The Daily Star
---- — STAFF REPORT
Anyone remember the last time Walton’s football team missed the playoffs?
If you said 2005, you’d be correct.
The Warriors’ chances of making the eight-team Section Four Class D playoffs took a major hit Saturday with a 20-14 Section Four Football Conference Division VIII loss at Harpursville.
The Hornets’ Steven Lee scored on a 22 run around the left end with 3 minutes, 5 seconds left to snap a 14-all tie.
Walton’s final possession ended with a fumble.
Harpursville (5-1) improved to 2-0 in division and clinched its first winning season in 27 years. Walton (2-4) is 1-1 in league.
But it appears the Warriors still have a shot at the playoffs.
If Walton beats 2-4 Deposit/Hancock and Harpursville falls at 3-3 Delhi this weekend, Harpursville, Walton and Delhi all would finish with 2-1 league records. Also, all three would be 1-1 against the other two.
Then it would go to the second tiebreaker — seeding points and no one seems sure how that would shake out or even the method by which playoff teams will be selected.
Delhi coach Dave Kelly said during a coaches’ meeting before the season, it was decided the top two teams in each of the four Class D divisions would qualify for the playoffs, but that’s not how it was worded in a handbook that went out to the teams. The way it was worded, teams would qualify for the playoffs based on seeding points, meaning even division winners would not be guaranteed playoff berths.
Kelly added it’s not been decided which system will be used, but it might be finalized during a meeting Tuesday.
Walton took an 8-0 lead in the first quarter on a 3-yard scoring run by Mike Beers and a two-point conversion run by Trevor Spencer.
Harpursville answered with touchdown runs of 22 and 1 yard by Mason and Devon Dean, respectively, in the third quarter to take a 14-8 lead.
Spencer tied the score at 14 with a 14-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Walton was held to 122 yards of offense — all on the ground. Trevor Zandt had a team-high 48 yards on seven carries.
Owego 28, Oneonta 6
Oneonta High struck first during its Homecoming game, but it was all Owego thereafter in a Section Four Football Conference non-division game.
Skylar Thompson scored on a 14-yard run in the first quarter as the Yellowjackets took a 6-0 lead.
But Indians quarterback Brandon Morris answered with a 1-yard scoring run and Dan Wolfe’s PAT made it 7-6.
Morris then hit Dylan Angulas on a 14-yard scoring play and Wolfe’s PAT increased the Indians’ lead to 14-6 in the second
Oneonta had a chance to score just before halftime. It drove inside Owego’s 10 and four shots. On third down, Brendan Lord threw to Thompson, who was tackled at 2. The Yellowjackets had to hurry to get the final play off and did, but Lord was stopped at the 2 as the half ended.
“It would have been big,” Oneonta coach Adam Hoover said if his team would have scored just before halftime. “They did a good job when we got close. With 27 seconds left, we used our last timeout, so they knew we had to throw.”
Sean Smith and Zach House contributed touchdown runs in the second half for Owego (2-4).
Lord went 9-for-12 passing for 119 yards, with four going to Thompson for 80 yards.
Scott Conrade had 67 rushing yards for the Yellowjackets (0-6), who play Johnson City (2-4) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Binghamton Alumni Stadium.
Delhi 30, Whitney Point 12
Ryan Telian rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns as visiting Delhi earned a Section Four Football Conference non-division win Friday.
Telian opened the scoring with a 4-yard run in the second quarter. Ben Denison’s 1-yard scoring run made it 14-0 before halftime and another Telian scoring run — this one from 5 yards — made it 22-0 in the third quarter.
“We had some good opportunities in terms of field position earlier in the game, but we were missing some assignments,” Delhi coach Dave Kelly said. “We were playing without a couple of starters on offense and we were blocking the wrong people. Once they got comfortable and started to block the right people, things got better.”
After Whitney Point scored 12 straight points, the Bulldogs’ Mike Neumann capped the scoring with a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs (3-3) are 1-1 in division play heading into a key home against Division VIII leader Harpursville (5-1, 2-0). Delhi will need a victory to have a chance to qualify for the Section Four Class D playoffs.
“Harpursville was a little bigger than Walton, I thought,” Kelly said. “They did a nice job. They have a back (Mason Dean) that’s hard to get ahold of and he’s about 200 pounds. They had a nice offensive game plan. Walton was at a disadvantage with (senior quarterback Dalton) Kaminsky gone and I saw another boy sitting on the sideline who starts, so they weren’t operating at full strength. Still, I thought they’d run right at them, but Harpursville is tough to run on.
“Our running game has to perk up,” he continued. “We were OK against Whitney Point, but I think Harpursville is a stronger team with the size and strength of their linemen. They’ll be hard to block.”
Brian Ingram, who injured his left ankle during last week’s 28-18 loss to Walton, played on defense but not offense. Kelly said he expects Ingram to play both ways this week, and added that linebacker/tight end Austin Gullow also will be back for the Harpursville game.
B-G 19, Oxford 14
Visiting Bainbridge-Guilford improved its playoff resume with a Division VII victory.
The Bobcats (5-1, 2-1) scored the first 19 points and then held off an Oxford rally.
Jake Mazzarella rushed for 196 yards, increasing his season total to 1,066. He also scored on the Bobcats’ first play from scrimmage, a 58-yard play.
“There were some things from scouting and from last year’s film we thought we could with Mazzarella,” B-G coach Tim Mattingly said. “The first play we ran was a simple dive play. We worked on how we wanted to block that. Jacob took it, collided with the outside linebacker and went untouched for 59 yards.
“They tried to take a way our outside stuff so we knew we had run off tackle and inside, and we had quite a bit of success,” he continued.
Tyler Ouimet caught a 69-yard scoring pass from Corbin Palmer to make it 13-0 and Palmer’s 1-yard scoring run gave B-G a 19-0 lead at halftime.
But Oxford (2-4) rallied. Paul Wonka, who rushed for 132 yards on 30 carries, scored from a yard out in the third quarter, and Bryan Simpson made it 19-14 on a 5-yard run with five minutes left.
But B-G drove down to Oxford’s 1 on its next possession. On fourth-and-goal, Corbin threw an incomplete pass, giving the Blackhawks possession with about two minutes left and one timeout.
Mattingly said Oxford moved the ball to about midfield before B-G forced a fumble after sacking quarterback Jody Smith and recovered the ball to seal it.
Mattingly added he wasn’t sure where his team stood in the playoff picture, heading into Friday’s non-division game at Class B Windsor (2-4).
“I think our record speaks for itself, but it’s still kind of muddled,” Mattingly said.
Mount Markham 26, Cooperstown 14
Jacob Miller and Lucas Lyons scored touchdowns for host Cooperstown, which dropped a Section Three game Friday.
Miller blocked a punt and then scooped it up for a touchdown in the third quarter to make it 12-6. When Noah Sims hit Joe Harmon on the two-point conversion pass, the Redskins’ deficit was 12-8.
“Again, mistakes, poor execution and missed opportunities on offense allowed Mount Markham to score two more times — once in the third quarter and again in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach,” first-year Cooperstown coach Mark Segina wrote in an email.
Lyons, who had 69 rushing yards, capped the scoring on a run in the fourth quarter.
The Redskins (1-5) play host to Sauquoit Valley at 2 p.m. Saturday.