CENTRAL SQUARE — The Central Square football team will look to overcome a slew of injuries and shake off recent struggles with its Section 3 Class A playoff hopes on the line against perennial powerhouse Indian River at 7 tonight in Philadelphia.
The Redhawks (3-3 overall, 0-3 league) have lost three straight games — most recently suffering a 50-15 setback to Auburn in its final home game of the season last Friday at Paul V. Moore High School Stadium — and have lost several starters to injury in the process, including senior two-way standout Cruz Springer.
Central Square remains in contention for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Class A bracket, trailing East Syracuse-Minoa (4-4, 1-2) and Whitesboro (3-3, 1-2) by a game each in the divisional standings with two left to play for all three squads.
“We’re really thin, we’re probably down about 10 kids, but Auburn is a really good team and Class A is a struggle,” Central Square second-year coach Kevin Kalfass said after last Friday’s setback to the Maroons.
“There are no easy games, it’s survival of the fittest, and right now we’re hurting,” he added. “Our kids play hard all the time and they tough it out, some of them are just banged up right now. But we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves, we have tough, resilient kids, and we’ll keep going at it.”
Following tonight’s difficult task at Indian River (5-1, 2-1), the Redhawks will close the regular season at Whitesboro on Oct. 25.
Central Square is one of several Oswego County teams that is aiming to advance to the Section 3 football playoffs as their respective regular seasons wrap up this week and next.
SECTION 3 CLASS B
Mexico will close its regular season in the Section 3 Class B East Division by hosting Cazenovia (3-3) at 7 tonight at the high school turf field.
The Tigers (0-6) are looking to avoid a second straight winless season and have been eliminated from playoff contention, but are coming off their highest scoring output of the year during a 35-19 loss at playoff-hopeful Vernon-Verona-Sherrill last Friday.
SECTION 3 CLASS D
Sandy Creek claimed a 20-12 victory over Sauquoit Valley last Friday for its first win of the season, powered by a strong performance from Adam Hilton.
The senior tallied 203 all-purpose yards and scored on a four-yard run, later adding a 34-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ethan Hollister.
The Comets (1-5) will close their regular season with a divisional game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Onondaga Tigers (2-4). All eight teams will qualify for the playoffs in Class D, but the winner of that game could potentially avoid a quarterfinal matchup at one of the top two seeds, held by Beaver River (5-1) and Frankfort-Schuyler (5-1) entering this week with Dolgeville (4-2) and Waterville (4-2) also in the mix.
SECTION 3 EIGHT-MAN
Altmar-Parish-Williamstown will face South Lewis at 7 tonight in Turin in a battle for supremacy in the Section 3 Eight-Man Class C Division.
The undefeated Falcons (4-0, 3-0) have topped 60 points in three of their four games this season, including a 64-0 victory over Pulaski last Saturday. The Rebels (2-2 overall, 2-1 division), meanwhile, are looking to bounce back from their first divisional loss of the year last Friday, suffering a 32-14 setback to Tupper Lake.
APW and South Lewis each advanced to the Eight-Man playoffs last year and are in possession of the two postseason berths available in their division entering tonight’s games.
The Rebels will finish the regular season by hosting Pulaski (0-4, 0-3) on Oct. 25. The Blue Devils will finish their regular-season home slate this week by hosting Cooperstown (0-3, 0-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Fulton enters a nonleague matchup at Newark Valley tonight with a 3-2 overall record and a 2-0 league mark during its first season the Section 3 Developmental Division.
The Red Raiders will try to secure the division’s regular-season title when it hosts Jamesville-DeWitt on Oct. 25. The Developmental Division was launched by Section 3 prior to the start of last season to help programs of various school size that have struggled with low participation numbers. Teams forfeited the opportunity to qualify for sectional play in order to play against teams facing similar situations.
South Jefferson won the league’s inaugural title last season before returning to Section 3 Class B.
Phoenix (0-5, 0-2) and Fowler are each in their second season as members of the division while J-D joined Fulton as newcomers, each dropping from Class A for the 2019 season.