HS FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
Game of the Week
Class A championship
No. 2 Canton (2-5) vs. No. 1 Watertown (4-3)
When, where: 7 p.m. tonight, Watertown
Outlook: Canton was the first Section 10 team the Cyclones beat in their return to the Northern Athletic Conference this season. Watertown defeated the Golden Bears, 40-28, in Watertown during the regular season’s second week. Watertown quarterback Deante Hall led the Cyclones in the first matchup, rushing for 238 yards on 13 carries and scoring five touchdowns, all on long runs. Hall’s average touchdown run in that contest was 30.4 yards. Jaiden Ramsey rushed for 150 yards on 14 carries for Watertown. Zach VanBrocklin led Canton with 167 yards on 23 carries.
Class C championship
No. 2 OFA (6-1) vs. No. 1 Gouverneur (7-0)
When, where: 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Gouverneur.
Outlook: Gouverneur routed the Blue Devils, 42-14, in a regular-season matchup at Ogdensburg. But the Wildcats may be in the position OFA wants them to be in, as twice in the past three years, including last season, OFA has lost to Gouverneur in the regular season and beat the Wildcats in the title game. The Wildcats took advantage of big plays in the regular-season win. Cayden Stowell scored on runs of 34 and 17 yards and returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown as the Wildcats led 34-14 by halftime. Mitchell Tyler scored on a 51-yard run and Kyle Savage ran an interception back 54 yards for a touchdown. MeSean Johnson caught a 54-yard pass from Jackson Jones for the Blue Devils, who played without one of their top running backs in Tristan Lovely.
CLASS A semifinal
No. 1 Carthage (7-1) vs. No. 4 Whitesboro (4-4)
When, where: 5 p.m. tonight, Dexter
Outlook: For the second consecutive year, Carthage could eliminate Whitesboro from the Section 3 Class A playoffs. The Comets have already gotten the best of the Warriors once this season with a 42-7 victory in week seven. In that game, Carthage running back Fombo Azah ran for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Whitesboro’s only score came in the fourth quarter when quarterback Zach Britt found Nick Sardina for a 3-yard touchdown pass.
No. 2 Indian River (7-1) vs. No. 3 Auburn (6-2)
When, where: 8 p.m. tonight, Dexter
Outlook: Indian River, the reigning sectional champion is trying to defend its title and make it back to the Class A title for the fourth straight time and for the sixth time in the past seven years. Like last season, the Warriors will be playing Auburn in the semifinals. The Maroons have been one of the top three teams in Class A in 2019, but have been a distant third behind Carthage and Indian River. The Warriors last met Auburn in week four and won, 53-20.
Class C semifinal
No. 2 Lowville (8-0) vs. No. 3 Canastota (7-1)
When, where: 2 p.m. Saturday, Cicero-North Syracuse
Outlook: Lowville’s regular season was relatively unchallenging and that continued into the playoffs as they defeated Skaneateles, 58-26, at home. Canastota should change that trend Saturday in the 3 Class C semifinals. Canastota, also the Red Raiders, has been one of the all-around better teams this season — its only loss came to Skaneateles in week two. Canastota has allowed six points or less in four games this season and have scored 50 or more points in five games.
Class D semifinal
No. 2 Beaver River (6-2) vs. No. 3 Waterville (6-2)
When, where: 7 p.m. tonight, Lowville
Outlook: The Beavers relied heavily on their defense last Saturday against Thousand Islands in the Class D quarterfinal game, and the defense delivered. Beaver River held the Vikings to only six points and shut them out for the final three quarters. With quarterback Sam Bush out, hindering the offense, Beaver River might need to rely heavily on its defense again against Waterville. The last time these two teams met it was in week one and Beaver River escaped with a 13-6 victory.
No. 1 South Lewis (6-0) vs. No. 4 West Canada Valley (5-1)
When, where: 6 p.m. tonight, Sauquoit
Outlook: South Lewis will begin its postseason with its strongest opponent of the season so far. West Canada Valley’s only loss this season has come to undefeated Weedsport, the team the Falcons will most likely meet in the Carrier Dome if they can get through WCV.