Friday, October 11, 2013

High School Week 5: Let's get ready for the weekend!

Time to see what we've learned as we roll closer to Sectionals.

Guilderland 29, Shenendehowa 22
Saratoga 45, Bethlehem 14
CBA 42, Ballston Spa 0
Albany 34, Fowler (Section III) 16
Schenectady 34, Colonie 28
La Salle 41, Niskayuna 14
Shaker 35, Columbia 0

Analysis: Guilderland is now the lone undefeated team in Class AA after beating Shenendehowa.  But they cannot celebrate a divisional title just yet, as they finish the season with games against CBA (4-1) and Saratoga Springs (4-1).  A loss to either of those teams could help other teams vying for a title, including the team they lost to.

Shenendehowa faces Saratoga Springs this week, but gets to finish the season hosting Bethlehem.  Of the three 4-1 teams in the division, they have the easiest schedule, as both Saratoga Springs and CBA have two 4-1 teams to finish their seasons.

After Guilderland this week, CBA will finish their season with a non-divisional game against 4-1 LaSalle.   Meanwhile, congratulations to Albany, who won their first game of the season over Section 3's Fowler.   The win's nice, but Albany's two wins the last couple years have come against teams not in Section 2's Class AA. Last year's win that ended a couple dozen straight losses was to Class A's South Glens Falls.

In the Liberty division, Shaker is undefeated in divisional play, but 4-1 after their loss to Guilderland the other week.  They face Schenectady this week in a rematch of the Sectional Semifinals last year where Schenectady appeared to score the game-tying touchdown with seconds left in the game, but the referees ruled he was down before crossing the plane.  Then Shaker finishes the season with the Colonie Cup at Colonie High.

LaSalle has a 4-1 record, with their one loss being against division-leading Shaker.  That gives Shaker the tiebreaker should LaSalle and Shaker finish on even ground record-wise.  LaSalle will play Colonie this week as Colonie tries to save their divisional title hopes.

Shenendehowa (4-1) at Saratoga Springs (4-1): Both teams need a win to give themselves a chance for the divisional title, both a game behind Guilderland.  The battle for playoff seedings will emphasize this year's rivalry between these two teams separated by 15 miles.

Guilderland (5-0) at CBA (4-1): CBA wants to stay in the discussion for the divisional title, and Guilderland wants to keep themselves ahead of the pack heading into their season-ending match against the Blue Streaks.

Schenectady (3-2) at Shaker (4-1): Schenectady returns to the scene of their Sectional Semifinal loss last year as noted above, but come into this game clinging onto the final playoff spot of the Liberty division.   Beating the Blue Bison will not only give them gratification for last year, but will help keep them in position to make the playoffs after it appeared two weeks ago like they were going to miss this year.

Queensbury 48, Amsterdam 28
Burnt Hills 60, South Glens Falls 14
Gloversville 49, Bishop Maginn 14
Averill Park 40, Mohonasen 13
Troy 28, Ravena (B) 14, final

Analysis: Queensbury's 48-28 win over the Rugged Rams guarantees the Spartans of the #1 seed in the Northwest Division.  The Spartans play a non-divisional game against Class AA's Columbia this Friday, and then wraps up the season with Gloversville next week.  That means the Spartans can do no worse than 3-1 in the division, and should they find themselves on equal footing with either Burnt Hills or Amsterdam, Queensbury has the tie-breaker, having beat both teams.

Burnt Hills and Amsterdam enter Week 6 with one divisional loss each, but it's guaranteed that one of those two teams will suffer their second divisional loss this week as the two teams face each other at Burnt Hills.

Both Gloversville and South Glens Falls are winless in the division, and will square off with each other.   The only chance South Glens Falls has to make the playoffs is to beat Gloversville, otherwise they will travel to Amsterdam next week already out.

In the Southeast, Troy and Averil Park square off this Friday with the division up for grabs.  Both teams are undefeated in divisional play, with Troy bouncing back nicely from their first two games of the season with wins against Amsterdam and Class B's Ravena.

Amsterdam (3-2) at Burnt Hills (4-1): The difference between playing at home or away in Week 8 is up for grabs when these two Super Bowl finalists from last year meet in Burnt Hills on Saturday. The winner of this game will be guaranteed the #2 seed, and will host the Southeast Division's #3 seed, likely Bishop Maginn, in the Sectional Quarterfinals.  The loser will likely find themselves to be the #3 seed, and will have to travel to either Troy or Averil Park.

Troy (3-2) at Averil Park (4-1): The Southeast is up for grabs when these two teams meet this Friday. Troy has bounced back from their back-to-back losses to both Spartans to kick off the 2013 season. Averil Park's lone loss was non-divisional as well, with Amsterdam claiming victory over the Warriors in a game where 100 total points were scored.

In addition, the bottom rungs of the ladder will get sorted when the Bishop Maginn Griffins (1-4) travel to Mohonasen (1-4), and Gloversville (2-3) tries to spoil South Glens Falls's (0-5) homecoming this weekend.  All four teams are winless in divisional play. For South Glens Falls, this may be their last chance to make the playoffs, with the Amsterdam Rugged Rams waiting in Week #7.

Cohoes 38, Green Tech 14
Lansingburgh 48, Hudson 14
Broadalbin-Perth 34, Glens Falls 18
Johnstown 35, Hudson Falls 7
Albany Academy 47, Ichabod Crane 0
Scotia 34, Schuylerville 6
Schalmont 27, Cobleskill 0

Analysis: The Reinfurt division is a mess, and that mess makes for some great drama for these closing two weeks.  There are FIVE teams wielding a 3-2 record after Week 5, and THREE of them carry a lone loss in divisional play. Cohoes, Ravena and Lansingburgh are those three single-loss teams, and one of those three is guaranteed to get their second divisional loss this week when Ravena and Lansingburgh meet.   Cohoes travels to Hudson.

But Albany Academy and Green Tech are still in the hunt. Albany Academy will watch and see what their divisional opponents do on Friday night before going on a road trip to Section 3's Jamesville-Dewitt on Saturday.  Green Tech will be in Valatie this week to face Ichabod Crane.

Week 7 will be interesting, with four of these five top teams facing each other. Albany Academy will face Lansingburgh to conclude their season, and Green Tech hosts Ravena.

Meanwhile, Glens Falls's playoff chances took a bad turn with their 34-18 loss to Broadalbin-Perth in a game where they allowed 27 unanswered points after leading 18-7 in the 2nd Quarter.  The Indians aren't out, but their loss combined with Scotia's 34-6 loss to Schuylerville places the Indians in 5th place.  Since the Indians and the Tartans meet next week, a win this week will make next week's match a "Win and you're in" game for the two.

But the Tartans are playing good football right now, and faces a Cobleskill team that was shut out by the Schalmont Sabres. A win by Scotia coupled by a Jug Game loss by the Indians would decrease the importance of next week's game, as the Indians will then find themselves out for the first time since 1998.

Schalmont has clinched the division's #1 seed, and face Johnstown and Hudson Falls to conclude their season. Johnstown still has a chance at the playoffs, but first needs to find a way to stop the Sabres, and second need some help as they do not have the tie-breaker over Scotia.  The Tigers, with last week's loss, are out and will be playing for team pride these next two weeks.

Lansingburgh (3-2) at Ravena (3-2): Every game in the Reinfurt matters, and the winner of this game gets a leg up heading into the final week.  Both are tied for the top spot in the division, both regular-season record and divisional record.  And with both teams facing fellow 3-2 record-holders next week to wrap up the season, having that momentum will be critical.

Corinth 25, Tamarac 23
Granville 56, Catholic Central 0
Hoosick Falls 35, Stillwater 0
Mechanicville 54, Cairo-Durham 14
Chatham 44, Fonda 14
Voorheesville 34, Taconic Hills 6
Watervliet 56, Coxsackie 14

Analysis: If you were waiting to see any other team besides Hoosick Falls and Chatham step up as favorites to play in Week 10, you're running out of chances.  Both teams rolled, leaving them as the last undefeated teams in Class C.

Corinth would have been undefeated had they not suffered that Week 2 loss to Granville.  The Tomahawks will have a tough schedule to finish the regular season - Friday vs. Mechanicville and next Friday against Hoosick Falls.

Fonda was the last major obstacle for Chatham and they easily disposed of them with a 44-14 victory.   Watervliet gave themselves the edge should they and Coxsackie-Athens tie for the 4th and final playoff spot, as their 56-14 win gives them the tiebreaker.

Mechanicville (4-1) at Corinth (4-1): The first of two big tests for the Tomahawks begin this evening as they host Mechanicville.  Both carry a 3-1 divisional record, and should Mechanicville win, it will officially clinch the #1 seed for the Hoosick Falls Panthers.  However, a Corinth win will make next Friday's home game against the Panthers a whole lot more interesting, with first place on the line.

Cambridge 46, Bishop Gibbons/Spa Catholic 0
Greenwich 42, Whitehall 7
Warrensburg 26, Lake George 24
Canajoharie 40, Schoburg 0
Rensselaer 0, Hoosic Valley forfeit
Fort Edward 0, Salem forfeit

Analysis: The North is pretty much settled at the top.  Greenwich's 42-7 win over the Whitehall Railroaders gives them the edge.  Now all they have to do is to win at Warrensburg this Saturday and they will have clinched the #1 seed. The Burgers season looked like it was in trouble after their 53-0 loss to Salem in week three, but Coach Mike Leonbruno has done a good job getting the team settled as they rebounded nicely with wins at Fort Edward and last week's huge last-second win over the Lake George Warriors.

Whitehall and Warrensburg will settle that #2 and #3 seed in Week 7 (12:45PM on 1230 FOX Sports Radio), and Salem and Fort Edward are tied right now for that final position. The forfeit win for the Flying Forts was something they'd prefer to earn on the field, but that forfeit keeps them in the playoff chase as they host Lake George this weekend (12:45PM on 1230 FOX Sports Radio).

Meanwhile, the south's #1 will get decided this week when Rensselaer faces Cambridge.  Last year the two schools met on neutral field after extended periods of rain forced the game to be moved from Cambridge to Stillwater.  In that game, Cambridge rolled to an early lead on their way to claiming the #1 seed, but showed some vulnerabilities late that would come back to haunt them in their Week 9 loss to Salem.

Canajoharie's 40-0 win over Schoburg gives them the edge for the #3 seed, but still could find themselves propelled to the #2 seed should Rensselaer lose back-to-back games to close their regular season, as the two teams meet in Week 7.  Schoburg can clinch the last spot this week with a win over Bishop Gibbons/Spa Catholic, and they're going to want to do it this week as they face Cambridge to close the season next week.

Cambridge (5-0) at Rensselaer (5-0): As mentioned above, this game settles who will be the #1 seed come Week 8.  If Rensselaer wins, it will settle both the 1 and 2 seeds, as Cambridge already has the win over Canajoharie for the tiebreaker, but if Cambridge wins, it will make next week's Rensselaer vs. Canajoharie game a battle for a home-field seed.

In addition, the Whitehall (3-2) vs. Salem (2-3) and Greenwich (4-1) vs. Warrensburg (2-3) games bear watching. A loss by the Witches in the shadows of the Adirondacks will make things interesting in Class D North. A win by the Generals will put more pressure on the Lake George/Fort Edward match.

There's a lot of football still to be played. Most teams are still in the hunt, but those who aren't are still fighting for pride.  Buckle up... it's going to be a wild two weeks.

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