Eyes were opened in Week 3 when defending state champion Clymer/Sherman/Panama suffered a lopsided loss to rival Franklinville/Ellicottville.
The Wolfpack’s eyes were opened the widest. And since then, they’ve been unstoppable.
CSP rolled to a second straight Class D Far West Regional, excelling in all three phases in a 47-14 win over Section V champ Batavia Notre Dame on Friday night at SUNY Brockport.
“That lit a fire under our butt,” senior John Swabik said. “It was just ‘You guys got to get our stuff together. We’ve been hungry ever since then.”
The win was the seventh straight for the Wolfpack (10-1), who have outscored Class D opponents 233-26 in that streak.
“We’ve just been red-hot the last couple of weeks,” quarterback Gerrit Hinsdale said. “Now, we’re just excited to get back to the final four. We can’t wait to get back to practice on Monday and get to work.
CSP will play Tioga at 5 p.m. Friday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. The Tigers advanced with a 43-20 win over Frankfort-Schuyler in its regional game on Friday.
It’s a rematch of last year’s state semifinals, won 54-19 by the Wolfpack.
“Tioga is a real good team,” Hinsdale said. “They’re ranked No. 1 in the state for a reason, It’ll be a good rematch.”
The Wolfpack’s biggest question entering the season was the offensive line, which which was depleted by graduation. The big boys were dominant on Friday as CSP ran for 248 yards as a team. Brendon Ramsey ran for 81 yards, Roger Mack added 70 for the Wolfpack, who used 10 different ball carriers.
Swabik was a beast on defense with 12 tackles and interception to earn Player of the Game honors.
“Yeah, 23 was great tonight,” CSP coach Ty Harper said. “We’re very fortunate. It’s a spoil of riches with so many talented kids on this team. John was incredible tonight, there’s no way around it.”
The Wolfpack opened the scoring late in the first quarter on Zavon Overton’s 64-yard punt return and extended it to 13-0 on a 2-yard Connor Cooper’s 2-yard TD run on a drive that was kept alive by a fourth-down roughing the passer penalty on ND.
The Irish immediate answered the second TD with a 10-yard Gabe McDonald run but CSP responded with a five-yard TD pass from Gerrit Hinsdale to Cameron Barmore.
The Wolfpack put the game away in the third quarter with touchdowns run by Hinsdale (1 yard) and Swabik (21 yards). Ramsey added a 14-yard scoring run and Bishop Kopta ran it in from four yards out in the fourth for CSP.
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