ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – It was a night of celebration for Elmira Express football.
The Express won its first Section IV Class AA Championship since 2018 with a 31-14 win at Corning Friday night. Elmira (5-5) now advances to the New York State Class AA Regional Final against the winner of Syracuse CBA (10-0) or Cicero-North Syracuse (9-1). Those two teams will play for the Section III Championship Saturday at 6 pm at the JMA Wireless Dome.
Friday’s win was the first over Corning (4-5) in the last nine games of the rivalry. Elmira senior quarterback Evan Garvin scored two touchdowns, one through the air and the final on the ground later in the 4th quarter capping the win.
The Express also got big performances from senior wide receiver Johnnie Garcia who caught seven passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Plus, Elmira running back Kayon Flint carried the ball 20 times for 130 yards. Flint’s touchdown late in the first half gave the Express a 16-8 lead one they would hang on to the rest of the way.
Breyan Brooks scored a three-yard touchdown at the midpoint of the third quarter giving Elmira a 24-8 lead. Corning responded with a touchdown of their own when Ian Harpster connected Jack Bierman with 11 minutes left in the game cutting the lead to 24-14.
Garvin returned the favor with a three-year scored with under a minute left in the game sealing off the title for the 31-14 victory.
In other action, Horseheads football fell to Vestal in the Class A Championship 40-14. The Blue Raiders went down 14-0 early in the game and cut the lead to 14-7 after a Dom Cardinale touchdown pass to Braddock Salisbury in the opening quarter.
The loss by Horseheads (7-4) took away a shot at winning their first Section IV title since 1998. Vestal (8-1) saw three touchdowns from Liam Nealy pacing their attack. The Golden Bears won their first Section IV Championship since 2018 like the Express.