Saturday, November 9, 2013


It would have been nice to piece together a 30 minute preview for this weekend's quintet of Super Bowl games here in Section 2, but unfortunately, time coupled with a studio that broke this week resulted in a preview that was written down, but never voiced.

No problem.  These notes will be put to good use when we broadcast our second Super Bowl in as many years as the Burnt Hills Spartans and the Queensbury Spartans duke it out for the Class A title Saturday night at 7PM (Broadcast: 6:45PM).

Two games are in the books, with one game being a lot closer than I anticipated, and one being a lot further away than thought.

CLASS AA: CBA Brothers [Albany] (9-1) 13, Shaker Blue Bison (8-2) 8
CBA wins their third Super Bowl in school history with their 13-8 victory over last year's champ, the Shaker Blue Bison.

Joe Kolbe was the player of the game, contributing in both of CBA's touchdowns, as he found Ryan O'Hagan for a 70 yard score to get the scoring started, and then entered the end zone himself in the 2nd Quarter to give the Brothers the lead for good.

It's CBA's first title since 2006, when they defeated Colonie 18-0 for the title.  The Brothers, after a Regional bye, lost to Monroe-Woodbury 21-0 in the only state tournament game the Brothers played in school history (remember, the state tournament has only existed for 20 years).

CBA's next opponent is either Monroe-Woodbury or Newburgh Free Academy.  The two teams will face in the Section 9 Class AA Championship on Saturday night.  That winner will host CBA at Dietz Stadium in Kingston next Saturday, November 16th at 7PM.

CLASS C: Hoosick Falls Panthers (10-0) 21, Chatham Panthers (9-1) 8
The Hoosick Falls Panthers are winners of 50 straight Section 2 games, winners of 5 straight Section 2 titles, and winners of their 26th Section 2 postseason game as they beat the Chatham Panthers 21-8.

Hoosick Falls took advantage of turnovers, scoring on two of Chatham's miscues to propel them back into the state tournament.

Hoosick Falls will play Section 10's Ogdensburg Free Academy, who beat Saranac Lake 27-19.  The two teams will play at Stillwater Central School next Friday, November 15th at 7PM.

Two games down, three more to be played.  Super Bowl Weekend continues on Saturday as three more sectional titles are up for grabs.

CLASS D: Cambridge Indians (9-0) vs. Rensselaer Rams (8-1) - 1:00PM at Schuylerville Junior-Senior High School

A rematch of Week 6 is on the agenda when the Indians and the Rams meet under the sunlight at Schuylerville Junior-Senior High School on Saturday.

But it will be a different story this time, as the Rams will have Steven Harwood back.  Harwood played only the first quarter in the first meeting between the two teams before leaving with an injury.

Harwood is a major contributor to the Rams offense, scoring 13 touchdowns on the ground and 20 touchdowns through the air.  His 1,400 passing yards is the best of the remaining quarterbacks in Section 2, and a major reason why Rensselaer trumps most high school programs in the state with a well-balanced run/pass attack, with more passing yards than running yards.

But Cambridge has Ethan English on their side.  English has thrown for over 700 yards, including 151 yards against the Rams back in Week 6.  Caleb Roland and Christopher Warnke will both be players to watch on the ground, helping fuel the Indians offense as they combine for 30 touchdowns.

The winner of this game will travel north to face the Moriah Vikings.  The Section 7 champion shocked the northern tier with their 6-0 win over the Ticonderoga Sentinels, and took care of Tupper Lake to earn the right to play the Section 2 champion up at AuSable Valley next Friday night.

CLASS B: Broadalbin-Perth Patriots (8-1) vs. Schalmont Sabres (9-0) - 3:00PM at Shenendehowa High School

Schalmont's M.O. this season has been to strike early and often.  And keep the opposition from scoring.  It's been a path for success for the Sabres, even in games where Devon Willis was sidelined either due to illness or injury.

However, the team they scored the fewest against is the team that will be facing them in the Class B Super Bowl.

The Broadalbin-Perth Patriots allowed 21 points in their Week 4 loss to Schalmont, but those 21 was the fewest allowed by any team who had to feel the brunt of the Sabres.  Plus, the Patriots remember what happened to Schalmont last year.

It's a recipe that could play into the Patriots favor, who are playing in their first Super Bowl in school history.

Zach Morreale calls the signals for the Patriots, with several options.  Andre Taylor, Darius Reyes and Luigi Magliocca are just a few of the options.  No player on the Patriots team shouts "Sectional Leader" on the stats sheet, but as a team, they contribute for wins.  And the defense has come up big for the Patriots, seizing control in their semifinal against the Cohoes Tigers thanks to interceptions.

But will it be enough to overcome Nick Gallo, Devon Willis and the rest of the Schalmont Sabres?  No team has put up more than 8 points against the Sabres, allowing only 24 points all season long.  It's a big reason why they have reassured themselves as the team to beat in Class B.  With a 2:1 run-to-pass ratio, the Sabres will make sure defenses keep having to guess what the Sabres will throw at them next.

And Schalmont remembers.  It's all they've been hearing about the past 53 weeks.

CLASS A: Queensbury Spartans (9-0) vs. Burnt Hills Spartans (8-1) - 7:00PM at Shenendehowa High School

In a way, you have to think Queensbury feels like Glens Falls of last year.

They may have the better record, and are better ranked in the state, but it's the Burnt Hills Spartans who many are picking to win the final Super Bowl match of the year.

A lot of that comes down to how the first meeting ended.

A missed extra point turned what could have been overtime for the two teams into a Queensbury win, surviving a 14 point deficit against what was the #1 team in the state at that time and winning 28-27.  Head coach John Irion noted that when Burnt Hills scored the touchdown, his plan turned into what they were going to do in the overtime session.

Yet, it never happened.  Queensbury used that game to propel them into the #1 seed, which came up huge last week as Queensbury used their home advantage last week against the Amsterdam Rugged Rams, putting a season-high 59 points on the board and were comfortably able to swap out their starters for backups in the 4th Quarter.  Burnt Hills, on the other hand, had to travel to Troy and play a full 48 minute game, surviving a surge by the Flying Horses in their 24-19 win.

Burnt Hills has a strong run attack, but they help aid it with a passing game.  Josh Quesada will be a marked man by the Queensbury defense, accounting for 22 trips to the end zone for the B-Spartans.  Daniel Maynard has become more of a runner as the season progressed, chewing up 135 yards on the ground last week against Troy.  Maynard's transition to a runner comes thanks to John Clayton's growth as a quarterback.  Clayton's first varsity game came against Queensbury, and it's safe to say that Clayton has developed since that game.

Queensbury stopped the run attack of Burnt Hills in the first meeting, but might need to watch Clayton's arm in this game.  Queensbury has a strong defense, coming up big when they needed a stop, but has also been open to short pass gains, especially in hurry-up situations.

Queensbury's offense is heavy on the run.  The run outgains their pass by a 24:1 ratio, offering teams little surprise to what the Spartans will do on offense.  However, what usually makes things difficult for the opposition is knowing who will carry the ball.  Queensbury works in the double-wing, and regularly executes double hand-offs before pushing through the line into the secondary.  If that wasn't enough, the Spartans also have 6 regular ball carriers.  Brett Rodriguez will see some carries, but too will Kody Bruno, Phil Wettersten, Kalen Minot, Tim Voorhis and Chris Goudy.  The many back options is a big reason why the Spartans do not have a player over 1,000 yards.

This game could easily turn into a shootout.  But it could also turn into one of the legendary games that gets included in The Post Star's list compiled by Pete Tobey.

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