ENDICOTT — For the second straight week, Clymer/Sherman/Panama faced the state’s second-ranked team. For the second straight week, the Wolfpack showed folks why they are ranked No. 1 in without-a-doubt fashion.
Unbeaten CSP (12-0) is one win away from earning the coveted New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Class D football championship.
The Wolfpack earned the right to play for the prize by crushing Section IV champion Tioga, 54-19, before an estimated 1,000 at Union-Endicott High School on Friday night.
CSP made plays via air and on the ground to advance to its first state final at the expense of a program making its seventh semifinal appearance in eight years. Junior quarterback Gerrit Hinsdale completed 21 of 26 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns. Game MVP Cam Barmore caught eight passes for 214 yards and two long touchdowns. Mike Beatman rushed 10 times for 71 yards and a touchdown.
The Wolfpack rolled up 631 total yards in a thoroughly impressive showing.
“It really speaks to our kids’ preparation and their drive,” triumphant coach Ty Harper said. “They were very focused this week in practice. This was an important step to take.”
“We showed our dominance,” said Barmore, who scored on TD catches of 50 and 64 yards. “We have to carry this win into next week and hopefully get that ring.”
CSP faces either I-Haldane or VII-Moriah at noon Friday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Wolfpack won’t find out their opponent until Sunday afternoon as the Haldane-Moriah game was rescheduled due to the storm that has hit the New York City area as well as the Southern Tier and Central New York.
With mounds of snow surrounding the playing surface at Union-Endicott, CSP wasted little time seizing control with an 18-point first quarter. Two plays after Hinsdale went vertical to start the game-opening drive, Beatman scored on a 50-yard run just 35 seconds into the clash to give the Wolfpack the lead for keeps.
ON CSP’s next drive, Hinsdale and Zavon Overton hooked up on a 33-yard pass play to convert a second-and-19. That drive, which included a fourth-down conversion, ended with Derek Ecklund’s 17-yard TD run. Barmore’s 50-yard TD, in which the 6-foot-4 basketball player leaped over a defender to snag the ball and then raced untouched to the end zone before the end of the first quarter, served as a warning shot of a potential rout.
CSP led 25-6 at halftime but didn’t put this one away until after the Tigers pulled within 25-13 on Brady Worthing’s 22-yard scoring run.
John Swabik scored on a 48-yard run and then ran in the conversion to make it 33-13 CSP. Barmore had his 64-yard catch and run in which he weaved around defenders and some nice downfield blocking after that to make it 40-13.
That was more than enough of a cushion against a team that had just attempted around 50 passes for the season.
“We tried to put them in a spot where they hadn’t been all season,” Hinsdale said. “We were determined to stop them and put them in (passing situations) because the passing game isn’t their strong suit.”
CSP can pass or run as it reminded folks Friday. The Wolfpack can’t wait to flaunt their skills in the Dome.
“It’s just surreal,” Hinsdale said of reaching the state final. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s crazy. It’s nuts.”
“I think it’s an incredible accomplishment for our program,” Harper said. “To go from two wins four seasons ago to playing for a state championship next weekend is a great feeling. But at the same time we still know we have one more step to take.”