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Sports

The Fifth Quarter: Reviewing the Weekend in Section 4 Football

Posted Monday, November 25, 2013 by Mike Johnston
 

Elmira's success story

Despite a 19-6 loss Saturday night to Rochester Aquinas in the Class AA state semifinals, this year’s Elmira football team put the program on the state landscape for the first time.

The Express finished with a 10-1 record, its first Section 4 championship and a state quarterfinal victory over a Syracuse Christian Brothers Academy team that came in ranked second in Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Elmira did not crack the state rankings until after Week 7 and came into the semifinals holding the No. 10 spot.

“(CBA) was a great squad and we came out and the kids played great,” said second-year Elmira head coach Jimmy McCauley. “We’re playing the best of the best. We made it to the final four of the AAs. Losing is not fun in any way, but we’re trying to keep our heads up.”

Top-ranked Aquinas (12-0) will play Section 9 champion Monroe-Woodbury in the championship game at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Carrier Dome. Aquinas will be seeking its sixth state title.

Elmira’s loss means Section 4 remains without an appearance in the state final in the highest classification since the state tournament began — Class A from 1993 to 1995 and Class AA ever since after the state expanded to a five-class system. Elmira became the fifth Section 4 team to lose in the semifinals in the top class.

The Express will have to replace several seniors who were key cogs on a team that averaged 40 points per game before the loss to Aquinas on a snowy, icy turf at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester.

“It was a successful year. We made it into the (state) playoffs,” said McCauley, who will soon turn 29. “I’ve got a great group of seniors. They bust their butts and do everything you want them to do. It kind of stinks losing, but I hope we hold our heads high because I thought we had a great season.”

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