ROCHESTER, N.Y.- Randolph held on late to squeak by Tioga 7-6 in a Class D Semifinal at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.
The Cardinals scored on the opening possession when quarterback #9 Mitch Maycock connected with #10 Nathan Beaver on a 16-yard touchdown pass on fourth and four to put Randolph up 7-0 with 9:28 left in the first quarter.
That would be the only touchdown of the game for Randolph but it's all they would need.
Tioga scored a touchdown with 6:00 left in the fourth quarter when #42 Tyler Spires took it in from 35 yards out. Instead of kicking the extra point, the Tigers decided to go for two.
Tioga tried to give it to Spires again but this time the Randolph defense was ready for it and stopped him short of the goal-line. The Tigers then made the decision to try an onside kick but that was recovered by Randolph. The Cardinals maintained possession for the rest of the game.
The game was won on the defensive side of the ball for the Cardinals as they came up big when it mattered. Tioga failed to convert on a third down all game, going 0 for 8. The Tigers also went 0 for 4 on fourth down conversions.
In what could have been a game changer early in the second quarter #7 Jesse Manuel took a handoff from the Tioga seven-yard line and appeared to be gone until #20 Jordan Dowiasz caught up from behind and made the touchdown saving tackle for the Cardinals at the Randolph 30-yard line. Tioga would go on to turn it over on downs.
Dowiasz was a big part of the offensive side of the ball as well rushing for 101 yards on 28 carries.
Tioga did have two 100-yard rushers on the day as Manuel ran for 109 yards on nine touches and Spires ran for 105 yards on 20 carries, including his touchdown.
Maycock finished the day 3-6 passing for 70 yards including a touchdown and an interception. Beaver had 60 yards receiving on two catches including the touchdown.
Randolph is now 10-2 on the season and will move on to the state championship game on Friday, November 23 at 12 p.m. against Tuckahoe. Tuckahoe, a Section I school, defeated Rensselaer in the other state semifinal and is 9-2-1 on the season.