FOOTBALL: SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY FALLS AT WAVERLY IN CLASS C SEMIFINALS (24 PHOTOS)
(2023-11-03)By TIM BIRNEYBroome County East Sports Report
WAVERLY — Playing without a couple starters, Susquehanna Valley could not keep up with Waverly’s high-powered offense here Friday night in a 55-0 loss in the semifinals of the Section IV, Class B playoffs.
The Sabers moved the ball effectively at times against the Wolverines, but turnovers (four) and a couple of costly penalties (three for 30 yards) ended or stalled several of their possessions.
The Wolverines scored three times in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the game to take a quick 21-0 lead.
All-state QB Joey Tomasso capped a seven-play, 72-yard drive with a 1-yard QB sneak with 9:37 remaining in the first quarter to give Waverly a 7-0 lead.
Susquehanna Valley’s first possession was a three-and-out, and Waverly’s Troy Beeman partially blocked the punt to give the Wolverines the ball at the Saber 27.
On the first play, Tomasso found 6-4 Xavier Watson in the end zone to make it 14-0 with 7:34 remaining in the first quarter.
Moments later, Waverly’s Kolsen Keathley intercepted a pass at the SV 15, and returned it to the 5. On the next play, Tomasso connected with Keathley on a 5-yard TD pass to make it 21-0 with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter.
The Sabers moved the ball quickly into Wolverine territory on its next possession, thanks in large part to a 49-yard pass from Connor Vanderlinde to Johnathan Cortese, but fumbled the ball away at the Waverly 21 three plays later.
Waverly used a 12-play drive to reach the SV 9, but the Saber defense stiffened, and Hogan Shaw’s 26-yard field goal made it 24-0 with 11:34 remaining in the half.
After Waverly increased its lead to 31-0 on a 10-yard TD pass from Tomasso to Pipher, the Sabers again moved the ball deep into Wolverine territory.
The drive appeared dead in its track three plays after the kickoff, but Vanderlinde connected with Ian Harder on a 16-yard pass on a fake punt to convert a fourth-and-9.
A 17-yard pass from Vanderlinde to Cortese moved the ball to the Waverly 24, but four plays later the Wolverine defense stopped SV on a fourth-and-one play to end the possession on downs.
Three plays later, Tomasso found Watson with a deep ball for a 52-yard TD to make it 38-0 with 2:15 remaining in the first half.
On SV’s first possession of the second half, Vanderlinde hooked up with Harder on a 31-yard completion, but he was stripped of the ball, and Waverly’s Jay Pipher scooped it up and returned it to the Saber 33.
Six plays later, Shaw’s 30-yard field goal made it 41-0 with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Waverly added another TD on a 5-yard pass from Tomasso to Matthias Welles to make it 48-0 with 11 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
On the final play of the third quarter, Cortese busted out of a pile at the line-of-scrimmage, and raced 85 yards for an apparent TD, but a block-in-the-back call brought the ball back out to the Waverly 28, resulting in a 67-yard run by Cortese.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Waverly’s Bryce LaForest stripped an SV runner of the ball, and raced 75 yards for the final score of the game.
Cortese led the Sabres with 107 rushing yards on 14 carries, and three receptions for 72 yards, while Harder had four catches for 68 yards.
Vanderlinde completed 10 of 20 passes for 156 yards, and one interception.
Tomasso completed 20 of 27 passes for 357 yards, and five TDs, with Watson hauling in five receptions for 148 yards, and two TDs, and Pipher adding five catches for 61 yards, and one TD.
Susquehanna Valley wraps up the season at 4-5.
Waverly, now 9-1, will square off with Chenango Forks next Saturday for the Class C title.
IN PHOTO 1: SV’s Johnathan Cortese hauls in a pass. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.
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