Thomas R. Proctor's unblemished regular season didn't come as a surprise to many.
Coach Steve Strife's 7-0 Raiders — ranked No. 16 in the Class AA poll — only lost two starters from their 2018 football campaign and added some key additions to a roster full of 28 players that returned from a 4-4 season and a postseason appearance.
Now, as Class AA's top-seeded team, Proctor will try to become the first Raiders team to advance to the Section III championship game.
Proctor, one of three local teams to garner a No. 1 seed in the Section III playoffs, will host Christian Brothers Academy (1-6) in the Class AA quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at D'Alessandro Stadium in Utica.
Class B's Oneida (7-0) and Class D's Dolgeville (5-2) also garnered top seeds.
All quarterfinal games will be hosted by the higher seed. The semifinals will take place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1 and 2, at a neutral site.
The Section III championship games for Class AA, B, C and D will take place Saturday, Nov. 9 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
Class A and 8-man teams will play one more regular season game before the postseason begins.
Proctor senior running back Tasean Cooper has already rushed for 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns, thanks to the Raiders' jet sweep offensive attack and offensive linemen like Evan Gohringer. The rushing attack, paired with a stout defense led by Louis Robinson and former Notre Dame star Isiah Czarnecki, helped Class AA-2 champion Proctor capture the program's fourth league crown (1952, 2003, 2015).
The only other year Proctor entered the postseason undefeated was in 2003.
In Class B, coach Jason Fuller's Class B East champion and state-ranked No. 15 Oneida team captured the program's first league title in 11 years. Oneida will take its misdirection offensive attack and "sick nasty" defense against eighth-seeded Homer (3-4) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Fred Duncan Field in Oneida.
State-ranked No. 14 and third-seeded New Hartford (6-1) will host No. 6 South Jefferson (5-2) at 6 p.m. Fifth-seeded Central Valley Academy (5-2) — which enters the postseason on a five-game winning streak — will visit No. 4 Marcellus (6-1) at 7 p.m.
In Class C, eighth-seeded Mount Markham (5-2), which qualified for the postseason as a wildcard, will travel to top-seeded Cato-Meridian (7-0) at 7 p.m. Friday. Fifth-seeded Herkimer (4-3) — which advanced to last year's Class D final — will visit a fourth-seeded Clinton (5-2) team that is making its first postseason appearance since 1996.
After a four-way tie for first place in Class D, coach Dan Zilkowski's Dolgeville Blue Devils (5-2) emerged from the tiebreakers as the top seed. The Blue Devils will host No. 8 Sandy Creek (1-6) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Third-seeded Waterville (5-2) — which earned a share of its first league title since 1999 — will host No. 6 Sauquoit Valley (2-5) at 7 p.m. Friday. Running back Tyler Rosati and his fourth-seeded Frankfort-Schuyler Maroon Knights (5-2) will host No. 5 Onondaga (3-4) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Reigning Section III champions: Cicero-North Syracuse (Class AA), Skaneateles (Class B), Holland Patent (Class C), Onondaga (Class D).