UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - In a battle of two of the Mohawk Valley's top football programs, Herkimer beat Westmoreland 29-20 in the Section III Class D semifinal round Friday night at Proctor's D'Alessandro Stadium.
Last week's Sports Express Athlete of the Week Austin Mills, also the defending Player of the Year, rushed 24 times for 106 yards and three TDs, including a 58 yarder. Mills also completed seven of 15 passes in the windy conditions for 152 yards, and even made three big interceptions on defense.
The Bulldogs got on the board first, scoring on a one yard TD run by QB Tyler Deveans. But Mills answered with his 58 yard TD run and a two point coversion gave the Magicians an 8-7 lead.
Herkimer extended their lead with a two yard TD run by Mills, then added a 46 yard score by Brennan Thompson. Westmo finally got back on the board just before halftime, as Deveans connected with Tyler Taverne for a 14 yard strike.
In the third quarter, Herkimer upped their lead again, as Mills picked up another two yard TD run. Later, Tim Harrison helped Westmo get back in the game, scoring on a 72 yard punt return TD.
But the Magicians held on from there, advancing to the Class D Final for the first time. Herkimer has made it to seven previous Class C finals, winning the title in 2011 and the C-2 title last year. They will face defending Class D champ Sandy Creek in the championship, next Saturday at Noon from the Carrier Dome.