Brian Walsh, still reveling in the excitement of his team’s state semifinal victory, spent his Saturday morning watching South Park.
No, the Our Lady of Lourdes High School football coach wasn’t chuckling at Kenny and Cartman. He was jotting down notes on Tyree Brown and David Thomas.
Because standing in the Warriors’ way of their first state championship is South Park High School of Buffalo. Lourdes faces the Sparks in the Class A state final at 3 p.m. Friday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Lourdes defeated Amsterdam, 47-27, in its semifinal at Dietz Stadium to advance. Meanwhile, South Park pulled an upset of Maine-Endwell, ending that juggernaut’s state-record 62-game win streak on Friday night at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
The Warriors and Sparks coaches exchanged film early Saturday morning as prep work began for the final. Walsh said he received footage of three South Park games. What immediately stood out to him, he said, was the Sparks’ talent.
“They’re a very physical team and very athletic,” Walsh said. “They have big kids up front and a quarterback who can throw the ball a mile and can run.”
That would be Brown, who ran for three touchdowns and threw for another against Maine-Endwell. The 5-foot-10 quarterback has a strong arm and the Sparks are aggressive in attacking downfield. Brown is also a playmaking safety and has had three interceptions in their last two games.
Thomas, a speedy wide receiver, had a 70-yard touchdown reception and returned a fumble 55 yards for a score. South Park also has capable pass-rushers in Daryl Moore and Fred Foster.
The Sparks, who lost in the Section 6 final last season, became the first Buffalo-area public school to reach the state tournament. South Park (11-1) has scored over 40 points in all but one of its playoffs games, and it rallied from down 14-0 in the first quarter against Maine-Endwell.
“I haven’t decided what our plan of attack is yet,” Walsh said. “You can’t make many major changes at this point because, for one, we don’t have time. If you start throwing out brand new stuff on a short week, it might not turn out well. We’ll tweak some things, but we’ll be running some version of our usual offense and defense. We have to execute.”
Stephen Haynes: email@example.com, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4
Lourdes vs. South Park
What: Class A state football final
When: Friday, 3 p.m.
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse
Live updates: Follow Journal reporters @StephenHaynes4 and @AJM_PoJoSports throughout Friday for updates and news from Syracuse.
On the Web
Visit http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/sports for complete coverage of Lourdes’ run through the playoffs, as well as video highlights and photos from South Park’s semifinal victory.