Hello from Ralph Wilson Stadium. We're forging new ground here as we attempt to provide updates from tonight's Section VI football championships:
5 p.m. Kickoff for the Class D final between Randolph and Portville is right on time on a clear and not-to-chilly day at The Ralph. Our poll on the game closed with 75.6 percent of the 86 voters picking Randolph. Don't ask us to do the math on how many voters voted each way - we've got enough arithmetic to do here in the press box.
5:21 p.m. End of the first quarter -- Randolph 7, Portville 0. The TOUCHDOWN came on a 14-yard run by Matt Hettenbaugh, who took a nice option pitch from Blake Morrison and ran to the left pylon. David Pihlblad's extra point was perfect.
5:28 p.m. Randolph takes a 13-0 lead thanks to a Morrison 1-yard sneak for a TOUCHDOWN after a nice 11-play drive.
5:38 p.m. Make it 20-0. The Cardinals make it a quick, four-play scoring drive thanks to a 43-yard run by Travis Terry that gave them a first-and-goal. Hettenbaugh took another nice option pitch from Morrison to the left for a 6-yard TOUCHDOWN run with 3:41 left in the first half.
5:49 p.m. Randolph heads to the locker room at halftime with a 23-0 lead. Portville tried a quick-kick punt on third down from its own 15, but that left enough time for Randolph to move to the 13, where David Pihlblad nailed an NFL-quality 31-yard FIELD GOAL with :01 on the clock.
6:07 p.m. Randolph just kicked off. The halftime show included a limited showing by Randolph's Cardinal mascot. This is just me, but I think the Cardinal needs to be incorporated into the routine some more.
6:15 p.m. More football Cardinals performing well: Portville goes three-and-out, Randolph scores four plays and 55 yards later. After two huge runs by Terry, backup QB Cody Johnson, subbing for an apparently injured Morrison, nudges in for a 1-yard TOUCHDOWN. Pihlblad's kick is good for a 30-0 Randolph lead with 8:19 left in the third quarter.
6:32 p.m. End of the third quarter: Randolph 30, Portville 0. Randolph about to start a drive after a Portville punt.
6:47 p.m. Final score: Randolph 30, Portville 0. Randolph and coach Pat Slater wins their second sectional title in three years.
I speak for high school sportswriters everywhere when I thank Randolph for running the ball so well -- because that keeps the clock moving, especially helpful when you're covering back-to-back games! 🙂 We'll be back soon with a separate post on the Class A final.
-- Keith McShea