Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week four: a look ahead

Watervliet jack-of-all-trades Kyle Touzin leads the undeafeted - and un-scored upon - Watervliet Cannoneers into a critical Class C South Division matchup Saturday at Voorheesville. Look for more on Touzin and the Cannoneers' shutout streak in Friday's edition of The Record. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).

Shaker (0-1, 1-2) at La Salle (1-0, 3-0), Friday, 7 p.m

About Shaker: The Blue Bison could keep up the steam after blanking Albany in Week 2, scoring only one touchdown in a loss to Schenectady last week. Shaker’s two-headed quarterback team of Ben Capeless and Michael Parzych were a combined 2-for-12 for 38 yards against Schenectady and they’ll need to fix that passing game against a speedy La Salle secondary.
About La Salle: President Obama drove past Sutton Field Monday morning and the Cadets are hoping to keep drives alive tonight in their homecoming contest against the Blue Bison. The Cadets shut out Colonie last week and have allowed only 23 points through three games. Tyler Washington added 112 yards and two rushing touchdowns to his totals, proving more than and adequate replacement for Marquis Terrell.
Notable: In their 2008 meeting in Latham, La Salle trumped the Bison 40-7. In fact, La Salle owns a four-game winning streak against Shaker, dating back to the 2005 season. The Cadets have outscored the Bison 125-44 during that span.

Hudson (0-0, 3-0) at Lansingburgh (1-0, 3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

About Hudson: Quarterback Talib Barksdale, the younger brother of Arizona Cardinals practice squad player Rashad Barksdale, injured his ankle midway through the Bluehawks game against Cobleskill and is doubtful for tonight’s game. His top receiver, Nevin Sheldon (shoulder) also missed the second half of last week’s game. The Bluehawks are undefeated through three games, outscoring opponents 86-58, but those three opponents – all from the West Division - have a combined record of 1-8.
About Lansingburgh: The Knights, despite a shaky first quarter, held off Cohoes on Homecoming night last Friday, thanks to three touchdown tosses from senior quarterback T.J. McLaughlin. Lansingburgh had three running backs rush for at least 100 yards in Week 1 and Tyrone Nichols ran for 176 yards in Week 2, but Zaquawn Gordon led the way against Cohoes with 70 yards on the ground in a balanced attack.
Notable: This will be the first meeting between the teams in almost exactly four years, as Lansingburgh handed the Bluehawks a 55-0 defeat on Sept. 23, 2005. It was the first of three consecutive shutouts for the Knights, who then blanked Taconic Hills and Cohoes in succession en route to a Section II Class B title.

Saratoga Central Catholic (1-2, 1-2) at Rensselaer (3-0, 3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

About Spa Catholic: The Saints ran wild in a victory over perennial Class D power Fort Edward, as Dave Mulcahy (23 attempts, 221 yards, three touchdowns) and Jeremy Furey (13-100) took care of the Flying Forts. Three games into their second varsity season after taking a 19-year hiatus, the Saints are one victory away from jumping to the top of the Class D standings.
About Rensselaer: The Rams felt like they didn’t get any respect heading into last week’s game at Bishop Gibbons, having been ranked below the Knights in the NYSSWA Class D poll, but they’ll play the rest of the season with the front-runner’s target squarely on their backs. Mico De Los Santos piled up 278 all-purpose yards and with the return of a healthy Jashem Hamilton, the Rams should be even more powerful than they were a week ago.
Notable: The Rams won last year’s meeting, 43-7. The Week 2 game was Spa Catholic’s second contest on the varsity level.

Ravena (0-1, 1-2) at Cohoes (0-1, 2-1), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

About Ravena: The Indians scored 35 points against Albany Academy last week, but still lost by 17 points in their Reinfurt Division opener. Cory Watts rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns, but will be challenged by a Cohoes defense that did not allow a 100-yard rusher last week against Lansingburgh. The Indians have been outscored 70-103, their only victory coming by a mere one point over Cobleskill-Richmondville in Week 2.
About Cohoes: The Tigers scored on the last play of the game last week, but it was too late, as Cohoes had allowed six unanswered touchdowns to Lansingburgh in a 51-19 defeat. Anthony Fogarty stepped up as a big-play running back last week, averaging over 10 yards per carry on five rushing attempts.
Notable: These teams played an epic, three-overtime battle last season in Ravena. Cohoes’ Steve Weaver had a sack and the game-winning touchdown in the final overtime period, lifting the Tigers to a 13-7 victory.

The Record's Section II High School Football Power Poll
Class AA
Team League Overall Last Week
1. La Salle 1-0 3-1 1
The Cadets have plenty to play for on homecoming against Shaker High. If La Salle beats the Bison and Columbia beats Colonie tonight, it sets up a Week 5 matchup of 2-0 Liberty Division rivals with Greenbush-area pride on the line.
2. Ballston Spa 1-0 3-0 2
The Scotties’ victory over Shenendehowa last week – and a big second-half surge after a lackadaisical first half performance, shows that this team is for real. Troy, Burnt Hills, Cambridge and Watervliet are the only other teams to have scored at least 100 more points than they’ve allowed.
3. Schenectady 1-0 2-1 4
Quarterback Tim Cox passed for 148 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over Shaker last week, proving more than an adequate replacement for the grad¬uated Nick Ottati.
4. Guilderland 1-0 2-1 5
The Dutchmen offense sputtered for 43 minutes last week against CBA, but three touchdowns in the final five minutes of the game lifted them to an improbable come-from-behind victory over the Brothers. Ryan Smith has been one of the most prolific QB’s in Section II.
5. Saratoga Springs 1-0 2-1 NR
The Blue Streaks turned the ball over eight times against Albany High, but still found a way to keep the Falcons off the scoreboard in an 18-0 victory. Can they stop CBA’s punishing senior running back Jack Reilly tonight?

Class A
Team League Overall Last Week
1. Burnt Hills 1-0 3-0 1
It looked like it would be the most competitive Division II game of the year, but Burnt Hills scored 46 points for the third game in a row, blasting Gloversville to the bottom of the standings.
2. Troy 1-0 3-0 2
The Flying Horses posted their second consecutive shutout last week in Scotia, and now have scored 147 unanswered points after allowing a first quarter touch¬down to Queensbury in Week
3. Glens Falls 1-0 2-1 NR
Dan LaNoir ran for 218 yards and five touchdowns in a victory over Amsterdam in Week 2. This week the Indians take on archrival South Glens Falls in a Division II showdown.
4. Bishop Maginn 1-0 2-1 5
The Griffins bounced back after an embarrassing loss to Gloversville with a big win over Averill Park, marked by Tymear Mallory’s career-high four touchdowns. Now that their younger players are gaining experience, the Griffins look to con¬tinue their improvement at Scotia tonight.
5. Queensbury 1-0 2-1 4
The Spartans scored 48 points in a win over Averill Park in Week 2 and then pitched a shutout against South Glens Falls in Week 3. If they can control the tempo of the game, maintain possession of the ball and establish a ground game, the Spartans may be a dangerous team come the postseason.

Class B
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1. Lansingburgh, 1-0, 3-0, 1
The Knights looked a little sluggish in the first quarter of their game against Cohoes last week, but the offense woke up, scoring six unanswered touchdowns in a Homecoming game rout. Terrance Kemp, Tyrone Nichols and Zaquawn Gordon have all split carries, meaning they should be fresh for the stretch run.
2, Albany Academy, 1-0, 3-0, 2
The Cadets sure can light up the scoreboard – only Lansingburgh has scored more points among Class B teams – but they will have to shore up the defense if they want to be playing meaningful games late in October.
3, Hudson, 0-0, 3-0, 4
The Bluehawks have been beating up on the weak teams in the West Division, but they are still one of three undefeated teams in the Reinfurt Division. Tayron Bryant stepped up last week in Talib Barksdale’s absence and may be counted on in a big spot in Lansingburgh.
4, Cohoes, 0-1, 2-1, 3
The Tigers played well in the first half against Lansingburgh, shocking the crowd when they took the lead minutes into the game, but fumbles cost them a number of opportunities. They’ll look to sharpen up the defense and their ball-handling this week against Ravena.
5, Schalmont, 1-0, 1-2, NR
Vince Gallo romped for 236 rushing yards and five touchdowns last week and he alone makes the Sabres a dangerous team week-in and week-out. Schalmont, however, has to travel to Hudson Falls tomorrow for a game that may well decide who earns the No. 1 seed out of the West Division.

Class C
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Hoosick Falls, 3-0, 3-0, 1
Alex Hansen scored four touchdowns in last week’s victory over Tamarac, marking the second consecutive week he entered the end zone four times. A dangerous runner who is quickly becoming one of junior quarterback Mike Brewster’s favorite targets, Hansen leads the area in scoring.
2, Chatham, 3-0, 3-0, 2
The Panthers made a big statement last week when they defeated Fonda-Fultonville on the road, making them the early favorite in the South Division. Running backs Josh Keyes and David Coon are both among the area’s top point-scorers.
3, Cambridge, 3-0, 3-0, 4
The Indians easily handled long-time rival Greenwich in Week 3, as quarterback Kyle Parmenter tossed for 131 yards and three scores. Tamarac’s spread option could pose trouble for the Cambridge defense, however, which has allowed a mere seven points thus far.
4, Granville, 3-0, 3-0, NR
The Golden Horde have quietly entered the discussion in the North Division with quality wins over Corinth and Mechanicville. Next three games are against Salem, Stillwater and Schuylerville, meaning Granville could easily be 6-0 heading into a Week 7 showdown with Cambridge.
5, Watervliet, 3-0, 3-0, 5
Cannoneers will have their hands full with Voorheesville’s traditional Power-I offense, but will the Blackbirds throw any wrinkles into the gameplan? Voorheesville is riding a two-game winning streak after a Week 1 defeat against Chatham.

Class D
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Rensselaer, 3-0, 3-0, 1
Rams proved that they are the team to beat in Class D, demolishing Bishop Gibbons 49-14 in Schenectady last Saturday. Rensselaer has a power running game in Jashem Hamilton and Nate Butler and Mico De Los Santos provides the fireworks on the outside.
2, Lake George, 2-0, 2-1, 3
Caleb Meroski is one of only four Section II running backs with more than 550 rushing yards and the Warriors, a year after an undefeated season as a Class C team barred from the playoffs are looking forward to their Week 7 showdown with Rensselaer, a possible Super Bowl preview.
3, Warrensburg, 2-1, 2-1, NR
Brendan Frye has passed for over 100 yards in each of his last two games. The Burghers, however, get a big test tonight against Lake George.
4, Bishop Gibbons, 1-1, 2-1, 2
The Golden Knights still have senior quarterback extraordinaire Derrick Pitts, so they can be competitive in any game in which Pitts runs free. Trouble is, can they devise a Plan B when defenses target Gibbons’ main man?
5, Spa Catholic, 1-2, 1-2, NR
Dave Mulcahy rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s victory over Fort Edward and the Saints look to even their record at .500 for the first time in a long time. Spa Catholic’s last winning season (5-3) came in 1975, when they competed in the Southern Division of the now-defunct Northern Conference.

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