Monday, October 17, 2016

Section 2 Football Playoffs Pairings Announced

1 - Troy (7-0)
2 - Shaker (6-1)
3 - Columbia (4-3)
4 - Bethlehem (4-3)

1 - Guilderland (7-0)
2 - CBA (6-1)
3 - Shenendehowa (4-3)
4 - Ballston Spa (3-4)

That makes the pairings:
E4-Ballston Spa at L1-Troy
E3-Shenendehowa at L2-Shaker
L3-Columbia at E2-CBA
L4-Bethlehem at E1-Guilderland
All games Friday @ 7PM

1 - Queensbury (7-0)
2 - Amsterdam (5-2)
3 - South Glens Falls (3-4)
4 - Gloversville (1-6)

1 - Averill Park (6-1)
2 - Burnt Hills (6-1)
3 - Lansingburgh (4-3)
4 - Mohonasen (2-5)

That makes the pairings:
NW4-Gloversville at SE1-Averill Park
NW3-South Glens Falls at SE2-Burnt Hills
SE3-Lansingburgh at NW2-Amsterdam
SE4-Mohonasen at NW1-Queensbury
All games except Mohonasen at Queensbury are Friday @ 7PM.  Mohonasen at Queensbury is Saturday @ 1:30PM.

1 - Glens Falls (7-0)
2 - Schuylerville (5-2)
3 - Broadalbin-Perth (2-5)
4 - Johnstown (1-6)

1 - Hudson (7-0)
2 - Schalmont (4-3)
3 - Ravena (4-3)
4 - Albany Academy (4-3)

And the pairings...
N4-Johnstown at R1-Hudson
N3-Broadalbin-Perth at R2-Schalmont
R3-Ravena at N2-Schuylerville
R4-Albany Academy at N1-Glens Falls
All games except Albany Academy at Glens Falls are Friday @ 7PM.  Albany Academy at Glens Falls is Saturday @ 1:30PM

Divisional Champions
1 - Voorheesville, Central (6-1)
2 - Hoosic Valley, North (6-1)
3 - Watervliet, South (6-1)

At Large
4 - Stillwater (6-1)
5 - Mechanicville (5-2)
6 - Greenwich (5-2)
7 - Holy Trinity (5-2)
8 - Hoosick Falls (4-3)

The pairings...
8-Hoosick Falls at 1-Voorheesville
7-Holy Trinity at 2-Hoosic Valley
6-Greenwich at 3-Watervliet
5-Mechanicville at 4-Stillwater
First two games are Saturday @ 1PM.  The other two games are Friday @ 7PM.

1 - Cambridge (7-0)
2 - Whitehall (5-2)
3 - Canajoharie (5-2)
4 - Warrensburg (4-3)

After a week for crossover games against Class C non-playoff teams, the semifinals will be on October 29th in Schuylerville:
4-Warrensburg vs. 1-Cambridge
3-Canajoharie vs. 2-Whitehall

Coming up later this week, a team-by-team look at all 36 teams that are still hoping to end their season with a trip to Syracuse in late November.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thoughts heading into Week 7

Some thoughts heading into the final week of the regular season...

Guilderland is in control of their destiny.  All they need to do is be tied or in the lead with Shenendehowa at the end of any quarter in their game on Friday and they will be the Divisional Champs and will get home field for Weeks 8 and 9.

Troy is showing a lot of promise as they make their way closer to the Section 2 playoffs.  With the growth of Germinerio and Holmes, the Flying Horses are flying high after their upgrade from Class A to Class AA this season.  It's a shame we won't see a Troy/Queensbury showdown, because that would be rather interesting.

Meanwhile, Saratoga Springs is showing how graduation can knock a good team down several pegs.  Entering the final week of the regular season, the Blue Streaks are faced with a must-win against Ballston Spa in order to give their thin postseason hopes a chance.

As far as the playoffs go, if Shenendehowa fails to grab a home playoff spot, they are the best candidate to win on the road next week against Shaker.  But a lot depends on how healthy the team is coming out of this week's game against Guilderland.

The Northwest Division provides no surprises, as Queensbury and Amsterdam have scooped up the home seeds for next week.  Gloversville and South Glens Falls making the playoffs aren't surprises either, as we're still watching a Scotia team rebuild after what they lost a couple seasons ago.

The Southeast Division, however, is a different story.  We expected Burnt Hills to clean up a division that was in theory to get softer with the departure of Troy to Class AA.  But little did we expect Averill Park to provide Burnt Hills with the stunner by way of their 19-16 win a couple weeks ago.  That leaves the Warriors with the upper hand as they head into their final game of the regular season against Lansingburgh.

Glens Falls is a stacked team and it's no surprise they made easy work on their way to the North's #1 seed.  Schuylerville played well to secure the division's #2 seed after losing the quantity of talent that helped bring the team to their first ever Carrier Dome appearance.  It's no surprise that Broadalbin-Perth and Hudson Falls are fighting for the last playoff spot, as well.

But the big surprise in Class B is this year's rise of the Hudson Blue Hawks.  Going 3-4 last year and being first round chow for the Schuylerville Black Horses, the Blue Hawks have taken over the Reinfurt Division, rising to a 6-0 record that has solidified as the season progressed.  With one challenge left separating the Blue Hawks from a blemish-free regular season, Hudson has guaranteed a home date next week, with either Broadalbin-Perth or Hudson Falls making the long trip down to Columbia County.

However, it's good to see Schalmont bounce back from their 0-2 start to win their last 4, setting up Friday's winner-takes-all against Hudson.  We said this back in Week 3, and will say this again, Schalmont's 0-2 start was not a measure of their talent, but a measure for how tough their competition was (Glens Falls and Schuylerville).  Hudson had an easier crossover schedule in Weeks 1 and 2.  Plus Jake DeFayette and Cameron Brooks have only gotten better as the season progressed.

Class B should feature one of the more exciting playoffs in Section 2, perhaps being second only to the wild showdowns that will come in Class C.

Speaking of Class C, congratulations to Hoosic Valley.  After never making sectionals prior to last year, the Indians are not only poised to make their second straight appearance, but perhaps as the tournament's #1 seed.

But they will have a tough fight in front of them if they are going it to states.  Greenwich, Stillwater, Voorheesville, Watervliet and Mechanicville all look good.  If there's going to be a classification where top seeds get knocked out early, this is going to be the one.

Two things surprise us more in Class C this year.  First is the sharp drop of the Fonda-Fultonville Braves, who went from sectional title contender last year to winless this year, a rough ending for a team that started the season with great fanfare with the debut of their new turf field and permanent lights.

The other is the growth of the Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne War Eagles.  Sitting on the bubble, the War Eagles are one win away from making the playoffs for the first time since the combo squad formed.  Head Coach Jeff Bennett has developed a squad that was winless in divisional play in 2015 to a 4-2 squad that should post a winning season this year regardless of whether or not they make the playoffs.

The sectional committee is going to have their hands full trying to sort out who deserves to make the playoffs and who doesn't in Class C.

It's business as usual in Class D, with Cambridge looking the best, unless Whitehall has something to say about that in their Saturday afternoon showdown coming up this weekend.  If a new team is to make the playoffs this year, it will be Warrensburg.

But after losing back-to-back games, the Burghers need some help.  Either way, this is a good season from a team that had a lot of question marks going into the season with the addition of new head coach Mike Perrone.

Overall, the season has been great.  We have one more week before the games really matter, and the competition heats up.  Which will be perfect now that the weather is starting to reflect the season.  So grab that coat, head to your local high school, and enjoy some high school football this weekend!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Schuylerville/Glens Falls LIVE AUDIO

Today's game between the Schuylerville Black Horses and the Glens Falls Indians will be streamed live, and you can find it here:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Notes & Thoughts - Week #4 in Section 2 Football

Some thoughts from Week #4 in High School Football:

- Hoosic Valley 20, Greenwich 13: You have to wonder how much the rain affected the outcome of this game, as it made things very difficult for the Greenwich Witches.  Tom Madigan was going to run circles around the Witches either way, but did the slickness of the ball lead to the first Hoosic Valley score?

It could become a storyline should these two teams meet again in what will likely be the Semifinals in Week #9, since the Indians are likely heading for the #1 seed now and the Witches will more than likely be the #4 or #5 seed.

- Troy 20, Shaker 13: This battle of the 3-0's was everything it was advertised to be.  And Troy continues to show that they belong in Class AA.  They have a good nucleus, keeping their composure while they were down against Shaker in the 4th Quarter.

And John Germinerio deserves a lot of recognition.  We saw this last year when he helped lead Troy to their come-from-behind win against the Queensbury Spartans in the A Semifinal, launching an amazing 80 yard touchdown with just over a minute left to play.  And we're seeing this again this year, as Germinerio was responsible for all 20 points the Flying Horses put up against Shaker.

- Averill Park 19, Burnt Hills 16: The Averill Park Warriors scored their first win over the Burnt Hills Spartans in 11 years with a nail-biter in Rensselaer County.  The win, coupled with Lansingburgh's loss to Amsterdam, creates a log jam for the top spot in the Southeast Division, one that may not be sorted out until the final whistle of the Week #7 game between Averill Park and Lansingburgh.

Averill Park's only loss of the season so far was a non-divisional game where they forced overtime before falling to the Queensbury Spartans.

- Amsterdam 35, Lansingburgh 0: You give head coach Doug Edick a week to properly prep a quarterback, and this is the result you get.

Arthur Ausfeld's game wasn't clean, as he threw for 55 yards and got picked off once, but it was better than the 2-for-8 for negative yardage against Queensbury.  His pass helped open the playbook, allowing for Dale Stanavich to be the role player he couldn't of been against the Spartans.

And as a result, you have to feel better about the Amsterdam Rams than you did a week ago when Trey Holloway went down for an injury that will sideline the Junior until the playoffs at the earliest.

- Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne 22, Hoosick Falls 19: The War Eagles win their third straight game with a come-from-behind win against the Panthers.  Shane McCabe called his own number for the go-ahead touchdown and gave the War Eagles the field goal padding with his two point conversion toss.

The loss now leaves the Panthers with only one win in four divisional games, thus already eliminating them from postseason contention.  It will mark the second straight year the Panthers will miss on the playoffs, a strange state of affairs for a team heading into last year having won 6 straight Section 2 crowns.  But the win now places the War Eagles in a good position to possibly make the playoffs.

- Hudson 64, Ichabod Crane 0: If you needed further proof that the Hudson Blue Hawks are off to an amazing 2016 season, here you go.

Mike Alert had over 200 total yards rushing and receiving to help lead the Blue Hawks to an impressive win over the Ichabod Crane Riders, keeping them undefeated and setting up a very important Weeks 6 and 7 for the Blue Hawks, hoping to make it to their first Super Bowl since 2006 when they lost to Albany Academy in the big game.

The last time Hudson won the sectional championship was when they beat Glens Falls for the Class B title in 2001.

- Mechanicville 42, Watervliet 15: Mechanicville is now the favorite to win the Class C Central Division thanks to their win over previously undefeated Watervliet.

Evan Chapman is a beast, with 450 yards rushing in his last two games.  As his workload has increased over the last two weeks, he has been paying dividends, scoring three touchdowns and helping to drive home the ground and pound philosophy that the Red Raiders are executing.

- Albany 26, Schenectady 12: Albany may not be the best team in Section 2, Class AA.

But they're celebrating something they haven't seen in nearly a decade - two wins over Class AA opponents in the same season.   One look at the past in Albany Falcons football will offer you a reason why this milestone is huge.

The Falcons are not synonymous with winning like other programs in Section 2 are.  Their last Sectional appearance came in 2004.  Their only Sectional Championship came in 1996.  In fact, in 35 years, the Falcons have only made the playoffs six times.

So, in short, the 2-2 Falcons have a lot to be proud of.

- Schalmont 54, Albany Academy 19: Two things come out of this game.

First, the Schalmont Sabres are back.  After their 0-2 start where they faced last year's two teams to play in the Sectional Championship, the Sabres have bounced back with quality wins over Cobleskill-Richmondville and Albany Academy.

Until the Sabres meet up with Hudson coming up in just under three weeks, we'll peg the Sabres as the second best team in the Reinfurt Division, but not by much.

Second, Albany Academy had a great opportunity to prove their 3-0 record was for real and they had a great shot at being the top team in the Reinfurt Division.  But in this crushing 35 point loss, we instead find the Cadets as either the third or fourth best team in the Reinfurt Division,

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Power Eight - Week #3

Now until the end of the season, we're going to give you our thoughts who the top 8 teams of each classification is, with one exception.

In Class D, because only four teams will make the playoffs, we will limit that classification to four teams instead of eight.

We will post a new list every Thursday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Four Things That Shocked Us - Week #3

Three weeks in, and we're seeing the emergence of teams with aspirations of playing for sectional titles in just under two months.  Some we've seen many times before, others are new to the scene.  It was a fun weekend of football, with a few surprises here and there.  Let's take a look at what surprised us most in Week #3.

Friday, September 16, 2016

High School Football: Week 3 Games to Watch

First, the schedule.
Then the games to watch.  After the jump.

WEEK 3 – September 16th & 17th
Guilderland at Albany
Bethlehem at Ballston Spa
CBA at Saratoga Springs
Niskayuna at Shenendehowa
Colonie at Shaker
Schenectady at Columbia
LaSalle at Troy

Averill Park at Green Tech
Lansingburgh at Mohonasen
Gloversville at Burnt Hills
Amsterdam at Queensbury
South Glens Falls at Scotia

Albany Academy at Ichabod Crane
Cobleskill at Schalmont
Ravena at Hudson
Broadalbin-Perth at Watervliet (C)
Johnstown at Glens Falls
Schuylerville at Hudson Falls

Hoosic Valley at Corinth
Granville at Hoosick Falls
Fonda at Greenwich
Cairo-Durham at Lake George/Hadley-Luzurne
Mechanicville at Holy Trinity
Stillwater at Voorheesville
Chatham at Taconic Hills
Tamarac at Coxsackie-Athens
Broadalbin-Perth (B) at Watervliet

Whitehall at Fort Edward
Canajoharie at Heldeberg Valley
Warrensburg at Cambridge
Rensselaer at Salem

Colonie at Shaker (Fri, 7PM): Anyone who keeps an eye on High School Football in the region already knows why this is an instant game to watch, no matter the records.  For those less in the know, it's time for the fabled "Colonie Cup", the yearly rivalry between these two divisional teams.  

And more often than not, this rivalry game also matters in the playoff chase.  

South Glens Falls at Scotia (Fri, 7PM): Both teams want to get their first win of the season.  South Glens Falls has lost two well-fought games to start the season.  Scotia's wasn't as tight.  This may not be a must-win, but the loser's playoff chances will be hanging by a thread.  

Amsterdam at Queensbury (Sat, 2PM): Erase the first two games of the season.  They matter, but not in the playoff chase.  Queensbury and Amsterdam have 0-0 records in Class A Northwest.  And after the first two weeks, who takes the division's #1 seed may come down to this game.  

Cobleskill at Schalmont; Ravena at Hudson (Fri, 7PM): Last year's top two seeds in the Reinfurt Division were awarded with a challenging opening two weeks to their season.  As a result, Schalmont is winless, Ravena is 1-1, and their opponents are both 2-0 after the former two had to face Glens Falls and Schuylerville to start the season.  Cobleskill and Hudson need to prove their 2-0 records are genuine, and wins tonight for those two teams would be a huge statement in Section 2. 

Mechanicville at Holy Trinity (Fri, 7PM): Holy Trinity's 2-0, but how good is their 2-0?  That will be put to the challenge Friday Night when they face a Mechanicville team that has been on a tear during the first two weeks in Section 2.  Mechanicville has scored the most points in Section 2, as Fonda and Ichabod Crane's defense haven't stopped the Red Warriors from scoring 56 points per game.  A win by Mechanicville, and that Week 6 Indian Bowl becomes even more interesting. 

Renssealer at Salem (Sat, 1PM): Hard to believe, but the Rams are in that group that could really use a win in Week 3 in order to help keep playoff chances alive.  They're lumped in the group of four in Class D who are 0-2, with losses already to Cambridge and Warrensburg.  Even in the last two years when Whitehall made their move towards the top tier of Class D, Renssealer has always been a threat.  This year, it doesn't seem as much.  But the Generals are in the same 0-2 group, wanting a win Saturday in order to give their season a spark.

Warrensburg at Cambridge (Sat, 1PM): The Indians are perennially good.  Sitting at 2-0, Cambridge looks like a team hungry to retake the sectional crown after Whitehall won the title last year.  But Warrensburg joins the Indians at 2-0, and after beating Rensselaer last week at home, the Burghers hope to create another statement win in Cambridge.

Enjoy Week #3!  We're slowly running out of weeks where you can go to a game and not need to bring a coat with you, so enjoy the late summer air while we have it!  And if you're heading to one of these, or any other game in the 518, be sure to tweet us score updates by using the hash tag #518Football!