Who: Randolph Cardinals (11-0) vs. Section IV (Binghamton area) champion Tioga Tigers (11-0).
What: New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D semifinal.
When: Tonight, 5.
Where: Sahlen’s Stadium, 460 Oak St., Rochester.
Tickets: $10 for two-game session (Class A game is at 8 p.m.).
Radio: WJTN (1240 AM), WWSE (93.3 FM) and wjtn.com.
Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (live).
Buffalo News small school poll (last poll Nov. 12): Randolph No. 1.
New York State Sportswriters Association Class D poll: Randolph No. 1 (all season); Tioga No. 2 (all season).
Where’s Tioga? Located in Tioga Center and Tioga County, about halfway between Horseheads and Binghamton on Route 17 and the Susquehanna River.
Randolph in the state semis: 3-0. In the years that the Cardinals have advanced this far, they’ve beaten Section IV (Binghamton area) teams on the way to state championships. In 2005, Randolph beat Deposit, 28-0; in 2009, it beat Groton, 61-8; last year, it beat Tioga, 7-6.
Tioga in the state semis: 0-2. Tioga is in its third straight state semifinal. In 2011 it fell to V-Letchworth (14-6), which had also beaten Maple Grove during its run to the state championship. Last year, Tioga lost to Randolph, 7-6.
Last year’s game: Randolph scored on a 16-yard pass from Mitch Maycock to Nate Beaver on its opening possession, then stopped a two-point conversion attempt with 6:10 left in the game to beat then top-ranked Tioga, 7-6. Randolph then converted a third down and a fourth down to run out the clock.
Coaches: Randolph, Brent Brown, first season (11-0); Tioga, Nick Aiello, third season (37-5).
How they got here: Randolph recorded the highest margin of victory in Far West Regionals history – in any class – with a 49-0 rout of Section V (Rochester area) winner Red Jacket. Tioga thumped Section III (Syracuse area) winner Herkimer, 43-13.
Randolph key players (and statistics): Sr. QB Mitch Maycock, 6-2, 190 (45-93, 858 yards, 13 TDs, 3 INTs, 3 2PAT passes); Sr. RB Chris Doubek, 5-9, 170 (185-2,060, 29 TDs, 4 2-PAT runs; 5-65 receiving, 1 TD; 68 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles); Sr. RB/WR Lucas Brown, 6-1, 195 (62-522, 6 TDs, 2 2-PAT runs; 8-111 receiving, 2 TDs; 80 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT); Sr. LB Cody Oldro, 6-3, 250 (79 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 forced fumbles); Jr. TE/OLB Bryce Morrison, 6-1, 180 (20-384 receiving, 7 TDs; 40 tackles, 1 INT); Sr. WR/DB Nick Hettenbaugh, 5-11, 160 (58 tackles, 2 INT); Jr. OL/DL Michael Bowers, 6-3, 275; Sr. K Micah Kehoe, 5-10, 150 (46 for 50 PATs).
Randolph pre-snap read: The Cardinals have impressed not only in their margins of victory (their 23-point win over Maple Grove in the Section VI final is their closest game) but in their diversity: Randolph can run behind Doubek, who is within striking distance of the Western New York single-season rushing record of 2,447 yards set by Dustin Bowser of Southwestern in 2003; it can pass with Maycock, who has five touchdowns in his last two games; and its defense has been oppressive.
Tioga pre-snap read: The Tigers have been waiting for another shot at Randolph since last year’s state semifinal and they again bring in an excellent resume. Tioga owns a Week Two victory (7-0) over Section VI Class C champion Chenengo Forks; that is the only loss for Forks, which plays Cleveland Hill in Saturday’s C semifinal. Tioga has won all of its other games by at least 22 points, including an 80-53 Section VI title win over Unatego. Sophomore RB Jesse Manuel (5-7, 151) has rushed for a school-record 2,131 yards while junior Brad Jump (5-4, 167) has 1,071. Against Herkimer, Tioga was up, 8-0, at halftime before Manuel ran for 199 of his 280 yards and all four of his touchdowns in the second half. The Tioga defense put the wraps on Herkimer standout quarterback Aaron Mills, a 6-2, 225-pound senior who had accounted for 38 TDs (23 rushing and 15 passing). Tioga’s roster has seven players who weigh more than 230 pounds, Randolph has seven over 240.
What’s next: The winner heads to Syracuse’s Carrier Dome for the NYSPHSAA championship at noon next Friday. In the East semifinal, Section VII (Plattsburgh area) champion Moriah (8-4, No. 5 in NYSSWA poll) meets Section IX (Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster counties) winner Chester (9-1, No. 3) at 4 p.m. today at Kingston’s Dietz Stadium.
At BuffaloNews.com: The #PrepTalkLive blog will have play-by-play updates from all four of Section VI’s semifinals. You can comment in the blog or via Twitter by tweeting with the hashtag #PrepTalkLive.
— Keith McShea