Thursday, October 23, 2008

Week eight: a look ahead

Class AA

Bethlehem (4-2, 4-3)
La Salle (4-1, 5-2)
7 p.m.

Bethlehem: Sean Murphy has run for 786 yards and is averaging over six yards per carry. Quarterback Randy Bowers has thrown for 768 yards and eight touchdowns. The Eagles finished with a 2-5 record in the Empire Division in 2007 and did not qualify for the playoffs. Bethlehem last won a postseason game in 2001, when the Eagles captured the Class AA championship with a 34-6 victory over Troy. The Eagles then defeated Monroe-Woodbury in a regional game before losing to North Rockland in a state semifinal.
About La Salle: Senior running back Marquis Terrell has rushed for 1,222 yards this season, bringing him to 3,772 for his varsity career, good for ninth on the Section II list. The Cadets defeated CBA 47-22 in a 2007 quarterfinal game and went on to capture the 2007 Class AA Section II championship.
Notable: The last time these two teams met in a postseason game was in a 2005 Class AA quarterfinal, which La Salle won, 19-0. The Cadets also won a 2004 quarterfinal by the score of 42-16.

Class AA

Niskayuna (3-2, 5-2)
Shenendehowa (5-1, 5-2)
7 p.m.

About Niskayuna: Danny Peters has thrown for 1,454 yards and has tossed 23 touchdowns against five interceptions. Four Niskayuna wide outs (Peter Furey, Kadeem Miller, Greg Rahn, Shawn Callahan) have at least 200 yards receiving apiece. The Silver Warriors have not played in a playoff game since 2005.
About Shenendehowa: Suhyab Banks has run for 1,088 yards this season, one of only seven backs in Section II to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. The Plainsmen have made the postseason every year since 1990 expect for absences in 1994 and 2006. Head coach Brent Steurwald has won 295 games in his career at Shenendehowa and is the only coach in school history.
Notable: The last time these two teams met in a postseason game was in a 2005 Class AA quarterfinal, which Shenendehowa won 48-6. The Silver Warriors defeated the Plainsmen in a 2000 quarterfinal, 25-14.

Class A

Lansingburgh (4-3)
Amsterdam (4-3)

About Lansingburgh: The Knights have made six consecutive Super Bowl appearances (Class A, 2006-07, Class B, 2002-05) and have never lost back-to-back games under head coach Pete Porcelli so expect the Knights to be up for their first round game. A healthy Marcus Hepp will go along way in deciding whether or not the Knights can pull out a road win at Amsterdam.
About Amsterdam: The Rams turned their season around after a 1-3 start. The Rams played the toughest schedule in Class A with Bishop Maginn, Burnt Hills and Troy all in the first four weeks. They have rattled off three consecutive victories since a 40-0 loss to Burnt Hills in week 4 behind the strong play of senior running back Ben Miseikis and quarterback Frank Peluso.
Notable: This is a match up of two of the more storied football programs of recent history in Section II. The Rams have made 15 consecutive postseason appearances including seven Super Bowl championships (1995, 99, 01-05) and two state titles in 1995 and 2005.

Class A

Glens Falls (4-3)
Troy (6-1)
2 p.m.

About Glens Falls: Senior quarterback Kyle Kelly has thrown six touchdowns and ran for five scores to get his team a No. 3 seed in Class A. Running back Dan Morrison is a threat on the ground with 11 rushing touchdowns. The Indians defense will be put to the test against a Troy team that averages 35 points a game.
About Troy: The Horses ground game looked unstoppable last week in their 28-3 victory over cross town rival Lansingburgh. The only bump in the road for troy this season was a 27-20 loss to the Southeast Division champion Griffins of Maginn, a game in which the Horses were shut out in the second half. The Horses say they learned a lesson in that loss and are primed for a run deep into the post season.
Notable: The Indians defense may have its hands full trying to stop the Troy ground game. Fred Fitch leads all rushers in Class A with 929 yards. The Indian defense has given up an average of 31 points a game while Troy has surrendered just seven a contest.

Class B

Albany Academy (3-2, 4-3)
Hudson Falls (3-1, 6-1)
Saturday, 2 p.m.

About Academy: Wide receiver Jimmer Bennett held the Section II career records for receiving yardage and total receptions coming into this season and has only widened the gap in the record book. Bennett has caught 61 passes for 813 yards, making him, by far, the most prolific wide out in Section II.
About Hudson Falls: Joe McMurry is also etching out space in the Section II record book, as his 4,185 career rushing yards rank him fifth on the all-time Section II list. McMurry has run for over 200 yards in five games this season and has scored at least four touchdowns in each 200+ yard game.
Notable: The Tigers won a Sept. 13 game 14-13 as Hudson Falls blocked an Albany Academy extra point attempt with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Hudson Falls also won a 2007 Class B quarterfinal game against Academy by the score of 49-21.

Class C

Watervliet (5-2)
at Hoosick Falls (6-1)
Friday, 7 p.m.

About Watervliet: The Cannoneers held on for a much needed win over Tamarac last week avoiding a match up at top seeded Schuylerville but securing a date with a dangerous Panthers team. The Cannoneers need to establish a running game with Ahkiem Thomson, Caleb Gleason and Dom Diaz shouldering the load. Linebacker Joe Hughes leads the team in sacks and will need to put pressure on the Panther's Kevin Woods.
About Hoosick Falls: The Panthers only set back this season came in a 36-0 week 2 loss to Schuylerville. Senior quarterback Kevin Woods has completed more than 50 percent of his passes for 992 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Notable: Both of the Cannoneers losses this season have come on the road while Hoosick Falls has not lost at home all season. The Panthers lost to the Cannoneers in last years Class C quarterfinals 46-21.


Tamarac senior quarterback David Fox has helped turned the Bengal football program around guiding them to the first sectional appearnce in two decades.

David Fox and fellow three year starters Phil Arnold and Brent Matazinsky weren't even born the last time Tamarac played in a postseason game. The trio helped change the culture at Tamarac this year finishing 4-3 and securing a No. 4 seed in the Class C sectionals. "It’s good to have a sectional game for once," Fox said. "It’s been along time."

The Bengals travel to top seeded Schuylerville as heavy underdogs. The undefeated Black Horses are the No. 6 team in the state and for good reason. Fox, coming off a shoulder injury suffered in week 6, knows his team will have to play near perfect football if they're to pull off the upset. "They capitalize on every mistake their opponents make," he said. "I think if we stay composed and don’t make mistakes, turnovers we’ll have a shot."

"They’re a great team," said Tamarac head coach Erick Roadcap. "A very physical fundamentally sound team you watch them on film you don’t see too many kinks in their armor. "If we’re mistake free and we execute it’s going to be a good game, if we don’t it’s going to be a long day."


Cohoes linebacker/fullback Tommy Durrant runs through a drill during Thursday's practice at Cohoes High School. The Tigers host Broadalbin-Perth in a Class B quarterfinal this Saturday at 2 p.m.

Cohoes linebacker Carlos Torres (blue jersey) attempts to block a defender during extra point practice Thursday at Cohoes High School. Torres' intensity on defense is a big reason why the Tigers are off to an 7-0 start in 2008.

Torres (l) and Durrant (r) take a breather during practice on Thursday. Durrant said the Tigers success story is so widespread in the Spindle City that even the clerks at Dunkin Donuts recognized him.

Look for a story on Cohoes preparing for the Broadalbin game in Friday edition of The Record, along with standings, stats, polls and pictures.
Cohoes head coach James Duchamre said the atmosphere around the school and in the city is very festive as the team hunkers down for a postseason run. Some of the players recently visited Van Schaick Elementary school to let the younger students know how the team is doing.
It's an important step for a program that is on the rise - the Tigers went 0-9 in 2006 and two years later, here they are, hosting a home playoff game.

"It feels a lot different than it did two years ago," Ducharme said. "We’ve been down to our elementary school twice in Van Schaick. The kids are following us, which, from my perspective, is great. That’s how you build a program. Starting in the elementary schools, getting down there and having some of the varsity guys interact with the elementary school kids. They watched one of our game films from the first-ever night game and they’re like, ‘wow, how do we do that'? It’s getting them interested in a program at a very young and early age is how Troy, Shen, Colonie, La Salle, Ravena, that’s how those programs are able to succeed, because they have that youth into their program."

Durrant said he received congratulations at Dunkin Donuts and Torres said he drew some attention with his letterman's jacket last weekend at the American Cancer Society benefit walk in downtown Albany.

"A whole bunch of people from other schools were asking me if we won last weekend and what the final score was," Torres grinned. "It was cool."

"Our city supports any of our athletic teams," Ducharme said. "Softball back in the spring, basketball and wrestling in the winter. It’s great when our kids do something good on the field and they’re seeing it in the city or in the supermarket and somebody comes up to them and says, ‘you’re doing a good job.’ That is probably the biggest compliment next to wins that they can get."

Class AA
Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Saratoga Springs 6-0, 6-1 2
The Blue Streaks did not qualify for post season play in 2007 but look like the early favorites in 2008. Saratoga is the only Class AA team to allow fewer than 100 points.
2. Schenectady 4-1, 6-1 1
Shaker upset the Patriots last week in the Liberty Division finale and Schenectady will get a huge test from Ballston Spa and talented Scotties quarterback Mark Seager tonight.
3. La Salle 4-1, 5-2 4
The defending Section II Class AA champs kick off their title defense against Bethlehem tonight at 7 p.m. on Sutton Field in Troy.
4. Shenendehowa 5-1, 5-2 3
The Plainsmen needed a last-minute kick return to hold off Ballston Spa last week and secure a home game against Niskayuna. Tailback Suhyab Banks has scored 22 touchdowns.
5. Niskayuna 3-2, 5-2 -
The Silver Warriors have the top passing attack in Class AA, as Danny Peters has thrown for 1,454 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Class A
Team League, Overall Last week
1. Burnt Hills 5-0, 7-0 1
Paul Layton ran for three touchdowns and kicked six extra points in the Spartans 42-6 victory over Queensbury in week 7. The No.4 team in the state opens its run to the Class A Super Bowl at home against Averill Park.
2. Bishop Maginn 5-0, 7-0 3
The Griffins scored 40 points in the first quarter en route to a 67-0 rout of Mohonasen last week. The Maginn defense forced six turnovers including one returned for a touchdown by Mitchell Dickson. The Griffs host Gloversville tonight at Bleecker Stadium.
3. Troy 3-1, 5-1 2
Troy ran all over Lansingburgh in a 28-3 Uncle Sam Cup victory last week thanks to the play of its offensive line. The big men up front have done the job all year for the Horses giving quarterback Zach Dolan time in the pocket and Fred Fitch and company large gaps to run through.
4. Amsterdam 4-1, 4-3 5
Who would have thought the Rams would be hosting a first round play off game after a 0-2 start but they're doing exactly that. Head coach Pat Liverio has his young team on a three game winning streak and the Rams are battle tested after playing the toughest schedule in Class A. 5. Lansingburgh 3-2, 4-3 4
Lansingburgh needs to bounce back from a disappointing home loss to Troy in the Uncle Sam Cup in which the Knights were held to just 132 yards of total offense. If Marcus Hepp is 100 percent the Knights chances of advancing greatly improve.

Class B
Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Cohoes 5-0, 7-0 1
The last time Cohoes was undefeated in league play was during the 1996 season, when the Tigers finished 7-0 in the Buckley Division of the defunct Capital Conference and ended with a 7-2 overall record.
2. Schalmont 4-0, 6-1 2
The Sabres finished with their first winning record in league play since 1991 (5-2) and their first undefeated league record in school history. Schalmont has never won a postseason game in school history.
3. Hudson Falls 3-1, 6-1 3
Joe McMurry (1,523 yards) is the leading rusher in Section II and with 4,185 yards in his career, now ranks as the No. 5 rusher in Section II history.
4. Ravena 4-1, 5-2 4
The Indians have qualified for the Section II playoffs in thirteen consecutive seasons, as have Fonda and Burnt Hills. Only Cambridge (14 seasons) and Amsterdam (15) have longer active streaks.
5. Albany Academy 3-2, 4-3 5
Senior wide receiver Jimmer Bennett has 269 more receiving yards and 29 more catches than anyone else in Section II. Before the season began, Bennett already held the all-time Section II records for catches and yardage.

Class C
Team League, Overall Last week
1. Schuylerville 6-0, 7-0 1
The Black horses got revenge for last seasons Class C Super Bowl loss with a 49-23 victory over Cambridge in week 7. Schuylerville is undefeated, No. 6 in the state and the top ranked North Division team in the Class C sectionals.
2. Chatham 7-0, 7-0 2
The Panthers beat Catholic Central last week to complete a perfect regular season and a Class C South Division championship. Jimmy Dorato and Brian Gauthier each scored a pair of touchdowns last week for the No. 1 seed in the South Division.
3. Fonda-Fultonville 6-1, 6-1 3
The Braves earned the No. 2 seed out of the South Division and host defending Class C champion Cambridge on Saturday. Josh Nethaway has thrown for 1,558 yards, 23 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
4. Hoosick Falls 6-1, 6-1 4
Kevin Woods has thrown for 992 yards and 12 touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a No. 2 seed and a first round home game against Watervliet. Woods should look to air it out often as the Cannoneers have had trouble defending the pass in the regular season.
5. Watervliet 5-2, 5-2 5
The Cannoneers held on for a 26-21 victory against Tamarac in week 7 but need to play much crisper if they're to get by a tough Hoosick Falls team tonight.

Class D
Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Lake George 0-0. 7-0 2
The Warriors defeated Rensselaer on a touchdown with 23 seconds left in the third quarter, escaping with a 23-22 victory. Lake George, however, cannot compete in the sectional playoffs because its enrollment qualifies it as a Class C school.
2. Rensselaer 4-0, 6-1 1
Jasheem Hamilton scored one touchdown in the one-point loss to Lake George, the first time he was held to fewer than two scores this season.
3. Bishop Gibbons 2-2, 5-2 4
Derrick Pitts has scored 24 touchdowns and is the leading scorer in Section II, but the Golden Knights have already been eliminated from playoff contention.
4. Fort Edward 3-0, 4-3 5
The Flying Forts defeated Canajoharie in Canajoharie last Friday, a preview of a Class D semifinal game Fort Edward will host on Nov. 1.
5. Canajoharie 2-2, 4-3 3
Wide receiver Dane O’Neil has caught 30 passes for 499 yards and seven touchdowns this season, making him the top receiver in Class D.

-- Compilied by Ryan Kircher and Will Montgomery

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

good luck to Tamarac!

good luck to Tommy Durrant and his Cohoes team!

good article

October 24, 2008 at 1:09 PM 

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