FROM THE PRESS BOX: WEEK 12 PICKS — CAN TIOGA AND WAVERLY BOTH WIN SECTION IV TITLES? (2023-11-10)
It’s lining up to be a hell of a weekend of high school football, with Section IV in its championship round, and District 4 playing its semi-final games.
Tioga is vying for its sixth consecutive Class D crown, while Waverly looks to win back-to-back Section IV title for the first time in program history.
In District 4, Troy and Canton both have home games, while a lot of eyes will be further south as Southern Columbia hosts Mount Carmel looking for redemption.
Last week, the VSR prognosticators had a pretty good week. The Mick led the way at 10-0, while Little Red, Country Bob, and I were all 9-1. On the season, I have a 99-17 record, while The Mick is 97-19, Little Red is 92-24, and Country Bob is 91-25.
So, what does Week 12 have in store for us? Let’s see what the Pigskin Pickers have to say:
Tioga (10-0) vs. Delhi (9-1): The Tigers are coming off a 63-16 thrashing of Walton in the Class D semifinals, while the Bulldogs blanked Newark Valley, 27-0.
Tioga won a 56-28 decision over Delhi in Week 3, but the Bulldogs have won six in a row since, and have been dominant in doing so.
Prediction: The big question is, can Delhi (or anyone for that matter) slow down Tioga’s offense, which is averaging nearly 54 points per game, and that’s with their first-team offense sitting for most of the second half in the majority of their games. … TIOGA 55, DEHLI 21.
The Mick: Tioga 36, Delhi 12. … Little Red: Tioga 56, Delhi 21. … Country Bob: Tioga 56, Delhi 13.
Waverly (9-1) vs. Chenango Forks (6-3): The Wolverines are coming off a 55-0 win over Susquehanna Valley in the Class C semifinals, while the Blue Devils topped Schuyler, 34-6.
Waverly scored with 12 seconds remaining to beat Forks, 19-15, in Week 4, but both the Blue Devils TDs were as a result of Wolverine mistakes. The Forks offense only mustered 142 yards of total offense against Waverly’s defense.
Prediction: Waverly has dominated Forks in the trenches the last two times they’ve met, and I don’t think there’s any reason to believe it won’t happen again Saturday. … I hesitate to say this because, well, it’s Chenango Forks, but I like Waverly convincingly. … WAVERLY 27, FORKS 7.
The Mick: Waverly 20, Forks 16. … Little Red: Waverly 28, Forks 7. … Country Bob: Forks 21, Waverly 20.
Owego (5-4) vs. Maine-Endwell (9-0): The River Hawks avenged a regular-season loss with a 21-20 win over Windsor in the Class B semifinals, while the Spartans continued their roll with a 38-7 win over Norwich.
Prediction: Maine-Endwell won the first go-round this season, 69-0. Owego has improved, but not 69 points worth. … M-E 48, OWEGO 6.
The Mick: M-E 54, Owego 6. … Little Red: M-E 42, Owego 0. … Country Bob: M-E 56, Owego 6.
Elmira (4-5) at Corning (4-4): The Express rolled to a 61-12 win over Binghamton in the Class AA semifinals, while the Hawks received a bye.
Prediction: Corning won the first meeting, 31-8, but Elmira is fully healthy for the first time this season. … The Express has shown the ability to throw the ball the last couple games. This should be a good one. … CORNING 34, ELMIRA 28.
The Mick: Corning 44, Elmira 7. … Little Red: Corning 31, Elmira 14. … Country Bob: Corning 35, Elmira 13.
Horseheads (7-3) at Vestal (7-1): The Blue Raiders are coming off a 37-8 win over Union-Endicott in the Class A semifinals, while the Golden Bears received a bye.
Prediction: Vestal won the first meeting of the season, 28-7, three weeks go. I think Vestal is the real deal. … VESTAL 21, HORSEHEADS 6.
The Mick: Vestal 24, Horseheads 15. … Little Red: Vestal 28, Horseheads 7. … Country Bob: Horseheads 28, Vestal 12.
Line Mountain (9-2) at Troy (11-0): The top-seeded Trojans are coming off a 36-0 win over Hughesville in the Class AA quarterfinals, while the fourth-seeded Eagles thumped Towanda, 46-23.
Prediction: Troy appears to be on a mission. Next week will be the big one. … TROY 35, LINE MOUNTAIN 13.
The Mick: Troy 44, LM 20. … Little Red: Troy 35, LM 28. … Country Bob: Troy 35, LM 13.
South Williamsport (8-2) at Canton (8-2): The second-seeded Warriors were throttled by arch-rival Troy, 52-0, in the regular-season finale two weeks ago, while the third-seeded Mounties topped Northwest Area, 46-22.
Prediction: Canton has lost two in a row, and barely beat South Williamsport in their first meeting. This could be the end of the road for the Canton football renaissance. … SOUTH 27, CANTON 20.
The Mick: South 28, Canton 27. … Little Red: South 21, Canton 14. … Country Bob: Canton 28, South 21.
Northwest Area (2-8) at Muncy (9-1): The fourth-seeded Rangers topped Bucktail, 36-30, in the Class A quarterfinals, while the top-seeded Indians received a bye. Muncy closed out the regular season with a 28-22 win over Hughesville.
Prediction: Muncy thumped Northwest Area, 40-8, in their first meeting this season. It will be more of the same tonight. MUNCY 40, NORTHWEST 8.
The Mick: Muncy 42, Northwest 12. … Little Red: Muncy 40, Northwest Area 14. … Country Bob: Muncy 42, Northwest 0.
Mount Carmel (9-2) at Southern Columbia (10-1): The second-seeded Tigers crushed seventh-seeded NP-Mansfield, 62-20, in the Class AA quarterfinals, while the third-seeded Red Tornadoes topped sixth-seeded Wyalusing, 43-21.
Mount Carmel beat Southern Columbia, 42-30, in Week 8 at home. Of course, Mount Carmel beat Southern Columbia last year in the regular season, only to see South beat them in the postseason on its way to another state title.
Prediction: Until I hear ‘Ding Dong the witch is dead,” I’m on the Southern Columbia band wagon. … SOUTHERN COLUMBIA 36, MOUNT CARMEL 22.
The Mick: SC 36, Mount Carmel 33. … Little Red: Mount Carmel 35, SC 21. … Country Bob: SC 35, Mount Carmel 20.
Warrior Run (6-5) at Loyalsock (8-3): Sixth-seeded Warrior Run upended third-seeded Mifflinburg, 21-16, in the Class 3A quarterfinals, while the second-seeded Lancers thumped Cowanesque Valley, 49-20.
Prediction: Give Warrior Run credit, it shook off an 0-3 start and back-to-back losses to end the regular season to advance to the Class AA semifinals, but their run ends tonight at Loyalsock against a team whose three losses come to teams (Troy, Southern Columbia, and Danville) with a combined 31-2 record. … LOYALSOCK 37, WARRIOR RUN 20.
The Mick: Loyalsock 45, Warrior Run 12. … Little Red: Warrior Run 35, Loyalsock 21. … Country Bob: Loyalsock 35, Warrior Run 10.