ENDICOTT, N.Y. – The Maple Grove Red Dragons have advanced to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D football title game after besting Tioga 32-27 Friday at Union-Endicott High School’s Ty Cobb Field.
Second-ranked Maple Grove (11-1) will play in the title tilt the day after Thanksgiving Day in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse against the defending state champion Cambridge Indians, who bested the Red Dragons in double-overtime in last year’s bout.
Running Back Nick Fabrizio scored three touchdowns in the second half , including bulling his way into the endzone after a 29-yard romp with less than six minutes left in the game. The 6-3 Senior broke the run for what turned out to be the winning score.
“Just so excited for our kids. They worked so hard to try and get back to the state title game. Losing in the final was so tough on them all last year,” said Scott Crist father of Maple Grove Wide Receiver Carson Crist.
“They created a motto of finish it. They want to bring home a title for those teammates last year and for themselves. The whole community is behind them and it’s just a tremendous,” Crist said.
The Red Dragons were down 14-12 at the half, up 20-14 after three quarters and matched Tioga’s 13 fourth-quarter output with 12 points to settle the score.
The victory advances No. 2 Maple Grove (11-1) into the state championship the day after Thanksgiving at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse against defending state champion and top-ranked Cambridge.
The Indians, which routed Millbrook in the other semifinal on Friday, defeated the Red Dragons in double overtime in last year’s title game.