Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Mid-Morning Quarterback: Week One Edition

We have survived. The first week is over. Now, is a time of reflection.

So what was good, bad and somewhere in between about the first week of Section II football? Let’s take a look.

Top Players of the Week:
Billy Pine (Hoosick Falls, QB):
The senior quarterback, returning for his second season starting under center, threw for four touchdowns on Friday night’s opener against Mechanicville. Pine, who promised to be a much more vocal leader for the Panthers’ this season, went 7-of-12 for 170 yards. For good measure, he also ran a punt back 68 yards.
Jordan Gleason (Watervliet, WR): As one of only a handful of returning seniors to the Cannoneers’ squad in 2012, Gleason pulled in three touchdown receptions to start the season.
Anthony Walker (Lansingburgh, RB): The junior tailback said in the off-season he hoped he had another big game like last year’s play against South Glens Falls. It didn’t take him long. The boy-wonder rushed for over 200 yards and four touchdowns in the Knights’ 36-35 victory over Scotia.
Jordan Nelson (Troy, WR): The senior wideout had never once stepped onto a football field as a competitive participant before Friday night. A track and field standout he was handpicked by coach Jack Burger to anchor the Flying Horses receiving unit. So he did, catching a 20 yard pass in the fourth quarter as Troy topped Burnt Hills 17-7.

Biggest Surprises of the Week
Colonie Tops La Salle:
We knew going into this season that the Cadets offense might not be quite as potent as they were last season; especially after losing standout quarterback Garret Delory to graduation. What we didn’t expect was Colonie, a team that finished with just one victory in 2011, to beat La Salle 34-28.
Averill Park Scores Touchdowns: The Warriors might not be able to fly under the radar this season. Fullback Nick Valenti and quarterback Taylor Hotaling combined for 209 rushing yards and four touchdowns as Averill Park topped Amsterdam 30-24. Sometimes experience pays off and the Warriors have that in spades.

Biggest Surprise That Probably Shouldn’t Have Been a Surprise
Hoosick Falls Keeps on Winning:
There is something in the water in Hoosick Falls. The Panthers are a very young team this year and after losing a handful of their key starters from last season’s playoff run, the squad was concerned about their future in 2012. There doesn’t seem to be much need for concern now; they beat Mechanicville 43-0.

Best Game That Could Have Been Played in Sectionals
Troy and Burnt Hills:
It was the game to be at really. The Flying Horses had lost to the Spartans three times running going into Friday night, including a lopsided loss that ended their 2011 season. That’s all in the past now, as the Troy defense stifled Burnt Hills to just seven points, forcing turnovers and holding fourth downs en route to a 17-7 victory.

Best Attempt at Being the New Conner Hartigan
Devon Willis:
The Schalmont junior was a prolific running back in 2011. Now he’s a prolific running quarterback. On Friday night he racked up 352 yards on just 21 carries and made four different trips to the endzone.

Best Downgrade
Hoosic Valley:
The Indians hadn’t won a football game in two seasons. They had only won three times since the program’s inception six years ago. So what did they do on Saturday, in their first game in Class D? They won a football game; topping Bishop Gibbons 38-13.

Worst Reason to Travel North
Catholic Central Shutout
: The woes of the Crusaders continue, as they trekked the ridiculously long drive to Salem on Saturday afternoon, only to be shutout 40-0. Catholic High couldn’t stop a pass or a run, or get their own going, recording only 115 yards of total offense.

Worst Attempt at Holding onto the Football
Cohoes Tigers:
The Tigers opened up their season on Saturday afternoon with five fumbles, including four straight in the second half. Through the third and fourth quarter Cohoes didn’t finish a single drive. Each one ended in a fumble. They lost to Ravena 44-7.


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