Who: Clymer/Sherman/Panama Wolfpack (10-1) vs. VII-Moriah Vikings (8-3).
When: Noon Friday.
Where: Syracuse University Carrier Dome.
Rankings: CSP is ranked No. 7 in the News' small schools poll and No. 1 in the New York State Sportswriters Poll. Moriah is ranked fifth in the state.
NYSPHSAA final records: Clymer/Sherman/Panama is 1-0, defeating Moriah last year, 26-6. Moriah is 0-3 as the Vikings also lost in 2008 to Maple Grove (55-7) and in 2009 to Randolph (41-0).
Coaches: CSP, Ty Harper, fifth season (37-21); Moriah, Don Tesar, 17th season (114 wins).
CSP key players and statistics: Sr. QB Gerrit Hinsdale (103-197-1764-26 TDs), Jr. RB/LB Connor Cooper (93-745-12 TDs; 52.0 tackles), Jr. RB/DB John Swabik (51-377-2 TD; 23-332-2 TDs receiving; 73.0 tackles, 4.0 sacks), Sr. WR/DB Zavon Overton (28-386-5 TDs; 3 return TDs), Sr. WR/DE Cam Barmore (40-787-12 TDs; 83 tackles, 36.0 TFL, 11.0 sacks), Jr. LB/K Jordan Svetz (46 tackles, 3 sacks; 33 PAT kicks), Jr. LB/T Zach Chase (93 tackles).
Moriah key players: Jr. RB Maddox Blaise, Sr. RB/CB Braden Swan, Sr. QB/CB Jeffrey Strieble, So. OL/DL Mike Esposito, Jr. G/LB Mark Maye.
How they got here: CSP rallied from a two-touchdown deficit at halftime to defeat Section IV champion Tioga, 28-27. Brendon Ramsey scored on an 8-yard run and a 43-yard catch to fuel the second-half rally. John Swabik’s 2-point conversion run early in the fourth quarter provided the game-deciding point. Cam Barmore caught two touchdowns in the first half. Swabik finished with 169 yards rushing and 12 tackles.
Moriah crushed Section I champion Tuckahoe, 46-12. Junior running back Maddox Blaise rushed for 305 yards and five touchdowns in the win.
Pre-snap read: CSP draws another team that has a stud running back in familiar foe Moriah.
Stopping the record-setting Blaise is paramount. Blaise has rushed for a single-season section record 2,125 yards and also has 21 touchdowns. That means CSP’s line, which dominated the second half of last week’s semifinal after being pushed around, must find a way to dig in its heels against a similarly sized group of Vikings blockers.
Versatility on offense has been key for the Wolfpack. No need to change now, use different formations to get favorable matchups. Moriah undoubtedly will try to play keep away using its ground-and-pound attack while trying to pressure and hurry third-year starting CSP quarterback Gerrit Hinsdale into mistakes.
Should be a fun start to championship weekend at the Carrier Dome.