Thursday, November 5, 2009

Section II Super Bowl preview post

Class AA
Ballston Spa (8-1) vs. Saratoga Springs (8-1)
Friday, 7 p.m.
South
Colonie High School










Saratoga Springs is the home team.

I'll resist from too much guessing on this game because I haven't seen either team and our coverage area doesn't stretch this far into Saratoga County.
Lucky for you, our friends at The Saratogian have this game covered.

Check out their Friday section for a preview on the Route 50 rivalry.

I did see Ballston Spa play a few years ago and I really like they way they approach the game on offense, sticking to the ground game and running that option up and down the field. Still, I think Saratoga holds the edge on the line and don't count out Blue Streaks kicker Nick Daley. He made the difference in the first meeting between the teams.

Class A
Troy (9-0) vs. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (9-0)
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Shenendehowa High School










Troy junior running back Shatiek Lewis plows through the Gloversville defenders during last week's semifinal victory. (Photo by Mike McMahon - The Record).

Look for the story on how Lewis and Jordan Canzeri became the first two backs with over 1,000 rushing yards in the same backfield for Troy head coach Jack Burger in Saturday's edition of The Record.

This one has all the hype to be the game of the year, mostly because it's perfectly perplexing.
Both teams dominated the rest of the Class A opposition they faced all season long and Troy really had the closest call last week against Gloversville, needing a handful of goal line stands to hold off the Huskies.

Burnt Hills has the experience, but the Troy players have the 'underdog' chip on their shoulders.

Troy has that two-headed power running attack, but Burnt Hills can really throw the ball and their stable of backs isn't too shabby, either.

The only clear edge I can see is that the Burnt Hills kids do have that experience of being in and around the big game for four years in a row. Maybe the Spartans can exploit Troy's nerves early and get on the board quick, because I think it will be hard for the Flying Horses to have to play from behind.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake is the home team.

Class B
Lansingburgh (8-1) vs. Schalmont (7-2)
Saturday, 2 p.m.
Schenectady
High School









Lansingburgh senior quarterback is the only player on the 2009 team that gained any significant experience during the Knights' run to the New York State title game in 2007. (Photo by Tom Killips - The Record).

The Knights are still awfully banged up. Junior two-way lineman Mark Tracey will not play the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL and kicker and defensive end Jake Shaw is still out with an eye injury.

Lansingburgh relied on some JV callups a week ago and got the job done, but it won't likely be that easy against Vince Gallo and the Sabres Saturday afternoon.

Gallo is likely to finish his career as one of the top 10 rushers in Section II history and you know he isn't thinking about easily fading away into the sunset. That said, the Knights allowed over 300 yards on the ground last week and still won by scoring 52 points.

There is the key to the game. Can Schalmont's defense stop the Lansingburgh offense? Gallo is going to get his yards one way or another. For Lansingburgh, every week is an adventure as the team tries to find a hot hand on the offensive side of the ball. It's been Tyrone Nichols lately, but Zaquawn Gordon, Terrance Kemp and McLaughlin have all had their weeks as well. As long as at least two of them are having a good game, Lansingburgh still holds the edge here, banged-up line and all.

But...
Schalmont gets a bit of homefield advantage in Schenectady County and Lansingburgh still has the Broadalbin-Perth meltdown hanging over their heads. From all accounts, that sounded like a fluke game in a week where the Knights didn't have a lot to play for with the division title already wrapped up and some other distractions going on what with Senior Day and all.

Look for a motivated Knights squad to add another Section II Super Bowl trophy to the case.

Schalmont is the home team.

Class C
Hoosick Falls (9-0) vs. Chatham (9-0)
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Stillwater High
School









Hoosick Falls middle linebacker Hutton Rasmus wraps up a Canajoharie ballcarrier during the Panthers' Section II Class C quarterfinal victory. Hoosick Falls has posted two consecutive shutouts heading into Saturday's Super Bowl against Chatham. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

The Panthers know they'll have their hands full with Chatham's Josh Keyes, who has rushed for a Section II-leading 1,849 yards so far this season. His offensive potential, however, is not their only concern.

Keyes is also a strong defender who delivers punishing hits, but Hoosick Falls rarely puts too many guys in open space, at least when they run the ball between the tackles out of their spread option. Quick passes to the outside will be Hoosick Falls' best bet on defense, because you really don't want to mess around over the middle with Keyes roaming back there.

Another issue for Hoosick Falls this week will be their 3-5-3 defense against Chatham's sneaky-smart offense. Chatham also uses a 3-5-3, so if anyone knows how to move the ball against that front, it's Chatham.

Everyone I spoke with at Hoosick Falls this week mentioned that they've already faced Corinth's Jordan Charbonneau this year and head coach Ron Jones said the speed difference between Charbonneau and Keyes is probably pretty negligible, but Keyes is stronger physically.

The only thing that Hoosick Falls has solidly in its favor is the passing game. Mike Brewster can really wing the ball around, although he hasn't had to recently as Alex Hansen has turned on 'Beast Mode' and the defense has pitched a pair of postseason shutouts en route to the Super Bowl. If Hoosick Falls is playing from behind, they do have the potential for some quick strikes in the passing game, which could be a factor.

What will it come down to? Hoosick Falls can't expect to stop Keyes or the Chatham running game, nor can they really hope to contain them to anything under 250 yards or so. Hoosick Falls put together a great goal line stand last week against Granville to preserve the shutout and they might have to make a number of stops in the red zone if they expect to be competitive with Chatham.

I have really liked the whole Hoosick Falls atmosphere this entire season, from Week 1 of doubles when I stopped by to the great energy at the Ken Baker Jug game against Cambridge. Will that win them the game? Of course not. But seeing all those fans and the band could boost their spirits coming out of the locker rooms at halftime, which could easily be an important in an emotional game.

I'm picking Hoosick Falls in the paper (our staff picks section run in Friday's edition) because I just think they're that team of destiny in Section II this year that has an outside factor that allows them to somehow be greater than the sum of their parts.

Chatham is the home team.
Class D
Rensselaer (8-1) vs. Greenwich (7-2)
Saturday, 2 p.m.
Shenendehowa High
School










Rensselaer's James McNabb didn't stick with the football team in 2008 and wound up watching the Rams' run to a Super Bowl title from the bleachers. This year? He's getting down and dirty on the offensive and defensive lines, helping the Rams reach their second Super Bowl in as many years. (Photo by J.S. Carras - The Record).

Check out the full story on McNabb's journey through the Rensselaer football program in Friday's edition of The Record.

Rensselaer has defeated Bishop Gibbons twice, they've topped Lake George and they also beat Greenwich in Week 1. There isn't a challenger in Class D that hasn't already run into the Rams and their bone-crushing physicality on both sides of the ball.

There's no reason to believe the Rams won't run away with this one.

The only thing I would be worried about if I were a Rensselaer fan is the team looking ahead. Moriah plays Ticonderoga in the Section VII/Section X title game Friday night and the Rams desperately want revenge against Moriah, the team that knocked them from the regional round a year ago.

Still, to get there, they need to beat Greenwich first. I got an inkling at practice the other day that some of the Rams are peeking ahead a bit, thinking of next week's game before the Super Bowl at hand has been won. But, once game time comes, the Rams should be able to settle down and take home the Super Bowl hardware yet again.

Rensselaer is the home team.


The Record's Week 10 Power Poll

Class AA
Team League Overal Last Week
1. Saratoga Springs 5-0 8-1 1
The Blue Streaks will go after their first Section II title since 2004 tonight when they take on Ballston Spa at Colonie High School.
2. Ballston Spa 4-1 8-1
The Scotties are appearing in a Section II title game for the first time since the 1978 season when they lost to Johnstown in the Class B Super Bowl, 34-21.
3. Schenectady 4-1 6-3 3
The Patriots couldn’t make it back to a second consecutive Super Bowl, but they have put together three consecutive winning seasons.
4. La Salle 5-0 8-1 5
The Cadets finished the season with a victory over Shen. Since the 2003 season, La Salle has compiled a 51-18 record.
5, Guilderland 2-3 4-5 4
Although the Dutchmen finished the season with a losing record, it was memorable. They upset La Salle in the opening round and Ryan Smith will likely finish as the No. 1 QB in Section II by total passing yards.

Class A
Team League Overall Last Week
1. Troy 5-0 9-0 1
The Flying Horses are back in a Super Bowl for the first time since 2003, when they were blanked 30-0 by Shen. How will Troy’s offense fare against BH-BL six years later?
2. Burnt Hills 5-0 9-0 2
Brandon Beatty leads the Spartans with 818 rushing yards, but he’s just one cog in a very balanced offensive attack. This is Burnt Hills’ fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
3. Gloversville 4-1 7-2 3
The Huskies were stopped by Troy’s goal line defense in the semis. They just couldn’t solve Burnt Hills or the Flying Horses this year, but they beat everyone else.
4. Niskayuna 4-1 6-3 4
Kyle Bayly passed for 1,010 yards this season and Ryan Alden scored 106 points, solid benchmarks for the Warriors, who fin¬ished 0-3 against Troy and Burnt Hills.
5. Queensbury 3-2 5-4 5
The Spartans snapped a streak of four consecutive losing seasons with a crossover victory over Scotia-Glenville last week.

Class B
Team League Overal Last Week
1. Lansingburgh 4-0 8-1 1
Tyrone Nichols earned the lion’s share of the carries out of the Knights backfield, having piled up 1,246 yards on 117 attempts. He’s scored 15 touchdowns and averages 10.6 yards per carry.
2. Schalmont 4-0 7-2 2
Over the last two seasons, Vince Gallo has amassed 3,456 rush¬ing yards and he will likely finish his career as one of Section II’s top 10 rushers.
3. Hudson Falls 3-1 5-4 4
Dakota Drake made a name for himself at the end of the season, finishing with 1,077 rushing yards. Not bad for a back that had accumulated under 100 yards through the first four games.
4. Cohoes 3-1 6-3 3
The Tigers ended the 2009 season with a whimper at Schalmont in the semifinals, but the team won a postseason game for the second consecutive season – a school first.
5. Hudson 2-2 6-3 5
The Bluehawks, led by Reinfurt Division co-MVP Talib Barksdale, fin¬ished the season with a strong 6-3 overall record after defeating Cobleskill in a crossover contest.

Class C
Team League Overall Last Week
1. Hoosick Falls 6-0 9-0 1
The Panthers have allowed an average of 7.9 points per game, but Super Bowl opponent Chatham has scored an average of 50.8 per contest. Which one gives Saturday night?
2. Chatham 6-0 9-0 2
Josh Keyes, Section II’s leading rusher and scorer, eclipsed Eric Hawes’ school record of 1,758 rushing yards set in 2004. Keyes is 151 yards shy of becoming the eighth back to break the 2,000-yard mark.
3. Cambridge 5-1 7-2 3
QB Kyle Parmenter finished the season with 18 TD passes, tops in Section II. His 1,467 passing yards was second-best.
4. Granville 5-1 7-2 4
The Golden Horde wrapped up their best season since 1981 in a semifinal loss to Hoosick Falls. Granville finished 8-1 in 1981.
5. Corinth 4-2 6-3 NR
Jordan Charbonneau finished the season with 1,791 rushing yards on 236 attempts, which will rank as one of the top 20 campaigns in Section II history at season’s end.

Class D
Team League Overall Last Week
1. Rensselaer 6-0 9-1 1
The Rams have scored more points than all but three teams in Section II (Chatham, Burnt Hills and Troy). A victory Saturday after¬noon would mark Rensselaer’s first back-to-back championships since they won five straight from 1991 to 1995.
2. Greenwich 5-1 7-2 3
The Witches last appeared in a Section II Super Bowl in 1997, defeating Cambridge in the Class D game, 20-14.
3. Bishop Gibbons 4-2 6-3 2
Derrick Pitts (1,365 rushing yards and 777 passing yards) account¬ed for 2,142 yards of total offense for the Golden Knights, who won their first postseason game in school history.
4. Lake George 5-1 5-4 5
The Warriors started the season 5-1 but dropped three straight to end the year. Caleb Meroski finished with 1,338 rushing yards.
5. Saratoga Catholic 2-5 3-6 4
The Saints won the first postseason game in school history just 16 games after resuming the program. Spa Catholic took a 19-year hiatus following the 1988 season.

Section II stat pack Week 10
Rushing
Player School Att. Yds. Avg. TD
Josh Keyes Chatham 128 1849 14.4 35
Vince Gallo Schalmont 232 1844 7.9 23
Jordan Charbonneau Corinth 236 1791 7.6 19
Bronson Greene Shenendehowa 187 1458 7.8 18
Alex Tesoriero Columbia 189 1436 7.6 10
Alex Hansen Hoosick Falls 173 1390 8.0 21
Derrick Pitts Bishop Gibbons 164 1365 8.3 20
Tymear Mallory Bishop Maginn 186 1363 7.3 11
Caleb Meroski Lake George 181 1338 7.4 16
Casiem Maxwell Bethlehem 184 1266 6.9 11

Receiving
Player School Rec. Yds. Avg. TD
Jesse Lybert Cambridge 27 570 21.1 6
Justin Salvione Johnstown 39 563 14.4 9
Justin Markley Cobleskill 35 562 16.1 7
James Currier Voorheesville 33 560 17.0 6
Aaron Hall Gloversville 31 502 16.2 9
Keaton Flint Burnt Hills 30 501 16.7 7
Dane O’Neil Canajoharie 24 496 20.7 5
Lou DiNovo La Salle 27 454 16.8 8
Nevin Sheldon Hudson 17 445 26.2 5
Tyler Hall Fonda 24 434 18.1 8

Passing
Player School Comp. Att. Yds. TD Int.
Ryan Smith Guilderland 132 237 1577 16 7
Kyle Parmenter Cambridge 77 164 1467 18 10
Seth Hidde Fonda 83 145 1319 16 3
Chad McCloskey Gloversville 85 148 1134 14 4
Phil Neumann Burnt Hills 70 110 1125 15 4
Adam Biron Johnstown 99 206 1112 14 5
Cullen Hanna Cobleskill 80 164 1046 9 5
Talib Barksdale Hudson 42 88 1014 11 2
Kyle Bayly Niskayuna 74 138 1010 8 9
Mike Brewster Hoosick Falls 67 117 1003 14 1

Scoring
Player School TD PAT FG 2PT. Tot.
Josh Keyes Chatham 39 0 0 1 236
Vince Gallo Schalmont 25 0 0 3 156
Alex Hansen Hoosick Falls 25 0 0 3 156
Mico De Los Santos Rensselaer 20 16 0 7 150
Zay Richardson Albany Academy 24 0 0 2 148
Jordan Charbonneau Corinth 21 7 0 3 139
Shatiek Lewis Troy 21 0 0 1 128
Derrick Pitts Bishop Gibbons 20 0 1 2 127
Evan Nusbaum Burnt Hills 12 49 0 0 121
Bronson Greene Shenendehowa 20 0 0 0 120

Kicking
Player School PAT FG Tot.
Nick Daley Saratoga Springs 33 6 51
Michael Gilbert Chatham 49 0 49
Evan Nusbaum Burnt Hills 49 0 49
Matt Best Cambridge 37 0 27
Matt Beighey Ballston Spa 35 0 35
J.J. Murphy Schalmont 28 0 28
Dan Millington Shenendehowa 27 0 27
Tim Pompa Spa Catholic 9 6 27
Tom Shelvin Queensbury 27 0 27
Jake Shaw Lansingburgh 26 0 26

Class AA League Overall
Liberty Division W-L W-L PF PA
La Salle (25) 5-0 8-1 252 89
Schenectady 4-1 6-3 242 145
Bethlehem 2-3 4-5 158 264
Colonie 2-3 4-5 135 195
Columbia 1-4 2-7 113 241
Shaker 1-4 3-6 145 183
Empire Division
Saratoga (12) 5-0 8-1 285 87
Ballston Spa (17) 4-1 8-1 309 92
Shenendehowa 3-2 5-4 253 214
Guilderland 2-3 4-5 162 274
CBA 1-4 2-7 104 233
Albany 0-5 0-9 103 256

Class A League Overall
Division I W-L W-L PF PA
Troy (6) 5-0 9-0 406 34
Niskayuna 4-1 6-3 200 200
Bishop Maginn 2-3 3-6 148 286
Averill Park 2-3 3-5 113 248
Scotia-Glenville 2-3 2-7 147 299
Mohonasen 0-5 0-8 74 223
Division II
Burnt Hills (2) 5-0 9-0 422 87
Gloversville (20) 4-1 7-2 257 135
Queensbury 3-2 5-4 225 156
Glens Falls 2-3 3-5 118 175
Amsterdam 1-4 2-6 78 259
South Glens Falls 0-5 3-6 114 202

Class B League Overall
Reinfurt Division W-L W-L PF PA
Lansingburgh (10) 4-0 8-1 361 169
Cohoes 3-1 6-3 237 235
Hudson 2-2 6-3 218 236
Albany Academy 1-3 4-4 276 228
Ravena 0-4 3-6 187 214
Ichabod Crane* 0-0 0-8 12 385
West Division
Schalmont (17) 4-0 7-2 292 180
Hudson Falls 3-1 5-4 238 210
Cobleskill 2-2 2-7 157 250
Broadalbin-Perth 1-3 3-6 168 226
Johnstown 0-4 0-8 131 317

Class C League Overall
North Division W-L W-L PF PA
Hoosick Falls (6) 6-0 9-0 298 71
Cambridge (16) 5-1 7-2 318 59
Granville 5-1 7-2 201 148
Corinth 4-2 6-3 207 164
Mechanicville 4-2 6-3 192 207
Tamarac 2-4 4-5 186 197
Schuylerville 2-5 3-6 220 213
Hoosic Valley 0-6 1-7 107 262
Stillwater 0-7 1-7 54 302
South Division
Chatham (10) 6-0 9-0 457 72
Fonda-Fultonville 5-1 6-2 260 124
Voorheesville 6-1 6-3 218 206
Canajoharie 4-2 5-3 210 111
Taconic Hills 3-4 4-5 213 213
Watervliet 2-4 3-5 170 174
Catholic Central 1-5 2-6 140 208
Cairo-Durham 1-5 2-6 68 280
Coxsackie-Athens 0-6 1-6 131 249

Class D League Overall
W-L W-L PF PA
Rensselaer (8) 6-0 8-1 374 101
Greenwich 5-1 7-2 294 107
Lake George 5-1 5-4 213 159
Bishop Gibbons 4-2 6-3 263 194
Saratoga Catholic 2-5 3-6 109 264
Warrensburg 2-4 2-6 143 221
Fort Edward 2-4 3-5 146 198
Salem 2-4 2-6 86 264
Whitehall 0-7 1-7 106 235
*Ichabod Crane playing a Class C schedule and is ineligible for postseason
Numbers in parentheses indicate New York State Sportswriters Association ranking

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