WAVERLY, N.Y. (WETM) – Tioga football defeated Waverly in a classic overtime game, over 2 days.

Waverly witnessed the conclusion of a thrilling and memorable meeting between 2 titans in Section IV. Friday night, the defending Section IV Class C champions, Waverly hosted the defending back-to-back Class D state champs, Tioga. Early on, the momentum belonged to Tioga, who jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Drew Macumber and Caden Bellis both scored rushing touchdowns for the Tigers to take command of the game. Later in the half, Waverly’s Joey Tomasso would connect with Jay Pipher for a long touchdown pass to bring the game to 14-7. Shortly after the score, mother nature stepped in with severe weather, halting the contest with 1:13 left in the first half.

In game action between the section powers would resume on Saturday night at 7 p.m. and it would not disappoint. Both teams handled the ball for the remaining minute of the first half, but were ultimately held in check by hard hitting defense. Following a 3 minute halftime, the large crowd in attendance was notified and cheered at the announcement that, the 50/50 raffle broke Waverly’s record totaling out to $1,098. Following the exciting reveal, the teams returned to action.

In the 3rd quarter Tioga’s Gavin Fisher struck first, extending the Tiger’s lead on a field goal. Down 17-7, Waverly drove down the field, converting several key 3rd downs and eventually scoring on a QB sneak from Tomasso with 1:30 to go in the quarter. In the 4th, it was the Wolverines threatening again. On 4th and 1 in the redzone, Tomasso corralled an arrant snap and hit Xavier Watson in the corner of the endzone to take the lead. However, the great play was called back on a penalty at the line of scrimmage. The Wolverines opted for a field goal after the penalty, which was converted by Hogan Shaw to tie the game.

Waverly and Tioga would trade defensive stops and force overtime, tied at 17. Waverly won the toss and took the first possession. On the first play, Tomasso saw his pass to Jay Pipher knocked away by Levi Bellis in the endzone. Following the near score, Waverly would fail to convert and would face 4th down. On the final down, the Tigers defense stopped Tomasso’s run and took the ball over on downs, with a chance to win.

On the 2nd play of the Tioga possession, Caden Bellis weaved through the defense and found his way in for game winning touchdown. Tioga Head Coach Nick Aiello was thrilled with the 23-17 overtime win, sharing his thoughts on the winning score.

“You can’t replace that, said Aiello with a laugh. That’s why you coach right there.”

In the excitement, Aiello continued, praising the effort of both teams.

“I can’t be more proud of my kids, said Aiello. Hats off to Waverly, they were down 14-7 coming into today. It was just a dog fight until the end and when you’ve got two good teams going to overtime, that’s what you want.”

On the other sideline, Waverly Head Coach Jason Miller shared his excitement about the environment created by the game, but hopes the loss will help his team throughout the season.

“It’s classic high school football in small town America, said Miller. It’s a great rivalry, we don’t play every year, but I hope it continues down the road. As far as the season, I talked about this game as one that will make us better. There is a transition point of the season in week 0, week 1, and 2 where you can really learn from.”