New Hartford Falls To Carthage In Class A Football Final

Brian Sandler has the highlights

By Andrew Donovan

***Note: WKTV had a camera at the game through the third quarter before having to leave, at which point highlights from Time Warner Sports' broadcast were used in our Sports Express broadcast. Because we cannot post video that is not ours on our Website, the Web highlights will cut off at the point our own video ended.

Once again, Carthage running back Robert Grimm ran freely over New Hartford, and once again, the Comets came out with a win, holding off the Spartans 21-14 for the Section III, Class A Championship. It was the second time Carthage beat New Hartford this season.

Carthage scored one touchdown in each of the first two quarters to take a 14-0 halftime lead, but it could have been much worse if not for New Hartford's defense. After allowing a 1-yard touchdown on 4th and goal to open the game, the Spartans stopped another 4th and goal at the one late in the quarter. The Spartans' offense then lost a fumble on the ensuing possession in the second quarter, giving Carthage 1st and goal at the one, but New Hartford's defense recovered a fumble by Grimm on the very next play. Carthage finally extended its lead to 14-0 late in the quarter on a 5-yard run by Grimm on another 1st and goal.

With the running game not working, New Hartford went to the air to kick off the second half, and the Spartans saw instant results. A 37-yard pass from Mike Doyle to Robert German set up 1st and goal at the 7-yard line, and two plays later, Doyle hit Mike Kelly for a 4-yard touchdown, cutting the score to 14-7. Carthage came right back with Grimm going in for another 5-yard score, but again the Spartans answered in the air, with Doyle throwing a 26-yard touchdown to German, again making it a seven-point game at 21-14.

Early in the fourth quarter, New Hartford had its best chance to tie with a great punt return setting up 1st and goal at the Carthage 7-yard line, but on 4th down at the 3, Doyle's pass to Alex Grimmer in the end zone sailed high. With about five minutes left, Doyle was intercepted in Comets territory, and the Spartans were unable to to make another charge.

Grimm finished with 41 carries for 243 yards and two touchdowns to earn MVP honors.

Carthage moves on to the state tournament beginning next Friday at Binghamton Alumni Stadium, where the Comets will face the Class A winner from Section IV. New Hartford, which made the final after starting the season 0-3, finishes the season 5-5.

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