Rivalry still special

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

All I want for Halloween weekend is to revel in a competitive, compelling, action- and drama-filled high school football sectional game in which the outcome is decided by a less than a touchdown.

The stark reality is, few games this regular season and into the early stages of the playoffs have been nail-biters and or even marginally close. However, from week to week, a close outcome emerges.

The scales of balance should level over the next few weeks when more evenly matched programs meet deeper in the playoffs.

I tracked game scores of 95 football games played this fall involving solely based Frontier League and Northern Athletic Conference schools — and the results are more evenly distributed than you would think. This analysis does not include St. Lawrence Central’s 2-0 forfeit win over Malone on Oct. 11.

n A total of 20 of 95 games (21 percent) were decided by 1 to 10 points;

n 14 of 95 (15 percent) were decided by 11 to 20 points;

n 19 of 95 (20 percent) were decided by 21 to 30 points;

n 22 of 95 (23 percent) were decided by 31 to 39 points;

n 20 of 95 (21 percent) were decided by 40 or more points.

Here are my findings:

1. There were exactly the same amount of games decided by 1 to 10 points as there were by 40-plus points.

2. Nearly two-thirds of all games (64 percent) were decided by three touchdowns or more.

3. Thirteen games over Weeks 7 and 8 were decided by four-plus touchdowns, meaning the superior teams were overpowering the worn-down squads.

4. Of the 20 games decided by 1 to 10 points, more than half (11) were within the boundary of a touchdown and a two-point conversion.

5. The closest results were a pair on one-pointers — Onondaga edging Beaver River, 23-22, and Gouverneur nipping Potsdam, 15-14, in double overtime.

6. Beaver River has played six tight games (including the past four weeks) — the one-point loss to Onondaga; a four-point defeat to Dolgeville; but escaping with 13-6, 31-28, 43-38 and 14-6 victories over Waterville, Thousand Islands, Frankfort-Schuyler and TI again, respectively.

Conclusion: There are close games out there in the region — you just got to hunt for them.

n Richie Rich’s Top 10 rankings in the NFL: 1. Pats; 2. 49ers; 3. Saints; 4. Packers; 5. Seahawks; 6. Vikings; 7. Ravens; 8. Bills; 9. Colts; 10. Texans.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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