Tuesday, September 17, 2013

High School Fooball: Week 2 Recap

Rain impacted a lot of games this week.

But perhaps the biggest game it impacted turned out to be one of the best battles we've seen in Section 2 in some time, eclipsing last year's overtime thriller between Greenwich and Cambridge.  Details on this and several other Section 2 games after the jump.

GAME OF THE WEEK - Burnt Hills 18, Troy 12 - F/4OT - Hudson Falls/Glens Falls.  Greenwich/Cambridge.  Colonie/Shaker.  Warrensburg/Lake George.  Step aside, there's a new rivalry growing in Section 2.

Last year the Troy Flying Horses were flying high after winning their week 1 contest against the would-be State Champions.  It would be Burnt Hills's lone loss of the season.

13 games later, the two teams met again on the gridiron, in a driving rainstorm that affected both teams playbooks.  Passing was at a minimum, and turnovers was a regularity.  Field Goals and extra points sailed in directions that were not straight.

Burnt Hills was down 6-0 entering the 4th Quarter, something which Time Warner Cable SportsNet commentators remarked upon several times as the game progressed.  After lighting it up for 69 in the game against Lansingburgh, the Spartans were in danger of being shut out for the first time in a long time.

But then David Newell put the Spartans on the board with a run from 7 yards out.  But the extra point was no good, which would eventually force overtime.

Overtime became a battle of nerves and wits as both teams continued to trot the moist field.  In the third overtime, the Spartans drew the first blood, scoring on a Danny Maynard pass, but couldn't convert on the 2 point conversion attempt.  Troy had to get a touchdown to answer, and found the end zone on Troy's first completed pass of the evening - a 15 yard reception by Isaiah Thomas from Joe Germinerio.  Troy went for the extra point opportunity to win the game, but when the kick was blocked, it forced a 4th overtime.

After coming up empty, Troy had to go on defense, and Josh Quesada ended the marathon with a 20 yard rush to the end zone for Burnt Hills 14th straight win.

It wasn't pretty.  Danny Maynard's 8 fumbles attests to how ugly the game was for the Spartans.  But in the end, the Spartans are now 2-0, and should look confident heading into their first conference game of the season in Gloversville this Friday night.

GAME EFFECTS: You have to compliment Jack Burger and the Troy Flying Horses for bouncing back as much as they did coming off their week 1 loss to the Queensbury Spartans.  Granted the Flying Horses are 0-2, but both losses were non-conference, and therefore doesn't have any bearing on their seeding come the end of Week 7.

The test for Burger and the Flying Horses continue this week as they host the Amsterdam Rugged Rams.

Burnt Hills should take a look at this game on film and realize that if there is another rainy day, they could look very vulnerable.  Right now there's two other good teams in Class A Northwest that would love to gain the advantage over the B-Spartans: Queensbury and Amsterdam.  Weeks 4-6 when all three teams will get a crack at each other will prove to be very interesting.  Top seeding in Class A Northwest will be up for grabs in those three weeks.

Queensbury 33, Bishop Maginn 0 - The game featured here on 1230 FOX Sports Radio turned one-sided in the 3rd Quarter after the Griffins had a three-and-out, then on their next drive Neiko Bianchino threw a ball that was picked off by Kody Bruno.  What was a 12-0 lead at the start of that three-and-out series quickly jumped to a 26-0 lead that became insurmountable by the Griffins.

COLD NEIKO: Neiko Bianchino started the game 5-for-7 passing, but then proceeded to miss 7 straight throws as his cold arm failed to generate the offense the Griffins needed in the 3rd Quarter.  After two straight completions, his next one was the previously mentioned Kody Bruno interception.  The Junior Quarterback would finish the game with 87 yards, completing 8 of his 19 passes.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Kalen Minott's first run since coming out last week due to cramps was a 72 yard rush up the right sideline for the touchdown in the 2nd Quarter to give the Spartans the 12-0 lead.  He would have two more carries as he finished with 78 total yards.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kody Bruno ran the ball in from a yard out on his first carry for the touchdown.  His second carry was a 38 yard touchdown dart up the near sideline to give the Spartans the 33-0 lead in the 4th Quarter.

Honorable Mention: The Queensbury Offensive Line, who opened the lanes needed for their running backs to generate positive yardage, as the Spartans put together over 400 yards of rushing offense.

One thing to note, and Laura Owens of the Glens Falls Post-Star also noticed this and wrote about it in the "5th Quarter" column, the Queensbury Spartans love to execute the double hand-off.  The double hand-off is effective for the Spartans because not only does it fool in-the-booth broadcasters such as myself, it also fools the defenders, who could be centering on a particular player only to find he handed the ball off the another guy.  With three guys in the backfield in addition to Aidan Switzer, you don't know where that ball will eventually end up.

Next up, the Queensbury Spartans (2-0) hit the road for their first away game of the season, as they face the team across the river in the South Glens Falls Bulldogs (0-2).  The Bulldogs look to bounce from losses against Bishop Maginn and Averill Park, but need to find a way to stop the Queensbury runners.  With a vast number of weapons in John Irion's bag, it could be a tough night for the Bulldogs defense if they are unable to keep the lanes closed for the runners.

Glens Falls 12, Schuylerville 6 - Worried about the Glens Falls Indians after week 1?

I admit, so too was I.  But the Glens Falls Indians, with the help of Mother Nature, brushed aside those fears as they took care of the Schuylerville Black Horses on Friday Night.

Three fumbles from the Black Horses did not help, as the Indians took a 12-0 lead after Quentin Austin rushed for the 3rd Quarter touchdown.  Earlier in the game, Zack Infield connected with Colin Duell for the opening score.

Cobleskill-Richmondville 14, Hudson Falls 7 - Keep an eye on Cobleskill-Richmondville's Seth Billington.

The Bulldogs Quarterback went 6 for 7 for 90 yards, and on the ground he ran for 100 yards as the Bulldogs became one of three 2-0 teams in Class B West after their 14-7 win over the Hudson Falls Tigers.

Geno Brancati gave Tigers fans something to cheer about after his 17 yard run cut the deficit in half.  He finished the game with 81 yards for the Tigers.

Hudson Falls is now 0-2, and plays the first of four straight at home this Saturday as they host Broadalbin-Perth, another 2-0 team.  The Bulldogs begin their mid-season test, as they travel to face the Glens Falls Indians this Saturday.

Chatham 49, Coxsackie-Athens 0
Hoosic Falls 40, Mechanicville 0 - Anyone else got the feeling we could be looking a Panthers/Panthers Super Bowl in Class C?  Two of the biggest blowouts in Section 2 this week were acquired by these opposite division teams.

Al Kelly was the player of the game for the Chatham Panthers as he found the end zone four times, three on the ground and 1 on a pass reception, as the Panthers made quick work of the Coxsackie-Athens Indians.

Meanwhile, Brandon Hodges is carrying the torch last year carried by Brad Burns quite well.  The Hoosick Falls running back ran for 138 yards and three touchdowns as the Northern Panthers stretched their Section 2 win streak to 42 games with their victory over Mechanicville.

For what it's worth, Garrett Wright is carrying the Billy Pine torch well himself as their new QB.

Granville 48, Corinth 22 - This game was not the close battle some predicted it would be.

Evan Hoagland set the tone with an 88 yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown, then would aid quarterback Jacob Young by catching a 41 yard pass for the 2nd score of the game.  By the time the half came around, the Golden Horde built a 26-0 lead, and despite two scores by Corinth, they would be unable to get close enough to be a threat in the game.

DUO IN TRAINING?: Jacob Young and Evan Hoagland are setting up what could be a dangerous duo in Class C.  Hoagland ran for 91 yards on 18 carries, and Jacob Young tossed for 181 yards on 8-for-12 passing.  He threw four touchdowns, with a lone blemish on the day via an interception.  Two of those touchdowns was to Ronnie Taylor, who had 79 receiving yards in the victory.

But the Golden Horde need be on the top of their game with a trip down to Hoosick Falls this Friday.

Rensselaer 38, Fort Edward 6 - It was a loss for the Flying Forts, but it was good to see them take the field after having to forfeit their first week due to minimum practice requirements.  Dylan White was the lone Flying Fort to find the end zone with his 3 yard run, but by this point Rensselaer already jumped out to a 20-6 lead.

Steve Harwood was clearly the player of the game, accumulating over 350 yards of total offense for the Rams, including three touchdowns.  The Rams defense was top-notch, holding the Flying Forts to those 6 points and only 100 yards of offense.

Salem 27, Hoosic Valley 12 - The same will be said for the Salem Generals.  It was good to see them finally take the field after their own minimum practice requirements forfeit in Week 1.  Isaac Isom continued where he left off last year, running for four touchdowns.  Two of those touchdowns came from the opposite side of the field.

Now 1-1, the Generals start their Class D North schedule with a trip up to Warrensburg in a game featured on 1230 FOX Sports Radio, as Issac Isom, Ryan Braymer and the rest of the Generals try to get revenge for the way their last meeting with the Burghers ended - with a touchdown with 30 seconds left to go to give the Burghers the win.

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