Thursday, November 4, 2010

High school football: Class C Super Bowl preview

Section II Class C Super Bowl
N1 Hoosick Falls (9-0) 
vs. S1 Chatham (9-0)
At Stillwater High School
Friday, 7 p.m.

HOOSICK FALLS — It’s déjà vu all over again in Class C, as Hoosick Falls and Chatham have successfully navigated back to the Section II Super Bowl for a second consecutive season.

“It’s Chatham week. Let’s go,” said Steve Colvin, a senior two-way lineman, after Saturday’s semifinal victory over Fonda-Fultonville.

While the uniforms will look the same – and some of the key players from the 2009 game also return – the teams have taken different paths to the 2010 rematch.

Hoosick Falls relied heavily on senior running back Alex Hansen a season ago, as he rushed for 1,575 yards. With Hansen gone, the Panthers have diversified on offense.

Junior running back Tanner Williams leads the way with 473 rushing yards, 382 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns. Sophomore running back Brad Burns (73 atts., 666 yds., 8 TDs) and senior quarterback Mike Brewster (51 att., 182 yds., 7 TDs) also figure in the running game.

Brewster has passed for 1,097 yards, completing 69-of-105 passes and tossing 13 touchdowns against two interceptions. Williams and Burns join Quinn Rasmus, Randy Tutunjian, Connor Martin and Josh Mulready as receiving threats.

“We have to come out with the intensity,” said Brewster. “If we can hit them hard a couple times – they’re a great team, they’re a well-coached team – we just have to come out intense. We have to come out ready for them.”

Chatham, on the other hand, returns its starting tailback from 2009 in senior Josh Keyes. Diversification has been the name of the game for the South Division champions as well.

Keyes, who has rushed for 1,544 yards on 135 attempts and has scored 21 total touchdowns, is also one of Section II’s most fearsome defensive players from the free safety position.

Chatham rode Keyes for nearly 2,000 yards in 2009, but the Panthers have lightened the load on him by turning to the passing game. Tanner Niles has completed 50-of-91 passes for 1,098 yards, including 21 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Ian McGrath, Section II’s leading receiver, has caught 30 of those passes for 733 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“We know they’re going to have their best game against us because it’s the Super Bowl for them, too,” Colvin said. “They’re going to be just as excited as we are. We’re just going to do what we do every week and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

If any defense is ready for the challenge that Chatham’s offense presents, it would be Hoosick Falls’, as the starting stoppers have allowed just two touchdowns all season.

Hoosick Falls, which is 4-0 in postseason games at Stillwater High School the past two years, is also hoping to avoid any last-second drama the second time around. Quinn Rasmus’ last-second field goal lifted Hoosick Falls to a 17-14 victory over Chatham in the 2009 Panther Bowl.

“The three of us have been doing this since our sophomore season,” Brewster said of his friendships with Colvin and senior two-way lineman Garrett Foster. “We want to keep continuing on this road and we want to get through Chatham. We’re going to keep working hard.”

Look for previews on the other three Section II Super Bowls coming soon.

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