written by TJM

brown spThe Spartans, in a word, were tough this weekend as they blew up their section III counterparts at Alumni Stadium. Whitesboro, who entered the field confident in the thought that it was they who had last defeated Maine-Endwell, were taken out of the game almost from the opening whistle - And as every true football aficionado will attest, the knowledge of what your team did last year, let alone what they did five years ago, along with $2.25 will get you a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts these days. In fact, one of the major reasons that High School football is so difficult, especially for coaches, is that from year to year the bio rhythms of a given classes athletic abilities will ebb and flow at their own rate. The administrative and playing personnel can only mold the team that is on the field in any given year, unless of course you’re a recruitment entitled private school, or as it would appear, the Maine-Endwell Spartans.

Maine-Endwell avenged their 2010 loss to Whitesboro with relative ease and are well poised to take a real run at their fifth straight state championship title. Standing in their way in the semi-finals are the Sparks of Buffalo South Park. Having won for themselves their first ever section VI public high school football title, the Sparks will bring a blend of athletic ability and good ole’ fashioned desire to the playing surface in this Friday’s meeting with Maine-Endwell. More specifically, South Park comes equipped with a handful of sharpshooters that have carded outstanding performances throughout the 2015 season and have done so in the biggest games. The teams’ offensive leader and primary standout is quarterback Tyree Brown (7). The 5-10, 175-pound senior has made a living in 2015 with a wildly successful passing game that serves typically as his first and favorite option out of the shotgun offense that he manages. However, in another life Brown might also be a straight-away tailback and leverages quick cuts, speed and illusiveness to rack up big numbers with his feet as well. Brown is made even more dangerous when he is set up behind the spread-style offense as he frequently capitalizes on the real estate that is afforded to him if the pass option is not there. In their section VI title victory over West Seneca East, Brown scored five touchdowns, passing for 274 yards and rushing for 76. His efforts helped the Sparks to a record setting 54 points, the most ever scored at Ralph Wilson Stadium in a sectional championship game. In order to complete 274 yards of passing, however, a team must also have some players to receive those passes. South Park sends at least three receivers downfield on virtually every offensive play, however most of their efficiency is shared between two primary receivers. Wide receivers Dave Thomas (1) and Daryl Moore (2) are dangerous targets on offense and have been the recipients of several big-yardage pass plays setup by Brown. Thomas and Moore, however, serve the team as all-around utility guys and can be dangerous in a number of different situations on both offense as well as defense. In their victory over Brockport last week, Thomas walked off the field having carded 286 all-purpose yards, catching a 65-yard touchdown pass and returning a punt 89 yards for a second touchdown, all while rushing for 66 yards on 13 carries. Moore, on the other hand, earns an impressive second living as the team’s chief linebacker and reserves a penchant for dismantling plays behind the line of scrimmage. Carding in excess of 80 tackles in 2015, his three sacks in the game against Brockport alone thwarted at least two scoring opportunities for the Blue Devils. A true talent and natural defensive standout, his efforts and defensive IQ were instrumental in several other short-gain plays that forced the ball out of Brockport’s hands.

Still, the Sparks will be pitted against Maine-Endwell this Friday. What has made South Park such a formidable squad through ten weeks of play, could very possibly be their undoing against a team like M-E. The Spartans, a notoriously assignment-driven, intelligent and disciplined defensive unit, is sure view the one-dimensional aspect of South Parks offense as a weakness to exploit. In fact, while Brown has thrown for more than 2000 yards in 2015, he is also the team’s primary rushing agent, calling his own number at least 88 times for nearly 1000 rushing yards this season. Buffalo South Park will also be charged with stopping the Spartan option which comes with its own set of difficulties. Maine-Endwell has once again found a way to place a number of very talented runners on the field that are coordinated by one of the states finest quarterbacks in Kyle Balmer. M-E has also diversified its passing package relying first on all-state receiver Mike Palmer and bolstering its options with the addition of running back Kevin Barrett. Finally and simply stated, Maine-Endwell has been there. It’s not without its merit to recognize that the Spartans have spent their past four Thanksgivings playing in championship football games, while the Sparks enter this contest for the first time in the school’s history. That in itself may have the biggest impact on this game.

December 2017
26 27 28 29 30 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
M-E M-E 8 0 1.000 8 372 115
M-E 47
J.C. 16
M-E 40
U-E 8
M-E 28