Who: Cleveland Hill Golden Eagles (8-2) vs. Hornell Red Raiders (10-0)
What: Class C football Far West Regional.
When: Today, noon.
Where: Robert Rich Sr. All High Stadium.
Tickets: $10 for three-game session.
Television (recorded): Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, 4 p.m. Sunday.
Buffalo News small school poll: Cleveland Hill No. 3.
New York State Sportswriters Association Class C poll: Hornell No. 1; Cleveland Hill No. 10.
Cleveland Hill in the regionals: 0-2. The Golden Eagles lost in 2000 (14-3 to Caledonia-Mumford) and 2007 (47-20 to LeRoy).
Hornell in the regionals: 5-4, all in Class B. This is its 10th regional in last 16 years; program seeking sixth semifinal berth in last nine years. Lost its first four regionals, all from 1997-2000 and all to Lackawanna teams coached by Bill Moore. In 1997 (16-12) and 1998 (42-22), Lackawanna went on to win the state championship; in 1999 (28-15) and 2000 (37-20) Lackawanna would be the state runner-up. Hornell won its first regional in 2004 against Southwestern (12-7) and followed by beating Lackawanna in 2005 (14-0); both of those postseasons ended in the state semifinals. Hornell has won the last three regionals on its way to three straight state championships: 48-12 over Cheektowaga in 2009; 21-14 over Alden in 2010; and 20-14 (OT) over Alden last year.
Coaches: Cleveland Hill, Glen Graham, 10th season (60-25); Hornell, Eric Werner, first season (10-0).
Cleveland Hill key players (and statistics): Sr. QB Jacob Radlich, 6-0, 160 (51-110, 851 yards, 7 TDs; 44-93 rush.); Jr. RB/DB Brandon Thomas, 5-9, 180 (202-1,163, 18 TDs; 53 tackles); Sr. RB/LB Jonathan Thomas, 5-10, 195 (68-557, 5 TDs; 11-189 rec.; 79 tackles); Jr. WR/DB Jared Watkins, 5-11, 140 (28-453 rec., 5 TDs); Jr. FB/LB Josh White, 5-1, 205 (118 tackles); Sr. SE Ny’Juan Rainey, 6-0, 175 (8-158); Sr. T Ramello Peterson, 6-0, 240 (49 tackles); Sr. TE/DE Andrew Krajewski, 6-1, 205 (51 tackles, 3.5 sacks); Jr. G Steve McIllwain, 5-8, 175 (38 tackles, 5 sacks).
Hornell key players (and statistics): Sr. QB/DB Richie Harkenrider, 6-0, 180 (53-102, 1,081 yards, 18 TDs, 7 INTs; 52 tackles, 3 sacks); Sr. RB/LB Zack Bacon, 6-0, 230 (127-1,199, 12 TDs; 12-243, 4 TDs rec.; 75 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 INT); Jr. RB/DB Luke Morgan, 5-8, 160 (128-887, 15 TDs); Sr. WR/DB Brendan Buisch, 6-4, 190 (12-397, 7 TDs; 39 tackles, 2 INTs); Sr. WR/DB Julian Reinhart, 5-11, 175 (18-347, 4 TDs; 43 tackles, 2 INTs); Jr. TE/LB Matt Mauro, 5-11, 190 (49 tackles); Sr. TE/DE Zach Oyer, 5-11, 205 (31 tackles, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles).
How they got here: Cleveland Hill avenged a C South regular season road loss by beating Fredonia, 22-20, in Section VI final. Hornell fell behind at halftime, 7-0, but dominated the second half in a 21-7 victory over fellow traditional Section V (Rochester area) small school power LeRoy.
Pre-snap read: Hornell — whose enrollment numbers dropped it from B to C this year — has won 49 straight games, which is the third-longest win streak in the country behind the 57 of Clairton (Pa.) and the 55 of Pahranagat Valley (Nev.), according to calpreps.com. Legendary coach Gene Mastin stepped down after 28 years (240 wins) following last season, but the Red Raiders have continued to roll under much of the same staff, including former assistant Werner. The outstanding Bacon embodies the precision and power that typifies Hornell. Cleveland Hill will likely need more big plays to pull off the upset (its TDs in the sectional final were for 58, 75 and 84 yards).
What’s next: The winner advances to the state semifinals next Saturday at noon at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester. The opponent will be the winner of the Central Regional between state C poll No. 7 Skaneateles (10-0) of Section III (Syracuse area) and No. 3 Chenango Forks (10-0) of Section IV (Binghamton area); that game is today at 2:30 at East Syracuse-Minoa.
At buffalonews.com: Live blog with play-by-play coverage; comment in the blog or via Twitter using the hashtag #preptalkscores. A PrepTalkTV video recap will follow.
— Keith McShea