Little Red has one more shot in football playoffs

Little Red has one more shot in football playoffs


Little Red has one more shot in football playoffs



It’s been another rough season for the Ithaca High football team, with a few glimmers of hope but precious few flashes of brilliance in a regular season that ended with one victory and six of its seven losses by 25 points or more.

But in the four-team Class AA division of Section 4 football, everybody gets a shot at playoff glory, and first-year coach Bill Bryant’s Little Red has that opportunity tonight against Binghamton (6-2) in the sectional semifinals at Binghamton’s Alumni Stadium.

The winner will take on either Elmira (4-4), winner of three straight, or Corning (6-2) in next week’s Class AA title game. The final is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Union-Endicott’s Ty Cobb Stadium.

Binghamton is vying for its second consecutive Class AA title. The Patriots defeated Corning last year, 34-14, en route to a berth in the state regional final, where they lost, 35-6, to Orchard Park. Included in their playoff run was a 56-22 sectional semifinal win over Ithaca.

The Patriots beat up on the Little Red a month ago in Binghamton, scoring a 34-6 victory as Andre Yevchinez and Brian Alexander teamed for 268 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Alexander also picked off two Julian Tino passes, returning one 95 yards for a score.

Ithaca got its only score on a DeVondre LaFave 3-yard run, set up by Grant Osadchey’s interception of a Yevchinecz pass in the first quarter. That pulled Ithaca to within 7-6 but Binghamton responded with two second-quarter TDs in less than two minutes to regain control.

Binghamton’s only two losses this season have come on the road to state-ranked teams — a 38-26 season-opening loss to Monroe-Woodbury (then-No. 16) and a 43-21 loss to Union-Endicott (No. 10 in Class A) three weeks ago. Ithaca’s lone victory was a 48-35 home win over Johnson City in Week 3.

Other playoff games this weekend:

* Class C: Lansing (6-2) takes on fourth-ranked Chenango Forks (8-0) in the semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Coach John Winslow’s Bobcats are on their second three-game win streak of the season, and are coming off a 20-13 home victory over Watkins Glen in the regular-season finale.

Lansing and Forks have two common opponents: Both teams defeated Whitney Point (Lansing 21-2, Forks 33-0) while Newark Valley blanked Lansing, 38-0, in Week 1 but lost to Forks, 45-3, two weeks ago. Saturday’s winner will meet either No. 15 Sidney (6-2) or third-ranked Waverly (8-0), the defending class champ, in the final at 5 p.m. next Saturday at U-E.

* Class D: Harpursville (7-1) meets Groton (7-1) in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Saturday at U-E. The Hornets rolled past host Union Springs a week ago in the Class D quarterfinals, 61-28, on the strength of Mason Dean’s 112 rushing yards and five touchdowns on nine carries.

Coach Jeff Lewis’ Indians — shaking the effects of a 67-7 exhibition loss a week earlier at Section 2 power Schuylerville — eliminated Bainbridge-Guilford, 30-23, as junior Zeke Wright rushed 29 times for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Class D final is scheduled for 7 p.m. next Friday at U-E; this weekend’s other semi pits defending champion Tioga (7-1) against Unatego (6-2).


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