Art Rigas of Unatego has been in the unique position of coaching against two premier Class C schools over the last two weeks.
Such is the nature of Section IV’s Division V this year, as Rigas’ Spartans played Chenango Forks in week two, and his team lost 44-3 – the only three points the Blue Devils have allowed all season.
Last weekend, at home no less, Unatego fell to Greene, 40-7. The Spartans did not record their first first down of the game until their touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, and that came with most of the Trojans’ starters already out of the game. Those seven points were the first scored on Greene through 12 quarters.
Later on in the season, Unatego will host Walton, who are coming off back-to-back sectional championships and a state title in 2007. “In matching them all up, I wouldn’t want to guess which one is the best team,” Rigas said. “They are all really good teams, and unfortunately for us, they are all in our division.”
Rigas did have one prediction that is probably not that far off base. “If you get through Division V and the sectional playoffs, I would favor that team in the state playoffs,” Rigas said.
Although the new playing surface at Greene took a little longer to complete than expected, it’s better late than never for the Trojans. Tonight, the football team will christen the field turf against Whitney Point. It’s the same surface used by Norwich High School and at Binghamton Stadium, and one the Trojans are eager to play on. “Friday, under the lights, it will be exciting,” Paske said. “It’s two 3-0 teams and a big division game. Both teams have high-scoring offenses and defenses that haven’t allowed much. Something has got to give.”
As much of a workload Travis Frank carried for Oxford a year ago as its leading rusher, even Frank could not match the exertion of Blackhawks junior, Booker Davis. In an 18-12 win over Harpursville last week, Davis took the ball on every called running play. He had 31 carries for a career-high 152 yards. Quarterback John Wonka was credited with five carries, but three were kneel-downs at the end of the game, and two were mishandled snaps. “I think that’s the first time that has happened, and it wasn’t intentional,” said Oxford coach Mike Chrystie. “At the same time, he was getting 4 1/2 yards a carry, so why go away from that? We didn’t use all of our wrinkles on offense, and we didn’t need to.”
Below are previews of this weekend’s games:
Windsor (0-3) at Norwich (0-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
The bad news for Norwich is that it is off to its first 0-3 start in eight years. The good news, all three losses were of the non-league variety, and it – along with the winless Black Knights – have as good a chance as any at winning Section IV’s Division III.
“This is where it all begins,” said Norwich coach John Martinson. “Division III will be tough.”
Martinson, in observing Windsor this season, noted a physical team that has been in position to win all three of its games. The Black Knights lost to Walton by one, by three to Corning East, and led Ithaca by two touchdowns in the first half before giving up 26 unanswered points.
Noah Sibley is the workhorse fullback for Windsor, and lefty quarterback David Goetz is an adept passer who threw for one score and ran for another against Ithaca last week. Goetz also guided Windsor to a 28-14 win over Norwich a year ago. “They are a physical team that likes to mix it up with traps and counters,” Martinson said. “We’ve prepared all week to stop their trap. Our kids understand the importance of division play, and if we can take care of the football, run the ball effectively, and play sound defense, we should be okay.”
Whitney Point (3-0) at Greene (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m...