimer Magicians again used a big performance from QB Austin Mills to come away with a 43-13 win over Sandy Creek to win the sectional title. Mills passed for two scores and rushed for three to lead Herkimer.
The Magicians scored on their first snap of the game – a 63-yard pass from Mills to BrennonThompson, who had gotten behind the secondary. Mills offered that it was not the designated play called. The Magicians tried to run a flair pass to the fullback.
Herkimer, which lost in the Section III Class C championship game to Skaneateles a year ago, is now a Class D champion and advances to the state quarterfinals next weekend.
The prize? A matchup with No. 2 state-ranked Tioga, which defeated Unatego 80-53 on Saturday. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Union-Endicott.
Tioga is a big physical team that loves to run the football downhill. They will look to control the line of scrimmage, time of possession and roll over Herkimer.
The Tigers have three excellent running backs in Jesse Manuel, Brad Jump and Adam Zwierlein
Herkimer will look to spread the field which will allow Mills to run quarter back power.
However, it may be Mill’s ability to throw the football and strike quickly that will keep the Magicians in the game.
If Herkimer can keep pace with the Tigers, this game will come down to the wire. If the Magicians allow themselves to get pushed around up-front and can’t slow down the running attack of Tioga out of the straight T formation, it will be a long night for Herkimer.
Well sports fans the state playoffs are here.
Weather you travel to Binghamton or listen to the game on the radio hold on to your hats as these two very good teams lay it all on the line for a chance to compete for that coveted State Title.