Dolgeville ready for regional contest

Dolgeville’s Nic Bailey dives for extra yardage after being hit by Sandy Creek’s Zac Paternoster during a Section III Class D first-round game Oct. 21 at Dolgeville High School. The Blue Devils are scheduled to face Section IV champion Tioga on Friday at Union-Endicott High School in a state quarterfinal contest. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

ENDICOTT — Having advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2014, the Dolgeville football team will see the same opponent it saw three years ago.

The Blue Devils will face Section IV champion Tioga today at Union-Endicott High School at 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to next week’s state semifinals.

“Tioga is a very well-coached team. They can pound the rock on offense and are very aggressive on defense with good tacklers,” Dolgeville coach Dan Zilkowski said. “Tioga’s offensive and defensive sets and schemes are similar [to 2014], but obviously the players are different.”

The Blue Devils are third in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class D rankings, while the Tigers are ranked sixth.

When Dolgeville and Tioga met in 2014, the Tigers posted a 46-22 victory.

The Blue Devils earned their spot in the state tournament with a 50-38 victory over Bishop Ludden in the Section III Class D title game last Friday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

Nic Bailey finished with five rushing touchdowns and 207 rushing yards on 34 carries for the Blue Devils, who earned their 17th sectional title (14 in Class D and 3 in Class C). Bailey scored on runs of 1, 31, 25, 4 and 8 yards.

Devin Gorinshek and Chase Doxtader each had 57 yards rushing for Dolgeville (10-0 overall), while quarterback Aasin Claus was 2-for-4 for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

The 50-point offensive output marked the eighth time in 10 games that Dolgeville scored 40 or more points.

Gorinshek (1,127 yards) and Doxtader (1,111) have both surpassed the 1,000-yard mark this season for Dolgeville. Gorinshek has 106 carries and has scored 13 touchdowns this season, while Doxtader has 102 carries and 17 touchdowns. Bailey had 18 touchdowns and 987 yards on 170 carries.

The Blue Devils have rushed for 52 touchdowns and 3,492 yards on 475 carries this season, while Claus is 28-for-44 for 12 touchdowns, 723 yards and one interception through the air. Zach Smith has 12 catches for 284 yards and five touchdowns for Dolgeville.

Dolgeville, which has outscored its opposition 498-227, is averaging 49.8 points per game offensively, while allowing 22.7 points per game defensively.

“We have been following the approach of taking each game one at a time all year. We need to evaluate, prepare, and execute a game plan and this week is no exception,” Zilkowski said.

In its sectional championship game, Tioga (8-1 overall) posted a 63-42 victory over Sidney to claim its sixth Section IV Class D title in the last seven years.

The game featured 1,184 yards of offense and 15 touchdowns.

Nick Klossner rushed for three touchdowns, caught a touchdown pass and intercepted two passes for the Tigers, who notched their eighth consecutive win.

“We will need a solid game out of all facets of our game. I believe field position and making the most out of all offensive possessions will be very important,” Zilkowski said. “Our experience with a late playoff push as a staff is to keep coaching the basics of blocking, tackling, and playing fundamental football. It is what has got us to this point. We certainly will scheme against what Tioga does, but keeping to the basics is very important.”

The winner of today’s game will face either Section V champion Clyde-Savannah or Section VI champion Maple Grove in the state semifinals on Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. at Union-Endicott High School. Clyde-Savannah (10-0 overall) and Maple Grove (9-1 overall) meet in Friday’s quarterfinal at the College at Brockport at 5 p.m.

Clyde-Savannah is first in the latest state Class D rankings, while Maple Grove is ranked fifth.

By Paul Wager

Leave a Reply