Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week four: a look ahead

A trio of senior La Salle linemen - Jeff Milos (left), Skyler Brayton (center) and Ken Altarac - (right) pose with 'The Sabre'. The winner of the annual CBA-La Salle game holds on to the sword, and local bragging rights, for a year.

La Salle and CBA rekindle their rivalry tonight at CBA in the annual battle for the sabre. This year, the game will be broadcast at www.greatamericanrivalry.com - one of only 40 games to be broadcast nationwide this season.

Check out the full story on The Sabre game and a look at Columbia High kicker Alex Tesoriero in Friday's version of The Record, along with comprehensive standings, statistics and expert picks on this weekend's games.

Here are four other games of note this weekend:

Class AA
Liberty Division
Shaker
(1-0, 1-2)
at Niskayuna
(1-2, 1-2)
Friday, 7 p.m.


About Shaker: Jeremy Pryor torched the Colonie defense with 299 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 44-34 victory for the Blue Bison last week. Senior quarterback Mark Ambrosio has ran for one touchdown in each of the Bison’s first three games. Shaker started the season with two losses in non-division games but sits 1-0 in Liberty Division play.
About Niskayuna: Danny Peters quarterbacks the area’s most potent passing game as he has thrown for 650 yards and eight touchdowns. Peter Furey, Kadeem Miller, Greg Rahn, Steve Callahan and Ryan Alden have tallied more than 100 receiving yards apiece.
Notable: The Blue Bison host Rensselaer County rivals La Salle and Columbia in Liberty Division games the next two weeks. Niskayuna scored 42 points in the first half against Schenectady last week, but gave up 29 unanswered points in the second half and lost, 64-42.


Class A
Southeast Division
Averill Park
(0-1, 1-2)
at Lansingburgh
(1-0, 2-1)
Friday, 7p.m.


About Averill Park: The Warriors had a tough time matching up with the athleticism of Bishop Maginn last week and could face the same problem against the Knights. If they’re able to stack the line and stuff the run the Warriors should have a shot. They have a fine runner themselves in 6-2, 245 pound Justin Collen.
About Lansingburgh: The Knights bounced back last week with a big 48-6 victory over Mohonasen. Marcus Hepp found the end zone three times in that game and the Lansingburgh running attack ate up 390 yards on the ground. The Knights may be playing with a chip on their shoulder after the loss to Burnt Hills.
Notable: The Warriors played without starting quarterback Tim Murdick last week when the senior play caller was forced to sit for disciplinary reasons. With Murdick back under center Averill Park becomes a more dangerous team and a threat through the air. Lansingburgh can’t get caught looking ahead to its week five match up with Bishop Maginn at Bleecker Stadium.


Class C
South Division
Tamarac
(3-0, 3-0)
at Fonda (3-0, 3-0)
Saturday, 1 p.m.


About Tamarac: The Bengals have the stingiest defense in all of Section II, having allowed only six points in three games. Senior linebacker Zach Feldmaier blocked a punt and intercepted a pass in last week’s 36-6 victory over Coxsackie-Athens. Senior quarterback David Fox is also a strong kicker for Tamarac, booting three field goals and three extra points in last week’s win.
About Fonda: The Braves were ranked No. 14 in this week’s statewide Class C poll and have outscored opponents 164-26. Fonda airs it out on offense, led by quarterback Josh Nethaway, who has thrown for 501 yards and 12 touchdowns against zero interceptions through three games. Kevin Hanson (ten catches, 237 yards, four touchdowns) and Tyler Hall (seven receptions, 134 yards, five touchdowns) are Nethaway’s top targets.
Notable: Fonda played in Class B in 2007, finishing with a 5-4 overall record. The Bengals are off to their best start since 1992, when the team also began the season 3-0. Tamarac plays three of its last four regular season games on the road.


Class D
Non-division
Rensselaer
(3-0, 3-0)

at Fort Edward
(2-0, 2-1)
Saturday, 1p.m.

About Rensselaer: The Rams continue to roll averaging 32.3 points a game in their three wins over Bishop Gibbons, Spa Catholic and Canajoharie. The Rensselaer defense has surrendered an average of 10.3 points in those games and picked off Canajoharie quarterback Peyton Stahler four times last week.
About Fort Edward: The Flying Forts sit atop the Class D North Division with wins over Warrensburg and Salem. The Forts only loss came in week two to Lake George (a Class C team playing at the D level this season). Tyler Carpenter currently sits fourth in Section II in rushing with 526 yards on the ground.
Notable: This is a match up of the top teams in Class D with Rensselaer leading the South and Fort Edward first in the North. The Flying Forts are the defending Class D champions two years running. Rensselaer’s Jasheem Hamilton has found the end zone eight times in three games.

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Class AA

Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Schenectady 2-0, 3-0 1
The Patriots are pouring it on this season, outscoring opponents 152-63. Marc Thompson has scored eight touchdowns, including four rushing scores, two touchdown receptions and a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns. The Patriots finished 5-4 a season ago, the only winning season in Schenectady since Mount Pleasant and Linton High Schools merged in 1988.
2. Saratoga Springs 3-0, 3-0 2
The Blue Streaks defense has been stellar through three games, holding opponents to a total of 20 points. Tony Deloatch, Leejay Pollachi and Ben Cook all split carries for Saratoga, lightening the load on quarterback Collin Mulholland.
3. La Salle 2-0, 2-1 3
The Cadets dropped a non-league contest to Monroe-Woodbury of Section IX last week and will look to rebound in the Battle for the Sabre tonight. Senior running back Marquis Terrell with 258 career points scored, is tied for 25th on the all-time Section II list.
4. Shenendehowa 2-0, 2-1 5
The Plainsmen face a huge test from Saratoga in an Empire Division game tonight. After losing to Schenectady in week one, Shen rebounded with wins over Albany and Guilderland. Junior tailback Suhyab Banks has scored nine touchdowns over the past two weeks.
5. Ballston Spa 1-1, 2-1 -
Winners of two straight, the Scotties buried Albany in week three, 55-26. Quarterback Mark Seager is a threat on the ground, rushing for 280 yards through three games.

Class A
1. Burnt Hills 1-0, 3-0 1
The Spartans have looked unstoppable in three wins averaging 53 points a game while surrendering just 4.6 points. They have allowed just two touchdowns both to Lansingburgh when the game was well out of reach. The Spartans are the No. 4 ranked Class A team in the state, the highest of any Section II school in any class. They host Amsterdam tonight.
2. Troy 1-0, 3-0 2
Zach Dolan showed off his potent arm going 12-of-13 for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 34-0 win over Scotia-Glenville last week. Add the Horses new air threat for with the already dominant running game and Troy looks like the team to beat in the Southeast. The Horses are ranked No. 20 in the latest New York Sportswriters poll and travel to Mohonasen tonight.
3. Bishop Maginn 1-0, 3-0 3
The Griffins dominated from the start in last weeks 48-0 win at Averill Park improving coach Joe Grasso's squad to a perfect 3-0. The Griffs athleticism was on display with Mitchell Dickson and Tymear Mallory combining for 274 yards on the ground. The Maginn defense limited Averill Park to just 108 total yards. The Griffins are home to Scotia-Glenville tonight with Lansingburgh and Troy looming in weeks five and six.
4. Lansingburgh 1-0, 2-1 4
Knights head coach Pete Porcelli had to like how his team bounced back from the tough loss at Burnt Hills with a 48-6 win over Mohonasen. The Lansingburgh running game got back on track with Marcus Hepp, Kyle Murray and Santell Mauzon all running for scores.
5. Queensbury 1-0, 2-1 --
The Spartans have rebounded from a lopsided week 1 loss to Troy with back-to-back wins over Averill Park and South Glens Falls. The Spartans double wing attack has heated up in the last few weeks with running back Matt Varney finding the end zone six times in three games, twice in the win over South Glens Falls. Queensbury hosts a tough Gloversville team on Saturday.

Class B
Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Cohoes 1-0, 3-0 2
The Tigers earned a No. 20 ranking in Class B from the New York State Sportswriters Association and remain the only undefeated team in Section II Class B action. Tonight’s game against Cairo-Durham is the first home night game in school history. In a 36-22 victory over Albany Academy last Saturday, the Tigers gained 292 yards on 50 rushing attempts.
2. Schalmont 1-0, 2-1 -
Vince Gallo has gotten a little better each game and he ran for 256 yards in the Sabres’ victory over Hudson Falls last week. Schalmont hosts Johnstown tonight before heading to Cobleskill for a crucial West Division game next week.
3. Hudson Falls 0-1, 2-1 1
Schalmont slowed senior running back Joe McMurry last week, holding him to 55 yards on 20 attempts in a 30-19 victory for the Sabres. It doesn’t get easier for the Tigers, as they face off against defending Section II champions Cobleskill tonight.
4. Ravena 1-0, 2-1 5
Nick LaMountain ran for three touchdowns in Ravena’s week three victory over Hudson, but the Indians will face a worthy opponent Saturday afternoon when they travel to Albany Academy for an important Reinfurt Division contest.
5. Albany Academy 0-1, 1-2 3
The Cadets could not stop Cohoes’ running attack last week and tomorrow’s game against Ravena will determine whether Academy is a contender in the Reinfurt Division. Propser Muna and Chris Pelcher are developing into receiving options alongside Section II career leader Jimmer Bennett.

Class C
1. Schuylerville 3-0, 3-0 1
The Black Horses galloped to an easy 53-8 victory over Granville last week behind quarterback Austin Bateman's four scores. Bateman threw for 106 yards and ran for 88 yards in the win. Even more impressive through three weeks has been the Schuylerville defense. The eight points Granville scored were the first the Horses have allowed all year. They currently sit at No. 10 in the state Class C poll.
2. Fonda-Fultonville 3-0, 3-0 2
The high octane Braves offense has put up 164 points in wins over Catholic Central, Hoosic Valley and Voorheesville so far. The Braves have weapons all over the field with 10 different players finding their way into the end zone in the first three weeks. The first major test of the year for the Braves comes Saturday when they host the leagues stingiest defense in Tamarac.
3. Chatham 3-0, 3-0 3
Chatham has put up some points in three wins the most impressive of which coming week one against Watervliet. As the Cannoneers continue to win that week one victory looks more and more impressive. The Panthers have scored 57 points against Coxsackie and 42 against Hoosic Valley and may be in for another big game this week at home to Voorheesville. Behind the solid play of quarterback Parker Niles the Panthers are ranked No. 18 in the Class C state poll
4. Tamarac 3-0, 3-0 5
The Bengals continued their winning ways with a 36-6 win over Coxsackie-Athens last week. The six points were the first the Tamarac defense has surrendered this season. That defense will be put to the test when they travel to Fonda-Fultonville Saturday for a match up of the league’s top offense (Fonda) and top defense (Tamarac).
5. Watervliet 2-1, 2-1 4
The Cannoneers picked up another big win over Catholic Central last week and have scored 102 points in the last two games. The only blemish on the Watervliet record is a week one loss to a much better than expected Chatham team. Expect the Cannoneers to continue to improve making the weeks six and seven match ups with Fonda and Tamarac crucial late season games.

Class D
Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Rensselaer 3-0, 3-0 1
Mico De Los Santos-Perez is a do-it-all threat for the Rams, a player that can gain yards as a receiver or from the backfield. Jasheem Hamilton has scored eight touchdowns for Rensselaer and along with Nate Butler and Paul Dominy, makes for a dangerous four-headed running attack.
2. Bishop Gibbons 1-1, 2-1 5
Derrick Pitts is single-handedly turning around what was once a dismal program. Pitts, a junior running back, is the leading scorer in Section II, having scored 11 touchdowns. The Golden Knights, who have not had a winning season since 1976, are eyeing a playoff-clinching second place finish in the South Division.
3. Lake George 0-0, 3-0 2
The Warriors blanked Whitehall 34-0 last week, thanks to the exploits of Caleb Meroksi, who ran for 173 yards on 7 carries. He is averaging 14.3 yards per carry. But since Lake George qualifies as a Class C school, they cannot compete in the Sectional playoffs.
4. Fort Edward 2-0, 2-1 -
The Flying Forts, two-time defending Section II champions, got back on the right track with a 34-13 victory over Salem. Bob Phillips threw for two touchdowns and Tyler Carpenter, with 526 rushing yards, is the fourth leading rusher in Section II.
5. Warrensburg 1-1, 2-1 -
The Burgers have won two straight blowouts after losing to Fort Edward in week one and look to continue their streak against a winless Whitehall squad this week.

-- Compilied by Ryan Kircher and Will Montgomery

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