Who: Randolph Cardinals (12-0) vs. Section IX (downstate’s Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties) champion Chester Hambletonians (10-1).
What: New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D championship.
When: Today, noon.
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse.
Tickets: $10 for two-game session (Class A game is at 3 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); Chester No. 2 (up from No. 3).
Where’s Chester? About 60 miles northwest of New York City in Orange County. Middletown is 12 miles to the northwest; Newburgh is about 20 miles to the northeast.
Randolph at the Dome: 3-0. In 2005, the Cardinals beat Cambridge of Section II (Albany area), 35-6. In 2009, they beat Moriah of Section VII (Plattsburgh area), 41-0. Last year, they beat Tuckahoe of Section I (downstate’s Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties), 28-7.
Chester at the Dome: 0-1. In 2011, lost to Section V (Rochester area) Letchworth, 27-0.
Coaches: Randolph, Brent Brown, first season (12-0); Chester, Ron Stover, 11th season (started the program at JV level in 2001 and it went varsity two years later).
How they got here: In a long-awaited showdown that was a repeat of last year’s state semifinals (a 7-6 win by Randolph) and a matchup of the top two ranked teams in the state, the Cardinals routed Tioga of Section IV (Binghamton area), 35-6. Chester also won by a rout in a 55-14 win over Moriah of Section VII (North Country).
Randolph key players (and statistics): Sr. QB Mitch Maycock, 6-2, 190 (47-97, 911 yards, 14 TDs, 3 INTs, 3 2PAT passes); Sr. RB Chris Doubek, 5-9, 170 (212-2,263, 31 TDs, 4 2-PAT runs; 5-65 receiving, 1 TD; 72 tackles, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles); Sr. RB/WR Lucas Brown, 6-1, 195 (77-632, 7 TDs, 2 2-PAT runs; 8-111 receiving, 2 TDs; 81 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT); Sr. LB Cody Oldro, 6-3, 250 (82 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 forced fumbles); Jr. TE/OLB Bryce Morrison, 6-1, 180 (22-417 receiving, 8 TDs; 41 tackles, 1 INT); Sr. WR/DB Nick Hettenbaugh, 5-11, 160 (62 tackles, 2 INT); Jr. OL/DL Michael Bowers, 6-3, 275; Sr. K Micah Kehoe, 5-10, 150 (51 for 55 PATs).
Randolph pre-snap read: The Cardinals certainly seem poised to finish off what has been a dominating season after routing a team that was ranked behind it at No. 2 all season long. Randolph’s 23-point win over Maple Grove in the Section VI final is its closest game. Randolph can run behind Doubek, who is within 184 yards 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 six touchdowns in his last three games; and its defense has been oppressive. Randolph had Bryce Morrison throw a pass on a trick play to Nick Hettenbaugh for a big gain against Tioga last week. Every time Randolph has made it to the Dome, it has won. Add in Maple Grove’s title in 2008 with Randolph’s wins at the Dome, and Section VI has won four of the last eight Class D titles.
Chester pre-snap read: The Hambletonians make their second trip to the Dome in three years behind 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior quarterback Vinny Aloi, who set a Section IX mark and tied a state record by throwing seven touchdowns last week. Chester’s only loss was its season-opener, a 33-28 loss at Class C O’Neill, which went 6-4. Chester’s wins have mostly been big ones, with all victories by at least 26 points except for its 26-21 regional win over Tuckahoe (which Randolph overwhelmed in last year’s state final). A standout passing game is a rarity at the Class D level, and it will be interesting to see if Chester’s line can account for the likes of Oldro and Bowers and a Cardinals defense which has dominated the line of scrimmage, particularly in the past few weeks. Randolph has not allowed a completed pass the last two weeks: Red Jacket was 0 for 7 in the regional while Tioga was 0 for 9 last week. Maple Grove was 2 for 3 at The Ralph.
At BuffaloNews.com: The #PrepTalkLive blog will have play-by-play updates from both of Section VI’s championship games. You can comment in the blog or via Twitter by tweeting with the hashtag #PrepTalkLive.
— Keith McShea