NY Section 4 Football: Waverly, Tioga, Maine-Endwell playing for state championships


For the third straight season, Section 4 will have three high school football teams vying this weekend for New York state championships: Waverly (12-1) in Class C; two-time defending champion Tioga (13-0) in Class D; and two-time defending champion Maine-Endwell (12-0) in Class B.

In last season’s state playoffs, Union-Endicott, in Class A, joined Tioga and M-E at the dome in Syracuse, but lost in the finals. In 2021, Chenango Forks, Tioga and M-E played in the finals and won state championships.

Read an edited preview of this weekend’s championship games from writer Rob Centorani of the Broome County East Sports Report. Game predictions are Centorani’s.

Class B: Maine-Endwell (12-0) vs. Rye (11-2), noon Sunday

Rye, of Section 1, has won three state titles. Maine-Endwell Spartans have won seven state champions in Class A and B since 2004 (including a state-record four consecutive titles from 2011-2014 and titles in 2021 and 2022, all these titles with Matt Gallagher as head coach. Jack Touhey was coach in 2004).

Rye’s most recent state title came in 2008. The Garnets are coached by Dino Garr, who earned his 350th victory last Saturday with a 24-10 victory over Ravens/Coeymans/Selkirk in the East Region final. In that victory, AJ Miller threw two touchdown passes and Chris Iuliano had a rushing TD.

Rye’s losses this season came against Pleasantville (21-12) and Harrison (21-14) in September. The Garnets avenged the loss to Pleasantville in the Section 1 final, 35-21.

M-E defeated Pleasantville in the last two state Class B title games, 21-12 in 2021 and 26-25 last season. Spartans rallied from a 18-14 halftime deficit last Saturday for a 29-24 victory over Monroe, with the Spartans rushing for 187 yards after halftime. Coach Matt Gallagher has a record of 152 wins and 24 losses since the 2007 season.

Prediction: M-E, 28-20.

Class C: Waverly (12-1) vs. Fonda-Fultonville (12-1), 6 p.m. Saturday; Your Hometown Station WEBO and Choice 102 WAVR will broadcast the game starting at 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

Both teams won their semifinals convincingly, Waverly a 42-0 winner over Salamanca, and Fonda-Fultonville, 33-7, over defending state champion James I. O’Neill.

Here’s the thing, the Wolverines won their semifinal with one hand tied behind their back. They only rushed senior standout quarterback Joey Tomasso two times. Tomasso came into the game with a team-leading 565 rushing yards. Susquehanna Valley coach Mike Ford and Chenango Forks coach Dave Hogan (whose teams lost to Waverly) said Tomasso was every bit as much of a threat as a runner as he is passing. He proved it in a 30-21 victory over Forks in the Section 4 Class C final, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

Tomasso suffered a knee injury in Waverly’s 49-6 state quarterfinal victory over Adirondack. He didn’t absorb much contact last Saturday, so if he’s back to a dual-threat in the state final, Waverly will be very tough to stop.

Last week, even with Tomasso limited, the Wolverines built a 21-point halftime lead. He finished with three passing touchdowns and a 1-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring. Waverly has looked very impressive the past three weeks. A win would be the school’s first-ever NY state football championship.

Prediction: Waverly, 35-14.

Class D: Tioga (13-0) vs. Stillwater (11-1), noon Saturday; Your Hometown Station WEBO and Choice 102 WAVR will broadcast the game starting at 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

There’s really not much to say about this championship game. The Tigers won the 2021 state final, 27-0, over Moriah, and last season’s title game was, 63-20, over Cambridge/Salem. Tigers, with three state championships,  are even bigger, stronger and faster than last season with experienced senior leadership and diehard community support.

A win Saturday by the Tigers will put then in the state football annals with a small but prestigious cache of NY schools who have won at least three consecutive championships, including Chenango Forks, Hornell, Edgemont, Maine-Endwell and Randolph, according to Section 4 Football’s website.

Prediction: Tioga, 49-14.