Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High school football look ahead: Week One

Troy High head coach Jack Burger (left) and La Salle Institute head coach Al Rapp (right) will square off Friday night in The Record's Collar City Cup game at La Salle. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (All photos by John Whipple - The Record).

TROY -- The Collar City is going to be rocking this Friday night with a pair of interesting high school football Week One matchups on opposite sides of town.

On the south side, Troy High travels to La Salle Institute's Sutton Field for The Record's Collar City Cup clash against the Cadets.

In Lansingburgh, the Knights play host to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake. Burnt Hills has played in the New York State Class A title game each of the past two season and Lansingburgh played in that game in 2007.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. for both games.

Those games, of course, are not all that is on the schedule this weekend, so scroll down for game capsules in this post. I'll also have extended stories on the big games in Friday's paper.

Also, look for Record staff picks in Friday's edition of the paper.

Our 48-page high school football preview section, Kickoff 2010, is inserted in every copy of today's paper (Thurs., Sept., 2).

Troy High captains, from left to right, at Section II media day: Brian Marsh (5), Kyle Geraci (44), Jay Yaskanich (63), Jordan Canzeri (34) and Ian Blair (8). 

Troy High at La Salle Institute
Friday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m.
at Sutton Field, La Salle Institute, Troy

About Troy: The Flying Horses are coming off a campaign in which they won nine straight games and appeared in the Section II Class A Super Bowl, losing to eventual state finalist Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 33-18. Senior running backs Jordan Canzeri and Shatiek Lewis return, both of whom ran for over 1,200 yards as juniors. Keep in mind that Troy also played a number of blowout games during the regular season, meaning those players did not see very much action in the second half at all in 2009. Senior quarterback Brian Marsh also returns and could be a dangerous weapon through the air and on the ground with another year of experience under his belt. Senior lineman Jay Yankaich is the only returning starter on the line for the Flying Horses, who will have to grow up quick up front if they want to create any space at all for their talented skill players. Troy returns to Class AA in 2010 after spending two years as a Class A school. (This is not a decision the school makes. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association takes a list of all the schools in the state that play football and divide that number into five equal groups based on student populations in grades 9-11. Depending on fluctuating student populations from year-to-year, some schools bounce up and others bounce down. Public schools do not get to pick where they play. This seems like a common misconception among fans).

About La Salle: The Cadets will answer many questions Friday night as the team returns just one of its 22 starters from the 2009 season, senior lineman Frank Seitz. Garrett Delory, who started a few games at quarterback last year when Mike Murray went down with an injury, will likely be taking the snaps under center on opening night, giving La Salle a bit of experience there. Junior Kevin Koberger also saw a bit of time in the backfield for the Cadets a season ago, and will be expected to carry a heavier load in 2010. Still, if there is any coach in Section II that can figure out a way to get his players to get the job done, it's La Salle's Al Rapp. His teams have appeared in five Section II Super Bowls since 2000, which was his first year at the school. La Salle went 7-0 in the regular season in 2009 before dropping a heartbreaking overtime decision to Guilderland in the first round of the playoffs.

Notable: See below for a history of The Record's Collar City Cup series. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Channel 3.

The Record’s Collar City Cup History
2007, La Salle 19, Troy 14
2006, Troy 29, La Salle 21
2005, La Salle 26, Troy 12
2004, La Salle 12, Troy 7
2003, Troy 27, La Salle 25
2002, Troy 14, La Salle 7
2001, La Salle 14, Troy 0

Note: In 2008, Troy defeated Lansingburgh in the inaugural Uncle Sam Cup game, 28-3. There were no intra-city matchups in 2009.

La Salle Institute leaders, from left to right: Garrett Delory, Frank Seitz and Kevin Koberger at Section II media day Sunday at UAlbany.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake captains, from left to right: Evan Nusbaum (4), Keaton Flint (2), Jake Batty (50) and Brandon Beatty (22).

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake at Lansingburgh
Friday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m.
Lansingburgh High School, Troy

About BH-BL: The Spartans are coming off a pair of New York State Class A championship game appearances and will shift returning fourth team all-state wide receiver Keaton Flint to quarterback. BH-BL also returns a big group of players that have played in big games the last two years, including Evan Nusbaum, Brandon Beatty, Willie Fisher and Jake Batty. BH-BL head coach Matt Shell and his son, Jacob, are both cancer survivors. Jacob was declared cancer-free in mid-July.

About 'Burgh: The Knights move back up to Class A after spending 2009 in Class B and making a run to the Section II Class B Super Bowl. Lansingburgh has handed the starting quarterback job to Carlos Grillo following the graduation of T.J. McLaughlin and the decision of heir apparent Ryan McGrath to focus on baseball year-round. Grillo, a lanky lefty, has done nothing but impress the coaching staff this summer, but he still lacks any varsity experience. The Knights are also replacing their entire backfield, but transfer player Anthony Fogarty gained a great deal of experience the past few years across the Hudson River at Cohoes. Still, the Knights are pretty well stacked on the lines both ways, led by Chad Laustrup, Mark Tracey and Jake Luce. Defense is going to have to carry the Knights in the early goings until the offense can put it all together.

Notable: Burnt Hills has won 20 consecutive games against Section II opponents. Lansingburgh was the last Section II team to defeat Burnt Hills, posting a 28-25 victory over the Spartans in the Class A Super Bowl on Nov. 3, 2007. Look below for a list of recent scores from the series.

BH-BL vs. ‘Burgh, recent history
Sept. 11, 2008, regular season, Burnt Hills 60, Lansingburgh 14
Nov. 3 2007, Class A Super Bowl, Lansingburgh 28, Burnt Hills 25
Sept. 28, 2007, regular season, Burnt Hills 35, Lansingburgh 22
Nov. 4 2006, Class A Super Bowl, Burnt Hills 37, Lansingburgh 7

Lansingburgh High School players from left to right: Marcus Little, Chad Laustrup, Mark Tracey, Jake Luce and Quincy Michael.

Columbia High School captains from left to right: Andrew Cleveland (72), Jake Wronoski (10) and Chad DeJohn (68) at Section II media day Sunday at UAlbany.

Columbia at Christian Bros. Academy
Friday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m.
Christian Bros. Academy, Colonie

About Columbia: The Blue Devils are looking to gain traction in 2010 under second-year head coach Drew Romanowski, who inspired an underclass uprising in the weight room during the offseason. Columbia will need to find multiple replacements on offense for Alex Tesoriero, who rushed for 1,445 yards in 2009 and handled the Blue Devils’ kicking duties for the past few years.

About CBA: Head coach Joe Burke will make his debut with the Brothers in this game. A long-time assistant at Bishop Maginn, Burke also had a five-year stint at Albany High in the 2000s. The Brothers return a solid group of players in 2010, led by seniors Casey Crotty, Trey Williams, Max Weaver, Carter Sherman, Ras-I Grady and Logan Frese. Expect the Brothers’ offense in 2010 to look a lot like what Burke saw with his mentor, Joe Grasso, at Bishop Maginn over the past 30 years.

Notable: These teams wrapped up the 2009 season with a crossover game in East Greenbush. CBA won, 14-6. They last met in regular season action on Sept. 9, 2005, a game CBA won, 36-3.

Corinth at Hoosick Falls, 
Friday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m.
Hoosick Falls High School, Hoosick Falls

About Corinth: The Tomahawks will be starting over in 2010 as do-it-all quarterback Jordan Charbonneau, who rushed for 1,791 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior last year, has graduated. Corinth edged out Mechanicville for the fourth and final playoff berth out of the Class C North Division a season ago. Corinth lost to South Division Chatham in the opening round of the playoffs, 62-0.

About Hoosick Falls: The Panthers will get back to business after making a run to the New York State Class C semifinals and finishing with an 11-1 record overall in 2009. Quarterback Mike Brewster returns for his senior season in head coach Ron Jones’ spread option offense. Brewster passed for 1,651 yards and ran for 450 yards as a junior. To defend their Section II title in 2010, the Panthers will need to replace three players on the offensive line and running back Alex Hansen, who ran for 1,575 yards and 26 touchdowns in his senior season last year.

Notable: Corinth was the last Section II team to defeat Hoosick Falls, as the Tomahawks defeated the Panthers in a crossover game, 32-27, on Halloween, 2008. Hoosick Falls won a regular season game in Corinth last season, 21-7, on Oct. 16.

Lake George at Tamarac
Friday, Sept. 3, 7 p.m.
Tamarac High School, Clums Corners

About Lake George: The Warriors are coming off a season in Class D in which they finished 5-1 in the regular season, but were upset by Saratoga Central Catholic in the opening round of the playoffs. Lake George will also have to replace running back Caleb Meroski, who was a major threat in the backfield for the last two seasons. Playing a Class D schedule as a Class C school in 2008, Lake George finished with a 9-0 record but was ineligible for postseason play.

About Tamarac: The Bengals return all five offensive linemen from a season ago and for the first time in a long time, the Tamarac front five averages over 200 pounds. Junior Nick Casale starts his second season under center and will turn to offensive playmakers Nick Feldmaier, Tyler Larvie and Nick Newell. Tamarac finished 4-5 a season ago and missed the playoffs after having made qualified in 2008. The Bengals last won a Section II title in 1983.

Notable: These two teams last met on Oct. 27, 2006. Lake George won, 18-6.

Mechanicville at Voorheesville
Saturday, Sept. 4
Clayton A. Bouton High School, Voorheesville

About Mechanicville: The Red Raiders finished 4-2 in the Class C North Division a season ago (6-3 overall) but missed the playoffs on a quarterpoints tiebreaker to Corinth. The Red Raiders return 14 of 22 starters and will aim to balance the pass and the run on offense. After a season of technical delays, Mechanicville will play home games under the lights on Friday nights in 2010.

About Voorheesville: The Blackbirds are a consensus pick among local high school football coaches as one of the teams to beat in Class C this year. The Blackbirds finished 6-1 in the South Division a season ago but lost in the first round of the playoffs to Cambridge, 41-0. Quarterback Ryan Duncan figures to be one of Section II’s top passers in 2010. He threw for 995 yards and 12 touchdowns a season ago.

Notable: These traditional Colonial Council rivals last played on Sept. 22, 2007, with Voorheesville winning, 15-13.

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