Saturday promises to be a dandy for our local high school football teams, their communities and all their fans.
Four of our local teams will be playing for three separate Section V football championship including Batavia (Class B), Attica (Class C) and Oakfield-Alabama/Elba and Alexander (Class D).
All three games will be played Saturday at SUNY Brockport beginning at noon and running straight through until 9 p.m.
If you’re a fan of our local high school football programs — which I know many of you are — it will be the best eight bucks you’ve ever spent watching these three games.
Let’s take a look at the match ups.
Saturday, SUNY Brockport 6 p.m.
Batavia (10-0) has outscored their opponents 410-100 — averaging a 41-10 victory margin this season.
The Blue Devils defeated Monroe earlier this season 28-6 back in week three. That loss was Monroe’s last loss of the season as they have been on a terror since with seven straight dubs including wins of 72-0, 52-0, 64-8 and most recently a 12-7 semifinal victory over HF-L.
Just what would winning another sectional title mean for head coach Brennen Briggs and the Blue Devils.
“Winning the title would be very special for our players and community,” coach Briggs said. “The players started putting off season workouts in as far back as January, and for them to now have an opportunity to play for a championship is a very rewarding feeling. I’m extremely proud of the players and coaches for their commitment and dedication; hopefully we can get it done Saturday. We’ve had tremendous support from our AD, administration, building and grounds, and our community. Thank you to everyone for their continued support.”
In my opinion, and many others as well, Briggs is the best football coach in all of Section V and a proven winner. Year after year his teams put in the necessary work in the off-season to get to this moment they will share Saturday night on the turf in Brockport. I guarantee Briggs and his staff will have these kids focused on winning yet another sectional title, which would be the sixth title since he took over. Briggs is an attention to detail coach, every block, every tackle and every play has a design that makes his team better. That’s called execution — and nobody executes a game plan better than the Blue Devils on game night. Briggs puts it together, and those kids respond year after year.
And let me tell you a little about this Batavia QB Ja’Vin McFollins. I’ve seen him play a few times this season, and I’ve been impressed every time. The kid can throw the ball as well as anyone in Section V, he has a cannon for an arm and his precision is extremely impressive. With his line giving him some time, and his tough running backs keeping the defense honest, look for McFollins to have another big game. He’s very fun to watch. I expect the Blue Devils to play a great game, for a full 32 minutes, If that happens, I expect Briggs to get block -6, a truly incredible accomplishment in just 10 years.
No. 3 Attica vs. No. 4 East Rochester/Gananda
Saturday, 3 p.m. at SUNY Brockport
I was rooting for an Attica/Le Roy championship match up but the Bombers spoiled that thought with the upset win at Hartwood Park last week.
This is going to be a very physical game on both sides of the ball.
Attica (8-2) has outscored opponents 253-180 — averaging 25-18 margin of victory.
Attica beat ER/Gananda 42-30 in week two and I expect a much lower scoring game this time around. Attica loves to pound the football behind that physical O-line and they have a stable of RB’s that love to punish you with every carry. I believe whomever takes care of the ball, and has less mistakes/penalties, will win this football game, and I am praying it will be the Blue Devils. These blue collar kids deserve that title. This Attica team reminds me of the old throwback teams from yesteryear when they played sandlot football in the village park, no helmet or pads, and a lot of bloody noses after its all finished.
Attica head coach Jeff Cusmano would love nothing more than to bring back the first-ever sectional football trophy to Attica.
“I think a sectional title would mean a lot to the community by giving it a source of pride. To the players,” coach Cusmano said. “I think it would be a sense of accomplishment on a goal that they set at the beginning of the season. As a coach it would be satisfying to know that we would be adding to the rich history of Attica football.”
I will be rooting hard for those Attica Blue Devils. Start up those fire trucks!
No. 1 OAE vs. No. 2 Alexander
Saturday, 12 p.m. at SUNY Brockport
Who hasn’t been waiting for this game since mid-season? I know I have.
They talk about David vs. Goliath, this is Goliath vs. Goliath.
Combined these teams are 19-0 and have outscored their opponents 907-127 — or an average winning margin of 48-7.
The Aggies (10-0) have outscored their opponents 549-85 on the season averaging a winning margin of 55-8.5. And OAE has scored most those points by the end of third period with reserves mostly playing the fourth of every game.
“Winning a sectional championship this year would be indescribable for these kids and the community,” OAE head coach Ty Winter said. “This group has been one of the most humble and grounded groups I’ve ever been around. A big reason they are in this game is their ability to focus week to week on the challenge before them and not get too ahead of themselves. We’re very excited for the next challenge that awaits this Saturday against a very good Alexander team.”
The Trojans (9-0) have outscored their opponents 358-42 averaging a winning margin of 40-5.
“Winning a Class D sectional title this year would be great,” Alexander head coach Tim Sawyer said. “It would validate the hard work and personal sacrifice that each athlete and coach invests. It would be special for this group because they are one unit, one family. They care about each other and have grown through the program together. Go Trojans!”
Yes, that’s Tim Sawyer, if you cut the man open he would bleed green and gold. Nobody loves his kids more than that coach. Rest assured, Sawyer would take you behind the old woodshed if you messed with one of his boys.
I’ve always loved the way Sawyer’s teams play — and that’s 110 percent on every play until they hear a whistle.
I am sure OAE coach Ty Winter remembers April 25, 2020. That’s the day his Aggies lost 9-7 to Alexander in the semifinals during the spring season due to covid. I had OAE winning that game big, and Sawyer and the Trojans proved me dead wrong, and they defined what putting on that Alexander jersey means to so many. I leaned a lesson that day — don’t ever take a team for granted, especially one with the heart of a lion as a head coach and a Trojan on their jersey.
This very well could be round one of a rematch that could come in three more weeks.
Like I said in a column I wrote about a month ago, the loser of this game will not be done. Instead, they will earn a wildcard from Section V and travel to the Albany area next week to play some eastern region teams at the NYS Class D Tournament.
These two teams could very well meet again — for a NUS title.
I know I am rooting for that one.
But for now, I’m picking….. wait for it…. no chance I’m doing that again.
Best of luck to both teams.