DOLGEVILLE After upsetting top-seeded and unbeaten Weedsport in the opening round of the Section III Class D playoffs last Friday, the Dolgeville football team will face Sandy Creek in today's semifinals.
The eighth-seeded Blue Devils will face fifth-seeded Sandy Creek at Rome Free Academy at 7 p.m.
Dolgeville earned its semifinal spot with a 27-20 win at Weedsport last Friday.
Jason Nastovski rushed for 157 yards on 33 carries for the Blue Devils, and scored on runs of 5 and 9 yards. Reid Johnson added a 10-yard touchdown pass to Johann Doerrer. Kasey Foster sealed the win for Dolgeville (7-1 overall), scoring on a 5-yard fumble recovery.
"The game against Weedsport was great game between two strong Class D programs," Dolgeville coach Dan Zilkowski said. "It showed the character of our team to travel over two hours and win a close game on their field."
Sandy Creek (7-1 overall) fell behind 14-0 to fourth-seeded West Canada Valley in the first quarter of last week's game before scoring 34 straight points on its way to a 34-14 win over the Indians.
Cameron Hall scored one a 44-yard interception return for the Comets, while Zach Halsey caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Fayette. Tyler Swarthout, John Shirley and Bobby Cornell all added touchdown runs for Sandy Creek.
"To be successful against Sandy Creek we will need to use our technique and athleticism to combat their size up front. We will also need to perform well on special teams, take advantage of any turnovers, and win the field position battle.
Hall rushed for 97 yards against West Canada Valley and leads the Comets with 919 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
Both teams will face the additional challenge of adjusting to the turf field at Rome Free Academy.
"Our kids will play on any surface, but we like the boost to our speed and cutting ability that turf gives us," Zilkowski said.
Nastovski leads the Blue Devils with 1,107 yards and 18 touchdowns on 170 carries this season, while Devin Coonradt has gained 617 yards and scored five touchdowns on 84 carries.
The Dolgeville defense has allowed just 15.5 points per game this season, while Sandy Creek has held opponents to an average of 11 points or less.
In the other semifinal matchup, third-seeded Herkimer will face second-seeded Westmoreland today at Utica Proctor at 7 p.m. Austin Mills had rushed for 17 touchdowns and thrown for 15 touchdowns this season for Herkimer (7-1 overall). Tim Harrison has 23 rushing touchdowns for Westmoreland (7-1).
The semifinal winners will meet for the Section III Class D title on Nov. 9 at noon at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.