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Class D state championship: Randolph vs. I-Tuckahoe

Who: Randolph Cardinals (10-2) vs. I-Tuckahoe Tigers (8-2-1)

What: New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D football championship.

When: Today, noon.

Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse.

Tickets: $10 for two-game session.

Radio: WJTN (1240 AM), WWSE (93.3 FM) and

Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

Buffalo News small school poll: Randolph No. 4 (previous poll was Nov. 6).

New York State Sportswriters Association Class D poll: Randolph No. 1 (up from No. 2), Tuckahoe No. 3 (up from No. 4).

Randolph at the Dome: 2-0. In 2005, the Cardinals beat Cambridge of Section II (Albany area), 35-6. In 2009, they beat Moriah of Section VII (Plattsburgh area), 41-0.

Tuckahoe at the Dome: 2-2. In 1993, the first year of the state tournament, lost to V-Oakfield-Alabama, 40-0. In 2004, lost to III-Weedsport, 22-21. In 2006, beat V-Oakfield-Alabama, 27-14. In 2010, beat V-Caledonia-Mumford, 27-0.

The Tigers have made the state playoffs 12 times, including eight of the last 10 years, with the only recent exceptions last season and 2007.

Where’s Tuckahoe? The school is located in Town of Eastridge — which also includes the village of Tuckahoe — in the lower, central section of Westchester County. Tuckahoe is the champion of Section I, which includes Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.

Coaches: Randolph, Pat Slater, 33rd season (213-99-4); Tuckahoe, John D’Arco, 13th season (130-plus wins; also coached 22 years at Eastchester; also won two baseball state titles at Tuckahoe).

How they got here: Randolph beat Tioga, then ranked No. 1 in the state, 7-6, in the state semifinals. Randolph scored on its opening possession, then stopped a two-point conversion in the final minutes before converting a third down and a fourth down to run out the clock. Tuckahoe also won a close one, 14-12, over Section II (Albany area) champion and state No. 3 Rensselaer.

Randolph key players: Jr. QB Mitch Maycock, 6-foot, 185; Sr. RB Jordan Dowiasz, 5-10, 170; Sr. RB/LB Chris Doubek, 5-9, 155; Sr. RB Alex Miinte, 5-10, 165; Sr. E Nate Beaver, 6-0, 165; Jr. E/DB Lucas Brown, 5-10, 155; Jr. LB/OL Cody Oldro, 5-8, 160; Jr. E Nick Hettenbaugh, 5-10, 140; So. C/T Jeff Andrews, 5-10, 215; So. T Michael Bowers, 6-2, 255; Sr. T Ryan Styles, 5-8, 200; Sr. G/E Jimmy Carr, 6-2, 170; Jr. T Patrick Kibbe, 6-0, 230; Jr. RB/LB/P Jared Pitchford, 5-9, 165; Jr. K Micah Kehoe, 5-8, 135.

Tuckahoe pre-snap read: Tigers are one of only three Class D programs in Section I, playing many Class C schools on its schedule. Included was Dobbs Ferry, the team that throttled Southwestern, 39-0, in last year’s Class C state championship game but went 5-3 this year; Tuckahoe beat Dobbs Ferry, 38-14, in Week Four. The Tigers then had some midseason stumbles with a 27-27 tie against Haldane (which finished 2-5-1, with Tuckahoe avenging the loss in the playoffs, 35-6); at 47-13 loss to Woodlands (Class C school which went 9-1, losing to O’Neill, which lost to Hoosic Falls in state C semifinals); and a 7-0 loss to Class C Bronxville (4-4). However, since then the Tigers have been on a roll behind Sr. QB Shyheim Nixon (5-10, 180), who was moved under center after the losses and has led Tuckahoe to four straight victories (by combined score of 128-36). Tigers do most of their damage on the ground, however (477 yards passing to 3,014 rushing for the season) behind 6-1, 210-pound Sr. RB/LB Nick Reisman (173-1,115, 16 TDs), Nixon (124-897, 6 TDs) and 6-3, 185-pound Sr. RB/LB Kayvon Reid (50-373, 3 TDs). Sr. LB Joey Bellantoni (5-11, 190) averages over eight tackles per game. Bellantoni and Nixon were starters on the 2010 state title team. Nixon also helped Tuckahoe’s basketball team to the 2011 Class C state championship as the Tigers beat OTC Middle College in the title game.

— Keith McShea