FROM THE PRESS BOX: WEEK 13 PICKS — CAN TIOGA, WAVERLY BOTH REACH STATE SEMIFINALS (2023-11-17)
I’m starting to hear the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” more often for some reason, and I couldn’t agree more.
The state playoffs begin this weekend with Tioga playing for its sixth straight trip (and 11th since 2011) to the state semifinals, while Waverly seeks its first state semi-final appearance since 2011.
South of the border, all eyes in the Northern Tier are now on Troy as the unbeaten and top-seeded Trojans host six-time defending state champion Southern Columbia in the Class AA title game.
It was a good week for a couple of the VSR pigskin pickers as The Mick and I both went 9-1, while Little Red posted an 7-3 record, and Country Bob brought up the rear at 6-4. On the season, I lead the way at 108-18, while The Mick is 106-20, Little Red is 99-27, and Country Bob is 97-29.
So, what does Week 13 have in store for us? Let’s see what the Pigskin Prognosticators have to say:
NEW YORK STATE QUARTERFINALS
Dolgeville (8-2) vs. Tioga (11-0): The Tigers thumped Delhi, 55-7, for its sixth straight Section IV title, while the Blue Devils topped Mount Markham, 32-14, for its third consecutive Section III title.
Tioga graduated just one player from a team that won its second straight state title last fall, while Dolgeville graduated 13. To get back to this game is an accomplishment for the Blue Devils.
Prediction: The Tigers are 10-0 in the state quarterfinals since 2011, winning those games by an average of 48.5 to 14.6. They are 4-0 against Dolgeville since 2014, including a 42-6 win last year, and have beaten by an average of 48 to 14. … TIOGA 56, DOLGEVILLE 12.
The Mick: Tioga 44, Dolgeville 14. … Little Red: Tioga 35, Dolgeville 0. … Country Bob: Tioga 42, Dolgeville 6.
Adirondack (10-1) vs. Waverly (10-1): The Wolverines are coming off a 30-21 win over Chenango Forks last weekend, while the Wildcats avenged its only loss of the season with a 30-26 win over General Brown in the Section III title game.
Adirondack is big and physical, but unlike General Brown last year, it runs an offense that Waverly is familiar with.
Prediction: Waverly has a lot of weapons, and the weather, unlike last year, is supposed to be good (45 and mostly sunny). I think Waverly’s defense gets enough stops to move on to the semifinals. … WAVERLY 31, ADIRONDACK 27.
The Mick: Waverly 28, Adirondack 21. … Little Red: Waverly 28, Adirondack 21. … Country Bob: Waverly 21, Adirondack 18.
Indian River (9-2) vs. Maine-Endwell (10-0): The Spartans rolled to another Section IV title with a 69-21 over Owego last weekend, while the Warriors edges New Hartford, 28-27.
Prediction: Maine-Endwell has won 32 in a row, and I don’t see any reason to believe it won’t be 33 by Saturday night. … M-E 42, INDIAN RIVER 13.
The Mick: M-E 36, Indian River 7. … Little Red: M-E 35, Indian River 14. .., Country Bob: M-E 35, Indian River 7.
Whitesboro (10-1) vs. Vestal (8-1): The Golden Bears are coming off Horseheads, 40-14, while the Warriors crushed East Syracuse-Minoa, 55-6, in the Section III title game.
Prediction: Vestal will be without one of its best players after a targeting call, which the officials later said was a mistake, resulted in his ejection from last week’s game and a one-game suspension. Despite the officiating crew asking for his reinstatement, NYSPHSAA refused to reverse the call. … WHITESBORO 26, VESTAL 14.
The Mick: Vestal 33, Whitesboro 13. … Little Red: Whitesboro 24, Vestal 14. … Country Bob: Whitesboro 27, Vestal 13.
Syracuse CBA (11-0) vs. Elmira (5-5): The Express are coming off a 31-14 win over Corning in the Class AA title game, while the Brothers beat Cicero-North Syracuse, 34-7, in the Section III title game.
Prediction: CBA beat Corning 49-40 early in the season, so this game could be closer than most people think. … CBA 41, ELMIRA 28.
The Mick: CBA 44, Elmira 7. … Little Red: CBA 28, Elmira 6. … Country Bob: CBA 27, Elmira 12.
DISTRICT 4 CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
South Williamsport (9-2) at Muncy (10-1): South Williamsport is coming off a 24-18 win over Canton in the semifinals, while Muncy is coming off a 29-6 win over Northwest Area.
Prediction: Muncy won a 29-28 overtime decision at home during the regular season. South Williamsport probably should have won the first meeting. … SOUTH 28, MUNCY 27.
The Mick: South 26, Muncy 23. … Little Red: South 35, Muncy 34. … Country Bob: Muncy 27, South 21.
Southern Columbia at Troy (12-0): The Trojans rolled to a 44-0 win over Line Mountain in the semifinals, while the Tigers avenged its only loss with a 43-0 win over Mount Carmel
Prediction: Troy has been untouchable this season, but I’m not sure they can stop the irresistible force that is Southern Columbia. … SOUTHERN COLUMBIA 35, TROY 21.
The Mick: SC 16, Troy 14. … Little Red: SC 42, Troy 6. … Country Bob: Troy 21, SC 20.
Loyalsock (9-3) at Danville (11-1): Loyalsock is coming off a 41-13 win over Warrior Run in the semifinals, while Danville blasted Lewisburg, 42-3.
Prediction: Danville edged Loyalsock, 28-25, in their first meeting this season. I don’t think this one will be that close. … DANVILLE 41, LOYALSOCK 24.
The Mick: Danville 44, Sock 14. … Little Red: Danville 21, Sock 13. … Country Bob: Danville 42, Sock 7.