Corning Hawks Football Seeks Section Title in Turnaround Season
CORNING, NY (WENY) - The Corning Hawks football team has had quite the turnaround season. Now, they hope to cap it off with a section title.
The Hawks finished last season with a record of 3 and 6, falling to Elmira 59 to 6 in the Class AA semi-final. This year the Hawks finished atop Class AA, and will need to go through the Express for the section championship.
Corning (8-1) will host Elmira (7-2) in the Section IV Class AA title game Friday night at 7:00 PM. The two teams met in the final week of the regular season, with the Hawks walking away with an 8-0 road win to secure the top seed in the playoffs. Head Coach George Bacalles knows his team can't afford to be comfortable with that win. He says, "Either team could have won. We were lucky enough to win with field position but we recognize it will take that effort, and probably more, in order to win on Friday."
Corning and Elmira both run double-wing offenses, a unique style in an increasingly pass heavy game. Corning senior linebacker Seth Hogue believes the familiarity each team has with the other's offense could have attributed to the first game being a low-scoring affair. He says, "We see tight all the time, which is why I think it was so defensive and I think again on Friday it will be a very defensive game because we see it so much in practice." Bacalles adds, "I think running it in terms of scout team every single day, both of our two teams have a lot of guys that go one way, and that is obviously a benefit and having the scout team be able to run it I think is another advantage. It's going to boil down to who executes."
The win would bring Corning football their first section title since 2014. Not only would it be incredibly meaningful for the program, but it's something the players can carry with them forever. Bacalles says, "It's all about the kids. They're the ones who have bought in and invested their time, especially a lot of our senior leadership who have spent a whole year in the weight room and have done a great job of being leaders in that and great role models for all the other kids in the program. It would be a humongous win for us. Obviously we were able to do it 5 years ago and we're hoping to do it on Friday night." Hogue adds, "I've never had the opportunity to participate in one of these as a football player and for these seniors who have worked so hard, it would mean so much. For the program to get back on track, where we want to be I think it would be huge."
The Hawks cruised to a 44-27 win over Binghamton in their semi-final matchup.