The road to the Carrier Dome has one last pit-stop: the state semifinals this weekend.
Perhaps no team's journey to the final four was more dramatic than Sweet Home's in Class A. The unbeaten Panthers rallied from a 14-point deficit in the Far West Regionals against Eastridge.
Quarterback Michael Torrillo engineered a masterful two-minute drill to tie the game and force overtime, where the Panthers scored first and held on for the victory.
Now they're two wins away from their third state championship in five seasons.
"Starts at the top with coaching. They get us prepared mentally and physically week in and week out. The rest is on the players. In the past, we have been able to rise to the challenge and succeed. Another big thing is a lot of the guys get along. That sense of unity is shared throughout the team," said Torillo.
"Some of these guys have been here when they were younger with JVs and saw the other teams ahead of them do it, and right now we've kind of set the challenge in front of this team to see are you as good as the other two state championship teams. The chance is there in front of them, and we'll see what they can do," said head coach John Faller.
Sweet Home takes on Union Endicott from the Binghamton area Friday night at 8 in the state semis from Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.