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FROM THE PRESS BOX: PIGSKIN PICKERS PROGNOSTICATE ON POSTESEASON PLAY (2021-11-12)

Six Section IV football titles will be on the line this weekend, and Canton is playing for a District 4 title, while Troy is in action in the Class AA semifinals.

Tioga is seeking its ninth Class D title in 10 years when it takes on arch-rival Newark Valley tonight at Binghamton’s Alumni Stadium, while Waverly seeks its first title since 2015 at powerhouse Chenango Forks, which has won 17 titles in the last 19 years.

The first weekend of postseason action was a very good one for three of the pigskin prognosticators as Little Red, Country Bob, and myself were all 9-1, while The Mick was 7-3.

On the season, Little Red remains atop the standings at 101-16, while I have a record of 95-22, The Mick is 94-23, and Country Bob is 88-29.

This week, the prognosticators will test their mettle with eight postseason picks, including all six of the Section IV title games.

Let’s start with the Valley teams in action:

Tioga (8-0) vs. Newark Valley (7-2), 7 p.m. @ Binghamton’s Alumni Stadium: The Tigers are coming off a 55-12 rout of Delhi in the Class D semifinals, while the Cardinals needed overtime to edge Harpursville-Afton, 28-26, in the other semi-final game.

Tioga won the first meeting this season, 46-15, but that game could have been much closer. Newark Valley controlled the ball in the first half, but came up empty inside Tioga’s 30 three times, and trailed 13-0 at the half.

Prediction: Newark Valley has to either score a lot of points, or control the ball and keep the potent Tioga offense off the field. I don’t think they can do enough of either over 48 minutes to beat this Tioga team. … TIOGA 36, NEWARK VALLEY 19.
Little Red:
Tioga 42, Newark Valley 13.
The Mick: Tioga 32, Newark Valley 16.
Country Bob: Tioga 44, Newark Valley 20.

Waverly (10-0) at Chenango Forks (7-1), 7 p.m.: The Wolverines are coming off a 35-8 win over Norwich to advance to the Class C title game, while the Blue Devils thumped Watkins Glen / O-M, 39-14 in the other semi-final game.

This game appears to be a contrast in style with Forks’ punishing ground game against Waverly’s pass-happy offense, but that would be a bit misleading. Waverly features a balanced offense, running the ball for nearly as much yardage per game as it passes, and that could prove to be a big benefit.

Prediction: I have under-estimated this Waverly team from the get-go this season. I hope I’m doing it again, but I don’t think so. … CHENANGO FORKS 26, WAVERLY 10.
Little Red:
Waverly 24, Forks 21.
The Mick: Forks 28, Waverly 24.
Country Bob: Forks 21, Waverly 13.

Elmira (5-3) at Corning (7-1), 7 p.m.: The Hawks rolled to a 51-6 win over Binghamton in the Class AA semifinals, while the Express advanced to the title game with a 44-30 win over Ithaca.

Prediction:
Corning won their first meeting this season, 30-8, but we’ve seen this dance before, and Elmira always makes the second game closer. … CORNING 26, ELMIRA 16.
Little Red:
Corning 28, Elmira 8.
The Mick: Corning 35, Elmira 15.
Country Bob: Corning 21, Elmira 17.

Union-Endicott (7-2) at Horseheads (6-2), 7 p.m.: The Tigers topped Vestal, 28-7, in the Class A semifinals, while the Blue Raiders received a bye into the title game, and have been off since their stunning 23-20 loss at Owego in Week 8.

Prediction: Horseheads used its size up front, and its punishing ground game to win a 17-7 decision at U-E in Week 7. I think you’ll see the Blue Raiders use the same game plan on its home field. … HORSEHEADS 21, U-E 7.
Little Red:
U-E 32, Horseheads 7.
The Mick: Horseheads 21, U-E 20.
Country Bob: Horseheads 20, U-E 13.

Muncy (10-1) vs. Canton (10-0), 7 p.m. @ Towanda:
The Indians advanced to the Class A title game with a 14-13 win over Montgomery — a team it beat 40-18 just three weeks prior, while the Warriors received a bye and have been off since a 36-0 win over Troy in the “Old Shoe” game.

Prediction: The last three seasons Canton beat Muncy in the regular season, only to lose in the District 4 finals. The two teams did not play in the regular season this year. … CANTON 26, MUNCY 14.
Little Red:
Canton 27, Muncy 12.
The Mick: Muncy 24, Canton 18.
Country Bob: Canton 24, Muncy 16.

SATURDAY
Troy  (8-3) at Mount Carmel (9-2), 7 p.m.:
The Red Tornadoes are coming off a 54-13 win over Bloomsburg in the District 4, Class AA quarterfinals, while the Trojans advanced with a 20-6 win over Sayre.

Prediction: Mount Carmel’s losses are to Southern Columbia and North Schuylkil. Troy is a solid team, but … MOUNT CARMEL 42, TROY 6.
Little Red:
Mount Carmel 36, Troy 0.
The Mick: Mount Carmel 33, Troy 12.
Country Bob: Mount Carmel 35, Troy 6.

Owego (3-6) at Maine-Endwell (8-1), 1:30 p.m.: The Spartans advanced to the Class B title game with a 35-6 win over Windsor, while the Indians topped Johnson City, 21-12, in the semifinals.

Prediction: Owego is a much-improved team from Week 5 when it lost a 55-13 decision at Maine-Endwell. But, they haven’t improved that much … MAINE-ENDWELL 48, OWEGO 14.
Little Red:
Maine-Endwell 44, Owego 6.
The Mick: Maine-Endwell 48, Owego 8.
Country Bob: Maine-Endwell 42, Owego 7.

SVEC (7-0) vs. Groton (8-0), noon @ Binghamton's Alumni Stadium: The Eagles are coming off a 56-0 win over unbeaten Greene in the 8-man semifinals, while the Indians beat Trumansburg, 30-7, in the semifinals.

Prediction: SVEC has not been tested this season, and Groton appears to be the best team they’ve faced this season. Of course, SVEC is by far the best team Groton has seen this season. … SVEC 48, GROTON 20.
Little Red: SVEC 26, Groton 12.
The Mick: SVEC 45, Groton 7.
Country Bob: SVEC 36, Groton 12.

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