SYRACUSE, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — Follow along with Eyewitness News at the Section III Finals this weekend! Check this story early and often and follow along as the Whitesboro Warriors take on the East Syracuse-Minoa Spartans from the JMA Wireless Dome on Saturday, November 11! The winner will face the Section IV champion in the regional final next weekend at Vestal High School.

8:47 PM — That’s all for this one. We will be back tomorrow afternoon for the Class B and C games. Brennan Miller will have the highlights from both games, while we will be live-blogging again on Congratulations to Frankfort-Schuyler, Dolgeville and Whitesboro on becoming Section III Champions!

A happy team of Warriors celebrate with the Section III banner. (Photo courtesy of Rocco Carbone)

8:46 PM — The MVPs for tonight’s game go to Meier — and honestly, why wouldn’t you give it to him after the night he had — for Whitesboro and Mikah Combs for ESM.

8:46 PM — Warriors are hugging and celebrating all over the field. You can’t blame them — they’ve been waiting a long, LONG time for this one.

8:44 PM — ESM looks content to run the clock out, and that will close the book on this one. Whitesboro pours it on near the end for a 55-6 victory to grab the first sectional championship for coach Curtis Schmidt and star quarterback Kyle Meier. What a night for Meier… he had all but three of his team’s scores — which includes a safety — and six total.

8:36 PM — TOUCHDOWN WARRIORS! Lucas Scott needs three chances from the 1, but he finally barrels his way into the end zone. The conversion run is short. Whitesboro 55, ESM 6 with 2:23 left in the game.

8:31 PM — Francesca Baldolato gets her first tackle of the night to EXTREMELY loud applause from the Whitesboro side. ESM then turns it over on downs, where Lucas Scott rumbles for 28 yards.

8:27 PM — TOUCHDOWN WARRIORS! DeSantis finishes off the second team’s drive with a two-yard rumble. Kick by Centro is good, and that looks to be almost all she wrote. Whitesboro 49, ESM 6 with 6:24 left to go in the game.

8:23 PM — Looks like the second team is in for the Warriors. What a night for Kyle Meier… Six touchdowns for the senior, who seems to be on the brink of his first sectional title. It will be the first title for head coach Curtis Schmidt as well. Even with the second team in, though, reserve running back John DeSantis has been doing just what Meier did — breaking off big runs for the Warriors.

8:21 PM — ESM can’t convert again, so Whitesboro takes over where the Spartans did. Zero net yards, four plays for the Spartans after the fumble.

8:14 PM — Three straight passes for the Spartans have put them in a good position… but Tyler Thorngren puts a stop to everything with an INTERCEPTION on a deep pass. That’s how the quarter should end, were it not for a fumble on a completed pass by Carmen Centro. ESM jumps on it at the 28. Then the quarter ends with Whitesboro leading ESM, 42-6. Spartans take over, needing a miracle.

8:10 PM — TOUCHDOWN WARRIORS! Meier has no problems taking the keeper for a 13-yard score. That’s his SIXTH of the night, fans, and his fourth rushing TD. Centro’s kick is blocked… Whitesboro 42, ESM 6 with 2:00 even left in the third quarter. Whitesboro has scored three times in the span of six minutes of game time. These Warriors are ROLLING to a sectional title.

8:05 PM — Meier tries Dorozynski again with tons of time to throw… but too many hands on it forces an incompletion. Ferguson is able to get the Warriors close to the first down on the next run, though, where they’re able to draw ESM offsides… Or are they? Unfortunately, no. Spartans are just able to get a timeout just before the lineman jumped.

8:04 PM — Spartans can’t do anything again, but this time, the punt is much better. Warriors still manage to take it to the ESM 49, where they will take over.

7:59 PM — TOUCHDOWN WARRIORS! Two plays after the punt, Meier gets his fifth score of the night from 56 yards out, this time with his legs on what looked like a broken play. Centro misses the extra point… Whitesboro 36, ESM 6 with 5:47 left in the third quarter.

7:56 PM — Spartans can’t do anything on their ensuing drive and have to punt. A line drive punt rolls to the Whitesboro 39, where the Warriors will take over.

7:49 PM — TOUCHDOWN WARRIORS! After two big runs — one negated by a penalty — Meier just airs it out to Dorozynski for a 47 yard TD. Centro’s kick is good… Whitesboro 30, ESM 6 with 8:19 to go in the third quarter.

7:47 PM — FLAG on the kickoff, this time on ESM. It’s a facemask penalty. Whitesboro starts out its first drive in good field position, at their own 35 yard line.

7:45 PM — TOUCHDOWN ESM! Mikah Combs takes three Warriors with him on a five-yard run to put the Spartans on the board. The conversion pass is no good, however. Whitesboro 23, ESM 6 with 9:12 to go in the third quarter.

7:43 PM — Another Whitesboro penalty — this time pass interference — might be enough to get the Spartans on the board. The flag moves the ball to the 7.

7:41 PM — ESM comes out swinging to start the second half — McMullen and Moore have slammed the Warriors, then a pass by Nick Commisso gets the Spartans to the 15. This is the closest they’ve been to a score all night.

7:33 PM — Both teams are back on the field to thunderous applause from their respective fan sections. Meier leads the Warriors out, just 24 minutes from a section title. They’ve been bounced in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds the last two years they’ve made it. This is their furthest trip into the post season in several years… is this the year they finally take the next step?

7:20 PM — East Syracuse-Minoa will get the ball to start the second half, as they deferred on the coin toss.

7:19 PM — We have reached HALFTIME, and the Warriors have been smothering the Spartans on both sides of the ball. Meier is responsible for all but two points in the half, getting two touchdowns with his legs and one with his arm. Whitesboro leads East Syracuse-Minoa 23-0 as we head to the locker room.

7:14 PM — TOUCHDOWN WARRIORS! Dorozynski is responsible for another score, and so is Kyle Meier, as they connect on a 56-yard bomb. Carmen Centro boots the extra point through and it is Whitesboro 23, ESM 0 with 2:19 left in the second quarter.

7:08 PM — SAFETY! A host of Warriors attack the ESM quarterback in the end zone. That decision to re-kick comes back to bite the Spartans. Whitesboro 16, ESM 0 with 4:16 left in the first half.

7:06 PM — According to the referees, an inadvertent whistle was blown, so that punt doesn’t count. Doesn’t matter to Dorozynski, though. He just re-kicks it to the ESM 1, where the Spartans will take over.

7:04 PM — Meier rips off a gain of 19 to get the Warriors past midfield, but it bogs down there, and they are forced to punt. Anthony Dorozynski is able to pin the Spartans back deep, however, at their own 5.

7:00 PM — Unfortunately, ESM cannot take advantage of McMullen’s run, throwing bac-to-back incomplete passes to force a turnover.

6:56 PM — ESM is able to learn from their mistakes and Phillip Moore, Jr. gets a sliding INTERCEPTION. Avery McMullen is then able to bring the Spartans into Warrior territory for only the second time today with a big run.

6:53 PM — ESM elects to go for it on fourth down… and they manage to convert. However, a flag negates it and makes it a harder conversion. Ineligible man downfield is the call, and the five-yard penalty forces yet another punt, and also yet another flag. This time, a facemask penalty will put the Warriors past the 50 again.

6:48 PM — It’s been the Ferguson and Meier Show for Whitesboro so far, as Meier picks up another TOUCHDOWN from eight yards out. That’s his second of the day… kick by Carmen Centro is good. Whitesboro 14, ESM 0 with 10:09 left in the second quarter.

6:45 PM — We are at the end of one, and we’ve only had one score, but it was a big one from Kyle Meier! Whitesboro leads ESM after one, 7-0.

6:42 PM — The Warriors manage to hold the Spartans to a punt and have great field position at the ESM 42 for their third drive of the night.

6:38 PM — Rough sailing for the Warriors on the second drive… just took a big loss to put them just barely inside the red zone. An incomplete pass brings them to fourth down, where they can’t convert, as Ferguson lofts the ball over Meier’s head. Spartans take over on downs, deep in their own territory.

6:34 PM — Meier has just ripped off 25- and 34- yard runs for the Warriors and has them in the red zone, where Memphis Ferguson has been spelling him with short runs.

6:31 PM — ANOTHER big stop for Zajac, and he has forced the Spartans to punt.

6:28 PM — Whitesboro’s Vincent Zajac has been a monster already… two big stops — one negated by a penalty — but just ripped McMullen down for a HUGE loss.

6:25 PM — An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty negates what is a big stop for Whitesboro deep in ESM territory, and an Avery McMullen run pushes the Spartans past midfield.

6:20 PM — TOUCHDOWN WARRIORS! Kyle Meier, the Dartmouth commit, lopes 62 yards for the score on the very first play of the game! The kick is good… Whitesboro 7, ESM 0 with 11:41 left in the 1st quarter.

6:17 PM — The coin toss for this game was done by a Navy Veteran on this Veteran’s Day. ESM won it and has deferred. Whitesboro will begin today’s Class A final with the ball.

6:15 PM — The Whitesboro Cheerleaders just serenaded the crowd with the National Anthem in two languages — English and American Sign Language. Nice renditions throughout the day as well by Frankfort-Schuyler and Mount Markham, respectively.

6:05 PM — Tune up the band! ESM has brought the band for their game tonight against Whitesboro. The Warriors have mowed through everyone in Class A so far, outscoring their opponents 115-30 on their way to the JMA Wireless Dome. The Spartans have ground out their wins in the playoffs, only winning by a combined six points. Who will win out? We’ll find out soon… Kickoff is in approximately 10 minutes!