Friday, October 31, 2014

Thoughts From The Press Box: What Sportsmanship!

QUEENSBURY - You've seen the stories about bad sportsmanship.

From the brawls that took place two weeks ago at Amsterdam and Whitehall to the punch that landed one in jail in Schodack, we've seen examples of awful sportsmanship this month.

Here's a case of great sportsmanship, and it comes via the Queensbury and Averill Park cheerleaders.

After the game wrapped up, the Averill Park cheerleaders walked around the track from the north side of the field to the south end.  And there they stood, cheering their players as they made their way off the field and towards the bus.

They weren't alone.  The Queensbury cheerleaders joined in and cheered as well, offering support for the opposition.  But after the Warriors left the field, the Averill Park cheerleaders, with no obligation to stay on their side of the carpet, stood and continued to cheer as the Queensbury Spartans walked off and made their way towards the locker room.

It isn't a huge gesture, but it's very warming and uplifting to see in a sports world that is being dominated by case after case of awful sportsmanship by fans and players alike.

But it's a gesture we need to see more often.

The Averill Park Warriors first and only drive of the third quarter was long, lasting nearly 10 minutes of game clock and over 17 minutes real time.  

It was dominated by laundry as both teams got flagged several times during the drive.

The drive could have lasted even longer, if the drive didn't end with a fumble around the 20 yard line.

The 2014 Sectional Semifinals will be on FOX Sports Radio 1230 this weekend as the Queensbury Spartans host the Scotia Tartans.  The first time these two teams met, the Scotia Tartans made things close in the first half, taking advantage of some Queensbury miscues.

But the Scotia Tartans saw the Spartans begin to pull away late in the second quarter, capped with Brett Rodriguez's pass to Erik Wettersten for the final play of the half to extend the Spartans lead to 33-17.  

Scotia enters the game having won their last 4 straight since that loss, including last week's 14-12 win over the Bishop Maginn Golden Griffins. 

Coverage begins on FOX Sports Radio 1230 at 1:15PM.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

High School Football: Week 9 Schedule


L2-LaSalle 7, E1-Shenendehowa 34
E2-CBA 38, L1-Shaker 20
Class AA Championship: E2-CBA (8-1) vs. E1-Shenendehowa (9-0) - Fri 11/7 @ 7PM at Bob Ford Field

NW2-Burnt Hills 30, SE1-Amsterdam 13
NW3-Scotia at NW1-Queensbury - Saturday, 1:30PM
Class A Championship: NW2-Burnt Hills (7-2) vs. TBA - Sat 11/8 @ 7PM at Shenendehowa

W2-Broadalbin-Perth 0, R1-Schalmont 49
R2-Cohoes 6, W1-Schuylerville 33
Class B Championship: W1-Schuylerville (9-0) vs. R1-Schalmont (9-0) - Sat 11/8 @ 3PM at Shenendehowa

Both games at Stillwater Central School
4-Corinth vs. 1-Hoosick Falls - Saturday, 1PM
3-Voorheesville vs. 2-Fonda - Saturday, 7PM

Both games at Schuylerville Jr/Sr High School
3-Rensselaer vs. 2-Cambridge - Saturday, 1PM
4-Canajoharie vs. 1-Whitehall - Saturday, 7PM

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thoughts From The Press Box: One upset C-A fan at Corinth gets me thinking about the latest trend

CORINTH - The chess match that is the opening coin toss.

After listening to countless Buffalo Bills games, I question deferring to the third quarter.  Especially if a team has the ability to burn you on the opening drive.

On in the case of Corinth's 27-0 win over Coxsackie-Athens, the opening kick, which was returned in for a touchdown by Alex Jenkins.


I know there's a rhyme and reason for it.  Sometime teams want to show faith in their defense.  Sometimes teams, especially on a rough weather day, want to control what end of the field they defend.

But I digress.  As you can see by the title of the blog, this isn't about the coin toss.

This is about a fan who was on the Coxsackie-Athens side watching the game.  This fan made his presence known through the game, both to the fans and players at Kim Miller Memorial Field, but also those listening in on the radio broadcast, as his barking statements definitely got picked up by the microphones.

After Corinth scored the opening kickoff touchdown, the fan started screaming.  As the game progressed, his barking of support progressed.  Most of it was positive support - along the lines of "0-0, you still got this." and "We need a stop now."  However, he would become more vocal in the fourth quarter.

Midway through the fourth quarter, this fan got agitated after the Indians got flagged for a personal foul face mask penalty, costing the Indians 15 yards, and led to Alex Jenkins' second touchdown of the game to extend the Tomahawks lead to 27-0.

"We better dispute this game," he barked after the penalty was called by the official.  "Our AD will have our back.  This will get overturned."

For much of the remainder of the game, he was silent, but what he gets blogged for would come after the final whistle.  As the referees were making their way off the field, he would begin yelling at them for that call, making it difficult for the refs to leave the field in peace.  Then a skirmish nearly broke out on that end of the field, prompting head coach JP Huslander to stop the handshake line and scream at his sideline "Hey, show some class!"

I'm not sure if this fan was involved in the scrum, but wouldn't be surprised.

This isn't how Coxsackie-Athens needs to be remembered.  The school, 70 miles away from Corinth, had tremendous support from students, fans and family who made the drive up from the community on the banks of the Hudson River in Northern Greene County, about 30 miles south of Albany.  The players never gave cheap shots or tried to play unfair, and the coaching staff was helpful.  The majority of the fans continued cheering their players, never booing once when the call didn't go their way.

This behavior and mentality needs to stop.  This didn't result in anything -- no charges, no actual punches -- and my writing of this is the only press about what transpired after the clock read 0:00.  Both Brett Hudson of the Post-Star and Jeff Scott of the Saratogian notes nothing about it.  And that's good.  Because behavior like this doesn't need to be rewarded with a lot of discussion about it.

Why I am discussing this is because this has became a painful trend in high school sports in the last two weeks.  Most everybody reading this already knows of the mess that occurred in Whitehall on October 18th, with the melee between Whitehall and Rensselaer costing Justin Culligan his job as the Railroaders head coach, and Christian Poczobut having to sit out on Saturday against Holy Trinity.

That's one of four altercations reported here in Section 2 in the last two weeks.  All four, involving players, not fans.

The Amsterdam/Bishop Maginn game on Friday, October 17th was soiled as the teams came together for an altercation that saw players ejected and ineligible for the quarterfinals this past weekend.  In girls soccer, Queensbury and Scotia had a couple players getting a little annoyed with each other during the Foothills Council Championship at Schuylerville the following day.  And the latest incident coming from boys soccer, where a St. Johnsville player punched a Maple Hill player in the face, requiring stitches and resulting in a court appearance date for that St. Johnsville player.  That game was called in the closing seconds.

This needs to stop.

Whether it means the referees calling a tighter game and calling some penalties that would up until two weeks ago be no-calls, or players getting benched longer than one match for excessively bad behavior, something needs to be done to get the focus back on the sport itself, and less about the extracurricular activities that are going on between whistles.

Getting back to the fan who initially started this discussion ... that personal foul flag did not give Corinth the game.  In fact, because Coxsackie-Athens was unable to exploit Corinth's many holding penalties, this game was pretty much in hand for the Tomahawks by the time this incident occured.

I want to finish off by crediting JP Huslander and the 2014 Coxsackie-Athens Indians on a great season.  This is only the fifth winning season the team has seen in around 20 years.  And the first playoff game the Indians have played since 2006.

With quality returning players, we could be talking about the Indians again next year.  But hopefully, by then, this fan will have wised up and will control himself better at one of their games.

Thoughts from the Press Box are the thoughts and opinions of the writer, and is not reflective of the station's management, sponsors or other hosts.

From the Board: Buffalo Bills Observations - Week 8

The Buffalo Bills beat the New York .... wait.  That doesn't sound right.

The New York Jets beat the New York Jets 43-23 ... wait.  That's not right either.

I got it.

The New York Jets offense beat the New York Jets defense 43-23 on Sunday.

The Jets offense, one field goal away from a marquee win against the New England Patriots in Week 7, floundered early as Geno Smith looked awful.

Three first quarter interceptions.  Geno Smith completed more passes to Buffalo defensive backs than he did his own receivers.

And with that, his day was done.

Michael Vick came in and marched his team down the field beautifully, cutting the deficit in half.  But had the Buffalo offense been clicking better, that score would be higher.

Having players take horrible penalties, like that taunting penalty on one Smith's picks, resulted in the Bills putting nothing on the board on the first two of Geno Smith's interceptions.

The Jets turned the ball over six times, and had a seventh overturned.  The Bills, had their offense played a stronger role, could have made this game the third to have a team score greater than 50 points.  And there were moments of greatness, including both Sammy Watkins catches down field -- even if the first ended in a bonehead play that saw him celebrate prematurely.

But at least that play led to a touchdown, unlike some of the premature celebrations that resulted in the ball going the opposite direction.

As the Bills make their way into the bye week, the offense will need some work.  Much of this is adapting to two different players in the backfield, and evolving the playbook to their strengths.  And that will take time, perhaps seeing some signs of light when the Bills retake the field at the Ralph on November 9th against the Kansas City Chiefs.

At 5-3, the Bills find themselves back in the hunt for a wild card spot, a better position to be in than if they were 4-4.  And the Bills are lucky to be 5-3.  Let's be real -- overtime win against Chicago, last-second field goal at Detroit, and last week's miracle drive capping in the touchdown throw to Sammy Watkins.  Three games that could easily have gone the other way, leaving the Bills at 2-6 and searching for answers.

Instead, they're in the hunt.

And this is one of the funniest Vines you'll see from yesterday's game.

We'll meet you back here again in two weeks after the Bills play the Chiefs. Until then, enjoy the full six hours of FOX Sports Radio Blitz next Sunday at 1PM.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Queensbury Pounds (and Passes) their way to Semifinals

QUEENSBURY - It wasn't as easy as their 20th straight win last Friday, but the Queensbury Spartans extended their win streak with their 35-6 win over the Averill Park Warriors in the first round of the Class A Sectional Quarterfinals.

The win improved the Spartans to 8-0, and gives them the right to host Scotia next Saturday in the Sectional Semifinals.

Tyrell Adams scored a pair of touchdowns, with the first coming with over three minutes left, set up by a Chris Goudy 74 yard run to the one yard line, to give the Spartans an 8-0 lead.  He would extend the lead to 16-0 with a 46 yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Averill Park was able to take the ensuing drive in for a touchdown when Garrett Ryan scored on a 59 yard run.

Queensbury's last drive of the first half resulted in a touchdown when Drew Wilson connected with Brandon Kauffman on a 32 yard pass to give the Spartans a 22-6 lead.

Only two plays were needed in the third quarter when Chris Goudy was able to score from 12 yards out to pad Queensbury's lead to 28-6.  Averill Park then marched down the field, but watched as a nearly ten minute drive came up empty as Brandon Cellucci's pitch to Isaiah Moak was fumbled, recovered by the Spartans.

The Spartans helped Averill Park extend that drive with three penalties -- a pass interference, a face mask and encroachment -- all three times on third or fourth down and all resulting in a fresh set of downs for the Warriors.  The fumble ended that drive, and the Spartans converted the turnover into points when Erik Wettersten carried the ball in from 18 yards out to cap the scoring.

Queensbury won without the services of Brett Rodriguez, who was sidelined early with a shoulder injury that saw him leave the field in the first quarter to the bench, and to the locker room before the half.  He was seen leaving in a sling, and was back out on the field to celebrate Queensbury's win in the fourth quarter in that same sling.  Rodriguez could be out for next week's game against Scotia.

They also won despite getting flagged on both offense and defense.  James Kassebaum got nailed with a pair of infractions, including a pass interference call.  So, too, did Tyrell Adams, on offense as he tried to push off to create separation with his defender with Drew Wilson passing.  Erik Wettersten had a huge 60 yard touchdown run called back in the third quarter because of a hold.

Averill Park had their fair share of infractions, but seemed to suffer most when their quarterback, Tim Vermilya, left the game in the third quarter and never returned, speculated to have left in an ambulance.

Tomahawks Return to Sectional Semifinals

CORINTH - The Coxsackie-Athens Indians won the coin toss, and deferred.

They quickly regretted that decision as Alex Jenkins returned the kickoff 85 yards for the touchdown, giving the Tomahawks a lead they would never surrender, beating the Indians 27-0 at Kim Miller Memorial Field.

The Tomahawks (5-3) now will travel to Stillwater where they will face the Hoosick Falls Panthers in the Class C Sectional Semifinals next week.

Coxsackie-Athens (5-3) fumbled their opening drive, and had two other turnovers, as the Indians couldn't get anything going deep in Corinth territory.  The passing game that Zach Girvin has used to get the Indians to the playoffs wasn't a factor, as several passes got dropped by receivers in the cold late October air.

Girvin finished 5-for-18 for 28 yards, throwing an interception on a fourth down play.

Chantz Baudoux's passing game fared the same results for the Tomahawks, with several pass attempts getting dropped in the cold air, as Baudoux went 3-for-8 for 99 yards, boosted by a 68 yard connection to Kory Bennett in the fourth quarter that led to a touchdown.

That led to both teams needing the run game to excel.  Corinth picked up over 150 yards on the ground game, led by Alex Jenkins and Tyler McCarty.  They both had over 50 yards a piece, and was complimented by Baudoux's 36 yards that included a touchdown run in the first quarter.

Corinth could of had more yards on the ground, but saw about 70 total yards called back due to holding penalties during the course of the game.

Coxsackie-Athens was only able to pick up 100 yards on the ground.

After the game, one Coxsackie-Athens fan got irate at the referees and had to be restrained while the two teams were shaking hands at midfield.  In fact, the yelling at the refs was so bad, it prompted Indians coach JP Huslander to yell "Have some class!" towards the sideline.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sectional Quarterfinals: Scoreboard

L4-Colonie 7, E1-Shenendehowa 56
E3-Saratoga 13, L2-LaSalle 41
L2-LaSalle at E1-Shenendehowa - Fri 10/31 7P

L3-Bethlehem 14, E2-CBA 49
E4-Ballston Spa 14, L1-Shaker 41
E2-CBA at L1-Shaker - Fri 10/31 7P

NW3-Scotia 14, SE2-Bishop Maginn 12SE3-Troy 14, NW2-Burnt Hills 42
NW4-Gloversville 30, SE1-Amsterdam 52
NW2-Burnt Hills at SE1-Amsterdam - Fri 10/31 7P

Saturday Game:
SE4-Averill Park 6, NW1-Queensbury 35
NW3-Scotia at NW1-Queensbury - Sat 11/1 1:30P

W4-Johnstown 14, R1-Schalmont 68
R3-Ravena 15, W2-Broadalbin-Perth 36
W2-Broadalbin-Perth at R1-Schalmont - Fri 10/31 7P

R4-Albany Academy 0, W1-Schuylerville 33
R2-Cohoes at W1-Schuylerville - Fri 10/31 7P

Saturday Game:
W3-Glens Falls 42, R2-Cohoes 56

8-Chatham 0, 1-Hoosick Falls 42
5-Coxsackie-Athens 0, 4-Corinth 27
4-Corinth vs. 1-Hoosick Falls - Sat 11/1 7P at Stillwater

Saturday Games:
6-Mechanicville 16, 3-Voorheesville 42
7-Greenwich 20, 2-Fonda 27
3-Voorheesville vs. 2-Fonda - Sat 11/1 1P at Stillwater

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thoughts From The Press Box: A Special Thought about the Whitehall Issue

I sat here this morning, wondering what exactly I would write about here.

Would I talk about the Queensbury/Burnt Hills game, where Queensbury dominated and suffocated Burnt Hills into their first shutout since 2004?

Or would I talk about the other game we covered, where Warrensburg took advantage early and won their first over the Fort Edward Flying Forts. (A recap of that game still to come)

Nah.  Blog entries for both of those games are still to come.

I want to talk briefly about the mess up in Whitehall, where athletes came together and participated in extracurricular activities during their game with the Rensselaer Rams, forcing the officials to call the game short in the third quarter, with Whitehall leading 28-6.

After the game, there are accusations of racial name-calling and choking.  An assistant coach was ejected, and therefore will not be allowed to participate next week for Rensselaer.  And Christian Poczobut was ejected for Whitehall, making him ineligible for this Friday's game against Holy Trinity.

In addition, the Board of Education stripped head coach Justin Culligan of his job.

It should have never come to this.

Through my few times in contact with him for pregame interviews for our high school football broadcasts, Justin Culligan was a helpful man who would bend over backwards to get us the interview.  And the interviews always were very professional.  When he talked about the opposition, he never had a bad thought about them, or their coach.

That's why it's very shocking to me that all this has gone down.  And because of all this activity, Whitehall loses the most out of this.  Not Rensselaer, who is mostly quiet in the aftermath, but Whitehall.  Rensselaer is going to move onto the next opponent without any disruption to their daily routiene.  But Whitehall will have this distraction as they prepare for Holy Trinity.  The kids will have this weighing on their mind.  And their 100th season is now marred because of this fight.  Unless the postseason run turns out with a trophy the last weekend of November, more are going to remember this season for the melee over the 6-1 record that includes their first win over Cambridge since 1989.

And the team loses out on getting to play an old rival.  The C-D crossover week in Week 8 led to some speculation that Whitehall could renew their rivlary with Granville, an opponent whom the Railroaders have a history with, but saw that rivalry extinguish when Section 2 went to classification play in 2004.

I'm not finger pointing here.  I wasn't at Whitehall when this all went down.  I didn't get to see what the onlookers got to see.  But it seems to me like some of the reason why the game went sour was because the referees kept the laundry in their pocket, finally pulling it out when it was too late.  The referees seemed to lose control of the game, with a sign of this coming during the first incident in the second quarter.  The referees only ejected one, the Rensselaer assistant coach, leaving the players unaffected and allowed to still participate.

Then all hell broke loose in the third quarter, leading to the game being called.

You have to wonder if the refs made it known that this activity would not be allowed, and started sending kids to the showers instead of the sidelines, would this have happened?

It could have sent a message.

And maybe people would be talking about the 6-1 Railroaders instead.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

High School Football: Sectional Brackets

The pairings for the 2014 High School Football Sectionals have been released by the Section 2 Seeding Committee.  Class AA/A/B/C is an eight team tournament format, and Class D will be a four team tournament starting in Week 9.

All Saturday games, regardless of class, will be scheduled for 2PM to allow for SAT testing.

FOX Sports Radio 1230 will be broadcasting two of these Quarterfinal games, and will release our schedule on Monday.

UPDATE: Chatham replaces Holy Trinity as the C's #8 Seed.
UPDATE #2: Saratoga at LaSalle now to be held at Watervliet HS.

L4-Colonie at E1-Shenendehowa - Fri 7P
E3-Saratoga vs L2-LaSalle - Fri 7P at Watervliet High School
L3-Bethlehem at E2-CBA - Fri 7P
E4-Ballston Spa at L1-Shaker - Fri 7P

SE4-Averill Park at NW1-Queensbury - Sat 2P
NW3-Scotia at SE2-Bishop Maginn - Fri 7P
SE3-Troy at NW2-Burnt Hills - Fri 7P
NW4-Gloversville at SE1-Amsterdam - Fri 7P

W4-Johnstown at R1-Schalmont - Fri 7P
R3-Ravena at W2-Broadalbin-Perth - Fri 7P
W3-Glens Falls at R2-Cohoes - Sat 2P
R4-Albany Academy at W1-Schuylerville - Fri 7P

8-Chatham at 1-Hoosick Falls - Fri 7P
5-Coxsackie-Athens at 4-Corinth - Fri 7P
6-Mechanicville at 3-Voorheesville - Sat 2P
7-Greenwich at 2-Fonda - Sat 2P

Four team playoff - Both Semifinals at Schuylerville HS on November 1st
3-Rensselaer vs 2-Cambridge - Sat 1P
4-Canajoharie vs 1-Whitehall - Sat 7P

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Matt Shell Interview: Shellstrong Foundation

During the half of our broadcast on Friday between Queensbury and Burnt Hills, we ran a feature with Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell about a foundation that is near and dear to his heart, the Shellstrong Foundation.

As we know there were many of you who were unable to listen to the interview, we're giving you the chance to hear it here online.

If you want to help out the Shellstrong Foundation, click here.

Queensbury blanks Burnt Hills, wins divisional title

BURNT HILLS - Chris Goudy scored a couple first-half touchdowns as the Queensbury defense shuts out the Burnt Hills Spartans 42-0.

The win seals the Northwest Division for the Queensbury Spartans, guaranteeing them home dates for the Quarterfinals and Semifinals of the Class A Sectionals.

It didn't come easy for the defending state champions as the first possession for the Queensbury Spartans ended with Drew Wilson fumbling the ball in the red zone, giving Burnt Hills the ball.

But it quickly became apparent that the Queensbury defense was going to be stingy.

The defense held John Clayton, the Burnt Hills junior quarterback, to 5-for-16 for 57 yards, and was picked off by Terry Karanikas on a fourth and long in the second quarter.

The running game for Burnt Hills also had trouble, with Mike Leveroni running for 22 yards on 7 carries.  Danny Maynard, Burnt Hills leading rusher, only picked up 14 yards on 6 carries, but left the game early in the second half with an ankle injury that kept him on the sidelines for the remainder of the game.

Any attempt Burnt Hills made to get deep in Queensbury territory was met with heavy resistance, resulting in several turnover on downs.

It was Burnt Hills's first loss at home since 2005, when they lost to eventual sectional champion Amsterdam in the semifinals, and the Spartans first shutout since 2004, when the Queensbury Spartans shut them out in a regular season game.

Chris Goudy finished with 115 yards on 17 carries, and Brett Rodriguez had 95 yards on 10 carries.  Rodriguez showed off his arm on an option pass, as he aired it out to an open Keegan O'Leary for a 50 yard gain before Rodriguez ran it in from the 1 yard line.

Queensbury returns home to face Averill Park, who fell into the #4 seed in the Southeast Division after Troy and Amsterdam won their games over Lansingburgh and Bishop Maginn respectively.  Burnt Hills will remain home for their quarterfinal match against Troy next week.  Burnt Hills beat Troy soundly back in Week 3.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Week 7: Queensbury at Burnt Hills

We're off to see the wizard.

Actually, we're heading for the Hills.  Catch live coverage of the Queensbury Spartans and the Burnt Hills Spartans starting at 6:45PM.  And for more coverage during the game, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

We'll be tweeting when we can.  You can also follow The Post-Star's Pete Tobey for more frequent updates from Burnt Hills.

During the pregame, we'll have both coaches, Queensbury coach John Irion and Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell, as they talk about the upcoming game and their game plan.

During the half, Matt Shell will join us once again as he talks about a foundation that is near and dear to his heart, the Shellstrong Foundation.

So be sure to listen, and if you miss the halftime interview, we'll have it up here on the blog for you to listen sometime over the weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 6 Winners & Losers + Week 7 Games To Watch

WINNER: Shaker - We've already talked about Shaker here on this blog, but they get another nod for the manner they disposed of Bethlehem and now are in position to win the division with a win over rival Colonie on Friday.

LOSER: Schenectady - Had the Patriots been better with their extra point conversions, we could be talking about them being in a comfortable position entering the final week of the season to make the playoffs.  Instead they must win their Week 7 game against LaSalle.  A loss eliminates them with no chance for outside help.

Games To Watch
Saratoga Springs (3-3) at Ballston Spa (2-4) - Fri, 7PM: The good news is that Saratoga Springs holds the tiebreaker over Guilderland should they lose, but the bad news would be that if that situation comes to be, they'll be possibly making a trip south to Shaker for the first round, a team who already beat the Blue Streaks this season.  Ballston Spa needs the win to get in.

Colonie (4-2) at Shaker (5-1) - Fri, 7PM: Another year where the Colonie Cup will come into play when it comes to playoff seeding.  And this time it's for the top spot in the Liberty Division.  Shaker has rattled off five straight wins since losing to CBA to start the season, whereas Colonie could wind up with any of the four seeds with this game.  A win guarantees them the #1 seed, but a loss could throw Colonie into a Week 8 meeting at Shenendehowa.

LaSalle (2-4) at Schenectady (3-3) - Fri, 7PM: And this is the game that could throw Colonie as far down as the #4 seed.  A LaSalle win over Schenectady will clinch their berth into the playoffs.  Where they end up as far as seeding is concerned depends on the Colonie/Shaker game as well as the Bethlehem/Columbia game.  Schenectady will have one seed if they win, the #4 seed.

Bethlehem (4-2) at Columbia (1-5) - Fri, 7PM: Back-to-back losses against Colonie and Shaker has Bethlehem in a position where if they make the playoffs, they're going to have to play on the road next week.  The Eagles do not want to open the Quarterfinals against Shenendehowa.

WINNER: Amsterdam - The Rugged Rams were critiqued heavily by onlookers after dropping their first game against Cornwall, and those same came out in masses when they lost to Averill Park.  But last Friday's win against Troy was a statement that the Rugged Rams aren't dead.  And now they have the chance to play for the #1 seed.

LOSER: Troy - It was going to be a season of change for the Troy Flying Horses, but how bad the change was going to affect them on the field is becoming more extreme with each loss.  After losses to Bishop Maginn and Amsterdam, the Flying Horses have no chance at playing at home next week, and now find themselves playing Burnt Hills or Queensbury on the road -- two teams the Flying Horses fell to handily in the regular season.

Games To Watch
Queensbury (6-0) at Burnt Hills (5-1) - Fri, 7PM: The two games between Spartans last year remained close and dramatic until the very end -- with Queensbury coming out winners both times. Many are already talking as these will be the two teams left standing come Week 10. The winner gets the #1 seed and will be guaranteed to play at home in Week 9, but the loser will likely face a road game should they win their first round sectional game.

Bishop Maginn (6-0) at Amsterdam (4-2) - Fri, 7PM: If Bishop Maginn is to walk into the playoffs with the #1 seed, they first must walk out of Amsterdam with a win.  Bishop Maginn can fare no worse than a #2 seed, but Amsterdam can drop down to having to face Burnt Hills or Queensbury in the first round as they lose the tiebreaker against Averill Park.

Averill Park (4-2) at Scotia (4-2) - Fri, 7PM: With the right recipe, this could be the start of a home-and-home series, with Averill Park potentially possessing the Southeast's #2 seed and the Scotia Tartans guaranteed the Northwest's #3 seed.  You probably will see some chess maneuvering that you wouldn't otherwise see, with either team not wanting to release too much of their playbook in the event both will meet the following week.

South Glens Falls (1-5) at Gloversville (2-4) - Fri, 7PM: One playoff spot in Class A isn't set in stone.  The winner of this game will be awarded the #4 seed and will travel to either Bishop Maginn or Amsterdam for the first round next week.  The loser is out of the playoffs and will be playing a crossover game.

WINNER: Cohoes - Exiting their non-divisional game against the Glens Falls Indians, the Tigers looked soft.  They had just lost 40-20 to fall to 1-3.  Since then, the Tigers have won back-to-back games and now find themselves with an opportunity to snatch the #2 seed from Ravena with a win over the Indians at their home debut this Friday night.

LOSER: Johnstown - It was a non-divisional game, but a big statement could have been made had Johnstown held onto their 28-20 lead in the 4th quarter against Ravena.  The Sir Bills, still pushing for their first winning season in nearly 20 years, turned the ball over and yielded two quick touchdowns to give the Indians the victory.

Games To Watch
Ravena (5-1) at Cohoes (3-3) - Fri, 7PM: The Cohoes Tigers have spent all season on the road and are finally coming home after renovations to their field.  And what a big game they will face on their homecoming under portable lights - a chance to snatch away the #2 seed in the Reinfurt Division from the Ravena Indians.  Winner will get to stay at home next week.

Hudson Falls (3-3) at Broadalbin-Perth (4-2) - Fri, 7PM: The Hudson Falls Tigers can make things easier on themselves with a win over the Patriots, as that would secure a playoff spot without having to play spectator at the following day's Johnstown/Glens Falls game.  And with the right ingredients, the Tigers could turn what could be a trip to Rotterdam into a home date next weekend.  Broadalbin-Perth cannot be the #1 team, but can secure their #2 seed with a win at home.

Johnstown (3-3) at Glens Falls (2-4) - Sat, 1:30PM: Last year, the Glens Falls Indians lost their home finale, but still got outside help to continue their playoff streak.  This year, the Indians are on their own.  They need a win, otherwise they will miss the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades.  Johnstown isn't in yet, but a win will push them through to the playoffs.  A loss won't doom them if Broadalbin-Perth beats Hudson Falls, as it would push them into a three-way tie where they hope their quarter points are sufficient enough to make Hudson Falls's loss back in Week 2 matter.

Hudson (2-4) at Albany Academy (2-4) - Sat, 1:30PM: The winner of this game will win the right to travel to Schuylerville for the Quarterfinals next Friday as the Reinfurt's #4 seed.  The loser is out of the playoffs, and will play a crossover game next week.

WINNER: Fonda - The Braves played Westhill strong back in Week 1 at the Carrier Dome.  And held strong against Coxsackie-Athens in the first half before blowing the game open in the second half.  Fonda's playing some great football since their trip to Syracuse and could arguably be the best team in Class C right now, even above Hoosick Falls.  The Braves have allowed only 34 points since Week 1, while averaging over 50 points per game since.

LOSER: Corinth - After back-to-back tough games against Greenwich and Hoosick Falls (and Schuylerville in week 2), the Corinth Tomahawks could have enjoyed homecoming with a tune-up against Schoburg to get them ready for Fonda this week.  However, that game disappeared as Schoburg was forced to forfeit due to injuries.  This week will provide a challenge for Corinth, and it doesn't get any easier from here on out with the playoffs around the corner.

Games To Watch
Fonda (5-1) at Corinth (4-2) - Fri, 7:00PM: Fonda's locked in as one of the top 3 seeds, and Corinth is locked in as one of the middle 3 seeds for the postseason.  So this match could very well be a preview for a playoff game.  With that said, Corinth will be fighting hard after not getting to play last week, and Fonda will want to continue making a statement in Section 2.

Mechanicville (5-1) at Holy Trinity (4-2) - Sat, 1:00PM: The winner clinches the #2 spot in the Central Division, and the loser has to hope their resume is well enough to grab one of the two wild card spots.  Greenwich and Chatham will be watching this game closely as their playoff chances could hang in the balance.

WINNER: Cambridge - After their 21-19 loss to Whitehall in the rain two weeks ago, the Indians bounced back in a big way with their win over Warrensburg.  Ethan English was perfect, Caleb Rowland and Chris Warnke provided English with big plays, and the Cambridge Indians made a statement that the loss at Ambrose Gilligan Field was a small setback and that the Indians are still a contender for the Class D Sectional title.

LOSER: Whitehall - Meanwhile, the Whitehall Railroaders looked well on their way to a 6-0 start by building a 20-0 lead in the first quarter against Hoosic Valley.  But then it fell apart, as the Railroaders allowed 27 unanswered points to trail 27-20 in the third quarter.  Justin Hoagland's kickoff return for a touchdown gave the Railroaders hope to tie the game, but Justin Culligan went for two on a pass attempt, and never saw the lead again as the pass failed.

Games To Watch
Rensselaer (4-2) at Whitehall (5-1) - Sat, 1:00PM: So, according to The Post-Star's Pete Tobey, Whitehall should have enough quarter points should that they lose the game against the Rams, their head-to-head against Cambridge in the first tiebreaker in the quarter points system will yield them the #1 seed.  But after losing to Hoosic Valley, the Railroaders are going to want to make sure they're ready for the playoffs.  Remember, they narrowly beat Canajoharie in Week 1 on a goal-line stance, therefore Justin Culligan will want to make sure that the team is freshly prepped for the battle come Week 9.

Hoosic Valley (5-1) at Cambridge (5-1) - Sat, 1:00PM: Hoosic Valley finishes off the season with an explosive Cambridge Indians offense that, like Whitehall, will want to use this game to gear up for the playoffs come two weeks from this weekend.  The Indians are having an exceptional season, and are hoping to give it an exclamation point with a win over one of the perennial teams to beat.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thoughts From The Press Box: A Friday Night in Moreau

SOUTH GLENS FALLS - Worried about Brett Rodriguez's health entering the season?

No need to worry.  After three special team touchdowns and two more rushing touchdowns, I think Rodriguez is fine.

With or without Rodriguez, the Spartans won the game on the first play of the game, when Juan Escamilla booted an onside kick that the Bulldogs were not prepared for, and the Spartans quickly cashed in with Tyrell Adams run up the middle for the score.

And what a run by Adams, going 97 yards to score to set up the craziest three minutes of football I've ever seen, with two kickoff returns for touchdowns to follow.

Queensbury got to feature their backups early, as some unfamiliar names started to show up in the second quarter for Coach John Irion.  These are the faces who you will be familiarizing yourself with next year, but getting valuable experience now.

In addition, the Spartans got to rest key starters for what's bound to be a 48 minute slugfest down in Burnt Hills, where the winner is guaranteed home dates for Weeks 8 and 9, and the loser may be forced to play on the road come Halloween night.

The Bulldogs have promise.  John Styzcynski has good running ability.  He kept with Tyrell Adams in pursuit during Adams 97 yard touchdown run and followed that up with an 85 yard effort on the ensuing kickoff to give the Bulldogs their first score of the game.

And the Bulldogs aren't out of the playoff chase yet.  With their win over Green Tech, it sets up a win-and-you're-in scenario at Gloversville this Friday.  The winner will claim the final seed in the playoffs, and the loser will be playing crossover games next week.

It's not something Coach Hammond wanted to talk much about in preparation for the game versus Queensbury, but it's something he's reminding the troops about this week at practice.

They still have a shot.
South Glens Falls, as well as Hudson Falls, is a school that gives you a great feeling when you're at a high school football game.

That's because they have something other schools don't have these days.  A pep band.  The sound of the horns and the drums helping electrify the crowd when a big play happens.  Like the feeling you have at a collegiate game, just with a more local, hometown feel.

It helps the atmosphere, and it's a shame schools have cut back on the budgets and forced school music departments to shed away their participation at games.  

Growing up that is one of the things I remember when I was at school at Hudson Falls.  The sound of the band when David Winters would break through the defensive line into the secondary for a huge gain.  Or the play that put the Tigers in for 6.

I just wish more schools that still have a music program would get them involved in their team's home games.  Even if it's for that team's homecoming game -- make the Friday night or Saturday afternoon even better with the sound of the band chiming in with their school spirit.
We had some technical difficulties during our broadcast that prevented us from playing the interviews we conducted with South Glens Falls coach Mike Hammond and Queensbury coach John Irion.

Even though some of these items discussed within these interviews deal with the game itself and therefore outdated, here are the interviews as they were intended to air on Friday night.

Queensbury coach John Irion:

Check this out on Chirbit
South Glens Falls coach Mike Hammond:

Check this out on Chirbit
NEXT BROADCAST: - FRIDAY - Queensbury at Burnt Hills - Coverage begins at 6:45PM

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Perfect English; Indians Remain In The Hunt

CAMBRIDGE - Ethan English was 9-for-9 as he threw for 230 yards and four touchdowns as the Cambridge Indians won their divisional game against the Warrensburg Burghers 49-14.

The win keeps the Cambridge Indians in the hunt for the Class D divisional title.

Caleb Rowland was the recipient of two of English's touchdown tosses, with Jarred Sausville and Chris Warnke being the other two.  
Overall, it was an offense that wasn't seen in the Indians game last week when they fell against Whitehall 21-19 in a game where they turned the ball over six times.

Turnovers were not a concern this time for the Cambridge Indians

The Indians went 7-for-7 on their first 7 drives, converting their offensive opportunities for points.  After receiving the kick to begin the game, Ethan English aired his first pass out to Caleb Rowland for the score on the first play from scrimmage to give the Indians the 7-0 lead.

Warrensburg was able to answer back, scoring on a run up the middle on Szabo's carry, set up by a 4th down play where the Burghers double-handed off and then tossed back to Jake Nemec for the first down conversion.  The two point conversion was no good. 

Cambridge began to pull away thanks to Ethan English and Caleb Rowland to lead 35-6 at the half, and tacked on two more scores in the second half.

The only time Cambridge was unable to convert a drive into points was on their final drive, as the backups fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter.

The Indians close out the regular season by hosting the Hoosic Valley Indians in a game that will not matter for playoff seeding, but will be a good test heading into the postseason.  The Hoosic Valley Indians bounced back from their first loss of the season by handing Whitehall their first loss of the season on Saturday, coming back from a 20-0 deficit after the first quarter to win 41-26.

The Cambridge Indians still have a chance at the #1 seed, as a Rensselaer win next week at Whitehall will result in a three-way tie for first place.  In that case, quarter points will settle who gets the #1 seed for the playoffs, which begin November 1st at Schuylerville.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rodriguez Returns Victory For Spartans

SOUTH GLENS FALLS - Brett Rodriguez scored five touchdowns as the Queensbury Spartans won easily over the South Glens Falls Bulldogs 62-12 on Friday.

The Spartans Junior running back only ran for 95 yards on three carries, but created most of his magic on the special teams, where he ran back two touchdowns on the kickoff and one more on the punt return.

Those special team touchdowns netted Brett Rodriguez 231 special team yards, the longest being 85 yards in the first quarter.

Special teams also led to Queensbury's first score, as the Spartans recovered the onside kick by Juan Escamilla.  The next play, Tyrell Adams scored from 45 yards out to give the Spartans 7-0 lead.

Rodriguez's first of two rushing touchdowns came later in the quarter, making the score 14-0.

Tyrell Adams scored the second of his two touchdowns with a 98 yard touchdown run, kicking off a chain of three straight touchdown plays, including a 90 yard kickoff return by South Glens Falls's John Stcyznski and Rodriguez's 85 yard touchdown kickoff return.

Rodriguez had his second touchdown run from 75 yards out in the second quarter to make the score 42-6.

The Queensbury Spartans capped their scoring with Rodriguez's second kickoff return to start the third quarter, taking the ball 83 yards to make the score 62-6.

The Bulldogs had a tough go offensively, enduring several three-and-outs, before taking advantage of a Queensbury fumble deep in Bulldog territory, capped by Zach Aherns pass to Stcyznski to make the score 62-12.

The easy win for the Spartans allowed them to insert their second-stringers in the second quarter, allowing the starters to rest up for their next game, next Friday at Burnt Hills as Queensbury will face the Spartans in a battle for the top seed in the Northwest Division (coverage on FOX Sports Radio 1230 at 6:45PM next Friday).

The Bulldogs will hope the confidence boost of the late touchdown will follow them into their regular season finale against Gloversville next Friday in a "win-and-you're-in" match where the winner will get the fourth and final seed in the Northwest Division.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Winners & Losers + Week 6 Games to Watch

It's time once again to take a look at the Winners and Losers from Week 5 in high school football, and what games are the ones you're going to want to attend.

Be sure to check out the updated standings page.

Shaker (4-1) - On a Thursday night, the Shaker Blue Bison propelled to the top of the Liberty Division thanks to their win over LaSalle, coupled with a heartbreaking loss for Bethlehem.  After their 34-16 season-opening loss to CBA, the Blue Bison are back and looking to potentially return to Bob Ford Field in November.

Bethlehem (4-1) -
The Eagles have had some narrow victories, including squeezing out a single point win over LaSalle in Week 4.  But an overtime loss to Colonie has opened the door for Shaker, and could be a game that pushes Bethlehem from a potential #1 seed down to a potential #3 seed.

CBA (4-1) at Saratoga Springs (3-2) - Friday, 7PM: The winner of this game will get to play at home come Week 8.  For Saratoga Springs, it's their chance to show they're contenders for the Class AA Sectional Title after dropping games to Shaker and Shenendehowa this season.  CBA is in the same boat, where they want to show they can knock off good competition on their way to the top.

Shaker (4-1) at Bethlehem (4-1) - Friday, 7PM at Bob Ford Field: It's homecoming for the Eagles, and they need the fan support in a big way after dropping their game last Thursday in overtime against Colonie.  A win for Bethlehem will give them a chance to control their own destiny for the #1 seed next week, but a loss, as noted above, could drop them down to the #3 seed.  Shaker still has the Colonie Cup coming up next week, and would love to enter knowing they can win their way to the #1 seed.

Schenectady (3-2) at Colonie (3-2) - Friday, 7PM: Schenectady needs a win as a loss here could force the Patriots into a must-win situation against LaSalle next week in order to save their playoff chances. Colonie yielded a game to LaSalle a few weeks ago, and currently holds the #3 seed by virtue of their win over Bethlehem.  The Garnet Raiders still have a chance for the top seed, and a win here would make next week's Colonie Cup a battle for the #1 seed.  The losing team will have to fight hard next week to keep themselves from having to face Shenendehowa in the first round.  

Bishop Maginn (5-0) - Critics are going to argue that the Bishop Maginn Golden Griffins win over Troy isn't legitimate, with Troy sitting players due to suspensions (see below).  But what is legitimate is their 5-0 record that they possess heading into Week 6, with Lansingburgh and Amsterdam still to round out their schedule.  They haven't won big, but they've done what they needed to in order to remain unbeaten.

Troy (2-3) - Troy makes this list not because of their loss against Bishop Maginn.  The loss hurts -- it makes this week's game against Amsterdam more important, but it's off-field issues that puts the Flying Horses on this list.  22 players and cheerleaders were suspended due to illicit and illegal pranks conducted during Troy's homecoming.  Hopefully the kids who were benched for the game will learn the lesson that there is a time and place, and this wasn't one of them.

Amsterdam (3-2) at Troy (2-3) - Friday, 7PM: It's a key game for both teams -- more for Amsterdam.  Amsterdam doesn't have the tiebreaker over Averill Park, Troy does.  Both teams really doesn't want to travel to face Queensbury or Burnt Hills in the first round.  Amsterdam still have to face Bishop Maginn next week.

Schalmont (5-0) - The Schalmont Sabres didn't just beat Ravena to get full control of the Reinfurt Division last week, they rolled over the Indians and made it look easy.  And with the two basement teams left on their schedule, they can cruise control their way to the #1 seed.

Hudson Falls (3-2) - The Hudson Falls Tigers won their first Jug Game since 1997.  That's great, but what's even better is that they are back in the playoff hunt with that win.  A loss to Glens Falls would have put the Tigers playoff chances on thin ice, needing help from Cobleskill this week to set up a winner-takes-all match next week with Broadalbin-Perth.

Glens Falls (2-3)
- Likewise, the Jug Game loss for the Indians means they need to help themselves if they are going to get into the playoffs.  A way of accomplishing that will be this Saturday when they face Schuylerville, but their win-or-go-home moment will come the final week of the season when they host Johnstown.

Cohoes (2-3) at Albany Academy (2-3) - Saturday, 2PM: The final stop on the Cohoes Tigers road trip will be at Albany Academy, where the Cadets will hope to gain the edge over the Tigers for the #3 seed in the Reinfurt.  Win or lose, Cohoes will have a chance to play for the #2 seed next week when they host Ravena, but a win will clinch them a spot in the playoffs.

Schuylerville (5-0) at Glens Falls (2-3) - Saturday, 1:30PM: The Indians suffered injuries to their quarterback and running back in their Jug Game loss, and hope to have them back for a battle with division-leading Schuylerville.  A win for Glens Falls makes things very interesting for the division entering Week 7, and a loss will clinch the Black Horses the #1 seed.

Greenwich Witches (4-1) - The Witches looked rough in their loss to Corinth in Week 4.  They looked more polished in their win over a previously unbeaten team that until Week 5, had only given up 16 points and never trailed in a game.  The win should help Greenwich earn the support they need to be one of the wild card teams in the upcoming playoffs.

Coxsackie-Athens (4-1) - Coxsackie-Athens exhibited why extra points matter in their loss to Greenwich.  They converted none of their extra point tries, only getting six for their three touchdowns, which ended up being the margin that they lost to the Witches by.  It should be a lesson that the Indians take into their next match...

Coxsackie-Athens (4-1) at Fonda-Fultonville (4-1) - Saturday, 2PM: Since returning from their loss to Westhill at the Carrier Dome in Week 1, the Braves have outscored their opponents by an average of 50-7 per game.  And the Braves appreciate last week's loss against Greenwich, as it shows them some ways on film that Coxsackie-Athens can be beat.  Coxsackie-Athens is having a great season, and a win here will be an exclamation point.  The winner clinches the Southern Division.

Whitehall Railroaders (5-0) - It wasn't pretty, but the Whitehall Railroaders took advantage of six Cambridge turnovers as they remain undefeated.  The win doesn't give the Railroaders the #1 seed for the playoffs just yet, as Rensselaer could be a determining factor when they come to Ambrose Gilligan Field next Saturday.  However, the Railroaders are chugging down the tracks with their first win over Cambridge since 1989.

Fort Edward (0-5) -
The Fort Edward/Argyle Flying Forts had one last opportunity to remain in the playoff race, but that came to an end with their loss to Canajoharie that cemented the four teams who will be playing at Schuylerville come November 1st.  The Flying Forts and the Warrensburg Burghers are outside looking in, and will meet to see which team will scoop up their first win of the season next Saturday.

Canajoharie (2-3) at Rensselaer (3-2) - Friday, 7PM: The Rams, with a win, will still have a shot at a top seed, but will need to win out their final two games and then hope they have enough Quarter Points to top Whitehall and Cambridge.  Canajoharie doesn't want to sit as the #4 seed, and can do something about that with a win on Friday.  A Canajoharie win will clinch the #1 seed for Whitehall.

Thoughts from the Press Box: Unbeaten No More

WHITEHALL - One team had to experience their first loss of the season in the rain at Ambrose Gilligan Field on Saturday.

That team turned out to be the Cambridge Indians, who fumbled their way to a 21-19 loss against the Whitehall Railroaders to fall a game behind Whitehall for the top spot in Class D.

While the win gives Whitehall the edge in the playoff chase, it ultimately doesn't matter, as with Canajoharie's win over the Fort Edward/Argyle Flying Forts, it settled which four teams would be playing come November 1st at Schuylerville High.

Whitehall, Cambridge, Rensselaer and Canajoharie will make up the field for the Class D Sectional, with Fort Edward and Warrensburg playing in Week 7 to see which team will win their first game of the season.

It was a game that Whitehall got comfortable playing early, though we didn't see the magic that either team was known for through the first four weeks of the season.  With the rain, it made the passing game nearly extinct.

We didn't get to see Ethan English at his finest.  We didn't get to see Justin Hoagland at his finest.  Which is a shame, because on the top of their game, both quarterbacks would have electrified their offenses with their ability to both run and pass.

But maybe that makes this the appetizer for what could be another meeting between these teams on Saturday, November 8th in the Sectional Championship at Schuylerville.

Let's just hope for a dry day then.

The weather not only impacted the play on the field, it impacted our broadcast.  We were inside the press box, protected by the elements, however, thanks to a surprisingly good crowd that came out in support despite the rain, the elements made things hard for us.

The press box at Ambrose Gilligan Field is on even level with the top level of the bleachers, requiring us on several occasions to peek around supporters whose umbrellas were blocking our view.  If it wasn't for Tim Drawbridge or The Post-Star's Pete Tobey, I'm not sure how we would have made it through the broadcast with as much accuracy as we did.

We can write it off as just another challenge we have faced in our 33rd football broadcast in the last three years we've been doing this.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thoughts From The Press Box: The Jug Game

GLENS FALLS - It was a beautiful night, with a beautiful atmosphere.  Under the whirl of portable lights, thousands made their way to the corner of Sherman and Clayton for the 42nd edition of this rivalry game against the Glens Falls Indians and the Hudson Falls Tigers.

It was an exciting game.  Two teams, fighting for their playoff lives, giving their all on the field.  One team managing two key injuries in-game, with their replacements performing very well.  The other pushed their running back into the record books for one of the most yards rushing in a single game.  And a great atmosphere too, with Glens Falls celebrating their homecoming with the parade of floats at the half.

But one play changed the path of the game, and it's a play that needs to be talked about.  If you heard our coverage, the other radio station's, or the television coverage that has aired this week, you know what play that is.

Glens Falls had a 21-20 lead heading into the final minute of the second half.  Hudson Falls is driving, and managed to get the ball up to the Glens Falls 8 yard line.  11 seconds left on the clock, clock stopped as the previous play went out of bounds.

The Hudson Falls Tigers took their time breaking huddle and got set with just a few seconds on the play clock.  That play clock went down 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... 0 ... and sat there for a second before Hudson Falls snapped the ball.  Dalton Hogan would pass it off to his left to an open Schuyler Eustis for the touchdown that put the Tigers ahead 26-20.

To the nine people inside the press box, immediately rose the inquiry of why it wasn't flagged for Delay of Game.  And it was a major play, too.  Hudson Falls took the lead for good with that play, and won their first jug since 1997 with their 43-35 win.

Now comes the "what if's?".  And the debate.  Is Hudson Falls's win legitimate?

In my mind, the win is.  Not because I'm a Hudson Falls alum and wanted to see the Tigers score the jug for the first time since the fall after I graduated.  But because of several factors.

First, and this is something that was mentioned on the television broadcast by Brian Delaney, as well as his partner, Bob Freeman, for LookTV. There were numerous Glens Falls defenders who did not play the full down because they were expecting the flag, allowing Eustis to get wide open for the touchdown score.  While there should have been the flag and a whistle to stop play, the players have got to know that no matter what, you have to play until you hear that whistle blow, meaning the lapse on D is partially theirs to blame there.

Second, we don't know how Hudson Falls would have played that down if they did get penalized and it was at the 13 yard line instead of the 8.  Would Geno Brancati, who was doing very well during that drive, continue to run it up the gut, or would Hogan try to pass like he did on the actual play?  Would Glens Falls stop him in time?  Would Hudson Falls have enough time to get into the end zone?  We don't know.

Third, Glens Falls had ample opportunities to get the touchdown back, including with 3 seconds left in the half.  Granted, with 60 yards to cover and one play to do it in, it would take a Hail Mary type play from a quarterback who was just thrown in because of the injury to the starter, but it was an avenue worth exploring if the Indians were hoping to get the touchdown back.

In addition, the Indians defense came up big on the first Hudson Falls drive of the 3rd quarter, forcing them to punt, but was unable to do anything offensively.

So, while it was a play that altered course, it was one which Glens Falls could have played differently, and could have gotten back.  But it still is a play that needs to be examined, and something that the regional associations of game officials need to talk about moving forward to make sure that it doesn't happen again, because it could one day be a critical mistake at an end of a game where the team affected won't have any time left on the clock.

And what a mess that will be.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cambridge Fumbles Control of Class D

WHITEHALL - The Cambridge/Salem Indians lost four fumbles and threw for two interceptions as they fell to the Whitehall Railroaders 21-19 at a rainy Ambrose Gilligan Field in Whitehall.

The loss, their first of the season, drops them to 4-1 on the season, and gives Whitehall control of their own destiny in Class D with two weeks left to play in the regular season.  The Railroaders, now 5-0, face Hoosic Valley next week and Renssealer to finish the season.

Whitehall took control early when Brad Hanna found the end zone from 3 yards out, then tacked on two more when he was bounced the snap on the fake to give the Railroaders the 8-0 lead.  Cambridge would then be forced to punt late in the quarter, when Cody LaRock returned a blocked punt for the score to make it 14-0.

Cambridge was able to find the end zone in the second quarter, when Chris Warnke ran it in from 38 yards out.  However, they failed the two-point conversion to trail 14-6 at the half.

Both teams suffered turnovers in the third quarter, when Justin Hoagland fumbled the kickoff trying to stretch out his return.  But Cambridge's gift turned into nothing after they fumbled the ball back to the Whitehall Railroaders.  Justin Hoagland then made up for his earlier mistake as he made it to the far sideline and beat the defense to extend Whitehall's lead.

On the ensuing drive, Cambridge answered with Caleb Rowland's 34 yard touchdown run, but still was down by two possessions when their conversion try failed on a botched snap.

That would become critical as Cambridge drove the field to end the third quarter, and found success on the first play of the fourth quarter as Ethan English connected with Todd Gorman for the 5 yard touchdown pass.  The extra point was good, and the Whitehall lead was down to 2.

The rest of the game saw Cambridge try to drive for the go-ahead score, but failed to convert.  When passing became critical for Ethan English, he turned it over twice, first by Brian McLaughlin and then by Justin Hoagland, allowing the Railroaders to knee it at the end to finish off the victory.

Hudson Falls saves their season as they win the Jug

GLENS FALLS - Under the portable lights, the Hudson Falls Tigers did something they haven't done since 1997.

They won the Jug.

Behind a monster effort from Geno Brancati, the Hudson Falls Tigers took advantage of Glens Falls penalties as they won 43-35.

Brancati carried the ball 333 yards, etching his name on the Section 2 list for most yards in a single game, joining David Winter and Joe McMurry as Tiger representatives in the record book.

It didn't come easy for the Tigers, who trailed into the second quarter, and first taking the lead on a Taylor Lane pick six off from a pass by Indians Josh Griffin.  The Indians recaptured the lead on a Nolan Murphy touchdown score.

With 13 seconds left to go in the second quarter, Dalton Hogan connected with Schuyler Eustis as the Tigers took the lead for good, taking a 28-21 lead into halftime.

The Hudson Falls Tigers would add a pair of touchdowns in quick succession in the fourth quarter to ice the victory, but had to sweat things out as the Indians closed the gap to 8 in the fourth quarter.

The win saves Hudson Falls's season, as a loss combined with a Broadalbin-Perth win against Johnstown would make it impossible for the Tigers to make the postseason.  Instead, it gives the Tigers the upper hand should they tie either Glens Falls or Cobleskill-Richmondville for the final playoff spot, now owning the tiebreaker over both of those teams.

The Indians had to contend with injuries, as both Reed Miner and Josh Griffen left the game in the second quarter.  Trainers were looking at Reed Miner's ankle, while it was an hip issue for Josh Griffen.  Nolan Murphy replaced Josh Griffen, and Aaron Sampson transferred from his position as a wide receiver to take over the role of Reed Miner.

The Indians are at home as they face the Schuylerville Black Horses next Saturday, while the Hudson Falls Tigers face a non-conference match against Class A's Mohonasen.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

HS Football: Week 5 Schedule

It's an early start to Week 5 as the celebration of Yom Kippur on Friday has some teams scheduling their games on Thursday Night.  Add in a few homecomings, and you have an abnormal week as far as the schedule is concerned.

But there are some good games this week, and I invite you to check out the Winners & Losers blog entry to find out which ones I think will be the games to watch this week.

Thursday Games
All games start at 7:00PM unless otherwise noted
* denotes Non-Conference/Non-Divisional

Albany (0-2, 0-4) at Saratoga Springs (1-1, 2-2)
Bethlehem (2-0, 4-0) at Colonie (1-1, 2-2)
LaSalle (1-1, 1-3) at Shaker (2-0, 3-1)
Schenectady (0-2, 2-2) at Columbia (0-2, 1-3)
Shenendehowa (2-0, 4-0) at Ballston Spa (1-1, 1-3)

Green Tech (0-4, 0-4) at Niskayuna (0-4)*

Friday Games
All games start at 7:00PM unless otherwise noted
* denotes Non-Conference/Non-Divisional

Troy (2-0, 2-2) at Bishop Maginn (2-0, 4-0)

Scotia (2-2, 2-2) at Cobleskill-Richmondville (0-3, 1-3)*

Schuylerville (3-0, 4-0) at Albany Academy (1-2, 2-2)* - 3:00PM
Cohoes (1-1, 1-3) at Ichabod Crane (0-3, 0-4)
Hudson Falls (1-2, 2-2) at Glens Falls (1-1, 2-2)
Johnstown (2-1, 3-1) at Broadalbin-Perth (1-1, 2-2)
Ravena (3-0, 4-0) at Schalmont (2-0, 4-0)

Taconic Hills (1-2, 1-3) at Hudson (1-2, 1-3)*

Corinth (3-0, 3-1) at Hoosick Falls (1-0, 4-0)
Coxsackie-Athens (3-0, 4-0) at Greenwich (2-1, 3-1)*
Lake George/Hadley-Luzurne (0-4, 0-4) at Mechanicville (2-1, 3-1)*
Voorheesville (3-0, 4-0) at Tamarac (0-3, 0-4)
Watervliet (2-1, 2-2) at Holy Trinity (2-1, 2-2)

Saturday Games
All games start at - AA-A-B 1:30PM; C-D 1:00PM - unless otherwise noted
* denotes Non-Conference/Non-Divisional

CBA (1-1, 3-1) at Guilderland (1-1, 3-1) - 7:30PM

Gloversville (1-1, 2-2) at Queensbury (2-0, 4-0)
South Glens Falls (1-1, 1-3) at Burnt Hills (2-0, 3-1)
Lansingburgh (0-2, 1-3) at Amsterdam (1-1, 2-2) - 3:00PM
Mohonasen (1-3, 1-3) at Averill Park (2-2, 2-2) - 7:15PM

Cairo-Durham (1-2, 1-3) at Chatham (1-2, 2-2)
Stillwater (0-3, 0-4) at Granville (1-2, 1-3)*
Fonda-Fultonville (3-0, 3-1) at Schoburg (0-3, 0-4) - 3:00PM

Cambridge/Salem (3-0, 4-0) at Whitehall (3-0, 4-0)
Rensselaer (2-1, 2-2) at Hoosic Valley (3-0, 4-0)
Canajoharie (1-3, 1-3) at Fort Edward/Argyle (0-4, 0-4)

Not all stations are available in all areas.

Thursday, Oct. 2
7:00: LaSalle at Shaker, TWCS

Friday, Oct. 3
7:00: Johnstown at Broadalbin-Perth, WIZR 930 AM/102.9 FM, WENT 1340/105.1
7:00: Hudson Falls at Glens Falls, WWSC 1450 AM, WMML 1230 AM, LookTV**
7:00: Scotia at Cobleskill, WSDE 1190/94.3
7:00: Lake George/Hadley-Luzurne at Mechanicville,
**LookTV airs tape-delay Sunday @ 8PM

Saturday, Oct. 4
1:00: Canajoharie at Fort Edward, WKAJ 1120 AM
1:00: Cambridge at Whitehall, WMML 1230AM
1:00: Stillwater at Granville,
1:30: Gloversville at Queensbury, WWSC 1450 AM
3:00: Lansingburgh at Amsterdam, WCSS 1490 AM