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! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Four Things That Shocked Us - Week 2:

4) Mechanicville ROLLS over Ichabod Crane

In this crossover game that was created because of Cohoes dropping varsity football for 2016, Mechanicville made a statement.

Now Ichabod Crane isn't a team with a history of success -- they have made the playoffs only once in their young program history -- but to be shut out 56-0 to a Class C school, it shows that the Red Raiders have a lot of promise in Section 2.

After two weeks, Mechanicville leads Section 2 in total points scored, scoring 56 points in both games this season.  Meanwhile, Ichabod Crane has yet to score a point, joining Ballston Spa in last in that category.

3) Class B, Reinfurt Division

Entering the season, who pegged the standings to read Cobleskill-Richmondville, Albany Academy and Hudson at 2-0, and Schalmont at 0-2, with a Ravena in the middle sitting at 1-1?

Call it an effect of Class B's scheduling procedures that saw the top seeds of the Reinfurt play the top seeds of the West from last season, and the middle seeds playing each other as well, but the end result has Cobleskill and Hudson feeling pretty good about themselves after two weeks of football.

But now the reality sets in.  As great (or bad) as those two weeks were, the real season begins for these teams as divisional play begins this Friday.  And those are the games that help determine where teams go in Week 8.

2) Warrensburg wins big under portable lights at home

Warrensburg played under the lights at home for the first time in program history on Friday night.  It was a festive atmosphere, made even better by the Burghers 48-20 win over the Rensselaer Rams.

There were some questions heading into the season about the Burghers.  There were talented kids left on the roster from last year, but combined with the graduates who are no longer there, how would the changes brought from new coach Mike Perrone affect the team's play?

Warrensburg's Week 1 shutout win over Fort Edward/Argyle wasn't much of an indication.  Fort Edward/Argyle is just getting their feet wet in varsity football after a year off, and Rensselaer has been a perennial power in Class D.

But instead, Warrensburg is the team that is 2-0, and Rensselaer will be hoping to pick up their first win of the season when they head over to Salem this Saturday.

1) Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne wins War Canoe.

Over the past few years, Corinth has grown to be a decent Section 2 program.  Lake George merged together with Hadley-Luzerne, but have yet to make a splash in Class C.  But the combined squad pieced together its biggest win since the merger on a semi-quiet Thursday night in Lake George, beating Corinth soundly, 47-16.

The shocker here isn't Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne winning the War Canoe, but how easily they won it over a team that has spent the last two seasons being among the top four teams in Class C.

Corinth is now 0-2 with losses to Cobleskill-Richmondville (non-conference) and Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne.  It doesn't get any easier for Corinth, having to play Hoosic Valley this Friday night.

What shocks you the most?  Was it any of these four?  Or was it something else?  Let us know by replying here or tweeting us at @WMML1230.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Thoughts From The Press Box - Glens Falls at Schalmont

ROTTERDAM - On the last gasp of summer, an electric crowd came to watch a great game.

A game that came down to the last possession.

A game that could be a preview of the playoffs.

Schalmont's 0-2 record doesn't matter.  In divisional play, they are 0-0.  Both of their losses were close, against the #1 and #2 teams in Class B last year.

The same could be said about Glens Falls's 2-0 record.  But wins over Ravena and Schalmont, especially given the injury situation on Friday night, could give the Indians a lot of momentum for the road ahead.

Those week 6 & 7 games could be very interesting for the Indians.  Especially once Aaron Sampson heals up.

The Glens Falls Indians didn't miss a beat without him, relying on a blend of run and pass plays to get their offense.  Girard's arm brought over 200 yards passing for the Indians, three for touchdowns.  His legs contributed to the 4th of Glens Falls's 5 touchdowns.

I noted this several times during the broadcast, but will bring it up here again.  He's a sophomore.  If he continues to play both football and basketball for the Indians, they will have amazing things to look forward to over the course of the next two years.

And if Cameron Brooks does to other teams what he did to Glens Falls, he is going to be a beast in the Running Back position for the Schalmont Sabres.  Those who made it down to Rotterdam was treated to a showcase of his abilities.  One of the best highlights came in the third quarter when he raced through the line of scrimmage, then in the secondary found two Indians ready to tackle him.  He jumped, danced and juked his way free, then found the end zone for the score.

It's the type of athleticism you expect to see from a veteran running back in the NFL.  Keep an eye on him.

Just like you need to keep an eye on Joe Girard III.  These two kids are why High School sports are great.  

Sunday, September 11, 2016

HS Football Scoreboard - Week 2

Scoreboard from Week 2 in High School Football

Thursday, September 8th
Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne (1-1) 47, Corinth (0-2) 16

Friday, September 9th
Shenendehowa (1-1) 52, Ballston Spa (0-2) 0
Guilderland (2-0) 27, Saratoga Springs (0-2) 6
CBA (2-0) 57, Albany (1-1) 18
Colonie (1-1) 52, Niskayuna (0-2) 0
Troy (2-0) 32, Bethlehem (0-2) 14
Schenectady (1-1) 19, LaSalle (0-2) 16
Shaker (2-0) 44, Columbia (1-1) 14

Averill Park (1-1) 30, South Glens Falls (0-2) 28
Amsterdam (1-1) 40, Mohonasen (1-1) 22
Lansingburgh (2-0) 40, Gloversville (0-2) 14
Burnt Hills (2-0) 45, Scotia (0-2) 22

Albany Academy (2-0) 26, Johnstown (0-2) 20 (2OT)
Glens Falls (2-0) 32, Schalmont (0-2) 28
Ravena (1-1) 27, Schulyerville (1-1) 13
Cobleskill-Richmondville (2-0) 20, Broadalbin-Perth (1-1) 7

Mechanicville (2-0) 56, Ichabod Crane (0-2) 0

Holy Trinity (2-0) 22, Voorheesville (1-1) 7
Stillwater (2-0) 49, Fonda-Fultonville (0-2) 14
Tamarac (1-1) 18, Taconic Hills (1-1) 13
Coxsackie-Athens (1-1) 30, Chatham (0-2) 21

Warrensburg (2-0) 48, Rensselaer (0-2) 20

Saturday, September 10th
Queensbury (2-0) 47, Green Tech (0-2) 6

Hudson (2-0) 24, Hudson Falls (0-2) 7

Hoosick Valley (2-0) 44, Hoosick Falls (0-2) 21
Watervliet (2-0) 54, Cairo-Durham (0-2) 3

Cambridge (2-0) 44, Helderberg Valley (1-1) 0
Whitehall (2-0) 20, Salem (0-2) 0
Canajoharie (2-0) 60, Fort Edward/Argyle (0-2) 7