BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Leading 32-27 and with Tioga marching down the field on a potential game-winning drive, the Maple Grove defense stood tall, forced a fumble and recovered to secure a 32-27 win to advance to the Class D championship on Friday.
The Red Dragons are now a win away from capturing their first state title since 2008. They also won a championship in 1998.
Leading 20-14 after three quarters, Maple Grove’s Nick Fabrizio scored on a 10-yard run run on the first play of the fourth quarter to open up a 26-14 lead.
However, after Tioga pulled within 26-21 the Red Dragons fumbled on the ensuing possession, which the Tigers turned into points to take a 27-26 lead with eight minutes to play.
As they have all year, Maple Grove answered the bell and scoring with less than three minutes remaining to take a six point lead and advance to the state championship.
The Red Dragons will play Cambridge, which defeated Millbrook 55-8 in the other semifinal, on Nov. 24 at noon at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.