In front of a large Homecoming crowd at Watkins Glen’s Alumni Field on Saturday night, the Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour football team won its seventh consecutive game to earn the first division title for either school since the 1980s.
WG/O-M running backs Ryan Pruitt, Jordan Rappleye, Austin Dalrymple and Ian Chedzoy combined to rush for 499 yards and eight touchdowns as the Seneca Indians rolled to a 60-32 victory over Lansing in a Section 4 Division V title showdown.
“It’s unexplainable. It feels amazing,” said Dalrymple, who rushed for 82 yards on nine carries while scoring two touchdowns. “We wanted this so much that everyone did exactly what they needed to do.”
Both teams entered the regular-season-ending game at 2-0 in the division. Watkins Glen/Odessa-Montour held 10-point leads at the half (30-20) and after three quarters (36-26) before breaking the game open in the fourth. The Seneca Indians scored three touchdowns in the first six minutes of the final quarter to increase their advantage to 60-26.
Next up for the first year of the combined Watkins Glen/O-M program is the first postseason appearance from either school since the New York state tournament began in 1993. The Seneca Indians (7-1, 3-0 Division V), who are ranked 21st in Class C by the New York State Sportswriters Association, will face Newark Valley in a Section 4 Class C semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Union-Endicott’s Ty Cobb Stadium.
“Our number one goal was to make the playoffs, and then we set an even bigger goal after week one when we lost to Owego,” WG/O-M head coach Lou Condon Jr. said. “We said we are going to win out and we are going to win the division, and we did it. Our kids have earned the right to call themselves division champion. …That is the best feeling in the world right now.”
Dryden (5-3, 1-2 Division V) will face two-time defending state champion Chenango Forks at 12:30 p.m. in Saturday’s other semifinal at U-E. According to Section4football.com, Lansing (2-6, 2-1), which earned a berth as the No. 2 seed from Division V, was to play Forks but withdrew because of injuries suffered in Saturday’s game, Athletic Director Adam Heck said Sunday.
Watkins Glen/O-M has scored at least 50 points in five of its last seven games, with a combined effort from its offensive line and backfield producing big chunks of yardage out of the double wing.
“For scoring all the points we had tonight, we couldn’t have done it without our linemen,” Dalrymple said.
Pruitt led WG/O-M with 174 yards on nine carries, including a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game. The junior added a 28-yard touchdown scamper late in the first quarter to up the Seneca Indians’ advantage to 16-8.
Rappleye, who rushed for 139 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns, did the bulk of the running in the second half. Pruitt, the team’s leading rusher, didn’t carry the ball after his big first half.
“That is one of our strengths this year, the depth in our backfield,” Condon said.
Chedzoy added 94 yards on seven carries. The senior fullback scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of 34 and 38 yards .At the halftime ceremony, Chedzoy was also crowned Homecoming king.
In the second quarter, Dalrymple scored on a 27-yard run and Rappleye ran for a 12-yard touchdown in between two scores by Lansing’s Tim Kelley. Kelley, a junior, ran for 157 yards on 26 carries while scoring four of the Bobcats’ touchdowns. Mason Boothe, Lansing’s freshman quarterback, was 4-for-12 passing for 58 yards and one interception.
The Seneca Indians finished with a 499-302 advantage in total yardage.
“I’m so happy for our kids,” Condon said. “They really stepped up big tonight… They have worked real hard all year, and I’m so proud of them.”
On Twitter: @SGRLevanduski