Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week five: a look ahead

La Salle (2-0, 4-0) at Columbia (1-1, 1-3), Friday, 7 p.m.








About La Salle: The Cadets relied on backup quarterback Garrett DeLory last week against Shaker and he was fantastic in his debut under center, leading La Salle to a 40-7 victory over the Blue Bison. DeLory passed for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Starting quarterback Mike Murray sat with an injured knee. La Salle has won at least its first four games against Section II opponents each of the past two seasons.
About Columbia: The Blue Devils, who rebounded from an 0-2 start with a victory over Bethlehem in Week 3, could not maintain that form in Week 4, scoring a single touchdown in a 24-7 loss to Colonie. Columbia has been outscored 38-120.
Notable: The Blue Devils welcome local Pop Warner players tonight and will host a flag football game at halftime. East Greenbush Teacher of the Year Lisa Westman will be honored as an honorary captain during the coin toss. La Salle has won three of its past four games against Columbia by a combined score of 113-21. Columbia last beat the Cadets on Sept. 1, 2006, 7-6.

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








About Hudson: Bluehawks quarterback Talib Barksdale, in street clothes during last week’s game at Lansingburgh, is expected to return this week. An ankle injury suffered against Cobleskill-Richmondville in Week 3 sidelined him for one and a half games. Hudson, which had defeated three West Division teams to open the season, lost its first Reinfurt Division game last week in Lansingburgh by 50 points. The Bluehawks only score in that game came on a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by the explosive Nevin Sheldon.
About Cohoes: The Tigers rallied from a 14-0 first quarter deficit against Ravena in Week 4 thanks to three unanswered touchdowns by Anthony Fogarty. Fogarty has returned two interceptions for touchdowns this season. Senior fullback and linebacker Tommy Durrant injured his shoulder late in last week’s game against Ravena but is expected to play tonight.
Notable: This is Cohoes’ second annual Homecoming under the portable lights. Cohoes won the first annual game against Taconic Hills on Oct. 18. 2008, 60-6. If history is any indication, expect a close final score between these teams. Excepting a 35-0 blowout victory for Hudson in 2006, Cohoes has won three of the past four games against the Bluehawks by a combined nine points.

Rensselaer (4-0, 4-0) at Hoosick Falls (4-0, 4-0), Friday, 7 p.m









About Rensselaer: The Rams bring a ton of power to this matchup, led by the running back/linebacker duo of Jashem Hamilton and Nate Butler. Rams head coach Joel Preston always finds interesting ways to use do-it-all back Mico De Los Santos, who is one of Section II’s leading scorers. This game won’t affect Rensselaer’s standing for the Section II Class D postseason, but a strong showing against a talented Class C team would send a strong message about how the Rams may fare in playoff games.
About Hoosick Falls: The Panthers have outscored opponents 167-38 so far, thanks to a powerful offense led by running back Alex Hansen and quarterback Mike Brewster. Hansen has scored 13 touchdowns, with 10 of those coming on the ground and three of them through the air. Hansen has 125 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns in his last two games.
Notable: Uncommon opponents through the years, the Rams and Panthers have not met on the gridiron in recent memory. Rensselaer and Hoosick Falls are among the five Rensselaer County teams still undefeated through Week 4. La Salle, Lansingburgh and Troy High are also 4-0 heading into Week 5 action.

Mechanicville (3-1, 3-1) at Cambridge (3-0, 4-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.








About Mechanicville: The Red Raiders lost to Granville by 14 points in Week 2 and after two consecutive victories over winless teams now have a shot at another undefeated North Division squad. David Guynup rushed for 201 yards in a Week 1 victory over Hoosic Valley but has not run for triple digit yardage since. Quarterback Nick Gaetano and reserve runner John Abele, however, have picked up the slack.
About Cambridge: The Indians, along with Troy, are the only teams to have allowed fewer than 10 points this season, both surrendering a single touchdown. Quarterback Kyle Parmenter leads the offensive attack, but running backs Matt Best (216 rushing yards) and Alex Bell (190) have done an adequate job splitting carries in the backfield.
Notable: Cambridge won the last two meetings between the teams, games in 2006 and 2008, by a combined score of 66-24. Cambridge faces its top three challengers – Mechanicville, Hoosick Falls and Granville - in the North Division in the final three weeks of the regular season.

The Record's Power Poll - Week 5

Class AA
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, La Salle, 2-0, 4-0, 1
The Cadets hit the road this week for the short trip to Greenbush-area rival Columbia. With games against Columbia and Bethlehem in the next two weeks, the Cadets can't start looking ahead to their Week 7 matchup against Schenectady, which might not mean anything unless they win in Weeks 5 and 6 first.
2, Ballston Spa, 2-0, 4-0, 2
The Scotties survived a scare last week against Albany, topping the winless Falcons by a mere 14 points, their slimmest margin of victory in 2009.Don't expect very many passes in this week's game against CBA - it figures to be a two-way ground battle.
3, Schenectady, 2-0, 3-1, 3
The Patriots are quietly having another fantastic season, this their first under new head coach Jim Kramer. Quarterback Tim Cox has passed for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in each of his past two games.
4, Saratoga Springs, 2-0, 3-1, 5
The Blue Streaks are riding a three-game winning streak, having outscored opponents 87-20 over that span. Their brutal stretch run, however, includes games against Guilderland, Ballston Spa and Shenendehowa in order before the postseason begins.
5, Shenendehowa, 1-1, 3-1, NR
After a Week 3 loss to Ballston Spa, the Plainsmen rallied with a big victory over Guilderland. QB Andrew Kalish was 5-for-6 with three TD tosses in the triumph over the Dutchmen. Wins over Albany and CBA the next two weekends would put Shen in great position for its Week 7 rivalry showdown with Saratoga.

Class A
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 2-0, 4-0, 1
The Spartans made their rivalry game against Amsterdam look easy last week, winning 58-0. Although they've scored more points (196) than any team except Troy High, the Spartans spread the wealth. Junior running back Brandon Beatty leads the team with six touchdowns and six other players and entered the end zone at least three times.
2, Troy, 2-0, 4-0, 2
Shatiek Lewis and Jordan Canzeri have been a deadly backfield combination for the Flying Horses, having scored 14 touchdowns between them. Junior quarterback Brian Marsh hasn't been asked to throw the ball very much, but he's completed 64% of his passes and thrown three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
3, Glens Falls, 2-0, 3-1, 3
The Indians have won three in a row since losing their Week 1 contest against Niskayuna, but they get their biggest challenge of the season when they host Burnt Hills tonight.
4, Niskayuna, 2-0, 3-1, NR
Aside from their 39-point loss to Burnt Hills, the Silver Warriors have looked pretty strong this season, displaying a balance between the pass and the run on offense. Kyle Bayly is one of only 13 quarterbacks in Section II to have passed for at least 400 yards through the first four weeks.
5, Gloversville, 1-1, 3-1, NR
The Huskies can ride the strong arm of quarterback Chad McCloskey, but can they mount a strong enough running attack to wear down opposing defenses? Wide receiver Aaron Hall is averaging over 18 yards per reception.

Class B
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Lansingburgh, 2-0, 4-0, 1
The Knights have fended off two consecutive undefeated challengers in the Reinfurt Division and they'll face another Saturday in Albany Academy. Tyrone Nichols is the Knights' big play back, averaging 10.5 yards per carry. Zaquawn Gordon, the workhorse, has run the ball 58 times for 333 yards.
2, Albany Academy, 1-0, 4-0, 2
Sophomore quarterback Hunter McCarthy missed last week's game with a thumb injury and will likely be a game-time decision Saturday. With heavy rain in the forecast, Academy and Lansingburgh may just stick to the ground game anyway.
3, Cohoes, 1-1, 3-1, 4
Anthony Fogarty put the Tigers on his back last week against Ravena, scoring all three touchdowns in a come-from-behind 21-14 victory over the Indians. The Tigers close out the regular season with tough games against Hudson (tonight), Albany Academy (next Thursday) and at Hudson Falls at Oct. 17.
4, Schalmont, 2-0, 2-2, 5
Vince Gallo continues to trample would-be tacklers, as the senior quarterback is the third-leading rushing in Section II. He averages 7.9 yards per carry and has also passed for 156 yards and a touchdown this season.
5, Cobleskill-Richmondville, 1-0, 1-3, NR
The Bulldogs won their first game of the year in Week 4 just in time. It was their first West Division game of the year, leaving the Bulldogs only a game behind Schalmont in the win column. This week's game against Hudson Falls may determine who gets homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs and who hits the road.

Class C
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Hoosick Falls, 4-0, 4-0, 1
It will be a very tough game for the Panthers this week against Rensselaer. They don’t want to get embarrassed by a Class D team, so are surely preparing for a battle against one of the toughest teams in Section II, student population size aside.
2, Chatham, 4-0, 4-0, 2
Josh Keyes is averaging an out-of-this-world 11.6 yards per carry. He's a first down and then some every time you hand him the ball. Keyes has also scored 12 touchdowns for the Panthers, who host Cairo-Durham tonight.
3, Cambridge, 3-0, 4-0, 3
The Indians blanked Tamarac last week and like Troy and Watervliet, have posted three shutouts this season. Kyle Parmenter has only thrown the ball 66 times this year - for 33 completions - but he has the third-highest passing total in Section II. He averages just over 20 yards per completion.
4, Granville, 4-0, 4-0, 4
The Golden Horde last had a winning season in 1997 and with upcoming games against Stillwater and Schuylerville, Granville could well likely carry a 6-0 record into its Week 7 showdown against Cambridge, potentially for all the marbles in the North Division.
5, Mechanicville, 3-1, 3-1, NR
The Red Raiders travel to Cambridge tomorrow for a crucial North Division game, as they close out the final two weeks of the schedule against Tamarac in Week 6 and Fort Edward, a Class D crossover game, in Week 7. This is Mechanicville's last chance to gain ground in an extremely competitive division.

Class D
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Rensselaer, 4-0, 4-0, 1
The Rams proved they are the team to beat in Class D when they topped Bishop Gibbons, but they could send a message to the rest of Section II and teams around the state with a victory over No. 10 Class C ranked Hoosick Falls tonight.
2, Lake George, 3-0, 3-1, 2
Caleb Meroski is one of only two Section II running backs to have gained more than 800 yards this season. Only Corinth's Jordan Charbonneau has gained more yards on the ground.
3, Bishop Gibbons, 2-1, 3-1, 4
Derrick Pitts and the Golden Knights head to Lake George tonight with second place in the Class D standings on the line. Can the Gibbons' defense find a solution for Meroski and can the Warriors find a way to slow down Pitts?
4, Warrensburg, 2-2, 2-2, 3
The Burghers haven't found a way to put two wins together this season, but those two losses came against Rensselaer and Lake George, the two best teams in Class D so far. They draw Greenwich and Bishop Gibbons in the final weeks of the season, so it's make-or-break time for this team.
5, Greenwich, 2-1, 2-2, NR
The Witches blanked Fort Edward 40-0 a week after receiving a 41-0 thumping at the hands of Class C rival Cambridge. Tyler Pruksma ran for 132 yards and three touchdowns last week.

2009 Section II High School Football Standings

Class AA, League, Overall
Liberty Division, W-L, W-L, PF, PA
La Salle (12), 2-0, 4-0, 116, 30
Schenectady, 2-0, 3-1, 142, 67
Colonie, 1-1, 2-2, 66, 79
Columbia, 1-1, 1-3, 38, 120
Bethlehem, 0-2, 1-3, 54, 146
Shaker, 0-2, 1-3, 34, 87
Empire Division
Ballston Spa (16), 2-0, 4-0, 165, 45
Saratoga Springs, 2-0, 3-1, 103, 41
Guilderland, 1-1, 2-2, 94, 98
Shenendehowa, 1-1, 3-1, 122, 89
Albany, 0-2, 0-4, 34, 100
CBA, 0-2, 0-4, 55, 123

Class A, League, Overall
Division I, W-L, W-L, PF, PA
Niskayuna, 2-0, 3-1, 91, 76
Troy (7), 2-0, 4-0, 200, 7
Bishop Maginn, 1-1, 2-2, 83, 114
Scotia-Glenville, 1-1, 1-3, 67, 167
Averill Park, 0-2, 1-3, 56, 120
Mohonasen, 0-2, 0-4, 26, 141
Division II
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (2), 2-0, 4-0, 196, 27
Glens Falls, 2-0, 3-1, 98, 57
Gloversville, 1-1, 3-1, 118, 78
Queensbury, 1-1, 2-2, 87, 65
Amsterdam, 0-2, 0-4, 31, 170
South Glens Falls, 0-2, 1-3, 40, 71

Class B, League, Overall
Reinfurt Division, W-L, W-L, PF, PA
Lansingburgh (1), 2-0, 4-0, 184, 54
Albany Academy (8), 1-0, 4-0, 160, 73
Cohoes, 1-1, 3-1, 112, 85
Hudson, 0-1, 3-1, 92, 114
Ravena, 0-2, 1-3, 84, 124
Ichabod Crane*, 0-0, 0-4, 12, 177
West Division
Schalmont, 2-0, 2-2, 122, 117
Cobleskill-Richmondville, 1-0, 1-3, 59, 87
Hudson Falls, 1-1, 1-3, 55, 109
Johnstown, 0-1, 0-4, 60, 154
Broadalbin-Perth, 0-2, 1-3, 91, 102

Class C, League, Overall
North Division, W-L, W-L, PF, PA
Hoosick Falls (10), 4-0, 4-0, 167, 38
Cambridge (7), 3-0, 4-0, 166, 7
Granville, 3-0, 4-0, 118, 53
Mechanicville, 3-1, 3-1, 123, 73
Corinth, 2-1, 3-1, 101, 67
Tamarac, 1-2, 1-3, 47, 121
Hoosic Valley, 0-4, 0-4, 39, 137
Schuylerville, 0-4, 0-4, 80, 148
Stillwater, 0-4, 0-4, 20, 161
South Division
Chatham (14), 4-0, 4-0, 177, 54
Fonda-Fultonville, 3-1, 3-1, 128, 65
Voorheesville, 3-1, 3-1, 118, 86
Canajoharie, 2-1, 3-1, 125, 35
Watervliet, 2-1, 3-1, 132, 28
Taconic Hills, 2-2, 2-2, 83, 114
Cairo-Durham, 0-3, 1-3, 34, 122
Coxsackie-Athens, 0-3, 1-3, 82, 147
Catholic Central, 0-4, 0-4, 45, 108

Class D, League, Overall
W-L, W-L, PF, PA
Rensselaer (7), 4-0, 4-0, 157, 38
Lake George, 3-0, 3-1, 119, 57
Bishop Gibbons, 2-1, 3-1, 120, 80
Greenwich, 2-1, 2-2, 86, 61
Warrensburg, 2-2, 2-2, 93, 86
Salem, 1-2, 1-3, 29, 128
Fort Edward, 1-3, 1-3, 62, 97
Saratoga Central Catholic, 1-3, 1-3, 61, 118
Whitehall, 0-4, 0-4, 26, 142

*Ichabod Crane playing a Class C schedule, ineligible for postseason
Numbers in parentheses indicate New York State Sportswriters Association ranking

Week 5 Schedule
Friday, Oct. 2
Class AA
Empire Division
Albany at Shenendehowa, 7 p.m.
Ballston Spa at Christian Brothers Academy, 7 p.m.
Saratoga Springs at Guilderland, 7 p.m.
Liberty Division
Bethlehem at Shaker, 7 p.m.
Colonie at Schenectady, 7 p.m.
La Salle Institute at Columbia, 7 p.m.
Class A
Division I
Bishop Maginn at Niskayuna, 7 p.m.
Scotia-Glenville at Mohonasen, 7 p.m.
Division II
Gloversville at South Glens Falls, 7 p.m.
Class B
Reinfurt Division
Hudson at Cohoes, 7 p.m.
West Division
Johnstown at Broadalbin-Perth, 7 p.m.
Non-division
Ravena at Schalmont, 7 p.m.
Catholic Central (Class C) at Ichabod Crane, 7 p.m.
Class C
North Division
Corinth at Tamarac, 7 p.m.
Granville at Stillwater, 7 p.m.
Hoosic Valley at Schuylerville, 7 p.m.
South Division
Cairo-Durham at Chatham, 7 p.m.
Fonda-Fultonville at Taconic Hills, 7 p.m.
Watervliet at Canajoharie, 7 p.m.
Non-division
Rensselaer (Class D) at Hoosick Falls, 7 p.m.
Class D
Bishop Gibbons at Lake George, 7 p.m.
Warrensburg at Greenwich, 7 p.m.

Saturday Oct. 3
Class A
Division I
Averill Park at Troy, 1:30 p.m.
Division II
Amsterdam at Queensbury, 1:30 p.m.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake at Glens Falls, 1:30 p.m.
Class B
Reinfurt Division
Lansingburgh at Albany Academy, 1:30 p.m.
West Division
Cobleskill-Richmondville at Hudson Falls, 1:30 p.m.
Class C
North Division
Mechanicville at Cambridge, 1 p.m.
South Division
Voorheesville at Coxsackie-Athens, 1 p.m.
Class D
Fort Edward at Salem, 1 p.m.
Saratoga Central Catholic at Whitehall, 1 p.m.

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