It’s called the “Battle for the Paddle,” and the Tompkins County rivalry will be renewed Friday night as Trumansburg-Newfield makes the 30-minute trek around the south end of Cayuga Lake to take on Lansing in a crucial Section 4 Division VI game.
The Blue Raiders (2-4) and Bobcats (4-2) are both 2-1 in the division, a game behind first-place Waverly (6-0, 3-0). With a win, coach John Dunlap’s T-burg squad would have a chance to claim the title with an upset over the Wolverines, ranked third in the state in Class C, next week in the regular-season finale.
Lansing, which lost to the Wolverines, 31-0, in Week 5, needs to defeat the Blue Raiders on Friday night and then defeat Watkins Glen next week in its finale while hoping Waverly loses its last two games — against Dryden (2-4, 1-2 Div. VI) Friday night and then against T-burg.
Waverly, which has won 16 of 18 games over the past two seasons, can clinch the Division VI title with a win over Dryden and a Trumansburg loss at Lansing. The Wolverines have outscored their six opponents by 133-41, and are even more dominant in three divisional games (67-6).
The Bobcats haven’t played since their loss to Waverly two weeks ago. Lansing received a 2-0 forfeit last week as it was scheduled to play Edison, which last month abandoned the season due to low numbers. Trumansburg-Newfield lost to previously winless Susquehanna Valley, 28-26, last Friday night in T-burg.
Other games of local interest on the schedule Friday include: Moravia (1-4, 0-3 Div. IX) at Oxford (2-4, 1-2 Div. VII); Tioga (5-1, 3-0 Div. X) at Spencer-Van Etten (5-1, 2-1 Div. X) for the division title; Odessa-Montour (1-4, 1-3 Div. X) at Watkins Glen (2-4, 2-2 Div. VI) in the annual “Bucket” Game for Schuyler County bragging rights; and Candor (0-6, 0-3 Div. X) at Elmira Notre Dame (4-2, 2-1 Div. X).
Notre Dame is in position to earn one of the eight berths into the Section 4 Class D playoffs with a victory on Senior Night. The top two teams in each of the four Class D divisions advance, and the Crusaders are tied for second place with S-VE, which faces a tall task against Tioga, ranked second in the state in Class D.
On Saturday afternoon, Ithaca (1-5, 0-2 Div. I) travels to Elmira to face the Express (2-4, 0-2 Div. I). The winner at Elmira Free Academy’s Marty Harrigan Field earns the No. 3 seed for the Class AA semifinals and will play at Corning in the semifinals in two weeks. The loser plays at top-seeded Binghamton.
Elmira broke a four-game losing streak last week with a 32-20 victory over Vestal. Sophomore Jerry McPeak rushed for 261 yards and four touchdowns, bring his season rushing totals to 705 yards and seven touchdowns on 120 carries.
Ithaca, whose only win was a 48-35 defeat of Johnson City in Week 3, saw its losing streak stretch to three games last Friday night with a 38-12 Senior Night loss to Corning. Ithaca wraps up its regular season next Saturday at Chenango Valley (3-3, 2-0 Div. III).