Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week seven: a look ahead

Schenectady (4-0, 5-1) at La Salle (4-0, 6-0), Friday, 7 p.m.

About Schenectady: Herman Seise, the Patriots’ leading rusher, has broken the 100-yard barrier only twice this season, but those were Schenectady’s last two games. Quarterback Tim Cox is no slouch on the ground either, having rushed for 400 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He’s passed for 487 yards and eight touchdowns.
About La Salle: Tyler Washington is the Cadets’ leading rusher with 404 yards on 58 carries. Cory Rifenberick (61-359) has also carried the load for La Salle, as the Cadets have successfully adopted a multi-back attack after years of handing off to one super running back for most of the past decade.
Notable: The winner of this game secures the No. 1 seed in the Liberty Division and would earn homefield advantage in the Class AA semifinals should they win their opening round contest. These teams met twice in 2008, with Schenectady winning a regular season battle in the Electric City, 34-7. La Salle won the second meeting in the Class AA Super Bowl, 26-14.

Hoosick Falls (5-0, 6-0) at Corinth (4-1, 5-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

About Hoosick Falls: The Panthers are coming off a draining 21-19 victory over Cambridge but need a victory to ensure at least a tie for first place in the Class C North Division. Granville, also 5-0, plays at Cambridge tomorrow. Junior quarterback Mike Brewster (54-of-88 for-814 yards) is the only quarterback in Section II to have passed for at least 600 yards and not thrown an interception.
About Corinth: Jordan Charbonneau is without a doubt Section II’s most versatile offensive player. He has rushed for a Section-leading 1,287 yards on 154 attempts and he has also passed for 266 yards and five touchdowns. The Tomahawks have won five games in a row since dropping their season-opener at Granville.
Notable: These teams have split the series 2-2 since 2005, with each team winning a game during the 2008 season. Hoosick Falls won a regular season game, 39-33 on Sept. 26 while the Tomahawks won a crossover game on Halloween, 32-27. Corinth has won just a single postseason game in school history, a 25-16 victory over Lake George in the 1979 Class D playoffs.

Lake George (5-0, 5-1) at Rensselaer (5-0, 5-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

About Lake George: Senior running back Caleb Meroski is just one of four Section II ballcarriers with at least 1,000 years this season. He has run for 1,203 yards on 155 carries. Excepting a 23-12 crossover loss to Class C Corinth, the Warriors have outscored Class D opponents 165-40 this season, including one shutout against Spa Catholic last week.
About Rensselaer: Mico De Los Santos finds many ways to light up the scoreboard for the Rams. He has scored 11 touchdowns, kicked eight extra points and made five two-point conversions for Rensselaer.
Notable: These teams met last season in a crossover game, which Lake George won 23-22. Rensselaer won the Class D Super Bowl while Lake George, a Class C team playing a Class D schedule, was ineligible for the postseason and finished with a 9-0 record. Both teams have non-conference defeats at the hands of strong Class C teams. Hoosick Falls defeated Rensselaer 21-7 in Week 5, while Lake George fell to Corinth, 23-12 in Week 2.

Niskayuna (4-0, 5-1) at Troy (4-0, 6-0), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

About Niskayuna: Ryan Alden, the Silver Warriors’ do-it-all receiver/quarterback combo player, has scored four touchdowns in each of Nisky’s last two games. Alden has accumulated 460 rushing yards, 299 receiving yards and has also passed for 73 yards and a touchdown. He is one of seven Section II players to score100 points so far.
About Troy: The Flying Horses have outscored opponents 303-0 – posting 23 consecutive flawless quarters – since allowing a first quarter touchdown to Queensbury in Week 1. Troy last tied for a regular season division title in 2006 (with CBA and La Salle in Class AA’s Division 3) and last won a division title outright in 2003. The Flying Horses went 6-0 in the now-defunct Big 10 Conference that season en route to a Section II Class AA runner-up performance, losing to Shen in the Super Bowl, 30-0.
Notable: The winner of this game claims the Class A Division I title and would earn homefield advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The loser likely faces Burnt Hills in the semifinals. Troy won the last meeting between the schools, a 28-14 Class AA victory in Week 2 of the 2007 season. Niskayuna’s one and only Section II Super Bowl appearance was a 38-6 loss to Troy in the 1996 Class A title game.

The Record's Section II High School Football Power Poll
Class AA
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, La Salle, 4-0, 6-0, 1
Mike Murray didn't exactly dazzle in his return from injury, but he did toss a pair of touchdowns in the Cadets’ victory over Bethlehem. Biggest game of the year so far when Schenectady comes to Troy tonight for sole control of the Liberty Division.
2, Saratoga Springs, 4-0, 5-1, 2
The Blue Streaks earned a big victory last week, defeating rival Ballston Spa by a Nick Daley field goal, 17-14. Rivalry and playoff implications are on the line tonight when Shen invades the Spa City.
3, Schenectady, 4-0, 5-1, 3
The Patriots continue to roll and should be 6-0 if not for a missed call on a two-point conversion in the loss to Shenendehowa. Quarterback Tim Cox has passed for eight touchdowns this season.
4, Shenendehowa, 3-1, 5-1, 5

The Plainsmen won No. 300 for coach Brent Steuerwald last week thanks to 304 rushing yards and four touchdowns from Bronson Greene. Greene, who started the season as a backup, has become one of the top rushers in Section II.
5, Ballston Spa, 3-1, 5-1, 2
The Scotties lost by a mere three points to Saratoga Springs last week, but are not out of the hunt in the Class AA race. Any one of the top five teams has an even shot to win the Super Bowl three weeks from now.

Class A
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Troy, 4-0, 6-0, 1
The Flying Horses have been the most dominant team in Section II this season, as Troy is the only team to have allowed seven points or fewer through six games. The next-best defense belongs to Cambridge, with 28 points allowed.
2, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 4-0, 6-0, 2
The Spartans returned back to dominant form last week in a 55-6 homecoming victory over South Glens Falls. Tom Duszak returned an interception for a touchdown and also caught a pass from QB Phil Neumann.
3, Niskayuna, 4-0, 5-1, 3
Don’t look now, but the Silver Warriors can steal first place from Troy High with a victory in the Collar City Saturday afternoon. Ryan Alden has scored four touchdowns in each of his past two games, and he will test Troy’s scoreless streak.
4, Gloversville, 3-1, 5-1, 5
A blowout loss to Burnt Hills aside, the Huskies have been one of the most consistent teams in Section II this season. Strong-armed Chad McCloskey has thrown nine touchdown passes.
5, Queensbury, 3-1, 4-2, NR
The Spartans blanked archrival Glens Falls last week to jump into a second place tie with Gloversville in Division II. Can they surprise Burnt Hills tonight?

Class B
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Lansingburgh, 3-0, 5-1, 1
The No. 1 ranked team in the state lost in shocking fashion to West Division opponent Broadalbin-Perth last week. The Knights can right the ship before the postseason tonight at Ravena in the Reinfurt Division finale.
2, Cohoes, 3-1, 5-1, 3
Are the Tigers’ the team of destiny in Class B? Cohoes has won three games in a row in dramatic fashion, sparked each time by Anthony Fogarty, who has scored 13 touchdowns this season.
3, Schalmont, 3-0, 4-2, 4
Vince Gallo continues his assault on opposing defenses he is one of four running backs to have gained at least 1,000 yards. He’s also passed for 165 yards and a touchdown.
4, Albany Academy, 1-2, 4-2, 2
The Cadets lost a heartbreaker to Cohoes last week and played Lansingburgh pretty tough the week before that, so they can’t be counted out of the Super Bowl discussion yet. They do, however, face a likely rematch with ‘Burgh in the semis.
5, Hudson Falls, 3-1, 3-3, 5
Kyle Sipowicz has done a pretty good job filling Joe McMurry’s shoes, rushing for 182 yards and three touchdowns last week ian a victory over Johnstown. Tigers will be tested by Cohoes this week.

Class C
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Hoosick Falls, 5-0, 6-0, 1
The Panthers proved they have what it takes to win postseason games with a thrilling 21-19 victory over Cambridge last week, stopping the Indians’ passing game. Can they stop Jordan Charbonneau and the run game tonight in Corinth?
2, Chatham, 6-0, 6-0, 2
Panthers finally get to face archrival Ichabod Crane on the gridiron this week, but the Riders could be in for a major thumping.
3, Granville, 5-0, 6-0, 4
The Golden Horde can cap their incredible regular season with a victory over Cambridge, assuring no less than a share of the North Division title.
4, Cambridge, 4-1, 5-1, 3
The Indians lost their first game of the season, but played Hoosick Falls tougher than any team to this point. Indians have a big postseason advantage of being able to pass and run equally well.
5, Corinth, 4-1, 5-1, 5

Jordan Charbonneau has been the best double threat in Section II this season, rushing for 1,287 yards and 16 touchdowns while also passing for 266 yards and five touchdowns.

Class D
Team, League, Overall, Last Week
1, Rensselaer, 5-0, 5-1, 1
The Rams finally get their long-awaited rematch with Lake George this weekend and the Week 7 matchup also worked out the way everyone expected it to with undefeated teams playing for the No. 1 seed.
2, Lake George, 5-0, 5-1, 2
The Warriors have not won a Section II title since 2001, when they defeated Salem in the Class D Super Bowl, 26-21. Potential Super Bowl preview against Rensselaer tonight.
3, Greenwich, 4-1, 4-2, 3
Aside from losses to Rensselaer and Class C rival Cambridge, the Witches have played well. Can they score an upset over one of the top seeds in the semifinals?
4, Bishop Gibbons, 3-2, 4-2, 4
Senior do-it-all back Derrick Pitts has rushed for 9.4 yards per carry, but he’s also passed for 498 yards and six touchdowns. Pitts’ presence alone makes the Golden Knights a postseason contender.
5, Warrensburg, 2-3, 2-4, NR
The Burghers can prove just how good they really are in tomorrow’s game against Bishop Gibbons. It’s been an up-and-down season for a team that has been outscored by 22 points through six weeks.

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