The Whitesboro Varsity Football team is just one win away from a trip to the state championship game at the Carrier Dome for the first time since 1996 and two wins away from Coach Tom Schoen’s first ever state title.
After losing two red zone fumbles and trailing 6-0 for much of the first half, the Warriors pulled away from and defeated Section IV champion Union-Endicott 45-18 in a Class A state quarterfinal game at Cicero-North Syracuse High School on November 11.
Star wide receiver, senior Pat Galer, made two huge catches for Whitesboro near the end of the second quarter to spring the Warriors to a 14-6 halftime lead. Despite defensive pass interference, the first catch - - a 36-yarder in double coverage - - led to a Mike Cirasuolo rushing touchdown four plays later. The second catch was, perhaps, the best catch of the high school season.
After an 18-yard touchdown reception by Galer was called back due to a penalty with 1:11 left in the second quarter - - and three straight incompletions - - Galer made an amazing, must-see, one-handed catch at the 1-yard line on 4th and 29. Cirasuolo scored on the next play with 48 seconds left in the half, and an extra point by Gary Casab made it 14-6.
Whitesboro followed up Galer’s catch - - what many are calling the play of the year - - with 24 points in the third quarter and another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Mike Cirasuolo, who was named Whitesboro’s MVP for the game, finished with 143 yards on 32 carries and four touchdowns for the Warriors. Whitesboro’s defense, meanwhile, forced six turnovers.
With the win, Whitesboro remained perfect and notched its school-record 11th victory of the season, as well as the program’s fourth Central Region title. Union-Endicott fell to 6-5.
Whitesboro, ranked third in the state, advances to the Class A state semis and will play fourth-ranked Greece Athena, also 11-0, on Friday, November 18, at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, at 8:00 p.m. Greece Athena beat Buffalo Bennett 41-12 in the West Region. The Whitesboro-Greece Athena winner will advance to the Class A state championship game.
Good luck, Warriors!