Tioga football returns to state semis

Sports

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – They’re back again.

For the ninth time in the last ten years, Tioga football is back in the New York State Class D Final Four. Ranked number one in the state, Tioga (10-0) will square off with the state’s third-ranked team Oakfield-Alabama-Elba (12-0) in the semis.

Head coach Nick Aiello and the Tigers are primed to get back to the state finals. This year, they believe they have all the firepower and will to not only return to the state’s biggest game, but to earn the school’s second-ever state crown. Paced by all-everything running back Emmett Wood, who’s rushed for 1,769 yards and 28 touchdowns, the Tigers are set for it all.

Wood, a senior, is also coming off a 329 yard rushing performance and four touchdowns in Tioga’s win over Dolgeville, 50-12, last Friday night. Sophomore quarterback Caden Bellis has also thrown for 14 touchdowns this season enhancing the dual threat of the Tiger offense.

But what’s perhaps most staggering, the Tioga defense is one of the best in the state. The Tigers have only allowed 95 points in 10 total games. A swarming defensive attack, Tioga has pitched two shutouts on the season and surrendered eight points or less in five total games.

Kickoff for Friday’s game is at 3 pm at Cicero-North Syracuse. 18 Sports will keep you updated on the Tigers’ state title dream as they continue their march.

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