Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Mid-Morning Quarterback: Week Two Edition

We can’t blame anything on first game jitters anymore.
Week two is over and teams are starting to pull away from the pack, while others are simply falling farther backwards.
That being said, there were still solid story lines, good, bad and ugly, in the Section II football world this past Friday and Saturday.
Let’s recap, shall we?

Top Players of the Week:
Brad Burns (Hoosick Falls, RB):
In just two games, the Panthers’ senior running back has accumulated 269 yards and three touchdowns on only 23 carriers. He’s averaging just over 11 yards a carry and in this week’s 42-10 victory over Granville Burns recorded 152 yards on the ground. Watch out opposing defensive lines.
Gabe Smith (La Salle, WR): The Cadets’ senior wide receiver wasn’t much of a factor in the first half of Friday’s Collar City Cup against Troy. But midway through the fourth quarter and the score tied at seven all, that changed. Smith picked off Troy’s Pat Chamberlain in the endzone, returning the ball back to the Flying Horses’ 27. Three plays later he beat Chamberlain’s secondary coverage to score the game-winning touchdown and secure the 14-7 victory.
Anthony Walker (Lansingburgh, RB): The junior tailback simply was not satisfied with his week one performance of 207 yards and four touchdowns. So in ‘Burgh’s home opener on Friday night, Walker upped the ante, rushing for 219 yards and five touchdowns as the Knights cruised to a 47-12 victory over Green Tech.
Chris Landers (Shaker, QB): The Blue Bison’s senior quarterback continued to prove he can run an offense, as he passed for two touchdowns and rushed for two more to lead Shaker to a 48-0 victory over Colonie. Landers was 5-of-8 in the air for 73, while adding another 87 yards on the ground off of eight carries.

Biggest Surprises of the Week
La Salle’s Come-From-Behind Cup Victory:
On paper the Cadets are everything that Troy High is not. La Salle returned only three starters from last season. They’re not a big team and they’re not the strongest group of lineman in Section II. What the Cadets did have though, was belief in themselves. Despite falling down 7-0 in the first half, La Salle kept chipping away at the Flying Horses on both sides of the ball. It worked; and the Cadets not only took home the 14-7 victory – their first of the season – but also returned the Collar City Cup to their trophy case for the first time since 2008.
Schalmont Goes From Big to…Not So Big: The Sabres looked dominant in their week one 41-16 victory over Glens Falls. Devon Willis racked up a Section II-high 352 yards and looked primed to be “the next big thing” in Capital District football. Cue this past Friday night against Burnt Hills. Willis rushed for only 49 yards and no touchdowns and the Sabres were shut out. Keep mind it was an A-B crossover game, but it’s still tough to think a drop that big is possible.

Biggest Surprise That Probably Shouldn’t Have Been a Surprise
Burnt Hills:
You have to think that coach Matt Shell wasn’t particularly pleased with the Spartans’ week one 17-7 loss to Troy. Burnt Hills had seven first half turnovers in that game. That is not a normal Burnt Hills team. So it really shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that the Spartans were able to turn everything around in week two. Dan Porter finished with 138 yards on 15 carries as Burnt Hills rushed for a team total of 363 yards in their Schalmont shutout.

Best Way to (Almost) Double Your Career Stats
Matt Parmenter:
The Indians’ senior running back nearly matched his career rushing total in a single game, running for 290 yards and five touchdowns en route to a dominant 48-0 victory over Hoosic Valley on Saturday afternoon. Parmenter, who played mostly wide receiver last season, is averaging just under ten yards a carry and in the two games he’s played in 2012 has racked up 404 rushing yards. He’s doing alright with the position change.

Best Attempts at Changing a Football Stereotype
The Cannoneers’ wide receiver corps, led by senior Jordan Gleason, is determined to be physical this season. They were definitely physical on Saturday afternoon, slamming (literally) the Voorheesville secondary with open field blocks to set up major offensive plays. If they didn’t have the ball or weren’t trying to catch the ball, ‘Vliet’s wide receivers were knocking someone over and they were enjoying it.

Most Likely to Plow Down the Field
In just two games the Indians offense, drected by senior quarterback Connor Zeoli, have recorded a Section II-high 102 points. They’re a touchdown ahead of the next team. But don’t let those 102 points blind you. These two victories haven’t been close either. Ravena has allowed 13 points in their first two games. Not only does their offense blow apart opposing defense, but it takes its time; other teams barely have time to get to the line.

Worst Way to Start a Season; Statistically 
The Warriors have scored eight points in two games, one of which was a shutout loss to Chatham this Friday, and have amassed just 215 total offensive yards since the opening whistle of the season. Liam Kane, who was projected to be a top rusher in Section II this season, has recorded 102 yards thus far. That’s almost half of the entire team’s output.

Game I’m Looking Forward to Most in Week Three – And You Should Be Too
Shaker at Columbia:
Get thee to East Greenbush by 7 p.m. on Friday night. Why? Because both of these teams are undefeated and only one can stay that way. Because Chris Landers is surprising everyone so far this season. Because Kenny Mathieu is stepping out of Chris Smith’s shadow and running the ball for the Blue Devils. Because both teams are averaging over 41 points per game. Go to Columbia High School on Friday; I’m planning on it.


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