WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It is rare to have one area high school football team playing for a state championship on the gridiron, but this year, the north country has two teams. The Carthage Comets and the Gouverneur Wildcats will be heading down Route 81 to the Carrier Dome to play for state titles on Friday.
This past Friday night at Cicero North Syracuse High School, the Carthage Comets punched their ticket to the State Class A Championship game with a 16-6 win over Canandaigua.
Carthage will now meet Cornwall in the State Class A Title game on Friday, November 29th at 3 PM at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. For the Comets, it is their first ever appearance in the state title game.
For first-year coach Jason Coffman, it's the culmination of years of hard work by not only himself, but former coach Sam Millich and Coffman's father Terry, who coached the Comets for over 30 years.
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” Coffman said. “Like I just told my team, you know only one team gets to end the season on a win and you know my family is football crazy -- has been my entire life and have a chance to actually get to practice football before I go stuff my face with turkey on Thanksgiving Day is -- it’s unbelievable -- it’s a dream come true -- now there’s only one thing left to do.”
“It’s wonderful,” running back Fombo Azah said. “I mean, ..like I said, we’re trying to keep our emotions contained until we finish the job but we’re going to -- we know how to enjoy ourselves without getting our heads too big, so we’re going finish our work and then we’ll really celebrate.”
“Yeah, we have a lot of emotions,” quarterback Nick Cavalier said. “We’re a pretty tight group -- this senior group is one of the most closest friends I’ve ever had.”
The Gouverneur Wildcats earned a berth in the State Class C Championship game on Saturday with a come from behind 14-11 win over Valhalla at Middletown High School.
The Wildcats will now meet Susquehanna Valley in the title game at 6 PM on Friday at the Carrier Dome. It's the same Susquehanna Valley team that beat Lowville in the first round of the states 2 weeks ago.
As has been the case throughout the post season, you can expect a large following of Wildcat fans to invade the dome on Friday night.
"Our community is great every year," coach Sean Devlin said, "but if you can add another week to it each time, you know it just amps up the excitement."
“We have a pretty good community and a lot of people show up,” fullback and linebacker Jacob Shippee said. “We had quite a few people show up to the Stillwater game -- felt pretty good.”