Give them Liberty: Troy High clinces Liberty Division No. 1 seed
TROY — Hundreds of Troy High alumni returned to campus for Saturday’s Liberty Division championship homecoming football game against Shaker.
So did the Troy High defense.
The Flying Horses, coming off a pair of hard-earned victories, held Shaker to 142 yards of total offense and just six first downs. Troy senior running back Jordan Canzeri rushed for 282 yards and three touchdowns on 26 attempts in a 34-0 victory in front of a standing-room only crowd on Edward C. Picken Field.
“It meant a lot. We knew a lot of people would be here and all of us talked about that,” Canzeri said. “We knew even more would be here since we were the last two undefeated teams going at it for the first seed and it was just great to get this and get a win like this because it just sends a message that we’re playing Troy High football from now on.”
Troy had struggled defensively each of the past two weeks, having to come from behind at Saratoga Springs in Week Five and giving up 336 passing yards in an overtime victory at Niskayuna last week.
"There was a lot of hype going into practice," said senior defensive back Dan Danahy, pictured above. "A little extra energy. It all paid off today. We put up a 0, not a 28."
Shaker quarterback Ben Capeless went 0-for-6 before completing his first pass and the Troy High defense did not allow a Blue Bison run of longer than 11 yards in the first half as the offense gradually relied on Canzeri to build its lead.
“We had to overcome the running game to start to make them pass,” said Troy High senior cornerback Evan Vadney. “And once they started throwing, we had just been repping it in practice over and over again. We know our coverages and we know where we need to be and we just got there and got it done.”
Vadney recovered a Shaker fumble early in the third quarter. Michael Pastore added a sack and Stephaun Grinage contributed with an interception of a Capeless pass later in the third as the Flying Horses began to pull away.
"We knew that it would be a battle but our main objective was to score early, stop them on ‘D’ with a three-and-out and score again," Canzeri said.
“(Defensive coordinator) Bobby Burns does a phenomenal job with our defense,” said Troy head coach Jack Burger. “He was very disappointed the last two weeks and he took it very personal. The kids think the world of Bobby and I think they went out and played hard obviously for themselves, but I think they played hard for coach Burns, too.”
"We practice a lot," Canzeri said. "Coach Burns helps us a lot. We go through all the looks and go through all the opponents’ plays. We knew we got thrown against a lot last week, so we just practiced, practiced, practice and we just played well."
Shatiek Lewis, a senior running back for Troy who sustained an ankle injury on his first rushing attempt at Saratoga Springs and did not play last week against Niskayuna, ran the ball three times for nine yards in Saturday’s game and did not play at all in the second half.
“Being on my own, I wish he was still in the backfield with me, but now I know how much I really have to work and how hard I really have to push myself,” Canzeri said.
Canzeri, one of Section II’s top home run hitters out of the backfield, collected seven runs of at least 16 yards in the game.
Troy (6-0, 7-0) clinched the Liberty Division’s No. 1 seed and will host Empire Division No. 4 Christian Brothers Academy (3-3, 4-3) in a Section II Class AA quarterfinal game Saturday.
Shaker (5-1, 6-1) earned the No. 2 seed and will host Empire Division No. 3 Shenendehowa (4-2, 5-2) Friday night.
“I think we’ll be a lot more sound,” Vadney, pictured above, said of his postseason expectations. “Most of our defense has been in position since last year. We have a lot of returnees. There are only a couple of new guys, so we’ve been there. We know what is going to come at us. I think we’ll do well.”
Troy (6-0, 7-0) 7 6 14 7 — 34
T — Jordan Canzeri 26 run (Badro Talbi kick) 7:34
T — Canzeri 47 run (kick blocked) 11:52
T — Brian Marsh 1 run (Talbi kick) 6:56
T — Josh Blaauboer 16 pass from Marsh (Talbi kick) 0:27
T — Canzeri 36 run (Talbi kick) 11:07
Rushing: Shaker (29-92): Alund 14-80, Bernard 10-15, Valentino 1-(-1), Capeless 4-(-2). Troy (48-402): Canzeri 26-282, Marsh 6-36, Felder 5-35, Valenti 2-16, Mann 2-15, Geraci 4-9, Lewis 3-9.
Passing: Shaker: Capeless 4-14-50-0-1. Troy: Marsh 6-8-92-1-0.
Receiving: Shaker (4-50): Valentino 1-21, Sherwin 1-16, Kisselback 1-7, Hyatt 1-6. Troy (6-92): Blaauboer 3-73, Felder 1-12, Blair 1-9, Canzeri 1-(-2).
Robert J. Bocketti (1999)
Steve Finkle (1999)
Jarod Kussler (1996)
Mike LaRose (1996)
Peter J. Naime (1999)
Nancy Probst (1997)
Brewington L. Reid (1975)
Edward Smulsky (1958)
Augustine J. Sprerrazza (1959)
Talia Valenti (2005)
Charlie Wick (1959)
Troy High Homecoming Queen Lauren Cooney celebrates at halftime. (Carras photo - The Record).
Saturday's Section II scoreboard
Troy 34, Shaker 0
Queensbury 12, Glens Falls 8
Cohoes 28, Hudson 6
Stillwater 49, Hoosic Valley 6
Voorheesville 24, Watervliet 0
Canajoharie 13, Coxsackie 6
Fort Edward 47, Bishop Gibbons 0
Cambridge 52, Warrensburg 0
CBA 35, Albany 0
Guilderland 33, Bethlehem 7
Saratoga 14, Shenendehowa 12
Columbia 26, La Salle 20
Schenectady 23, Colonie 6
Niskayuna 42, Ballston Spa 17
Lansingburgh 20, Maginn 14
Averill Park 32, Mohonasen 14
Amsterdam 42, Gloversville 21
Burnt Hills 70, S.Glens Falls 13
Scotia-Glenville 34, Cairo 0
Ravena 21, Albany Academy 6
Hudson Falls 61, Broadalbin 34
Cobleskill 26, Johnstown 6
Schalmont 13, Schuylerville 0
Fonda 21, Taconic Hills 6
Mechanicville 28, Tamarac 27 (2 OT)
Granville 48, Corinth 20
Chatham 48, Greenwich 28
Catholic Central 14, I.Crane 13
Rensselaer 18, Whitehall 6
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