S-E coach sees playoff matchup as ‘David vs. Goliath’

Sherburne-Earlville took advantage of Section III’s more inclusive playoff tournament by qualifying for the postseason for the first time since joining the section a decade ago. In their playoff foray, the Marauders lace up the pads tonight against one of the most potent – and balanced – offenses in the section.

“This is your basic David versus Goliath story,” said S-E fourth-year head coach, Mike Jasper of his road game at Skaneateles. “Skaneateles was the number nine ranked team in the state last week, and they’ll likely be higher when the rankings come out this week.”

Jasper went down the line ticking off the impressive array of Skaneateles’ offensive firepower. The offense averages 47.5 points per game and nearly 460 yards of offense over a 48-minute game. In passing yards alone, Skaneateles has thrown for more yards (1,583) in six games this year than S-E has had in the last three-plus seasons combined.

Quarterback Conner Herr has throw for 22 touchdowns, and is averaging 7.5 yards per carry when he runs the ball. Herr targets a number of receivers with returning all-state wideout Jake Cooney leading the way with 36 catches. Max Weiss tops the running game at 116 yards per game on 8.2 yards per tote. “You can see they have an offensive machine that we will need to keep off the field,” Jasper said.

When Sherburne-Earlville is at its best, its style of play is conducive to long, time-consuming drives. Running backs Garrett DuVall and Austin Jasper are tough inside runners. Jasper is coming off a career-best 180-yard game a week ago. Despite his fullback mentality, Jasper is averaging over seven yards a carry.

The wild card in the mix is leading rusher Devven Ferris, a home-run type running back who did not play in last week’s win over Clinton. Over his first five games, Ferris averaged over 10 yards per carry, and is a threat to take the ball to the endzone every time he touches the ball.

“We know we have our work cut out for us, but we aren't going up there just to show up and put in a good try,” coach Jasper said. “We made the playoffs for the first time, which is great, but we want to be able to compete at this level consistently.”

Elsewhere this weekend, Norwich hosts Chenango Valley tonight with the Section IV Division III title on the line; Oxford entertains Moravia this evening in what will likely be the Blackhawks final home game of the season. And Bainbridge-Guilford completes tonight’s local slate as it travels to Windsor. Saturday, Unadilla Valley hosts Roscoe-Downsville, and Greene visits Whitney Point. Below are brief summaries of each matchup:

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