WBNG Binghamton - In high school, the ground game is really important.
Whether it's pounding for that extra yard and a first down, or breaking a long run to totally deflate the opponent.
This year's winners of the silver football for top running back had a combination of both.
Bainbridge-Guilford's Dakota Vandermark averaged nearly 157 yards on the ground.
He also scored 11 touchdowns.
His best effort may have been his first, running for 187 yards on just 10 carries against eventual section champ Walton
Chenango Valley's Joshua Kilts was a workhorse for the Warriors, in a backfield that featured a couple of great running backs.
Kilts carried more than 200 times for 1187 yards and 8 touchdowns.
In the state quarterfinal game, Kilts caught a screen pass and took it all the way for a score late to help CV win it's first ever state playoff game.
In Class AA, Binghamton's J.J. Jones carried on the tradition of great running backs for the Patriots.
Jones ran around and through defenses, gaining more than 11 hundred yards in 10 games.
He broke a long run against Maine-Endwell to help the Patriots to an 8 point win and gave the Spartans their only home loss on the season.
Vestal's ground game was led by the hard running of section 4 rushing leader Thad Zaparzynski.
In just 9 games, Zaparzynski rushed for 17 hundred yards and 17 touchdowns.
Against Elmira Southside, Zaparzynski set the Vestal single season rushing record, racking up 244 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 47-0 win.
Chenango Forks's Jim Miller was the anchor of an running back group that carried the Blue Devils to the state playoffs.
Against Sidney, Miller carried Forks to victory, rushing for 242 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Even more impressive is it came on a rainy, muddy night.
In a season ending loss to General Brown, Miller kept the Blue Devils in it until the very end, running for a game high 199 yards.
Miller finished the season with 24 touchdowns, good for 3 overall in Section 4.