By the time you read this post, I’ll have long been awake and on the road to Syracuse. (Unless I overslept, and then we’re in trouble.) But I’ll be back before noon to host a LIVE online chat during today’s game.
As you know by this point, Tuckahoe will meet Randolph for the state title. The Tigers will go for their third championship in their fifth appearance at the Carrier Dome.
If you can’t follow the LIVE chat, I’ll post some updates on Twitter @LoHudInsider. I’ll also return shortly after the game to post the final score; a game recap with reaction from the coaches and players; awards; and a complete box score.
Until then, enjoy the football!
Friday’s games –
Class D state championship
At Carrier Dome, Syracuse:
Randolph 28, Tuckahoe 7
Class D state championship
Randolph 28, Tuckahoe 7: Tuckahoe fell into a two touchdown hole in the first half and never recovered against a bigger, more powerful Randolph team, losing the Class D state championship game 28-7 at the Carrier Dome. The Tigers were outgained 352-195, including 313-165 on the ground by the Section 6 champ.
“We got in too deep, I guess,” Tuckahoe senior Joey Bellantoni said. “Maybe if we came out stronger it would’ve been a different story, but they were just the better team. They better team won.”
Randolph established itself early on long touchdown runs by Jordan Dowiasz and Chris Doubek that propelled the Cardinals (11-2) to a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. They were driving again near midfield when Tuckahoe’s Bryan Madan recovered a fumble by Randolph quarterback Mitchell Maycock. The Tigers quickly drove 44 yards in six plays, capped by Nick Reisman’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Tuckahoe had a chance to tie the score late in the first half, driving as far as the Randolph 4, but the drive stalled when holding and block in the back penalties pushed the ball to the 30. The Tigers turned it over on downs and still trailed 14-7 going into halftime.
“It slowed us up. We were definitely going to punch it in. We were marching it the whole time,” said senior Shyheim Nixon. “That killed our momentum. It changed the game right there. That was the turning point of the game.”
Randolph, which also won state titles in 2005 and 2009, began to wear Tuckahoe down in the second half. Dowiasz scored on a 2-yard run on fourth-and-short on the opening play of the fourth quarter to cap a 14-play, 90-yard march that chewed up 7:21.
Dowiasz led the way with 145 yards rushing on 18 carries and Doubek added 12 for 101 yards. But, in a nod to the Cardinals’ physical dominance, lineman Cody Oldro, who had six tackles, was named the game’s MVP.
“They physically pounded us,” Tuckahoe coach John D’Arco said. “Our average lineman was about 175. Theirs must have been 215, 220. They were just too big.”
After the game, Randolph coach Pat Slater, a three-time state champion, said he would retire. D’Arco, who won state championships in 2006 and 2010, said he planned to do the same if Tuckahoe won. Instead, he hopes to return next season.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of this team,” D’Arco said. “I have to be honest, I was seriously thinking about retiring if we won. Since we didn’t, hopefully I will be back next season.”
Nixon led the Tigers with 84 yards rushing. He finished 3 for 13 for 30 yards and an interception passing. Nick Reisman rushed 22 times for 79 yards and the touchdown.
Michael Arborn led Tuckahoe with eight tackles. Bellantoni had six solo tackles, including three for a loss.
MVP: Cody Oldro, Randolph
Most valuable offensive lineman: Michael Bowers, Randolph
Most valuable offensive back: Chris Doubek, Randolph
Most valuable defensive lineman: Michael Arborn, Tuckahoe
Most valuable defensive back: Nick Hettenbaugh, Randolph
Sportsmanship: John Paulino, Tuckahoe; Nathan Beaver, Randolph
FINAL: Randolph 28, Tuckahoe 7
Tuckahoe (8-3-1) … 0 7 0 0 – 7
Randolph (11-2) … 14 0 0 14 – 28
Scoring plays –
R- Chris Doubek 39 run (Micah Kehoe kick)
R- Jordan Dowiasz 43 run (Kehoe kick)
Tk- Nick Reisman 4 run (Michael Arborn kick)
R- Dowiasz 2 run (Kehoe kick)
R- Jared Pitchford 6 run (Kehoe kick)
First downs: Randolph, 18-13
Rushes-yards: 50-313 Randolph; 40-165 Tuckahoe
Passing: 2-3-39 Randolph; 3-13-30 Tuckahoe
Total offense (plays-yards): 53-352 Randolph; 53-195 Tuckahoe
Punts: 5-37.6 Tucakhoe; 4-31.5 Randolph
Fumbles-lost: 0-0 Tuckahoe; 2-1 Randolph
Penalties-yards: 8-79 Randolph; 6-63 Tuckahoe
Possession: 25:49-22:11, Tuckahoe
Third-down conversions: 2 of 11 Tuckahoe; 2 of 9 Randolph
Fourth-down conversions: 0 of 3 Tuckahoe; 2 of 3 Randolph
Rushing: Tuckahoe – Shyheim Nixon 11 for 84; Nick Reisman 22 for 79; Kayvon Reid 6 for 3; Mike Rosell 1 for (-1). Randolph – Jordan Dowiasz 18 for 145; Chris Doubek 12 for 101; Alex Miinte 8 for 29; Jared PItchford 6 for 21; Mitch Maycock 6 for 14.
Passing: Tuckahoe – Nixon 3 for 13, 30 yards, INT. Randolph – Maycock 2 for 3, 39 yards.
Receiving: Tucakhoe – Michael Castracucco 2 for 17; John Paulino 1 for 13. Randolph – Nathan Beaver 1 for 27; Chris Doubek 1 for 12.
Tackles (solo-assist-TFL): Tuckahoe – Michael Arborn 8-1; Nixon 7-0; Joey Bellantoni 6-2-3; Kayvon Reid 4-2; Daryl Taylor 4-0; Reisman 3-2-1; Bryan Madan 1-4-1 (fumble recovery); Andre Oliva 2-1; M. Castracucco 1-2; Paulino 1-2; E. Penny-Laryea 1-1; Joe Dedvukaj 1-0; Anthony Castracucco 0-1. Randolph – Nick Hettenbaugh 9-3; Cody Oldro 6-0-1; Lucas Brown 5-1-2; Chris Doubek 4-0; Bryce Morrison 2-0; Miinte 1-2; Taylor Miller 1-0; Dowiasz 1-1; Pitchford 1-0; Michael Bowers 1-0; Beaver 1-0; Dylan Faust 1-0; Garek Haas 0-1; Jeff Andrews 0-1.
Interceptions: Randolph – Dowiasz.