The No. 5 Moriah football team prides itself on being physical.
It will have to be just that when it faces No. 3 Chester of Section IX in the NYSPHSAA Class D semifinals at Dietz Stadium in Kingston at 4 p.m. today.
The Hambletonians (9-1) have three running backs who have combined for 2,389 yards and 41 touchdowns, and the average offensive lineman weighs 246 pounds.
The team’s left guard, Daniel Wittekind, is 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds.
“Being aggressive at the point of attack is going to be a big key for our offensive and defensive line,” Vikings coach Don Tesar said. “We have to be able to penetrate their offensive line. But we’ve seen those big guys before against Beekmantown and Peru. In fact, we’ve seen some bigger kids. We just have to execute and be able to take charge. They’re a power running team like us.”
Chester reached the state semifinals with a 26-21 defeat of Tuckahoe at Mahopac High School on Saturday. The Hambletonians had previously been 0-6 versus the Tigers in state play.
Chester is currently riding a nine-game winning streak. It lost its first game of the season 33-28 to James I. O’Neil, the 2011 and 2012 Section IX Class C champions.
The Hambletonians have a balanced running attack, operating out of multiple double-tight-end sets.
Senior Lawrence Young leads the way. Young has totaled 1,105 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. Fellow senior Matt Perry has 753 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Mike Volkmer, who presents an element of power running, adds 531 yards and 11 touchdowns. Volkmer racked up 145 yards and two touchdowns in the five-point win over Tuckahoe. Young caught a touchdown pass and rushed for another.
“With Cambridge last week, it was a little different because they had each of their 1,000-yard rushers back there at the same time,” Tesar said. “With Chester, (Young) is often times a threat in wide-spread sets. If there are multiple tight ends, they look to (Volkmer) to pound it. They have a big line that comes right at you. They have the size advantage.”