Saturday, November 29, 2014

Queensbury vs. Indian River: Things to Know:

Queensbury Spartans (12-0) vs. Indian River Warriors (12-0)

Start Time: Approximately 3PM.

As Queensbury/Indian River is the second of two games at the Carrier Dome, the game will not begin until after Schalmont/Maine-Endwell wraps up.

That game is scheduled for Noon.

After those two teams are done, they both will meet at mid-field for the awards presentation and championship photo.

Only after all that is done will both Queensbury and Indian River be allowed on the field to warm up.

So it could take upwards of 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game before the kick-off between Queensbury & Indian River.  Case in point, Hoosick Falls and Chenango Forks finally kicked off at 3:40PM, held back because the Chester/Randolph game ran long.

Home Team: The Western Semifinal winners are the home teams this year at the Carrier Dome, therefore, Indian River will be the home team and will sit on the Press Box side.  Queensbury will be the away team and will sit on the far sideline.  It's opposite of last year's setup, when Queensbury was the home team.

Admission: Admission to the Carrier Dome is $10, which includes the Class B Championship before it between the Schamont Sabres and Maine-Endwell Spartans (kick at Noon).

Parking: There are parking lots a couple blocks to the west of the Carrier Dome, at $10 per car.

Directions: There are several ways you can get to the New York Thurway from the Queensbury area,

  • Take the Northway SOUTH to Exit 15.  Hang a right on the exit ramp for Route 50 SOUTH to Route 29 WEST.  Follow signs for Route 29, heading onto Route 9N past the Hospital before taking a left on WEST AVE.

    Take WEST AVE to Route 29, and take a RIGHT.  Route 29 WEST will take you into Fulton County and JOHNSTOWN.  At Route 30A, take a left and follow signs to the Thruway, taking you into Fonda and Fultonville, where you will catch the New York State Thruway.  Take the Thruway (I-90) WEST towards Buffalo. [$4.75 toll to Syracuse]
  • Take the Northway SOUTH to Exit 12, Route 67.  Take a right for Route 67 WEST towards Ballston Spa, and follow the road through Ballston Spa towards Amsterdam.  In Amsterdam, take Route 30 SOUTH to the Thruway. [$5.15 toll to Syracuse]
  • Take the Northway SOUTH all the way to Albany, catching the New York State Thruway WEST at Exit 1W.  [$6.35 toll to Syracuse]
Once in Syracuse, take Exit 36 for Interstate 81.  Pay the toll and take Interstate 81 SOUTH.  Follow Interstate 81 for about 3 miles to Exit 18 (which is right after I-690), Harrison Street/Adams Street.

Keep left at the fork on the ramp for Adams Street, travelling under I-81 for about 1/2 mile.  Take a left onto Adams Street, looking for Irving Street.  Take a right onto Irving Street and continue for a half mile until you find the Carrier Dome parking on your right.

Travel Time: 3 hours, not including stops.  Keep in mind Sunday is a major travel day for people returning from the Thanksgiving holiday, therefore roads may be more congested than normal.

Weather: There's a slight chance of rain showers in Syracuse, with temperatures in the low-to-mid 40's.

Thoughts from the Press Box: Kingston Musings

Last year, Cornwall made Queensbury fans sweat as Tyler Peddie was able to make it in to claw the Dragons within a point of the Spartans.

Especially when they went for two.

Mitchel Crispens batted the ball away and Queensbury was one step closer to their first state title.

This year, Cornwall made Queensbury sweat in a great renewal of a game between two teams that deserved to advance to the Dome.

This time, Queensbury came up with the defensive stops when they needed it most, and they were able to win 28-21 to advance to this Sunday's game at the Dome.

It was a game Queensbury really needed.  Very few times this season would Queensbury be required to give their starters a full 48 minute game.  Outside of the Scotia game in Week 9, the outcome wasn't really in doubt in any of their games entering the fourth quarter.  Some games were closer than others, but for the most part, Queensbury had a cushion entering the final frame.

But here, like last year, Cornwall forced Queensbury to have to play a full game with their #1 crew on the field.  It showed that the Spartans have the agility to play four full quarters if they need to.

It would seem like that's a minor thing, but when you get deeper into the tournament, and the teams get stronger, there lies the lingering question of whether or not a team will start to crumble the closer the clock reads 0:00 in the fourth quarter.

Queensbury didn't here.  And because of that, they should be ready to go for the Championship Game.

Penalties: The Queensbury Spartans and the Cornwall Green Dragons executed a mostly penalty-free game.  A lot of that can be at the result of John Irion's attempt to clean up some of the mental mistake penalties, like the holds that have called back several touchdowns during the season.

The Spartans had no holding calls on Friday.  

In fact, the first penalty flag flew in the second quarter, when Erik Wettersten was slapped with a "Hit to the Head" penalty that ultimately resulted in a Cornwall touchdown.   It was the first of two of those penalties for the junior, and Wettersten should be counting his blessings that he wasn't deemed ineligible for the championship.

Penalties like that are something Wettersten needs to watch out for, because in this era we live where concussions are a major concern, they are going to be flagging that more often on all levels of football from prep to the pros.  

After the game, I was outside taking some pictures while they were handing out the honors.  As Jeffrey Underhill was noted as the Defensive Player of the Game for Queensbury, there were people nearby muttering that Underhill "had a good game, but not as good as Erik's".

Not to take away from Underhill's game and award, but Erik Wettersten's name may have been dropped from consideration for that defensive award because of those two personal foul penalties.


Cambridge: The Cambridge Indians fumbled away their chances to play for the State Championship as their first three drives resulted in turnovers.

The Indians ran into a strong squad in the Hambletonians, and with a strong squad, you cannot give them special opportunities.  While the first turnover shouldn't have been called a turnover as the player was out of bounds before it happened, the second turnover on the throw by Ethan English was poorly-advised, and the third was a horrible ball exchange.

Cambridge had their opportunities, especially the one gifted to them when the refs missed a fumble deep in Hambletonian territory late in the game, which ultimately led to Caleb Rowland's touchdown to the right side.  

But the turnovers hurt.  Badly.

The Indians had a great season, making it one step deeper than they did last year when they were knocked off by the Moriah Vikings in the regional round.


Syracuse-bound: For the third time in as many years, we're heading to Syracuse to cover a State Championship.  It's something I never thought would happen when we made plans to start broadcasting local high school sports, and will reflect on that more on a special "Thoughts from the Press Box" come Sunday morning.

We'll be on the air live from the Carrier Dome approximately 2:45PM, when things wrap up after the Schalmont/Maine-Endwell game.

For those who expecting the Buffalo Bills on FOX Sports Radio 1230, be advised we are moving the Bills broadcast to our sister station, CBS Sports Radio 1410 (WENU) so that we can carry the Championship game.

NYSPHSAA State Championship Schedule

All games at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse
The Western State Representative will be the home team for all five games

Class D Championship
IX-Chester Hambletonians (10-3) 41, VI-Randolph Cardinals (12-1) - 48

Class C Championship
II-Hoosick Falls Panthers (12-1) 14, IV-Chenango Forks Blue Devils (11-1) 20

Class AA Championship
IX-Newburgh Free Academy Goldbacks (10-3) 20, VI-Jamestown Red Raiders (12-1) 41

Class B Championship
II-Schalmont Sabres (12-0) vs. IV-Maine-Endwell Spartans (12-0) - Noon

Class A Championship
II-Queensbury Spartans (12-0) vs. Indian River Warriors (12-0) - 3 p.m.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Section 2 Teams Who Have Played at Syracuse

Since the State Tournament began in 1993
Local teams in bold; State Champions in CAPS

1993: No Section 2 representatives

1994: Rensselaer (D-lost to Caledonia-Mumford 36-20); Hudson (C-lost to Walton 28-18)

1995: Rensselaer (D-lost to Caledonia-Mumford 41-0); AMSTERDAM (B-beat Lake Shore 11-8); Shenendehowa (A-lost to Jamestown 32-18)

1996: WATERVLIET (C-beat LeRoy 20-19); Ravena (B-lost to Springville 9-0); TROY (A-beat Whitesboro 27-13)

1997: Queensbury (A-lost to Vestal 14-11); Troy (AA-lost to Fairport 35-14)

1998: Lake George (D-lost to Maple Grove 39-6)Queensbury (A-lost to Aquinas 33-16); TROY (AA-beat Fairport 26-9)

1999: CAMBRIDGE (D-beat Clymer 28-0); Troy (AA-Lost to Webster 35-18)

2000: Fort Edward (D-lost to Doldgeville 55-3)

2001: Cambridge (C-lost to Delhi 39-21)

2002: Shenendehowa (AA-lost to Webster-Schroeder 28-7)

2003: Cambridge (D-lost to Onondaga 41-21); Hoosick Falls (C-lost to Caledonia-Mumford 30-26)

2004: No Section 2 representatives

2005: Cambridge (D-lost to Randolph 35-6); AMSTERDAM (A-beat Geneva 35-14)

2006: Albany Academy (B-lost to Geneva 33-7)

2007: Lansingburgh (A-lost to Aquinas 34-12)

2008: Burnt Hills (A-lost to Sweet Home 35-28)

2009: Burnt Hills (A-lost to Sweet Home 34-7)

2010: Schalmont (B-lost to Hornell 50-20); Troy (AA-lost to Rush-Henrietta 40-28)

2011: Burnt Hills (A-lost to Maine-Endwell 27-20)

2012: HOOSICK FALLS (C-beat Hornell 34-21); Glens Falls (B-lost to Maine-Endwell 42-12); BURNT HILLS (A-beat Sweet Home 40-20)

2013: Schalmont (B-lost to Maine-Endwell 22-21); QUEENSBURY (A-beat Williamsville North 36-7)

2014: Hoosick Falls (C-lost to Chenango Forks 20-14); Schalmont (B-lost to Maine-Endwell 27-19); Queensbury (A-lost to Indian River 63-38)

2015: Greenwich (C-lost to Chenango Forks 42-7); Schuylerville (B-lost to Cazenovia 22-19); Saratoga Springs (AA-lost to Aquinas Institute 44-19)

Déjà Vu - Queensbury is Syracuse-bound again

KINGSTON - For the third time in three years, a North Country team will be playing at the Carrier Dome.

The Queensbury Spartans will play for the NYSPHSAA Class A Championship next Sunday after beating the Cornwall Green Dragons 28-21.

Tyrell Adams scored three touchdowns, including a 61 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, to extend the Spartans lead to 28-13.

Cornwall spotted the Spartans a 14-0 lead after Brett Rodriguez set up his one yard touchdown run after somehow catching a 37 yard pass from Drew Wilson with teammate Keegan O'Leary and two Cornwall defenders also vying for the ball.

But the Green Dragons were able to drive down the field, capping a 2:22 drive with Matt Robinson's three yard touchdown run to half the deficit with 52 seconds left in the first half.  The touchdown was aided by Erik Wettersten's personal foul penalty for a hit to the head that gave the Green Dragons bonus yards.  The Spartans ran out the clock on the ensuing drive, and kicked off to the Green Dragons to start the third quarter.

But the Green Dragons were unable to do anything, and the Spartans began a punishing eight minute drive that would wear down the Green Dragons, finished by Tyrell Adams's three yard touchdown run, his second of the game.

After both teams traded six points, including Adams 61 yard run up the left side with Drew Wilson as a lead blocker, the Cornwall Green Dragons clawed within one possession with Kevin Gangemi's three yard touchdown run with 2:20 left to play.

An onside kick attempt failed, as the Spartans were able to retrieve the ball at the 45 yard line.  Cornwall then used all three of their timeouts to stop the clock, but found themselves helpless when Erik Wettersten was able to seal victory with his three yard run for the first down with less than two minutes to play.

Drew Wilson took two knees, and the Queensbury Spartans celebrated their second straight semifinal victory over the Cornwall Green Dragons.

Last year, Queensbury had to hold on, needing a Mitchell Crispens deflection on a two point conversion try that would have given Cornwall a 29-28 lead with over three minutes to play.  Instead, the Green Dragons trailed, and Kody Bruno iced the game with his touchdown run to make it 36-27.

The Queensbury Spartans have won their 25th straight game, and will face Indian River in the Championship at the Carrier Dome on Sunday.  The Warriors beat Irondequoit in the Western Semifinals 49-22.

It is the second straight trip to the Carrier Dome for Queensbury, who last year claimed the Class A title when they beat the Williamsville North Spartans (Section 6) 36-7.  This is Queensbury's fourth trip to Syracuse overall, going in back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998.

#2 CORNWALL (11-1):       0   7   0  14  21
#1 QUEENSBURY (12-0):   8   6   8   6   28

1st Quarter:
02:43 - Tyrell Adams (QSBY) - 8 yard run.  (Adams run) - 0-8

2nd Quarter:
03:14 - Brett Rodriguez (QSBY) - 1 yard run.  (kick blocked) - 0-14
00:52 - Matt Robinson (CORN) - 3 yard run.  (Growney kick) - 7-14

3rd Quarter:
0:30 - Tyrell Adams (QSBY) - 3 yard run.  (Adams run) - 7-22

4th Quarter:
09:28 - Kobie Thomas from Jason Bailey (CORN) - 8 yard pass.  (pass failed) - 13-22
05:56 - Tyrell Adams (QSBY) - 61 yard run.  (run failed) - 13-28
02:20 - Kevin Gagemi (CORN) - 3 yard run. (Peddie from Bailey pass) - 21-28


The NYSPHSAA Class A Championship
Queensbury Spartans (12-0) vs. Indian River Warriors (12-0)
Sunday, November 30th, 2014 - 3PM

IF YOU GO: The Carrier Dome is on the campus of Syracuse University.  Take the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) Westbound towards Syracuse/Buffalo. 

Take Exit 36 for Interstate 81, Syracuse/Watertown.

Follow Interstate 81 South to Exit 18 (right after Interstate 690), Harrison Street/Adams Street.

Keep left for Adams Street, traveling underneath Interstate 81 for about 1/2 mile.  Take a left onto Adams Street, then look for Irving Street.  Take a right and continue for 1/2 mile until you find the parking lot on the right.

TOLLS: $4.75 from Fonda-Fultonville (Exit 28); $5.15 from Amsterdam (Exit 27); $6.35 from Albany (Exit 24)
ADMISSION: $10 (includes admission to the early game - Schalmont vs. Maine-Endwell at Noon) + fees.  [Purchase Tickets Online]

Travel Time: Approximately 3 hours.  Please bear in mind that Sunday is a major return day for travelers from the long holiday weekend, and therefore traffic may be heavier than normal on Interstate 90.

IF YOU DON'T GO: We will have the live broadcast from Syracuse on FOX Sports Radio 1230 beginning at approximately 2:45PM, depending on when the Class B Semifinal game wraps up.  

In addition, there will be television coverage on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, Channel 50 here in the Glens Falls area.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cambridge fumbles in Kingston, falls to Hambletonians 47-14

KINGSTON - The Cambridge Indians had three drives to start off their afternoon at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.

They all ended in turnovers.  Two fumbles and a pass intercepted, all which allowed the Chester Hambletonians to build a lead that they would not relinquish.

One of those two fumbles came on an attempt to double hand-off, as Jarred Sausville did not get firm control of the football, bouncing off the turf and recovered by a Chester defender in Hambletonian territory.  

The Cambridge Indians were able to get the ball up to the Hambletonian 23 yard line before the fumble.  

The Hambletonians were not able to generate any points from that fumble, already up 12-0, leading to the only punt between either team all game. 

Chester would add eight more before Cambridge would finally get some points on the board, but needed the help of the officials.  In the red zone, Ethan English pitched the ball over to Caleb Rowland, who ran to the right and was tackled.  He lost the football in the process, covered up by the Hambletonians.  But the referees blew the whistle too early on the forward progress, keeping the ball in Cambridge's possession.

A few plays later, Ethan English threw a ball to the left side of the end zone, but did not complete his pass as time expired in the second quarter.  However, a pass interference penalty gave Cambridge an untimed down, which they took advantage of to score their first seven points when Caleb Rowland ran the ball from the right side for the touchdown.

However, the second half became the half of Angel Suarez, churning up large quantities of yardage per play as he helped put more points on the board for the Hambletonians.  Cambridge was able to answer back once for a touchdown, but then the Hambletonians stamped their second straight trip to Syracuse with Suarez's second and third touchdowns of the half.

It put the Indians in a deep hole they were unable to get out of, as the Hambletonians went on win 47-14, setting Chester up with a rematch of last year's State Championship as they face the Randolph Cardinals next Saturday at Noon.

The Cambridge Indians finished with five fumbles.  Ethan English was not able to show off some of his magic that he showed teams in Section 2 after their other loss this season when they lost to the Whitehall Railroaders 21-19 on a soggy afternoon in October.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

On The Road Again: Heading to Kingston

On the road again.

We're hitting the road to catch today's Class D and Class A Semifinal games featuring the Cambridge Indians and the Queensbury Spartans.

We'll be tweeting during the Cambridge Indians/Chester Hambletonians game a plenty, so follow us on Twitter for game updates.

During the Queensbury Spartans/Cornwall Green Dragons game, our tweeting ability will be limited due to the on-air broadcast, so please be sure to follow The Post-Star's Pete Tobey for continuing updates.

We'll be on-air live at 7:45PM from Dietz Stadium for the broadcast of the Queensbury/Cornwall game.

GAME PREVIEW: Queensbury vs. Cornwall

Dietz Stadium in Kingston
©2012 FOX Sports Radio 1230/WMML-AM
It's déjà vu.

Without the 50 degree evening.

It'll be about 30 degrees colder when the Queensbury Spartans take to the field to play the Cornwall Green Dragons tonight at 8 p.m. at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.

But otherwise what both teams will see are almost carbon copies from what they saw last year when the two teams met in last year's Class A State Semifinal game at Dietz.

Queensbury won that game, 36-27, on their way to the State Championship the following week.

In that game, Cornwall leaned towards their passing game, trying to beat the Queensbury secondary with wide routes.  Mike White, Cornwall's star quarterback, threw 7-for-10 for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns until an injury sidelined him for the remainder of the game.  Jason Bailey came on in relief, completing 9 of his 15 passes for 144 yards.

130 of those yards on 8 catches were completed to Kobie Thomas, Matt Robinson caught 6 passes for 110 yards and Tyler Peddie caught 2 for 31 yards.

All four of those players are still on the roster for the Cornwall Green Dragons.  Jason Bailey has completed 161 of his 240 passes this year, with nearly 2,400 yards.  He has thrown 30 touchdowns against 7 interceptions.  Tyler Peddie has become Bailey's favorite deep target, catching 29 passes for 615 yards.  14 of those 29 passes were brought in for a touchdown.

Kobie Thomas has caught the most passes from Bailey, catching 42 passes for 531 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Matt Robinson has 531 receiving yards this year, scoring 6 touchdowns.  His 88 yards against Rye was the most of the regular receivers for first-year coach Michael Connolly's squad.

The receiver Queensbury didn't see last year is senior Mike Reilly.  He has 433 receiving yards on 35 catches this year, finding the end zone 4 times.

The rushing attack for Cornwall is led by Kevin Gangemi, who has churned up 1,039 yards on 181 carries, scoring 13 times for the Green Dragons.

For Queensbury, Brett Rodriguez scored two touchdowns last year, rushing for 103 yards on 10 carries.  Erik Wettersten and Chris Goudy also had carries for John Irion's offense.

This year, Tyrell Adams has taken over the reigns as leading rusher, surpassing Rodriguez in weeks 8 and 9 when Rodriguez's play was limited due to a shoulder injury.  Tyrell Adams has 963 yards on 75 carries this year, scoring 15 touchdowns on the ground.  He scored one against Massena last week on the ground, and caught passes from Drew Wilson and Brett Rodriguez for two more trips to the endzone.  Brett Rodriguez has 828 rushing yards this year, scoring 11 touchdowns on 74 carries.  He had two carries for 65 yards, scoring a touchdown on one of those carries, and threw for a touchdown as well.

Erik Wettersten had a season high 23 yards per carry and two touchdowns when he carried for 69 yards on three carries in the Spartans 48-0 win over the Massena Red Raiders.  He has 376 yards on 52 carries.  And Chris Goudy has 526 rushing yards for Queensbury.

The Spartans come in with 3,731 rushing yards and 360 passing yards.  The Green Dragons have nearly 2,400 passing yards, and just short of 1,600 rushing yards.

But the Green Dragons have never beat Section 2 in the State Semifinals.  In four of the last five years, the Green Dragons have made it to Dietz, only to see their season come to an end at the hands of Section 2.  In 2009, 2011 and 2012 it was because of Burnt Hills.  Last year, their season came to an end at the hands of the Queensbury Spartans.

The Green Dragons does have a win over a Section 2 opponent this year, beating Amsterdam 50-7 at the Carrier Dome in Week 1.


IF YOU GO:  Dietz Stadium is just off Washington Avenue about a mile from the traffic circle that links Route 28 and 587 with the New York State Thruway.

Take Interstate 87 south to Exit 1W, hopping on the New York State Thruway south towards New York City.

Take Exit 19, Route 28 for Kingston.  The toll will be $2.70.

When you enter the traffic circle, you will want the second exit for Washington Avenue.  Exit onto the road and travel about 1 mile.  Dietz Stadium will be on your right, across the road from a Greyhound Bus Station.

Parking is free, however could be limited as the Class D Semifinal game precedes the Queensbury game which Cambridge will be taking on Chester at 4PM.

This year Section 2 will be treated as the home team for all except the Class AA Semifinal, so you'll be sitting on the right side of the stadium where the press box is set up.

IF YOU DON'T GO:  We'll have coverage of the Class A State Semifinals beginning at 7:45PM live from Dietz Stadium on FOX Sports Radio 1230.  In addition, the game will be carried on the other local radio station as well as television coverage on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (Channel 50 on most Time-Warner Cable systems) beginning at 8PM.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NYSPHSAA State Semifinals Schedule (as of 11/20)

Here's the schedule for this weekend's State Semifinals, which are being played in Rochester and Kingston.  There have already been three schedule changes announced out west, as lake-effect snow has hindered travel out that way.

This year, with the exception of the Class AA game, Section 2 will be noted as the home team for the Eastern Semifinals.  In the Class AA game, Newburgh Free Academy will be recognized as the home team, with Shenendehowa being the away team.

We'll be live in Kingston tweeting as the Cambridge Indians take on the Chester Hambletonians on Friday, and then on-air as the Queensbury Spartans take on the Cornwall Green Dragons.

Coverage for our live broadcast will begin at 7:45PM on FOX Sports Radio 1230.

Eastern Semifinals at Dietz Stadium, Kingston
Western Semifinals at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester
Friday, November 21st

Class D
East: Chester (9-2) vs. Cambridge (10-1) - 4PM
West: Tioga (10-1) vs. Randolph (10-1) - 5PM

Class A
East: Cornwall (11-0) vs. Queensbury (11-0) - 8PM

Saturday, November 22nd

Class C
East: Millbrook (8-2) vs. Hoosick Falls (11-0) - 11AM
West: Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake (11-0) vs. Chenango Forks (10-1) - Noon

Class B
East: Marlboro (9-2) vs. Schalmont (11-0) - 3PM

Class AA
West: Henninger (11-0) vs. Jamestown (10-1) - 4PM
East: Shenendehowa (11-0) vs. Newburgh Free Academy (8-2) - 7PM

Sunday, November 23rd

Class A
West: Irondequoit (11-0) vs. Indian River (11-0) - Noon

Class B
West: Cheektowaga (9-2) vs. Maine-Endwell (11-0) - 3PM

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Spartans Freeze Red Raiders Offense, Advance To Semifinals

POTSDAM - Coach John Irion of the Queensbury Spartans talked this week about wanting a faster start after last year's game.

He got it, as the Queensbury Spartans scored 34 before the half, and added another 14 in the second half as the Spartans kept the Massena Red Raiders offense silent with the 48-0 shutout at Potsdam High School.

After a three-and-out to begin the game, the Queensbury Spartans took advantage of a 60 yard pass from Drew Wilson to Tyrell Adams to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead two minutes into the game.  On the ensuing kickoff, an attempt by Matt Thibault to hand-off to Josh Manley failed, resulting in a fumble that went Queensbury's way.

Tyrell Adams took the following play in for a 5 yard touchdown, only 13 seconds after the first score.

The Spartans made it 20-0 a couple minutes later Erik Wettersten ran in from four yards out.

Brett Rodriguez would score his first of two touchdowns through the air when he connected with Tyrell Adams on the option pass from 45 yards out, to cap the first quarter scoring at 27.

The Spartans also got touchdowns by Erik Wettersten, Brett Rodriguez and Sean Doran.

Massena couldn't catch many breaks, going three-and-out several times, and turned the ball over on a few occasions.  Junior Quarterback Maddox Merry overthrew his receivers on several occasions, and the runs of Josh Manley, Isaiah Dillabough and Jason Zembek all were kept well short of their averages.

The win improves the Spartans to 11-0, and sets up a rematch of last year's State Semifinals as they face the Cornwall Green Dragons, who on Saturday defeated the Rye Garnets 21-17 to advance.  That game will be Friday night, 8 p.m. at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, and will be aired live on FOX Sports Radio 1230 as well as on television on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Queensbury vs Massena - 7PM at Potsdam High

We're heading out the door for the long trek up north to catch the Queensbury Spartans as they open the state playoffs against the Massena Red Raiders.

Our coverage begins at 6:45PM on FOX Sports Radio 1230.

We'll be tweeting some at @WMML1230, so follow along as we see if the Queensbury Spartans can make it back-to-back trips to Dietz Stadium in Kingston for the State Semifinals.

Week 11: NYSPHSAA Regional Football Schedule

Tonight kicks off the State Regionals (Quarterfinals) weekend, as the field in all five classifications works down to the four teams that will be playing in Kingston (Eastern Semifinals) and Rochester (Western Semifinals) next weekend.

Here, courtesy of Pete Tobey and the Post-Star, is the schedule for this weekend's games.

Number to the left of the team represents the section they are representing.

2-Shenendehowa (10-0) vs. 1-John Jay-East Fishkill (9-1) - Saturday, 7PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston
9-Newburgh Free Academy (8-2) - Bye

Eastern Semis: Saturday, November 22nd at 7PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

4-Corning (9-1) vs 3-Henninger (10-0) - Saturday, 3PM at Cicero-North Syracuse High School
5-Victor (9-1) vs. 6-Jamestown (9-1) - Saturday, 6PM at All High Stadium, Buffalo

Western Semis: Saturday, November 22nd at 6PM at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester

2-Queensbury (10-0) vs. 10-Massena (5-4) - Friday, 7PM at Potsdam High School
9-Cornwall (10-0) vs. 1-Rye (9-1) - Saturday, Noon at Mahopac High School

Eastern Semis: Friday, November 21st at 8PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

4-Union-Endicott (3-6) vs. 3-Indian River (10-0) - Friday, 7PM at Cicero-North Syracuse High School
5-Irondequoit (7-3) vs. 6-Sweet Home (9-1) - Friday, 8PM at All High Stadium, Buffalo

Western Semis: Friday, November 21st at 8PM at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester

7-Peru (10-0) vs. 2-Schalmont (10-0) - Friday, 7PM at Shenendehowa High School, Clifton Park
1-Our Lady of Lourdes (8-1) vs. 9-Marlboro (8-2) - Friday, 7PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

Eastern Semis: Saturday, November 22nd at 3PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

4-Maine-Endwell (10-0) vs. 3-Homer (10-0) - Saturday, 6PM at Cicero-North Syracuse High School
5-Batavia (9-1) vs. 6-Cheektowaga (8-2) - Saturday, 3PM at All High Stadium, Buffalo

Western Semis: Saturday, November 22nd at 3PM at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester

2-Hoosick Falls (10-0) vs. 7-Saranac Lake (9-1) - Saturday, 1PM at AuSable Valley High School
9-Millbrook (7-2) vs. 1-Woodlands (4-4) - Saturday, 3:30PM at Mahopac High School

Eastern Semis: Saturday, November 22nd at 11AM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

4-Chenango Forks (9-1) vs. 3-Utica-Notre Dame (9-1) - Saturday, Noon at Cicero-North Syracuse High School
5-LeRoy (10-0) vs. 6-Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake (10-0) - Saturday, Noon at All High Stadium, Buffalo

Western Semis: Saturday, November 22nd at Noon at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester.

7-Ticonderoga (7-3) vs. 2-Cambridge (9-1) - Saturday, 1PM at Schuylerville High School
1-Tuckahoe (6-3) vs. 9-Chester (8-2) - Saturday, 3PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

Eastern Semis: Friday, November 21st at 4PM at Dietz Stadium, Kingston

4-Tioga (9-1) vs. 3-Dolgeville (9-1) - Friday, 5PM at Cicero-North Syracuse High School
5-Red Jacket (10-0) vs. 6-Randolph (9-1) - Friday, 5PM at All-High Stadium, Buffalo

Western Semis: Friday, November 21st at 5PM at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester

Thoughts from the Press Box: Saying Goodbye

CLIFTON PARK - As the last of the fans began to leave Steuerwald Field, an empty feeling began to fill Shenendehowa High School.

It was twenty minutes after Queensbury finished the Burnt Hills Spartans season, winning the Class A Super Bowl 34-13 to advance to the State Tournament.

The custodial staff was cleaning up the debris left by the fans.

The Times Union reporter James Allen was interviewing coach Matt Shell for his newspaper article.

And one player, kneeing on the five yard line.

Like several of his teammates, Danny Maynard had his high school football career come to an end on Saturday night.  Unlike those other teammates, Maynard spent the last minutes before boarding the bus back to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School kneeing on the field.

It's then when you realize.   It's tough saying "goodbye".

Even if you are a successful athlete who will be playing sports during his collegiate career.  Maynard signed a National Letter of Intent this week to play collegiate baseball at Notre Dame as a catcher.

Danny Maynard was a member of the 2012 Burnt Hills State Championship team.  In fact, he was the State Class A Most Valuable Player that year as a Sophomore, and has seen his game improved over the years.  Coach Shell, when I spoke to him prior to the first meeting in Week 7, had nothing but outstanding things to say about Maynard.

In fact ... maybe all those accolades he has earned made it harder to say "goodbye".

Danny Maynard did not play in the Exceptional Seniors bowl at Shenendehowa this week, which made this game his true exit from the game he played exceptionally well.

So the last image of him on the football field will be this.  Whatever comes of his baseball career moving onto Notre Dame after his senior year this upcoming Spring, we wish Danny Maynard a lot of success.

He's earned it.

And it's images like this that makes you realize what goes through the minds of our local athletes when they realize their high school football career comes to an end.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Queensbury Adjusts To Sectional Title

CLIFTON PARK - The Queensbury Spartans made some adjustments during the half.

It only took 1:29 for it to pay off.  After coming out of the locker room up 8-6, the Queensbury Spartans showed off their offensive adjustments, as Tyrell Adams scored on a 56 yard run to extend the Spartans lead to 14-6.

It was the first of 19 straight points for Queensbury as they would win their second straight Class A Sectional Championship title over the Burnt Hills Spartans 34-13.

Queensbury will now travel north to face the Massena Red Raiders, the Section X representative, up at Potsdam High School on Friday, November 14th.

For the first 25 minutes, the game felt like it was going to be very tight and close, like last year's Sectional Championship where the Queensbury Spartans won on a last minute Kody Bruno touchdown to win 14-7.

The first quarter ended with no score, helped by Tyrell Adams picking off John Clayton in the end zone to snuff out a Burnt Hills drive.  But Queensbury was unable to do anything with the ball, and gave it back to Burnt Hills.

Erik Wettersten broke the scoreless tie with his 56 yard run, and Brett Rodriguez ran the ball in for the two point conversion to give Queensbury a 8-0 lead.

Queensbury's next drive ended in their own territory with the decision to go for it on fourth down.  But Brett Rodriguez was unable to make it to the marker, giving the Burnt Hills Spartans the ball at the Queensbury 27 yard line.

A couple minutes later, John Clayton hooked up with Brendan VanAllen for the two yard touchdown reception, but the two point conversion run failed to leave the southern Spartans trailing 8-6.

But the third quarter was big for Queensbury.  After Tyrell Adams's score, Burnt Hills was unable to answer back.  With less than three minutes left to play in the quarter, Drew Wilson fired his first pass to Brett Rodriguez, who scored from 6 yards out to pad Queensbury's lead to 20-6.

In the fourth quarter, Brett Rodriguez scored on a 17 yard run to give Queensbury a comfortable 27-6 lead, which became valuable when Burnt Hills scored on a one-handed Patrick Brown grab on a John Clayton pass to score from 45 yards out to return the game to a two possession lead for Queensbury.

But Drew Wilson's second pass of the game, a 39 yard reception to a wide-open Brett Rodriguez, sealed the victory for the Queensbury Spartans.

For the second straight year, the Burnt Hills Spartans season comes to an end at the hands of the Queensbury Spartans in the Sectional Championship.

And for the second straight year, the Queensbury Spartans will face the Massena Red Raiders in the State Regionals.

Burnt Hills Spartans 0 6 0 7 13
Queensbury Spartans 0 8 12 14 34

1st Quarter:
No Scoring

2nd Quarter:
8:30 - Erik Wettersten (QSBY) - 56 yard run.  (Rodriguez run) - 8-0
3:23 - Brendan VanAllen from John Clayton (BH) - 2 yard pass.  (run failed) - 8-6

3rd Quarter:
10:31 - Tyrell Adams (QSBY) - 56 yard run.  (run failed) - 14-6
2:38 - Brett Rodriguez from Drew Wilson (QSBY) - 6 yard pass.  (pass failed) - 20-6

4th Quarter:
6:10 - Brett Rodriguez (QSBY) - 17 yard run.  (Escamilla kick) - 27-6
4:06 - Patrick Brown from John Clayton (BH) - 45 yard pass.  (Perregaux kick) - 27-13
3:22 - Brett Rodriguez from Drew Wilson (QSBY) - 39 yard pass.  (Escamilla kick) - 34-13

STATS - Stats are those we kept in our radio booth and are not official stats.
Burnt Hills: Danny Maynard: 19-79 (long: 17); John Clayton: 6-5 (long: 5); Mike Leveroni: 2-1; Tyler Dowdle: 2-12 (long: 7)
Queensbury: Brett Rodriguez: 13-74-1 (long: 17); Tyrell Adams: 13-91-1 (long: 56); Erik Wettersten: 6-86 (long: 56); Chris Goudy: 4-5; Drew Wilson: 1-6; Hunter Scott: 1-(2); James Kassebaum: 1-(5)

Burnt Hills: John Clayton: 13-30-145; 2TD/INT (long: 45)
Queensbury: Drew Wilson: 2-2-45; 2TD (long: 39)

Burnt Hills: Tyler Dowdle: 6-37 (long: 17); Patrick Brown: 4-45 TD (long: 45); Brendan VanAllen: 1-2 TD; Mike Leveroni: 2-48 TD
Queensbury: Brett Rodriguez: 2-45 2TD

©2014 FOX Sports Radio 1230/WMML-AM  All rights reserved

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sectional Championships across New York: Scoreboard (updated 11/9)

With the close of the Sectional Championships comes the NYSPHSAA Tournament.

Below are the results (through Saturday night) and the other games still to be played in the Sectional Championships across New York State, as originally compiled by the hard-working folks at the NYSSWA.

The format for the State Tournament is as follows:

Class AA:
Section 1 vs. Section 2 - at Dietz
Section 9 - Bye into Semifinals
Section 3 vs. Section 4
Section 5 vs. Section 6

Class A:
Section 1 vs. Section 9
Section 2 vs. Section 10 (Massena)
Section 3 vs. Section 4
Section 5 vs. Section 6

All other classes:
Section 1 vs. Section 9
Section 2 vs. Section 7/10 winner
Section 3 vs. Section 4
Section 5 vs. Section 6

Eastern Semifinals is Sections 1/9 vs. Sections 2/7/10 at Dietz Stadium, Kingston
Western Semifinals is Section 3/4 vs. Section 5/6 at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester

Championships at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse

Section 1 Championship
John Jay (East Fishkill) (9-1) 13, Arlington (8-2) 3
Section 2 Championship
Shenendehowa (10-0) 25, Albany CBA (8-2) 20
Section 3 Championship
Henninger (9-0) vs. Liverpool (9-0) at Carrier Dome, Sunday, 5 p.m.
Section 4 Championship
Elmira (7-3) 0, Corning (9-1) 16
Section 5 Championship
Victor (9-1) 23, Pittsford (6-4) 0
Section 6 Championship
Jamestown (10-0) 34, Orchard Park (8-2) 14
Section 9 Championship
Monroe-Woodbury (7-3) 7, Newburgh Free (8-2) 15 (OT)

Section 1 Championship
Yorktown (9-1) 14, Rye (9-1) 35
Section 2 Championship
Queensbury (10-0) 34, Burnt Hills (7-3) 13
Section 3 Championship
Indian River (10-0) 40, East Syracuse-Minoa (6-4) 6
Section 4 Championship 
Vestal (4-5) 7, Union-Endicott (3-6) 28
Section 5 Championship
Greece Athena (8-2) 22, Irondequoit (7-3) 29
Section 6 Championship
Sweet Home (9-1) 27, South Park/MEC (8-2) 18
Section 9 Championship
Cornwall (10-0) 40, Port Jervis (6-4) 0
Section 10 Championship
Massena (5-4) - only Class A team in Section 10

Section 1 Championship
Our Lady of Lourdes (8-1) 18, Nanuet (7-2) 14 (last week)
Section 2 Championship
Schalmont (10-0) 40, Schuylerville (9-1) 8
Section 3 Championship
Cazenovia (9-0) vs. Homer (9-0) at Carrier Dome, Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Section 4 Championship
Maine-Endwell (10-0) 48, Norwich (6-4) 20
Section 5 Championship
Livonia (8-2) 14, Batavia (9-1) 15
Section 6 Championship
Bennett/Olmsted (9-1) 34, Cheektowaga (8-2) 40
Section 7/10 Playoff
Peru (10-0) 59, Franklin Academy (3-7) 6
Section 9 Championship
Marlboro (8-2) 25, Burke Catholic (8-2) 13

Section 2 Championship
Hoosick Falls (10-0) 31, Fonda-Fultonville (8-2) 14
Section 3 Championship
Herkimer (9-0) vs. Notre Dame (8-1) at Carrier Dome, Sunday, 11 a.m.
Section 4 Championship
Chenango Forks (9-1) 42, Newark Val. (7-3) 21
Section 5 Championship
LeRoy (10-0) 34, Bath (8-2) 24
Section 6 Championship
Maple Grove/Chau. Lake (10-0) 37, Southwestern (7-2) 7
Section 7/10 Playoff
Saranac Lake (9-1) 34, Ogdensburg Free Academy (9-1) 26
Section 9 Championship
Millbrook (7-2) 24, Sullivan West (8-2) 0

Section 1 Championship
Tuckahoe (6-3) 40, Haldane (4-5) 0
Section 2 Championship
Cambridge/Salem (9-1) 42, Whitehall (7-3) 0
Section 3 Championship
Sandy Creek (8-2) 25, Dolgeville (8-1) 26
Section 4 Championship
Tioga (9-1) 43, Unatego/Franklin (8-2) 13
Section 5 Championship
Red Jacket (10-0) 52, Avon (6-4) 6
Section 6 Championship
Randolph (9-1) 28, Franklinville/Ellicottville/West Valley (8-2) 0
Section 7/10 Playoff
Ticonderoga (7-3) 41, Tupper Lake (3-7) 13
Section 9 Championship
Chester (8-2) 55, Livingston Manor (6-4) 0

Friday, November 7, 2014

High School Football Sectional Championship Weekend

Whew.  Been a busy week with a lot of side projects that has kept me away from updating this blog.  First, what a game for Scotia against the Queensbury Spartans.  Playing inspired football, as Pete Tobey stated, the Tartans gave a deadly scare for the Spartans before Brett Rodriguez suited up, and pushed the blue and gold into the sectional championship.

The Sectional Championship gets under way this evening with two games, with the other three games to be played tomorrow.

FOX Sports Radio 1230 will be at the Class A Sectional Championship tomorrow evening as the Queensbury Spartans take on the Burnt Hills Spartans, with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. live from Shenendehowa High School.

So let's take a look at the five sectional championships, starting with the two to be played tonight

The Section 2 Class AA Championship
E1-Shenendehowa Plainsmen (9-0) vs. E2-CBA Brothers (8-1)
7 p.m. Friday, November 7th, 2014 at Bob Ford Field (University of Albany)

Sectional Championships: Shenendehowa - 11; CBA - 3
Last Championship: Shenendehowa - 2011; CBA - 2013

Sectional Championship Meetings: 1 - 1982 (Shenendehowa won 44-21)

Last Meeting: This year, Week 3 - Shenendehowa won 28-14.

Notes: Shenendehowa has been on a roll all season long, using the play of star quarterback Ryan Van Galen to help lead them to a 9-0 record and a return to the championship after a one year absence. 

CBA's game in Week 3, however, was the tightest match that Shenendehowa has played all year.  CBA ties Guilderland for the most points scored against the Plainsmen (14), and was the only team to hold Shen to under 30 points.  In that game, Van Galen had only 70 yards passing, well below the 173 yards per game average he has through 9 games. 

CBA will need to be a little better prepared for the big play, as two 60+ yard touchdowns were scored against the Brothers in that regular season game.  Jaylen McIntyre is one of 15 backs in Section 2 to have run for over 1,000 yards through nine games, but did not have a memorable game against the Plainsmen as he only accumulated 37 yards on 6 carries.

Prediction: A balanced attack could be beneficial to the Plainsmen, with effective uses of Ryan Van Galen and running back Matt Taft.  They're not going to take the Brothers lightly, knowing that the Week 3 game was tight and very well could have gone the other way.  If CBA can get started quickly, they could score the upset and win themselves their second straight championship.  However, Shenendehowa has the weapons, and I see those weapons leading them to victory.  Shenendehowa wins 35-21.

The Section 2 Class C Championship
1-Hoosick Falls Panthers (9-0) vs. 2-Fonda-Fultonville Braves (8-1)
7 p.m. Friday, November 7th, 2014 at Stillwater High School

Sectional Championships: Hoosick Falls - 8; Fonda-Fultonville - 4
Last Championship: Hoosick Falls - 2013; Fonda-Fultonville - 1999

Sectional Championship Meetings: 2 - 2011 (Hoosick Falls won 32-7); 1980 (Fonda won 21-6)

Last Meeting: 2013, Week 9 - Hoosick Falls won 36-0

Notes: Hoosick Falls is seeking an unprecedented sixth straight Sectional Championship, a mark that has been attempted two other times in Section 2.  In 2001, Troy's stretch of five straight titles came to an end with Bethlehem's win in the title game, and last year Burnt Hills saw their stretch end with Queensbury's title.

Fonda is 0 for 5 against Hoosick Falls since 2004, last coming up empty in the semifinals at Stillwater last year.  Fonda's a better team this year, only losing to Section 3's Westhill at the Carrier Dome.  The Braves have seen solid play all season by Pat Hart and Anthony Sinicropi, but has been vulnerable by the two other North Division playoff representatives this season, barely winning against the Corinth Tomahawks 34-33 in Week 7 and needing a comeback to beat Greenwich 27-20 in Week 8.  Sinicropi is a versatile quarterback, with over a thousand yards passing and over 800 yards on the ground.  So he's going to be tricky for the Panthers defense, and the Braves could exploit that with some fakes.

Hoosick Falls is the lone Section 2 representative to score a victory at the Carrier Dome in Week 1, beating Owego Free Academy 48-21 despite giving Owego plenty of gifts in the first half.  The Panthers defense has been tough on opposing offenses all season, holding all but one of their Class C opponents to 10 points or less, with the lone exception being Corinth, scoring 14 in last week's 45-14 semifinal.  Colby Davendonis and Austin Pitt have been the main stars of the Panthers offense, accounting for over 1,500 rushing yards through the season.  Garrett Wright provides the Panthers with flexibility with his throwing arm.

Prediction: Fonda will give the Panthers a challenge.  But the defense for the Panthers are really strong, and Fonda has shown weakness against the North.  The Braves need a strong game by Hart and Sinicropi,  But in the end, the Panthers will do what no other Section 2 team has ever done - win 6 straight titles.  Hoosick Falls wins 28-22.

The Section 2 Class D Championship
1-Whitehall Railroaders (7-2) vs. 2-Cambridge Indians (8-1)
1 p.m. Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at Schuylerville High School

Sectional Championships: Whitehall - 2; Cambridge - 13
Last Championship: Whitehall - 1989; Cambridge - 2013

Sectional Championship Meetings: None

Last Meeting: This year, Week 5 - Whitehall won 21-19

Notes: It was an uncharacteristic day for the Cambridge Indians in that first meeting as the rain presented a problems for the Indians all day.  6 turnovers, four of them on the ground, and a couple of them deep in Whitehall territory, coupled with Ethan English having a game to forget, helped lead the Whitehall Railroaders to victory and pushed them to the #1 seed in the tournament.

Whitehall bounced back from their Week 7 drama and Week 8 last-second loss with a statement game against the Canajoharie Cougars in the Semifinal, winning 40-6 where Justin Hoagland ran for three touchdowns and passed for a fourth in the victory.  The Railroaders are going to need to have him at the top of his game against the Indians.

Cambridge has been on record as saying their game against Whitehall was a "wake up call", and showed it with a career performance from Ethan English the following week against Warrensburg where he went 9-for-9 and threw for over 200 yards, scoring 4 touchdowns in the Indians 49-14 win over the Burghers.  In fact, since that game against Whitehall, English has completed 31 of his 35 passes, an 88% completion percentage.  English's success is thanks to supporting players like Chris Warnke and Caleb Rowland, who are threats on the field both as rushers and receivers.  

Prediction: If you're expecting the same kind of match we had on October 4th, you're going to be disappointed.  The weather will play less of an impact, and what we're going to see are two teams fighting hard for the championship.  Credit the Railroaders, they have played wonderfully despite the distractions all around them, but the Cambridge Indians are playing the best that they have played all season.  And those teams are the ones you find holding trophies at the end.  Cambridge wins 36-24.

The Section 2 Class B Championship
R1-Schalmont Sabres (9-0) vs. W1-Schuylerville Black Horses (9-0)
3 p.m. Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at Shenendehowa High School

Sectional Championships: Schalmont - 4; Schuylerville - 2
Last Championship: Schalmont - 2013; Schuylerville - 2005

Sectional Championship Meetings: None

Last Meeting: 2013, Week 3 - Schalmont won 34-6

Notes: Schuylerville has yet to beat the Sabres since moving up to Class B, and may have a hard time figuring out how to stop Schalmont's 1-2 punch of Hunter Gac and Nick Gallo.  Schalmont has played like a team determined to return to the Carrier Dome all year, decimating opponents left and right on their way to a 9-0 record.

John Bowen has done a great job with the Schuylerville Black Horses, returning them to the Super Bowl for the first time since they were in the Class C title game against Watervliet in 2008.  Will Griffen has amassed 1,078 rushing yards, earning 16 touchdowns, while going to the air for another 5.  Josh Thomas is another 1,000 yard rusher, accounting for another 14 touchdowns. 

Nick Gallo has been unbelievable for the Sabres.  707 yards on the ground and 19 touchdowns is a decent resume, but when you add his 850 yards and 9 touchdowns passing, it makes him a dangerous threat anytime he possesses the ball.  

Prediction: The only time Schalmont has had to sweat out a victory all season was when they faced the Burnt Hills Spartans, winning 34-28 in a game where the Spartans scored 21 straight points to make a game out of what was once 34-7 in the third quarter.  Otherwise, the Sabres have looked untouchable all season.  The Schuylerville Black Horses will give the Sabres a fight, and keep in mind in 2012 the Sabres were the heavy favorite to win, but Glens Falls put an end to that.  But in this case, I don't see the Sabres folding, winning their 5th title in 6 years.  Schalmont wins 44-21.

The Section 2 Class A Championship
NW1-Queensbury Spartans (9-0) vs. NW2-Burnt Hills Spartans (7-2)
7 p.m. Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at Shenendehowa High School

Sectional Championships: Queensbury - 3; Burnt Hills - 6
Last Championship: Queensbury - 2013; Burnt Hills - 2012

Sectional Championship Meetings: 1 - 2013 (Queensbury won 14-7)

Last Meeting: This year, Week 7 - Queensbury won 42-0

Notes: The Queensbury Spartans had a few miscues, but held strong on defense in their 42-0 statement win over the Burnt Hills Spartans three weeks ago, but must be mindful that they might not have as easy of a time this time.

Especially after having to come from behind last Saturday against the Scotia Tartans in a game where Brett Rodriguez suited up and was seen warming up on the sidelines after the Tartans punched it in to gain the 20-14 lead.  The Tartans had the Queensbury run game figured out through the third quarter, and Brett Rodriguez's appearance sparked the comeback that the Spartans needed to pull away with the 35-20 win.  

And Burnt Hills is the type of team that learns from its mistakes.  John Clayton had a rough time against the Queensbury defense, misfiring on some of his throws, and watching as his receivers dropped some more, to leave him with a 5-for-18 game, throwing for only 66 yards.  

Danny Maynard will be back in the lineup for Burnt Hills after missing last week due to baseball recruiting camp, having already received offers to play at Notre Dame.  He left in the third quarter in the first meeting with an ankle injury, leaving him with only 13 yards in the whole game.

Burnt Hills will need to get better momentum on offense, and will need to stop the Queensbury rush game on defense.  If they can do both, and get a solid effort from John Clayton, this game will be much closer than what we saw three weeks ago.

Prediction: Queensbury has the weapons to move the ball, and the major question is whether or not Brett Rodriguez is going to be healthy to play all four quarters.  This may be a game where starter agility comes into play, and could very well end the way that last year's Super Bowl ended, with a game-winning drive coming late in the fourth quarter.  But, Burnt Hills is the team with a lot more to prove in the opening 12 minutes.  How that first twelve minutes play out could very well determine who will win the remaining 36 minutes and get to spend next Friday night travelling up to Potsdam.  Queensbury wins 35-24.

Regardless of who you root for, let's have a great weekend of football as we bring the Sectional Tournament to a close, and look forward to five well-deserved winners who will be playing in the State Tournament.

Good luck to all teams!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Game Preview: Scotia at Queensbury

The Scotia Tartans and Queensbury Spartans do battle in the Sectional Semifinals, to be broadcasted on FOX Sports Radio 1230 beginning at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday

QUEENSBURY - One team uses a ground and pound technique to send their opponents into submission.

The other, a little more balanced.  But still explosive.

That's what you get on Saturday when the Queensbury Spartans (8-0) host the Scotia Tartans (6-2) at 1:30 p.m. in the Class A Sectional Semifinals.

Queensbury's double wing offense for coach John Irion means you're not sure who is going to get the ball, you just know someone is likely to cut up the middle, aided by the offensive line, to chew up some yards and clock.  It's been Irion's primary offensive set since coming to Queensbury in 1997, and a major reason why the Spartans have a 16:1 run-to-pass yard ratio.

The offense starts with Drew Wilson, the quarterback for the Spartans.  In the Spartans offensive package, his major role is to effectively hand off to one of his wings, but he has been known to attempt a pass.  For the season, he's 5/16, passing for 111 yards and three touchdowns, including a pass to Brandon Kauffman last week against Averill Park.

Their corp of running backs also mean that Queensbury will not have a running back at the top of the standings for run yardage.  Tyrell Adams has the most yards, running for 712 yards during the first eight games of the season.  That's good for 29th in Section 2.  He has reached the end zone 10 times, including twice against Averill Park.

Junior Brett Rodriguez is their second leading running back, compiling 627 yards on 52 carries.  His time was limited last Saturday when a shoulder injury sidelined him in the first quarter, and is questionable for the game against Scotia.

Christopher Goudy also gets several carries during a game, with 490 yards in the first eight games.  He had a season-high 124 yards last week against Averill Park.

Erik Wettersten, Hunter Scott and James Kassebaum also have been known to carry the ball at regularity for the Spartans.

The Scotia Tartans are a little more balanced, with 1,300 rushing yards compared to 1,000 passing yards.  A lot of this is thanks to the growth of Dan Zeglen, the Tartans quarterback.

Zeglen is 68/120 for 894 yards, throwing for 11 touchdowns this season.  He had a season-high 274 passing yards against Averill Park.  But defenses have to watch out -- Zeglen has been known to keep it himself, running for 502 yards on 90 carries and 6 touchdowns.

Marty McCollum is one of Zeglen's favorite targets, connecting with McCollum 22 times for 431 yards and four scores.

Ire Pinney is another target, with 12 catches for 178 yards.  Pinney is also a threat when he lines up in the backfield, rushing for 226 yards on 31 carries and four touchdowns.

And Jon Clark is another threat deep for Zeglen, with 192 receiving yards during the season.

The Queensbury Spartans were able to cycle in their backups in the second half during their quarterfinal game against Averill Park, winning 35-6 in a team effort.  The Scotia Tartans had to sweat things out in the fourth quarter as Bishop Maginn scored a touchdown with less than a minute left to close the gap to 14-12.  But the Tartans defense came up big during the two point conversion try and was able to hold on for the win.

The Spartans and the Tartans met back in Week 4, with Queensbury scoring on a Brett Rodriguez kick-off return and an option pass to close the second quarter from Rodriguez to Erik Wettersten.   The Spartans would add once more to win 40-17 in a game where the Tartans early collected on the Spartans mistakes and had the lead for awhile during the first half.

Both teams hope to correct those miscues, and to control the clock.  Kevin Warren remarks that the Tartans goal is to slow down the clock, noting that the Spartans desire to ground and pound can lead to long clock-draining drives.

The winner meets Burnt Hills in the Sectional Championship next Saturday night, 7 p.m. at Shenendehowa High.  Burnt Hills beat the Amsterdam Rugged Rams 30-13 on Friday night on the road to earn their ninth straight berth to the title game.