Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 4: High School Recap

One big win.  One big step forward for a local program.
Four miles away, one big loss.

Week 4 in review... after the jump.
Class AA
Through three weeks, Saratoga Springs showed that they belonged in the discussion for a divisional title in Class AA, but the talk was pushed to the side with Week 4's loss to CBA.

Meanwhile, Shaker took a 31-28 overtime loss against Guilderland.  Unlike Saratoga's loss, the Blue Bison's loss doesn't hurt them as much as it was a non-divisional match, with the real test coming up in Week 7 when the Blue Bison play for the Colonie Cup.

Saratoga can get back on track, as they still face division-leading Shenendehowa and Guilderland come Weeks 6 and 7.  The two teams meet this Friday to see who has the upper path to the division's #1 seed.

GAME(S) TO WATCH: Shenendehowa at Guilderland - 7:00PM Friday - As mentioned above, the winner of this game will get the upper path towards the division's #1 seed.  It will be a trial for both teams.

Guilderland has over 1,000 yards of offense by Frank Gallo, tossing for over 200 yards in all four games this season.  His arm has brought in 9 touchdowns, and he averages better than 50% completion percentage.

Ben Sibson only has one-quarter of those yards, as the Shenendehowa Plainsmen opt to go with their trio of running backs, Jeremiah Smith, Oliver Robinson and Matt Taft.  The trio of runners have run for over 1,200 yards of rushing offense, helping the Plainsmen reach their 4-0 record.

Class A
Queensbury made a big step towards securing a home playoff spot by taking down the state's #1 team in Class A, the reigning state champion Burnt Hills Spartans.  But Queensbury is not in the clear, yet.  They still have to face the Amsterdam Rugged Rams this Friday, who may have lost a game, but it was a non-divisional game against the Troy Flying Horses.

We'll talk more about that game in a moment.

Mohonasen may have helped their playoff cause, and hurt South Glens Falls's with their 14-13 win on Friday night.  It gives them the edge for the 8th seed, and forces South Glens Falls to be in a position where they need to win a game or two in order to help their situation.  However, with games on the road against Burnt Hills and Amsterdam still on their schedule, it will be very difficult.

Week 6's game against Gloversville will turn to be the big make-or-break game for South Glens Falls.

GAME(S) TO WATCH: Queensbury at Amsterdam - 7:00PM Friday - So a win by Queensbury will give them a lead over both Burnt Hills and Amsterdam with one divisional game left.  A loss will likely put all three teams on even terms with one loss each.

Essentially, if Queensbury wins, they may start making plans to spend Week #8 at home.  If Queensbury loses, it will put more stress on that Week #7 game against Gloversville.

Bryan Stanavich showed signs he is going to turn out like his brother with a 200+ yard game against Gloversville this past week.  Julian Gallup has tossed a touchdown pass in each of his first four games, as the Senior QB has thrown for over 500 yards this season.

Queensbury has plenty of offensive weapons, and they showed plenty of them off against the Burnt Hills Spartans.  Kody Bruno has 4 touchdowns, and Chris Goudy continues to eat up large chunks of real estate.

Class B
The Reinfurt gets settled some, but the West gets settled more.

Ravena's 30-22 win over Albany Academy kept the Indians on top of the Reinfurt division, a half game ahead of Green Tech and Cohoes.  There's little room for error, as Ravena's overall record is the same as Green Tech, who shut out Hudson 28-0 this past week.

Cohoes suffered a non-conference loss against Class A's Averil Park to even their record at 2-2.

Like last year, the Reinfurt Division could come down to the final week, as Ravena and Green Tech meet up for a Saturday evening match, a fitting end to the regular season in Section II.

In the West, Schalmont continued their dominance with a 21-3 win over Broadalbin-Perth that gives the Sabres a game advantage over the rest of the division.  The Sabres only have one more game against an opponent with a winning record, and that is this Saturday evening's game against I-88 mate Cobleskill.  The Sabres are showing that they can still win big without Devon Willis, and that's a good thing after the injury bug took him out of the game again last Friday.

Glens Falls's hopes for a home game in Week 8 took a sour turn as they lost 28-24 to the Johnstown Sir Bills.  The win ends the Sir Bills 16 game losing streak, a shining moment for a program that had to fold last year prior to the game against Glens Falls due to lack of players.  The loss evened the Indians record, and finds them locked into a tie with the Scotia Tartans for the 4th and final playoff spot in the division.  The two teams meet the final week under portable lights at Putt LaMay field on October 18th.

GAME(S) TO WATCH: Green Tech at Cohoes - 7:00PM Friday - Every game is important in the Reinfurt, and this is going to be one to watch as the teams try to sort themselves out. Cohoes learned that their run defense needed some work against Averil Park, allowing over 500 yards of rushing offense.  Shelton Alston was a shining player for the Tigers, scoring two touchdowns in the third quarter.  Max Carey has thrown for over 600 yards this year, some going the way of Nick Ernst.  The Junior has 15 catches this year for just over 300 yards, finding the end zone 3 times.

Najee Ward has rushed for over 500 yards this year for Green Tech, reaching the end zone on 8 of his carries.  He also has a defensive touchdown.  Junior David Clark has been controlling the offense behind center, completing 24 of his 57 passes for nearly 380 yards.  He's found receivers for touchdowns 5 times this year, scoring in every game except for the divisional game against Lansingburgh.

With the logjam up front, a win will help the victor remain in contention for the top seed in the division.

Troy at Ravena (7:00PM Friday) is also a good game to watch, even if it's going to be a non-divisional game.  Troy has bounced back nicely since losing their opening games against Queensbury and Burnt Hills.  Ravena will be a good test for the Flying Horses to see how well they have rebounded.

Class C
The more these games are played, the more it looks like we'll be seeing the Battle of the Panthers in the Super Bowl.  The Hoosick Falls Panthers continue to steamroll over their opponents, with Southern Division's Taconic Hills being their latest victim after the 68-0 win.  Anthony Abare caught the game-winning touchdown to catapult the Corinth Tomahawks over Stillwater.  Both teams are 2-1 in divisional play, but still have yet to play Hoosick Falls.  Stillwater does this week, and Corinth wraps up their regular season against the Panthers.  Mechanicville came from behind to win with 49 seconds left over Granville, helping give the Red Raiders a 3-1 divisional record.  But unlike Stillwater and Corinth, Mechanicville already had their yearly tilt against Hoosick Falls.

The Chatham Panthers make it look easy in their 61-6 win over Voorheesville.  Fonda remained undefeated themselves with a win against Watervliet, and Coxsackie-Athens also finds themselves with a chance to scoop up a playoff spot in the South.  But Watervliet lurks just a half-game behind 4th place Voorheesville.

GAME(S) TO WATCH: Fonda at Chatham - 7:00PM Friday - Brandon Baker has caught for 160 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Pat Hart has also been a key player for the Braves, swallowing up 208 yards on the ground in the 27-7 win over Watervliet.

Tyler Rivera has been a versatile player for the Chatham Panthers, running and catching for a total of 7 offensive touchdowns.  He also has a defensive touchdown.  Tyler VanBrunt has thrown for two touchdowns in every game this season, and has three rushing touchdowns in addition to his 8 passing. On Saturday he had a pick-six against Voorheesville.

Chatham has been dismantling opponents, whereas Fonda's wins have been closer affairs.  Fonda's going to have to go all-in if they are hoping to take down what has been the South's favorite for the Super Bowl.

Class D
Greenwich easily tossed Salem aside and gave the Generals their second loss of the season, first on the field, in their televised 55-13 win over the Generals.  The Witches sit at 3-1, with their lone loss being a non-divisional game against Cambridge.  But the Witches can't sit comfortably, as the Whitehall Railroaders also won to keep pace with their 24-12 win over the Lake George Warriors.  Both will meet this Friday to see who will occupy the top spot in Class D.

The blowout loss to the Generals may have been a wake up call for coach Mike Leonbruno and the Warrensburg Burghers, who marched into Fort Edward for a 56-14 victory over the Flying Forts.  With a 1-1 divisional record, the Burghers can aid their playoff chances as they play Lake George in a rivalry game this Friday.  After losing their first two divisional games, the Warriors will need a win badly to keep them in the playoff chase.  The same is true for Fort Edward, who plays Salem this week and closes out the regular season against Greenwich.

In the south, Rensselaer and Cambridge remain one-two, with both teams meeting next week to settle the top spot.  Canajoharie bounced back from their loss against the Indians with a 28-6 win over Bishop Gibbons/Spa Catholic.  They play Schoburg this week on what could sort out the 3rd and 4th positions in Class D.  Bishop Gibbons needs an upset win in a big way to help keep their chances afloat, meanwhile Hoosic Valley is ineligible for the playoffs, and already sits at 0-5 after their forfeit against Rensselaer this week.

GAME(S) TO WATCH: Whitehall at Greenwich - 7:00PM Friday - Justin Hoagland tossed a couple touchdowns as he led the Railroaders to victory over the Warriors.  However, he is going to find a tougher defense in the Witches.  Brad Hanna also was a contributing factor in that win.

John Barnes has earned a lot of press in the preseason, and he's living up to the media hype by way of his Section II leading 801 rushing yards.  But he's not the only playmaker on the Witches squad, as Lucas Whitehouse has thrown for nearly 500 yards.  His work on the pass keeps defenses guessing, opening better options for the run.

The winner of this game has sole possession of first with two games left to play.  Greenwich closes out the season with Warrensburg and Fort Edward, and Whitehall meets up with Salem and Warrensburg to close out the season.

FRIDAY: Whitehall Railroaders (3-1) vs. Greenwich Witches (3-1) - 6:45PM
SATURDAY: Broadalbin-Perth Patriots (3-1) vs. Glens Falls Indians (2-2) - 1:15PM 1:45PM

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