Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 8: Sectional Quarterfinals in Review

Players line up before a play during Saturday's
Bishop Maginn/Queensbury game - WMML photo
Week 8 of the High School season brought little surprise.  It brought some drama.

More importantly, they gave us an indication of how the remainder of the playoffs could go.

And if it's anything like the ending of the Shenendehowa/Shaker or Guilderland/Colonie games, we're in for a wild ride.

After the jump, a recap of last week and a quick analysis as we approach the Sectional Semifinals this weekend.

L1-Shaker 23, E4-Shenendehowa 21
E1-CBA 49, L4-Columbia 6
E2-Saratoga 48, L3-LaSalle 27
E3-Guilderland 38, L2-Colonie 35

As the Class AA season progressed, there was talk about how the Empire Division was shaping to be the superior division, and that held true through the first round.  For a period of time, it looked like all four Empire teams would be advancing.

Then Colonie started making their comeback, LaSalle made things interesting against the Blue Streaks, and Shaker scored a field goal with under two minutes to play.

However, Saratoga was able to pull away, and despite Colonie tying the game in the last couple minutes, Guilderland was able to advance with a field goal.  Shenendehowa was hoping for the same magic themselves, but a huge block sealed the Shaker Blue Bison's win over the Plainsmen.  Three of the four teams moving on hailed from the Empire Division, and it was very nearly four had the field goal not been blocked.

If anything this class is going to be interesting to watch this week as Shaker and Saratoga square off, and so too does division-mates CBA and Guilderland.  Four hungry teams hoping to make next week's Super Bowl at Bob Ford Field at U-Albany.

Saratoga has proven through the first 8 weeks that they belong in the top four teams in Section 2's Class AA, but still need a little work to prove that they belong in the top discussion regarding all AA teams in New York State. Shaker's kids have the experience of winning, with them winning the title last year.

But right now, CBA is showing themselves to be the team to beat.  Since their win over Saratoga Springs, the Brothers have outscored their opponents 201-19.  That includes a 40-6 dismantling over their next opponent, Guilderland.

Class AA Schedule:
E2-Saratoga (7-1) at L1-Shaker (7-1) - 7:00PM
E3-Guilderland (6-2) at E1-CBA (7-1) - 7:00PM

WEEK 10:
Semifinal Winners at Bob Ford Field at UAlbany, Fri 11/8 7PM

WEEK 11:
Sectional Champion vs. Section 9 Champion, Fri 11/15 7PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

Class A:
NW1-Queensbury 41, SE4-Bishop Maginn 0
NW2-Burnt Hills 67, SE3-Mohonasen 6
NW3-Amsterdam 48, SE2-Averill Park 34
SE1-Troy 48, NW1-Gloversville 0

The top four teams in Class A meet up this Saturday.

Amsterdam had some difficulties as they trailed Averill Park at times, but by the end, they wore down the Warriors and were able to get the jump they needed for the 48-34 victory.  Queensbury had a slow start against Bishop Maginn, going to the half up only 8-0 in a game that should have been a bigger gap due to penalties.

Both teams meet Saturday, when Queensbury may need a strong start to overcome an explosive Amsterdam offense.  Just because Queensbury already beat the Rugged Rams at Amsterdam, it doesn't mean a home game for the Spartans is a guaranteed ticket to Shenendehowa next week. Amsterdam got shell-shocked in back-to-back weeks, and have taken out their frustrations on South Glens Falls and Averill Park.

Meanwhile, one of the matches we wanted to see again has emerged as two hot teams meet up Friday night at Troy High School.  Troy has come alive since losing their first two games of the season, scoring more than 40 points in four of their last five games.  And those two losses: A rain-soaked affair at home against Burnt Hills that went quadruple overtimes before Josh Quesada ran the ball in to give the Spartans the win, and the opening game against Queensbury.

Burnt Hills has allowed only 22 points since that loss to Queensbury in Week 4.  They responded to the loss against the Spartans with a 49-0 effort against Amsterdam in Week 6.  Burnt Hills's lone loss was at Queensbury, and came through the help of a missed PAT.

The winners this weekend deserve to shine as the top of Class A, and no matter who those two teams are, should provide the crowd at Shen a great game.

Class A Schedule:
NW2-Burnt Hills (7-1) at SE1-Troy (7-1) - 7:00PM Friday
NW3-Amsterdam (5-3) at NW1-Queensbury (8-0) - 2:30PM Saturday - on 1230 FOX Sports, WMML

WEEK 10:
Semifinal Winners at Shenendehowa, Sat 11/9 at 7PM

WEEK 11:
Massena (Section X Champ) vs. Section 2 Champ, Sat 11/16 at 7PM at Shen

W1-Schalmont 53, R4-Green Tech 0
W2-Broadalbin-Perth 43, R3-Lansingburgh 7
R1-Cohoes 42, W4-Glens Falls 19
R2-Ravena 22, W3-Scotia 12

A short road for the Glens Falls Indians this year as they fell in the Quarterfinals against Cohoes, who jumped out to a huge lead before halftime and never looked back.  The Indians had everything fall into play to continue their consecutive playoff streak, now at 15 straight years, but couldn't solve the Tigers.

While it would have been a nice story had the state's runners-up last year been able to spring the upset, the result isn't too much of a surprise for the team that lost a lot of talent from that Carrier Dome squad.

What is surprising is the team who was compared to Glens Falls bowed out in the first round too after their 22-12 loss to Ravena.  The Scotia Tartans were being compared to by many as the hottest team in Class B, compiling 5 straight wins after starting the season 0-2.  But the Ravena Indians proved to be one step ahead of the Tartans, setting up a rematch from last year's semifinal when the Indians had to face the Schalmont Sabres.

Ravena's going to need all their weapons armed and ready if they are hoping to spring the upset and knock a team that is looking strong to make their way to the Regionals again after missing last year.  The Sabres showed they can play, shutting out Green Tech 53-0.  Kudos, however, to Green Tech on making it to the postseason and finally finding their groove this year in Class B and earning their first postseason berth in team history.

Broadalbin-Perth is shaping up to be a good team to watch too, giving Lansingburgh another first-round exit after their 43-7 win.  The Patriots need to endure the Tigers first, but a win here will set up a huge rematch between these two top teams of the Western Division.

Class B Schedule:
R2-Ravena (6-2) at W1-Schalmont (8-0) - 7PM Friday
W2-Broadalbin-Perth (7-1) at R1-Cohoes (6-2) - 2PM Saturday - on TimeWarner Cable SportsChannel

WEEK 10:
Semifinal Winners at Shenendehowa, Sat 11/9 at 3PM

WEEK 11:
Section 2 Champ vs. Section 7/10 Champ, Date and Site (at Sect 7/10) TBA

N1-Hoosick Falls 40, S4-Watervliet 6
N2-Corinth 39, S3-Voorheesville 19
S1-Chatham 52, N4-Mechanicville 7
S2-Fonda 47, N3-Stillwater 6

Congratulations to the Corinth Tomahawks on scoring their first playoff victory in the modern system, and their first since 1979 when they beat Lake George for the title.  But they have a dogfight this weekend at Stillwater, as they meet with the Chatham Panthers for the right to play the following week.

Both Hoosick Falls and Chatham are still looking good to meet next week as both Fonda and Corinth will need to put together huge efforts in order to steer their opponents away from a Super Bowl appearance.

Class C Schedule:
Both games at Stillwater Central School
N1-Hoosick Falls (8-0) vs. S2-Fonda (7-1), 1:00PM Saturday
S1-Chatham (8-0) vs. N2-Corinth (6-2), 7:00PM Saturday

WEEK 10:
Semifinal Winners at Stillwater, Fri 11/8 at 7PM

WEEK 11:
Section 7/10 Champ vs. Section 2 Champ, Fri 11/15 at 7PM at Stillwater

N1-Greenwich 41, S4-Schoburg 19
N2-Salem 27, S3-Canajoharie 13
S1-Cambridge 48, N4-Whitehall 18
S2-Rensselaer 45, N3-Warrensburg 28

Warrensburg fought the Rams well, clawing to within 30-28 before the Rams shook loose with the help of Steven Harwood to score the game's final 15 points.  Salem and Canajoharie entered the half scoreless, but then Issac Isom and the Generals helped come alive to topple Canajoharie.  And no surprise with either top seed, as they easily rolled to victory over their opponents.

Until shown otherwise, this class is the south's to win.  But we must remember what happened at Schuylerville last year, when the Salem Generals toppled the Cambridge Indians.  Those two teams meet again for the first time since the upset.

Greenwich has the arsenal to fight Rensselaer, but a big part of whether or not the Witches move on will depend on if they can stop Harwood's balanced attack.  Lucas Whitehouse has the arm, but has two great running options to hand the ball too.  Everyone's been noting John Barnes, including ourselves when we were there in Week 5 when the Witches faced the Whitehall Railroaders, but you cannot forget Brandan DiSanto, who has good running legs himself.

Class D Schedule
Both games at Schuylerville Junior-Senior High School
N2-Salem (5-3) vs. S1-Cambridge (8-0), 1:00PM Saturday
N1-Greenwich (7-1) vs. S1-Rensselaer (7-1), 7:00PM Saturday

WEEK 10:
Semifinal Winners at Schuylerville, Sat 11/9 1:00PM

WEEK 11:
Section 2 Champ vs. Section 7/10 Champ, Date and Site TBA (at Section 7/10)

In Closing: The teams who have looked good from the start of the season continue to look good as we head into Week 9.  But the true tests for these teams begin, as we started with 63 teams all with aspirations of making it to the Carrier Dome.  Last week we had 40 teams with hopes and dreams, and now we're down to 20.  By the close of Saturday, we will have the last 10 teams standing, all still hoping to move on and represent the Section in the state tournament.

In other words... buckle up.  It's going to be a wild ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment