Saturday, November 29, 2014

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.

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