New Hartford – The New Hartford Spartans and Cazenovia Lakers Jr. Pee Wee Pop Warner teams squared off on the turf at Don Edick Field in New Hartford in the semi-finals of the Tri-Valley Association playoffs and the Spartans came out on top, by a score of 6-0.
Logan Banek’s 2 yard touchdown run capped a 9 play, 48 yard Spartans drive with 1:31 remaining in the 1st half to give New Hartford all the offense they would end up needing in the defensive struggle.
With win gusts reaching more than 30 mph during the game, the teams combined to attempt just two passes on the day, instead opting to keep the ball on the ground. New Hartford’s stable of capable running backs, Logan Banek, Derek Davis , Cole Raux , Jake Garcia and Angelo Santomassino, along with quarterback Gabe Spatto, were just too much for the very tough Caz defense this afternoon.
It looked as though the Lakers might tie this one up with time winding down late in the 4th quarter. After a 15 yard penalty on New Hartford gave Cazenovia the ball inside the Spartans 30 yard line. After three runs yielded 6 yards, the Lakers had a 4th and 4 at the Spartans 24 yard line with 2:28 remaining in the game.
Lakers quarterback Jack Byrnes called his own number and darted toward his left toward the first down marker. New Hartford cornerback Tommy Vitagliano sealed off the corner quickly however and dropped Byrnes just shy of the first down, sealing the deal for New Hartford, who ran out the clock after receiving the ball on downs.
The win improves the Spartans to (8-0) on the season and they will now face Norwich in the Tri-Valley Jr. Pee Wee Championship Game next Sunday at Andy Kerr Stadium on the Campus of Colgate University.
Cazenovia finished a great season at (6-2), with their only two losses coming at the hands of New Hartford.
In other action at New Hartford this afternoon, the Whitestown Warriors shutout the Utica Bulldogs pee wee team by a score of 6-0. The Warriors will also play at Colgate next weekend, against the Cazenovia Lakers pee wees.
Congratulations to both teams on a great game and best of luck to New Hartford at Colgate next weekend.