Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sunday Mid-Morning Quarterback: Week Eight Edition

I’d like to start off our week eight – or first week of sectionals – review by saying one very important thing. I apologize.

I’m not sorry for missing scores or asking poor questions in the post-game interviews. I am also not sorry for wearing multi-colored polka dot rain boots to my game on Friday night. I am sorry though, that I went an embarrassing 0-for-5 in my picks for our first round of The Record’s video selections.

It wasn’t like I picked bad teams. Heck, we’re in sectionals, every team is good now. But, what I didn’t do was account for the insanity of those same sectionals times, because, and my 0-for-5 record proves it, sectionals are insane.

So, from now on, I promise all of you that I’ll try to make better picks. In the meantime, let’s take a moment to look back on these past two days of football; it was a good one.

Players of the Week
Chris Smith (Columbia, RB):
The senior led the Blue Devils to a Class AA quarterfinal victory over Guilderland in their final home game of the season on Friday night with 192 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Pat Chamberlain (Troy, QB): The senior quarterback rushed the ball just six times, but racked up 158 yards on the ground and found the end zone four different times to lead the Flying Horses to a 56-7 victory over Gloversville in Class A sectional action.
Ryan Griffin (Shaker, RB): Griffin recorded 125 yards and three touchdowns, on runs of 35, three and 12 yards to lead the Blue Bison to a dominant 42-6 victory over Ballston Spa in a Class AA quarterfinal game on Friday night.
Billy Pine (Hoosick Falls, QB): Pine played around 15 minutes of football in Saturday’s Class C quarterfinal game against Voorheesille. In those 15 minutes he threw for two touchdowns, rushed for two more and returned two punts for touchdowns. To say he made the most of his time might be an understatement.

Biggest Surprise of the Week
Lansingburgh Gets Upset:
For all intents and purposes the Knights played two playoff games before Friday night’s quarterfinal matchup against Schuylerville. Both of those games were incredibly hard fought wins, with come-from-behind, late game rallies to lead ‘Burgh to a Reinfurt Division championship and a number one seed. So cue Friday night. Lansingburgh is undefeated, state-ranked and going up against a Schuylerville team that’s taken some tough losses in the middle of the season. The Knights did not come play in the first half; they were flat, missed tackles and couldn’t get an offensive block if their life depended on it. Turns out, it did. Anthony Walker got some movement in the second half, but it simply wasn’t enough. That’s the end of Lansingburgh’s season.
Watervliet Doesn’t Score a Touchdown…Again: Let’s be clear about something first. Jordan Gleason didn’t play in Friday night’s game against Mechnicville. The senior receiver led the Cannoneers in yards and touchdowns all season, but a re-aggravated knee injury – and basketball season right around the corner – forced him out. So, first off ‘Vliet didn’t have their #1 weapon on offense. But, that doesn’t really excuse a 40-0 loss either. The Cannoneers have had this problem all season; one mistake gets in the back of everyone’s head and suddenly that one problem has become five. Taylor Dockstader was picked off early in the second quarter for a Mechanicville touchdown. That was pretty much it for the Cannoneers.

Biggest Surprise That Probably Shouldn’t Have Been a Surprise
: Ok. I picked Guilderland. I didn’t think Columbia could bounce back after last week’s 62-8 loss to Burnt Hills. I said their offense was all over the place. Ehhhhh, I was wrong. Chris Smith, once again, found his footing and helped lead the Blue Devils to a 30-10 victory over the Dutchmen. If they can keep this performance consistent, especially the run game, they might stand a pretty good chance in next weekend’s semi-final against Shenendehowa.

Anthony Walker: A Final Entry
It’s Been a Season:
This kid is only a junior and I am not exaggerating when I say he has been one of the most entertaining players to watch all season. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Walker is the single most patient athlete in Section II. He waits for his line to open up a lane for him and the second he spots it, he takes it, usually to the end zone. He ran for just over 190 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s 20-19 loss to Scuylerville – most of which came in the second half. ‘Burgh coach Al McNall has to be counting his lucky stars that Walker will be back next season; in eight games alone he recorded over 1500 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. Expect more of him on this blog the next time around.

Troy’s Offense Finds Some Life
For the Second Straight Week:
Last week I talked to Troy coach Jack Burger about the fairly dominant play his offense exhibited in their win over Mohonasen. Burger said he was incredibly happy with the way everyone – not just one person in particular – played, from the line to their quarterback and their three different running back options. This week, although I didn’t cover their win over Gloversville, I’d have to assume he’d say the same thing. The Flying Horses rushed, as a team, for over 400 yards, with a great performance for QB Pat Chamerbalin, who recorded four touchdown runs. I’ve said before that the problem with Troy is they don’t have a big-name guy on offense. Maybe, just maybe though, that’s actually their strength. If they can keep this up against Amsterdam next week, things could get interesting.

Schenectady Upsets CBA?
One Point Victory: I ask this in question form because I want to know if a three seed beating a two seed can really qualify as an upset. But think about, CBA was undefeated until last week’s loss to Shenendehowa. They were state ranked and had a small army of running backs who, at any gien moment, could plow through a defensive line. So, when the Brothers closed out the first quarter up 14-0, things looked pretty good. Then Kwame Jarvis, who has led Section II in passing for a good chunk of the season, finished the game with over 250 passing yards and two touchdown throws to lead the Patriots to a 29-28 victory and a trip to the semi-finals against Shaker next week. Now that would be an upset game.

Albany Makes History
And Scores 24 Points in the Process: Going into Saturday afternoon’s crossover game against South Glens Falls, the Falcons had not won a game in 44 appearances on the football field. The streak, active since 2007, was the longest in not only Section II but all of New York State. That’s completely different now, as Albany logged their first victory in five years with a 24-0 shutout over the Bulldogs. It may not mean much to anybody else, but that victory was the kind of moment Albany High has been waiting for. A very serious congratulations.

Game I’m Looking Forward to Most in the Semis…and You Should Be Too
Fonda vs. Hoosick Falls: I’ve been saying it all season, the Hoosick Falls football team is on a completely different level from the other teams in Section II. Case in point; they were leading Voorheesille 62-0 by the end of halftime and their starters came out of the game midway through the second quarter. The Panthers have yet to be challenged, or even remotely threatened. That being said, I’m not sure Fonda is the team that beats Hoosick Falls, but they might be the first team that makes the Panthers work. Before they start their out-of-section competition, which I’m pretty sure they will, a game like that could be exactly what the Panthers need.


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