CSP Wins 2nd Straight NYSPHSAA Class D Championship
Syracuse – The Wolfpack had one goal at the end of last season and that was to return to the Carrier Dome and successfully defend their Class D title. Mission accomplished and then some.
CSP scored four touchdowns in the 1st half of the NYSPHSAA State Finals en route to a 47-6 win over Section VII’s Moriah – the same team they beat a year ago.
Gerrit Hinsdale capped off his senior season with a solid performance and earned offensive player of the game honors. The quarterback finished 9-of-12 for 119 yards, tossed 2 touchdowns and ran for another in roughly three quarters worth of work.
It was a total team effort though with the defense shutting down a Vikings offense that had outscored opponents this postseason 118-34, including a 46-12 thumping of Tuckahoe last weekend. The big assignment would be stopping junior tailback Maddox Blaise who rushed for over 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns this season, the leading rusher in Section VII.
“We knew going in that if we were going to win we would need to stop Maddox,” CSP head coach Ty Harper said. “The defense had good ball pursuit and made early contact to slow him down. He’s an absolute beast and you know going in he is going to get his yards. You just have to limit the big gains and that’s what we did this afternoon.”
The Wolfpack offense fed the Vikings a steady diet of John Swabik and Conner Cooper (both juniors) in large portions all afternoon. When Moriah played the run, Hinsdale picked them apart. Swabik was named Player of the Game for his efforts in all three phases of the game. Offensively rushing six times for 43 yards. On defense he had a game-high 11 tackles and an interception. His first punt return went for 26-yards into the heart of Moriah territory – the thought to kick to him any further went away.
Cam Barmore set the tone early for the Wolfpack. It was Barmore’s play on defense that turned the tide this season for CSP. Known more for his highlight real catches and long touchdown runs, Cam found himself to be a serious threat on the defensive side of the ball. That energy was on full display this playoff season, especially the past two weeks. “Cam is the ultimate competitor and teammate,” Harper said. “He’s an unselfish kid and is willing to do whatever he can to help us win. He was double and triple covered as much as anyone can be and you see how many guys on this team benefitted.”
Barmore came up with a big tackle for a loss on Moriah’s first possession of the game and followed that up soon after when he hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass from Hinsdale in the first quarter. The big play spearheaded the Wolfpack’s 27-point first half.
“There’s no better way to go out than winning a state title,” said Barmore. “It was a total team effort out there and I couldn’t be happier right now.”
Barmore is one of many three-sport athletes on the Wolfpack contemplating his athletic future. An accomplished basketball and track star, he says he would really like to play football in college. So it wasn’t surprising to watch him struggle to remove the shoulder pads in what could be his final football game.
As for Hinsdale, he has his list down to seven D-III schools and is continuing to weigh his options. “I’m going to enjoy this one for a while along with my teammates,” Hinsdale said.
CSP graduated 20 seniors last June, including their entire offensive line. Back in late August during a scrimmage out at Southwestern you could see that there could be some issues there.
“Our line worked their tails off to get better and today is a testament to their hard work. They really gelled as the season went on and these last few weeks we really benefitted from their play,” Harper said.
That defense though. The Wolfpack held Blaise to 102 yards on 24 carries, well under his average yards per carry. Moriah was held to 202 yards offensively and their quarterbacks completed just two passes all game. The Vikings were overmatched and out of sync almost from the get-go.
Hinsdale felt little pressure and was kept upright all afternoon by his line up front.
Sally Watson checked into the game in the third quarter, one of only a handful of female football players in New York State. The CSP cheering section serenaded her with chants of “Sally – Sally – Sally” Watson said postgame. The senior will pursue a nursing career and plans on attending JCC in the fall.
“Sally is one of us, she’s an extremely hard worker. She was with us through all of our offseason 7-on-7 workouts and she deserved to be out there with her teammates,” Harper said.
The Wolfpack seem far from done; Swabik and Cooper return along with instrumental players like Brendon Ramsey, who had a rushing touchdown in this game, and Matthew White who made some big catches this year including a two-point conversion against Moriah. Junior quarterback Bishop Kopta relieved Hinsdale in the 2nd half and showed off his legs on an 18-yard rushing touchdown which rounded out the scoring.
“There are so many great players here and they all have specific roles. Nobody cares who gets the credit. The seniors here and the guys that came before us set a standard,” explained Gerrit Hinsdale. “This coaching staff set a great example for all of us and they continue to build a winning culture.”
Swabik gave all the credit to the offensive line after the game. “They did all the dirty work. They opened the holes and allowed us to break off some long runs.”