Wednesday, September 29, 2010

High school football: Week Five, a look ahead

La Salle (1-2, 1-3) 
at Shaker (3-0, 4-0)
Fri., 7 p.m.
Liberty Division

About La Salle: The Cadets find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture in the Liberty Division after losing to Colonie last week. La Salle is fifth in the division. The top four teams will receive postseason berths. Kevin Koberger rushed for 95 yards on 16 attempts a week ago. That is as close to a 100-yard rushing performance as the Cadets, who have produced some of the area’s finest running backs this decade, have come to the century mark in 2010.
About Shaker: The Blue Bison just keep finding ways to win, using three interceptions from Chris Landers to topple Niskayuna in Week Four. Shaker also welcomed seniors Conor Alund and Chris Sherwin back to the team after they had missed the first three games with injuries. Alund rushed for 160 yards and one touchdown on 24 attempts and Sherwin caught a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Notable: Shaker last won five games in one season in 2003. La Salle has won at least six games in a season every year sine 2003. These teams last met on Sept. 25, 2009, with La Salle winning, 40-7. These teams have met in the regular season each of the last five years and La Salle has won all five games by a combined score of 165-51.

Shenendehowa (3-0, 4-0) 
at Christian Bros. Acad.(2-1, 3-1)
Fri., 7 p.m.
Empire Division

About Shen: The Plainsmen are enjoying the two-headed running attack of Bronson Greene (69 attempts, 525 rushing yards, six touchdowns) and Queensbury transfer Tony Fusco (48, 404, 6). Shen’s defense hasn’t been too shabby either, allowing just 31 points through four games. 21 of those points were surrendered in last week’s 35-21 victory over Schenectady.
About CBA: The Brothers’ defense came up huge last week in the Spa City, holding the Saratoga Springs offense at bay in a 27-2 victory. CBA does not highlight any one single player on offense, as a large group of running backs split the carries under first-year head coach Joe Burke. Trey Williams (37, 283, 5) is the leading rusher, but Carter Sherman, Cody Zappone, Nick Antoinette Joe O’Hagen and Casey Crotty have been major contributors.
Notable: Depending on what Ballston Spa does at Guilderland, CBA could force a first place tie in the Empire Division with a victory. Shen won last season’s regular season matchup, 34-0, which was head coach Brent Steuerwald’s career win No. 300. The Plainsmen have won the past five games in the series by a combined score of 153-17.

Troy (4-0, 4-0) 
at Saratoga Springs (2-2, 2-2)
Fri., 7 p.m.

About Troy: The Flying Horses have outscored opponents 188-0 this season. In 2009, Troy High posted five straight shutouts (and a 24-quarter scoreless streak) during the regular season. Shatiek Lewis (41 att., 490 yds., 7 TD) and Jordan Canzeri (52 att., 398 yds., 8 TD) have again proven themselves to be one of Section II’s top running back duos.
About Saratoga: The Blue Streaks’ offense sputtered last week, as the defense could muster just two points in a loss to CBA. Running back Jesse Spencer gained 145 rushing yards on 23 attempts in Week One, but has been pedestrian (40 att., 155 yds. zero TD) in three games since.
Notable: Troy played a Class A schedule in 2008 and ’09, so these teams last met on Oct. 22, 2004, with Saratoga winning, 24-6. Troy returns to Liberty Division action next Friday at Niskayuna before closing out the regular season at home on Oct. 16 against Shaker.

Tamarac (3-0, 4-0) 
at Greenwich (3-1, 3-1)
Fri., 7 p.m.
Class C, North Division

About Tamarac: The Bengals outlasted Watervliet last week, 13-12, on the strength of Reed Meehan’s extra point kick with 1:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. Tamarac last won five games in a season in 2008. The most recent five-win season before that? Try 1992, when the team also finished 5-4. The Bengals have turned to the air since senior running back Nick Feldmaier went down with a fractured fibula. Junior quarterback Nick Casale is Section II’s No. 2 leading passer in terms of yardage and Tyler Larvie, despite just one catch last week against Watervliet, remains the area’s top receiver.
About Greenwich: The Witches responded to a Week Three loss against Hoosick Falls by blanking Mechanicville in Week Four, 26-0. Running back Tyler Pruiksma has gained at least 104 yards on the ground in every game except the Hoosick Falls game. Pruiksma, with seven touchdowns and five two-point conversion runs, is one of 13 players in Section II to have socred at least 50 points this season.
Notable: Traditional Wasaren League rivals, these teams have not recently met on the gridiron. Tamarac, currently in a first place tie with Hoosick Falls in Class C’s North Division, will not play the Panthers during the regular season. The Bengals travel to Corinth in Week Six before closing out at home against Mechanicville. Tamarac has made just two post season appearances in school history 2008 and 1983, the Bengals’ one-and-only Section II title-winning campaign.

Stillwater (1-2, 2-2) 
at Mechanicville (1-2, 1-3)
Fri., 7 p.m.
Class C, North Division

Notable: Both teams are two games behind Lake George in the win column for the fourth and final playoff berth in the North Division, so this game is unlikely to play a role in the postseason hunt. Still, it’s one of the biggest football rivalryes around as the next-door neighbors battle for control of the Indian Bowl. Mechanicville won all five meetings between 2005 and 2009 by a combined score of 119-44. Stillwater last won the Bowl in 2004, eeking out a 13-12 victory over the Red Raiders.

Cambridge (3-0, 3-0) 
at Rensselaer (3-0, 3-0)
Fri., 7 p.m.
Class D

About Cambridge: Despite a bye in Week Three, Matt Best (50 att., 606 yds., six TD) remains the No. 7 rusher in Section II in terms of yards gained. The Indians are also expected this week to have the services of wide receiver Jesse Lybert, who had broken his right ankle over the summer.
About Rensselaer: The Rams received a bye in Week One, but that hasn’t stopped senior quarterback Tim Foust from ranking as one of the Section’s top passers. His 423 yards passing, 10 touchdown tosses against one interception, and 21-of-35 completion percentage have kept Rensselaer on top of the Class D standings for the third straight season.
Notable: As the only undefeated teams remaining in Class D, this could be a potential Super Bowl preview. Both teams have bounced between Class C and D in recent years. The last time they met was on Sept. 25, 2005 in Cambridge, a game the Indians won, 50-8. Cambridge defeated Rensselaer twice during the 2004 season, 33-0 and 41-8.

Look for a full story on the Lansingburgh at Averill Park game and a video on the blog tomorrow evening and in The Record on Friday.

For the latest Section II stat pack and NFL QB ratings, click here.

For the latest New York State Sportswriters rankings, click here.

Week Five Schedule
Fri., Oct. 1
Class AA
Empire Division
Ballston Spa at Guilderland, 7 p.m.
Bethlehem at Albany. 7 p.m.
Shenendehowa at Christian Brothers Academy, 7 p.m.
Liberty Division
Columbia at Schenectady, 7 p.m.
La Salle at Shaker, 7 p.m.
Niskayuna at Colonie, 7 p.m.
Troy at Saratoga Springs, 7 p.m.
Class A
Southeast Division
Mohonasen at Scotia-Glenville, 7 p.m.
Lansingburgh at Averill Park, 7 p.m.
Northwest Division
South Glens Falls at Gloversville, 7 p.m.
Queensbury at Amsterdam, 7 p.m.
Glens Falls at Burnt Hills, 7 p.m.
Class B
Reinfurt Division
Hudson at Ravena, 7 p.m.
West Division
Johnstown at Broadalbin-Perth, 7 p.m.
Schalmont at Cobleskill-Richmondville, 7 p.m.
Class C
South Division
Fonda-Fultonville at Catholic Central, 7 p.m.
Watervliet at Chatham, 7 p.m.
Taconic Hills at Canajoharie, 7 p.m.
North Division
Stillwater at Mechanicville, 7 p.m.
Tamarac at Greenwich, 7 p.m.
Granville at Lake George, 7 p.m.
Coxsackie-Athens at Corinth, 7 p.m.
Class D
Cambridge at Rensselaer, 7 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 2
Class A
Bishop Maginn at Albany Academy, 1:30 p.m.
Class B
West Division
Schuylerville at Hudson Falls, 1 p.m.
Reinfurt Division
Cohoes at Cairo-Durham, 1:30 p.m.
Ichabod Crane at Voorheesville, 1:30 p.m.
Class C
North Division
Hoosick Falls at Hoosic Valley, 1 p.m.
Ichabod Crane at Voorheesville, 1 p.m.
Class D
Salem at Bishop Gibbons, 1 p.m.
Whitehall at Fort Edward, 1 p.m.

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