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FROM THE PRESS BOX: WEEK 15 PICKS — WILL TIOGA AND WAVERLY BOTH BRING HOME STATE TITLES? (2023-12-01)

It’s hard to believe, but the football season is about over.

But what a season it’s been, and Saturday is the culmination of Tioga’s drive for a three-peat, and Waverly’s drive for its first-ever state title.

The Tigers, with 21 of 22 starters returning from last year’s title team, seem pre-ordained to win a third in a row.

The Wolverines, with once-in-a-lifetime talent Joey Tomasso at the helm, have just gotten better, and better with each week.

The Mick and Little Red were each 7-0 last week, while I posted a 6-1 mark, and Country Bob was 5-2. On the season, I have a 121-19 record, while The Mick is 119-23, Little Red is 113-27, and Country Bob sits at 107-33.

So, what does Week 15 have in store for us? Let’s see what the Pigskin Prognosticators have to say:

N.Y. STATE PLAYOFFS
Class D Championship
Stillwater (11-1) vs. Tioga (13-0):
The Tigers are coming off a 63-16 destruction of CSP, while the Warriors edged Haldane, 21-20.

I’ve run out of superlatives to describe Tioga, whether I’m talking about an offense that averages nearly 55 points per game, or a defense that has allowed just 51 points in 13 games with its starters on the field.

Prediction: The Tigers have too much talent to be denied. I expect them to be at the top of their game, and that spells trouble for Stillwater. I said 49-7 on Fox 40’s “Fourth & Goal,” but … TIOGA 63, STILLWATER 7.
The Mick:
Tioga 54, Stillwater 14. … Little Red: Tioga 42, Stillwater 14. … Country Bob: Tioga 56, Stillwater 0.

Class C Championship
Waverly (12-1) vs. Fonda-Fultonville (12-1):
The Wolverines are coming off a 42-0 shellacking of Salamanca, while the Black Horses thumped defending state champ O’Neill, 33-7.

Despite the injury to Tomasso, the Waverly offense has been clicking, and the Wolverine defense has played at its best in the postseason.

Fonda-Fultonville presents Waverly with the first real pass-first offense it’s seen this season, since Honeoye-Falls Lima in Week Zero. It will be interesting to see how the defense responds.

Prediction: If Tomasso were 100 percent healthy, I would like the Wolverines by more. Again, I’ve modified my pick from “Fourth & Goal.” … WAVERLY 31, FONDA-FULTONVILLE 27.
The Mick:
Waverly 28, F-F 12. … Little Red: Waverly 35, F-F 14. … Country Bob: Waverly 35, F-F 13.

Class B Championship
Rye (11-2) vs. Maine-Endwell (12-0):
The Spartans are coming off a 29-24 win over Monroe, while Rye topped Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, 24-10.

Prediction: Maine-Endwell committed an uncharacteristic three turnovers last weekend. I don’t see that happening again. … MAINE-ENDWELL 35, RYE 14.
The Mick:
M-E 28, Rye 6. … Little Red: M-E 35, Rye 24. … Country Bob: M-E 42, Rye 6.

PIAA PLAYOFFS
Class A Semifinals
South Williamsport (11-2) vs. Steelton-Highspire (14-0):
The Mounties are coming off a 33-0 win over Cambria Heights, while the aptly-named Steamrollers thumped Lackawanna Trail, 43-25.

Prediction: It’s been a great season for South Williamsport, but Steelton-Highspire has been here before … a lot. … S-H 42, SOUTH 20.
The Mick:
S-H 36, South 7. … Little Red: SH 42, South 13. … Country Bob: SH 35, South 21.

Class AA Semifinals
Dunmore (12-2) vs. Southern Columbia (13-1):
The Tigers won a hard-fought, 18-8, decision over Bald Eagle Area, while the Bucks topped Camp Hill, 41-25.

Prediction: Dunmore lost 34-7 to Mount Carmel in Week 2, while Southern Columbia rolled to a 43-0 win over MC in the District 4 title game three weeks ago. … SC 48, DUNMORE 14.
The Mick:
SC 41, Dunmore 13. … Little Red: Dunmore 27, SC 14. … Country Bob: SC 28, Dunmore 7.

Class 4A Semifinals
Selinsgrove (13-0-1) vs. Aliquippa (12-0):
The Seals are coming off a 44-14 win over Juniata, while the Quips topped McKeesport, 35-21.

Prediction: It’s been a good run for Selinsgrove, but I think this is the end of the road. … ALIQUIPPA 35, SELINSGROVE 21.
The Mick:
Selinsgrove 16, Aliquippa 14.  … Little Red: Aliquippa 27, Selinsgrove 14. … Country Bob: Aliquippa 21, Selinsgrove 13.

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