Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hoosick Falls vs. Bronxville, a look ahead, part two

Hoosick Falls' Alex Hansen looks for running room behind his offensive line in the Panthers' Section II Class C quarterfinal victory over Canajoharie on Oct. 23. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The Hoosick Falls field hockey team dispatched Bronxville 1-0 in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C opening round and the football team will try for the clean sweep Saturday afternoon.

(Hoosick Falls' field hockey team lost to Port Jefferson Friday afternoon in the NYSPHSAA Class C semifinals in Vestal).

Things we know about Bronxville: their front line is very big. The average Bronxville offensive lineman is 6-foot-2, 265 pounds. The average Hoosick Falls lineman? 5-foot-10 and 223 pounds.

"It’s just pride," Alex Hansen said. "The other team might be bigger, but our team has a heart."

That's the attitude the Panthers have carried with them all season, as Hansen, Steve Colvin and Garrett Foster admitted after a practice this week that the team has often felt like it's been labeled the underdog almost all year long. In what many folks in and around Hoosick Falls envisioned to be the dreaded "rebuilding year," the Panthers are on the verge of reaching the Carrier Dome for the first time since 2003.

Here was what Kevin McMahon told me during the Panthers' second or third day of practice for my season-preview story on Hoosick Falls:
"We were good last year. We only lost one regular season game. We didn't do so well in sectionals, but I think we're even better than we were last year."

Make sure to check out Saturday's edition of The Record for a story on how Hoosick Falls' little guys have been able to match up against much larger linemen week after week.

Keys to the game:
Hoosick Falls is going to have to find a way to grind out the clock, control the ball and beat Bronxville at its own game. They can do that on offense, especially if Mike Brewster is making good reads out of the spread option and isn't afraid to tuck the ball and run with it himself every now and again. Mix in a little of the Panthers' short passing game and it's easy to see how their essentially fool-proof scheme can keep drives alive and lull the defense into allowing Hansen to get his big runs.

Bronxville also switches between a pair of defensive fronts - a 4-3 and a 6-1 - which is going to complicate Brewster's reads. The Panthers can't afford too many misreads that lead to Hansen and Brewster being dragged down behind the line of scrimmage.

They'll also have to get last week's game, a 51-6 blowout of Ogdensburg, out of their heads. This one won't be that easy.

Here was the expert opinion from Kevin Devaney at the Journal News downstate.

Hoosick Falls' Alex Hansen scampers across midfield against Chatham in the Section II Class C Super Bowl. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Hoosick Falls (11-0) vs. Bronxville (10-0, Section I)
Saturday, Nov. 21, Noon
New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C semifinal
Dietz Stadium, Kingston

Hoosick Falls Panthers 2009 game-by-game results
Schuylerville, W 39-19
Tamarac, W, 40-13
Corinth, W, 21-7
Granville, W, 32-0 #
Chatham, W 17-14 $
Ogdensburg Free Acad., W, 51-6 %

Home games in CAPS

*= Section II Class C quarterfinal
#= Section II Class C semifinal at Stillwater
$= Section II Class C Super Bowl at Stillwater
%= Regional final at Stillwater

Avg. points per game: 33.3
Avg. points allowed: 8.3
Leading rushers: Alex Hansen (206-1,554-24) and Mike Brewster (80-450-13)
Leading passer: Mike Brewster (96-155-1,344-17-2)
Leading receivers: Logan O’Brien (29-362-2) and Kevin McMahon (17-323-4) and Tanner Williams (20-250-2) and Alex Hansen (15-304-5)

Bronxville Broncos 2009 game-by-game results
Valhalla, W, 21-0
Dobbs Ferry, W, 24-7
MAGNUS, W, 22-7
Rye Neck, W, 34-0
HASTINGS, W, 38-7#
Croton-Harmon, W, 35-20$
Ellenville, W, 34-6%

*=Section I Class C quarterfinal
#=Section I Class C semifinal
$=Section I Class C Super Bowl at Mahopac
%=Regional final at Dietz Stadium

Avg. points per game: 31.9
Avg. points allowed: 7.3
Leading rushers: Brian Murray (124-1,268-19) and Liam Berney (79-668-4)
Leading passers: Dillon Mitchell (15-21-258-3-1) and Jack Near (11-16-212-2-0)
Leading receivers: James Karol (12-172-0) and Will Karol (6-146-5)

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