Thursday, November 6, 2008

2008 Super Bowl Previews

Class AA Super Bowl
La Salle (7-2) vs Schenectady (8-1)
Friday, 7 p.m.
at South Colonie High School

About La Salle:
The defending Section II champions look to claim their third Class AA championship in four years with a victory over Schenectady. Senior running back Marquis Terrell has rushed for 4,128 yards in his career, placing him seventh on the all-time Section II list. He has also has scored 330 points, which ranks 13th all-time in Section II history. La Salle head coach Al Rapp has led the Cadets to a 15-4 record in Section II postseason play since taking the reins in 2000.
About Schenectady: This is the Patriots’ first-ever appearance in a Section II title game. In fact, Schenectady had only one winning season since Linton and Mont Pleasant High Schools merged in 1988: the 2007 squad that finished 5-4.
Notable: Schenectady won a Liberty Division meeting in the Electric City on Oct. 10, 34-7. La Salle and Schenectady have never met in postseason play before.

Class A Super Bowl
Burnt Hills (9-0) vs Bishop Maginn (9-0)
Saturday, 7 p.m.
at South Colonie High School

About Burnt Hills: The No. 4 ranked Spartans used a big second half from quarterback Paul Layton to top Troy 35-20 in last weeks semifinal game. Burnt Hills looked destined for a date in the Super Bowl since week 1 and they haven’t disappointed compiling a perfect record while outscoring opponents 437-53 through nine games.
About Bishop Maginn: The Griffins advanced to the Super Bowl with a 31-13 victory over Amsterdam last week. Coach Joe Grasso’s squad hasn’t dominated its opponents like Burnt Hills has but week-after-week it has found a way to pull out wins and stay unbeaten. The Griffins are the more athletic team but suit up only 25 players forcing many to play both sides of the ball.
Notable: The game features two of the top kickers in Section II with Paul Layton of Burnt Hills and Mitchell Dickson of Bishop Maginn. Layton has converted on 56 extra-points while Dickson has kicked 31 extra-points and connected on five field goals.

Class B Super Bowl
Hudson Falls (8-1) vs Ravena (7-2)
Saturday, 3 p.m.
at Lynch Middle School, Amsterdam

About Hudson Falls:
Senior running back Joe McMurry is the leading rusher in Section II, having gained 1,952 yards on 272 carries – 50 more attempts than any other back in the section. He’s rushed for 4,614 yards in his career, good for fourth on the all-time Section II list. The Tigers fell to Schalmont in week three and have not lost since. Hudson Falls was ranked No. 8 in the latest New York State poll.
About Ravena: The Indians have appeared in the Class B Super Bowl nine of the past 13 seasons and have won four Section II titles. Ravena head coach Gary VanDerzee has collected 163 victories since 1983, making him the eighth-most winningest coach in Section II history. Senior quarterback Keith Hoyt is a double threat on the ground and through the air, having accounted for 1,043 total yards.
Notable: These teams met in the 1996 and 1997 Class B Super Bowls, Ravena winning them both by a combined scored of 69-0. Hudson Falls defeated Ravena in the 2000 Super Bowl, 20-14, the Tigers’ third and most recent Section II Class B championship.

Class C Super Bowl
Watervliet (7-2) vs Schuylerville (9-0)
Friday, 7 p.m.
at Christian Brothers Academy

About Watervliet: The Cannoneers avenged a week 1 loss to Chatham with a dominating 20-3 road victory over the Panthers in the Class C semifinals. The Watervliet defense shut down two of the top quarterbacks in Class C in its sectional games against Kevin Woods and Hoosick Falls and Parker Niles and Chatham. They have no time to rest on their laurels though with junior Austin Bateman lining up under center for Schuylerville. Senior defensive tackle Joe Hughes leads the Cannoneer defense with 13 sacks while linebackers Caleb Gleason (3) and Mike Siler (2) have combined for five interceptions. Watervliet moved into the No. 17 spot in the New York State Sportswriters rankings following its upset win over Chatham.
About Schuylerville: Junior quarterback Austin Bateman guides the second most prolific offense in Section II--405 points scored behind Burnt Hills’ 437. Bateman is a double threat for the Black Horses rushing for 19 touchdowns and throwing for eight. He has dominated in sectional play with 175 yards and three touchdowns rushing in a 56-26 semifinal win over Fonda-Fultonville and a seven touchdown (four rushing, three passing) performance in a 60-20 quarterfinal drubbing of Tamarac.
Notable: This is a rematch of last years Class C semifinals in which Schuylerville prevailed 6-0 in a defensive struggle. The Horses are the No. 4 ranked Class C team in the state and are making their second consecutive appearance in the finals.

Class D Super Bowl
Rensselaer (8-1) vs Fort Edward (6-3)
Saturday, 1 p.m.
at Glens Falls High School

About Rensselaer: The Rams are headed back to the Class D Super Bowl for the first time since 1995 thanks to a multi-dimensional rushing attack led by power runner Jasheem Hamilton and lightning quick Mico De Los Santos. Rensselaer has surrendered on average fewer than 10 points per game while scoring more than 38.
About Fort Edward: Tyler Carpenter is the second-leading rusher in Section II, having piled up 1,724 yards on 222 attempts. Over the last three games, he is averaging 34.7 carries, 278.7 yards and three rushing touchdowns. He’s also caught seven passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns during the season. Fort Edward has won the last two Section II Class D titles.
Notable: The teams have met only twice before in postseason play. Fort Edward defeated the Rams 40-0 in a 2007 Class D semifinal, but Rensselaer defeated Fort Edward 23-8 in the 1991 Class D Super Bowl.

Class AA
Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Schenectady 4-1, 8-1 2
The Patriots are in a Section II title game for the first time since Linton and Mont Pleasant High Schools merged in 1988. Schenectady had only one postseason victory in school history prior to this season.
2. La Salle 4-1, 7-2 3
The Cadets are looking to capture their second consecutive Section II title. Shen (2002-03) was the last Class AA team to win Section II champi¬onships in consecutive years.
3. Saratoga Springs 6-0, 7-2 1
The Blue Streaks lost a heartbreaker to La Salle in the semifinals, laying Leejay Pollacchi’s 333 yards and five rushing touchdowns to waste.
4. Niskayuna 3-2, 6-3 4
Danny Peters finished as one of the top quarterbacks in Section II, throw¬ing for 1,786 yards and 27 touchdowns as the Silver Warriors advanced to the Class AA semifinals for the first time since 2000.
5. Ballston Spa 3-3, 5-4 -
Mark Seager ran for 207 yards and four touchdowns in the Scotties’ crossover victory over Shenendehowa, making him the No. 1 rushing quar¬terback in Section II.

Class A

Team League, Overall Last week
1. Burnt Hills 6-0, 9-0 1
Paul Layton ran for more than135 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second half, to lead the Spartans to their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance with a 35-20 win over Troy.
2. Bishop Maginn 6-0, 9-0 2
Tymear Mallory rushed for 128 yards and a score, caught two touchdown passes and was on the receiving end of a successful two-point conversion in the Griffins 31-13 semifinal victory over Amsterdam.
3. Troy 5-1, 7-2 3
Senior quarterback Zach Dolan had 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 104 and two scores through the air but the Horses couldn’t stop Paul Layton in the second half in a season ending 35-20 loss to Burnt Hills.
4. Amsterdam 5-1, 5-4 4
The Rams were shut out in the second half in a 31-13 semifinal loss to Bishop Maginn, but exceeded most preseason expectations finishing with a 5-4 record.
5. Glens Falls 3-2, 5-4 -
The Indians finished over .500 with a 45-7 victory over Averill Park in Week 9. Running back Dan Morrison capped a strong senior season with a two touchdown, 189 yard performance.

Class B
Team League, Overall Last Week
1. Hudson Falls 3-1, 8-1 2
Joe McMurry didn’t run wild on Cohoes in last week’s Class B semifinal, but he did grind out 183 yards on 43 carries to open up Hudson Falls’ passing game. The Tigers vaulted to No. 8 in the state with the victory.
2. Ravena 4-1, 7-2 3
The Indians find themselves in familiar territory – the Class B Super Bowl – thanks to nine touchdowns apiece from C.J. Murray and Nick LaMountain.
3. Cohoes 5-0, 8-1 1 Senior running back Steve Weaver will be sorely missed on the Cohoes sideline next season. He finished with 1,275 yards and 16 rushing TDS this season.
4. Schalmont 4-0, 7-2 5
Vince Gallo is one of only five Section II running backs to accumulate more than 1,600 yards on the ground, but he couldn’t lead the Sabres past an upstart Hudson in the quarterfinal round.
5. Hudson 2-3, 3-6 4
The Bluehawks finished with a losing record, but should be sharp next year now that quarterback Talib Barksdale has a year of experience under his belt.

Class C
Team League, Overall Last week
1. Schuylerville 7-0, 9-0 1
Junior quarterback Austin Bateman has rushed for 412 yards and 10 TDs in two playoff victories. The Horses are averaging 58 points in the playoffs.
2. Watervliet 6-2, 7-2 4
The Cannoneers shut down No.1 seed Chatham in a 20-3 semifinal road victory. Watervliet held a Panthers offense that came in averaging 45 points a game to a first-quarter field goal.
3. Chatham 8-0, 8-1 2
The Panthers season came to an end last week but the future looks bright for Chatham with quarterback Parker Niles and running back Josh Keyes returning as juniors next year.
4. Fonda-Fultonville 7-1, 7-2 3
Josh Nethaway threw for 2,072 yards and a Section II single-season record 30 touchdown passes in 2008.
5. Hoosick Falls 5-1, 6-3 5
Quarterback Kevin Woods capped a memorable senior season with an 11-of-24, 197 yard and two touchdown performance in a 32-27 loss to Corinth.

Class D
Team League, Overall Last Week
1.Rensselaer 4-0, 8-1 1
The Rams are looking to advance to the New York State playoffs for the first time since 1995, when they went all the way to the state title game.
2. Fort Edward 3-0, 6-3 3
Tyler Carpenter has scored 122 total points this season and he’s also picking up at 7.8 yards per attempt.
3. Lake George 0-0, 9-0 5
Junior tailback Caleb Meroski rushed for 1,625 yards this season, leading the Warriors to a perfect season, albeit it one of all non
league games.
4. Canajoharie 2-2, 5-4 2
The Cougars’ typically solid defense crumpled last week against Fort Edward, allowing 50 points in a 50-42 loss. Canajoharie had
allowed 70 points into total prior to the game.
5. Bishop Gibbons 2-2, 6-3 -
Derrick Pitts capped a wonderful season with seven rushing touchdowns in a 53-6 rout of Class B crossover opponent Cairo-Durham. He finished with 1,685 rushing yards and 31 total touchdowns, far more than any player in Section II.

- Compiled by Ryan Kircher and Will Montgomery
Look for even more coverage of the Section II Super Bowls in Friday's edition of The Record, including stories on the La Salle, Watervliet and Rensselaer teams preparing for the big game.

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