Valhalla, Gouverneur Match Stellar Defense In Semis
Section 10 Champion Gouverneur and Section 1 champion Valhalla followed dramatically different routes to Saturday's high noon showdown in New York State Class C semi-final game at Middletown Central School.
Gouverneur has won 10 straight games and after posting a fourth straight undefeated Northern Conference season unseated OFA 25-6 as Section 10 Class C champion and then
gained a 10-2 win over Section 2 Champion Stillwater to gain their school's first appearance in the New York Final Four.
Vallhalla has reeled off eight straight win after starting the season at 0-2 with a 48-22 loss to Chester and a 35-14 loss to Woodlands. The Vikings came full circle with by reversing Chester 19-8 on Saturday in the Class C quarter-finals.
The other semi-final game will feature a number 1 vs number 2 matchup of undefeated teams as Susquehanna Valley (11-0) meets South Western (11-0). Saturday's winners will play for the state title next weekend at the Syracuse Carrier Dome.
The number three state-ranked Wildcats and number 11 Vikings share a major similarity...outstanding defense. The Vikings has allowed only three touchdowns in their last three games in including a 21-7 win over Dobbs Ferry in the Section 1 title game.
Our defense played a spectacular game," said Valhalla Coach Steve Boyer in post game comments to the press after them win over Chester.
"John Consorti, our defensive coordinator, was amazing here. We made some big plays in the first half, then we kind of ran the ball in the second half.”
Offensivey Michael Davis finished with 59 yards rushing on seven carries, caught a 47-yard touchdown pass and threw a 31-yard touchdown pass. Davis was also named defensive MVP.
Quarterback Michael Dawson completed 12 of 25 passes for 168 yards. He ran for 50 yards on 15 carries.
In the win over Stillwater the Wildcats scored on their first possession as quarterback Caleb Farr broke free on a 27-yard touchdown run on his second carry of a game where he would gain 137 yards on 19 carries. Gouverneur lifted their lead to 10-0 with 11:16 remaining in the game when Mitchell Tyler kicked a 15-yard field goal.
Stillwater's only points came on a safety with 4:11 in the game and after a free kick following the safety the Wildcats' defense protected the lead. In its final possession Stillwater (10-1) marched down the field from its own 37 and got to the Wildcats' 23-yard line but the Wildcat defense successfully denied three passes into the endzone.
Cayden Stowell was involved in 10 tackles and Joe Cummings and Jarred Wilson were in on eight and seven stops to lead the defense and Caleb Farr intercepted a pass to go along with two stops. Other tackle involvement contributions were: Mitchell Shippee (1), Mitchell Tyler (5), Matthew Turner (3), Brock Cox (5), Gabe Wainwright (1), Nicholas Embry (1), Tyler Tupper (5) and Noah Macaulay (1).
"Our defense was phenomenal. We had a couple guys get hurt early in the game, and we had some young kids step up. Coach Justin Young does a great job week after week preparing our defense, and they are always up to the test. We knew everything they were going to do before they did it, we just had to execute," said Gouverneur Coach Sean Devlin.
"They are a very good team. We were able to score on our opening drive. It took them a while to adjust to our speed, and we knew that scoring early was key to success, and it was. We had solid drives that kept the ball out of their hands and changed the field possession."
Gouveneur's offense came entirely on the ground as Farr only passed twice and neither attempt was completed. Cayden Stowell gained 74 yards on 17 carries, Mitchell Tyler picked up 34 yards on six carries and Joe Cummings contributed 24 yards on just three carries.
"We made history in Gouverneur tonight. No football team from Gouverneur has ever made it to the New York State Final 4 before, and I am happy for our guys, they deserve it. Our school and community support is second to nobody, we love them and this win is for them too," said Coach Sean Devil Devlin.