November 24, 2008

Moriah to face fiery Red Dragons

PLATTSBURGH — It has been boom or bust in football for the Maple Grove Red Dragons.

The Red Dragons won the state Class D championship in 1998, but then spent the next nine years on the sidelines, unable to make it out of Section VI (the Buffalo area).

The sleeping Dragons finally awoke this fall. Boy, did they ever.

Maple Grove, located in Bemus Point on the eastern shore of Chautauqua Lake, rolled up 557 points this fall to become the highest-scoring team in Section VI football history. The Red Dragons breathed more fire in the postseason, ripping apart Randolph, 49-14; Clymer, 48-13; Dundee, 57-12; and Walton, 49-14, last Friday night.

Yes, that's the same Walton that thumped Ticonderoga 64-6 in the 2007 state championship game and the same Walton that owned the longest active winning streak (24 games) — until Friday night.

The Walton Warriors never knew what hit 'em at Rochester's PAETEC Park.

No team had managed to score 22 points on Walton all season, but here was Maple Grove ahead 28-6 with 4½ minutes left in the first half.

"We went up against an unbelievable football team," Walton Coach Jim Hoover told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. "They had a great scheme defensively against us, and we couldn't keep the ball away from them, which we should have done."

Maple Grove took the opening kickoff and drove 58 yards in seven plays with fullback Adam Hover busting over from the one with his first of four touchdowns on the night.

The Red Dragons scored three more times before halftime for a 28-6 lead. All but the fourth score came on the run.

"I didn't have our kids very well prepared," Hoover told Kevin Stevens of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. "We were so worried about their pass. We were saying all year, 'Stop the run. Stop the run. Stop the run.' And we worked on 75 percent pass, stopping their pass.

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