H.S. Football Week 6 Preview: Playoff picture will be in focus following Week 6
With just two weeks left in the regular season, several area high school football teams will look to improve or solidify their playoff positions this week.
Canajoharie has the lone home contest tonight, hosting Hoosic Valley at 7 p.m.
Broadalbin-Perth will travel to Schuylerville for a Class B West Division contest, while Johnstown will travel to Schalmont for another Class B West clash.
On Saturday, Fonda-Fultonville will host Coxsackie-Athens and Dolgeville will host West Canada Valley. Gloversville will travel to South Glens Falls for a Class A Northwest Division game, while Amsterdam will travel to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake for a Class A Northwest Division game.
Class C South
(0-5 overall, 0-3 Class C South)
(4-1 overall, 2-1 Class C South)
Today, 7 p.m.
After posting a 40-0 win over Schoburg last Friday, Canajoharie will look to lock up a home playoff game with a win over winless Hoosic Valley.
Dillan Veeder returned two punts for touchdowns last week for the Cougars, who will face Rensselaer in their regular-season finale. The outcome of that contest could grant a home playoff game to the winner, depending on this week’s results.
Nathan Ferguson rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carried for the Cougars against Schoburg. The Canajoharie defense was dominant, holding Schoburg to minus-21 yards rushing on 31 attempts.
Hoosic Valley forfeited last week’s game against Rensselaer due to low numbers and injuries, but the Indians will have enough to compete tonight. Hoosic Valley, which lost 28-6 to the Cougars last season, has been outscored 41-147 this season.
Class B West
(2-3 overall, 2-3 Class B West)
(5-0 overall, 5-0 Class B West)
Today, 7 p.m.
Johnstown accomplished something last week, it hadn’t accomplished since the 2008 season – back-to-back victories.
After topping Glens Falls 28-24 on Sept. 27, the Sir Bills backed that up with a 35-7 win at Hudson Falls last Saturday.
“The atmosphere in practice is positive after winning back-to-back games, but it is still business,” Benton said. “We work to improve. This week’s keys offensively are to work the clock and move the ball. We need to bring our ‘A’ game defensively, tackle in space and leave it out on the field.”
Last week’s win was the first road win for Benton, as Johnstown had just one win in 32 games since 2008 heading into this season.
Ryan Auty scored three touchdowns for the Sir Bills against Hudson Falls, scoring on passes of 32 and 93 yards from Steve Forker and rushing for a 10-yard score. Forker finished 2-for-2 for 125 yards and two touchdowns, while Auty had four catches for 153 yards and two scores.
Matt Szurek scored on a 12-yard run for Johnstown and returned an interception for a touchdown. Szurek finished with 44 yards on five carries to lead the Sir Bills’ ground game. He also was 6-for-9 for 64 yards.
The Sir Bills had three interceptions Saturday, while Marino Fabozzi and Adam Caputo each finished with eight tackles.
Johnstown will need its best effort of the season tonight against unbeaten Schalmont, which has rolled to five wins, outscoring the opposition 172-16. The Sabres are ranked fifth in the latest Class B state rankings.
“Schalmont has a wide variety of formations offensively and run their plays based off what the defense has shown,” Benton said. We have to try and keep them guessing. Defense is based off their tendencies to spread you out and get the ball in players’ hands in space.”
Last week, Schalmont notched a 27-0 win over Cobleskill-Richmondville. Devon Willis rushed for 250 yards and two touchdowns for the Sabres.
The teams didn’t meet last season, as Schalmont claimed a forfeit win over the Sir Bills, who ended their season after three games due to low numbers and injuries.
Class B West
(4-1 overall, 4-1 Class B West)
(1-4 overall, 1-4 Class B West)
Today, 7 p.m.
Broadalbin-Perth is in control of its playoff destiny with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
If the Patriots can win at Schuylerville tonight and at home against Cobleskill-Richmondville next Friday, they will be seeded first or second from the Class B West Division. The top two seeds from each division earn a home playoff game for the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
Broadalbin-Perth coach Jim Pelneau said he has emphasized to his team that “with two weeks left in the regular season, you control your fate as far as getting a home playoff game.”
“We have talked about getting the home playoff game, and that’s something we really want to give us any advantage in playoffs and also get another home game for our seniors. At the same time, we have remained focused on one game at a time, and this week is no different.”
Last week, Darius Reyes scored two touchdowns to lead Broadalbin-Perth to a come-from-behind victory over Glens Falls, the defending Section II Class B champions.
The Patriots trailed 18-14 at the half before outscoring the Indians 20-0 in the second half to earn the win.
Reyes scored on a 55-yard fumble return and a 16-yard run for the Patriots.
Mike Visco had a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for B-P, while Tyler Schmidt scored on a 32-yard run. Zach Morreale threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Luigi Magliocca for the Patriots.
Zach Infield threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Colin Duell for Glens Falls, while Nate Plocharczyk scored on a 22-yard pass from Quentin Austin. Austin also scored on a 3-yard run for the Indians.
“It was a big win for us in our league. It is never easy going up there to play, so I was happy that we came out with the win,” Pelneau said. “Getting the fourth win is important for sectionals; our kids played very hard.”
Schuylerville has struggled this season, winning just once in five games. Last week, the Black Horses dropped a 34-6 decision to Scotia-Glenville.
“We need to keep on our keys; they run a true option attack, so discipline on defense will be important,” Pelneau said. “We need to play physical in all aspects of the game.”
Last year, the Patriots posted a 33-6 win over the Black Horses at Patriot Field.
Class C South
(2-3 overall, 2-2 Class C South)
(4-1 overall, 4-1 Class C South)
Saturday, 1 p.m.
After suffering its first loss of the season, Fonda-Fultonville will look to bounce back Saturday at home against Coxsackie-Athens.
Chatham, ranked seventh in the latest state Class C poll, posted a 44-14 win over the Braves last Friday.
“We have had a good week of practice, and the players know that they can play better. Hopefully, this Saturday they will,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Tom Carpenter said.
Tyler Van Brunt rushed for 203 yards and four touchdown on 11 carries, powering Chatham to a win over Fonda-Fultonville in a battle of Class C South Division unbeatens.
VanBrunt, who also had an interception, scored on runs of 15, 5, 2 and 78 yards for the Panthers.
Troy Pierce added a 13-yard touchdown run for Chatham, while Tyler Rivera scored on a 67-yard touchdown run.
Al Kelly added 128 yards on 12 carries for the Panthers.
Russ Williams threw two touchdown passes for Fonda-Fultonville. Williams threw a 27-yard pass to Brandon Baker for a score in the first quarter and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Cam Ives in the third quarter.
Williams finished 9-for-21 for 177 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.
Pat Hart led FFCS on the ground with 123 yards on 25 carries. Baker had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Last week, Coxsackie-Athens dropped a 56-14 decision at Watervliet.
“We need to be balanced, run and pass on offense, and defensively, we need to play good team defense and tackle well,” Carpenter said.
With a win today, Fonda-Fultonville will clinch the second seed in the Class C South Division and a home playoff game in the first round of sectionals. FFCS is ranked 19th in the last Class C state poll.
Saturday’s homecoming contest against the Indians will be chock full of activities, including the inducting of the first class into the newly formed Fonda-Fultonville Athletic Hall of Fame, senior recognition and the naming of the homecoming court.
“We try to have our players use all the extra activities as a way to motivate themselves to play their best,” Carpenter said.
Last season, Fonda-Fultonville posted a 41-14 victory at Coxsackie-Athens.
Class A Northwest
(3-2 overall, 0-2 Class A Northwest)
at South Glens Falls
(0-5 overall, 0-2 Class A Northwest)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
With two weeks remaining in the season, Gloversville is still seeking its first Class A Northwest Division victory.
After losses to Amsterdam and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, the Huskies head into Saturday’s contest facing a must-win scenario against the Bulldogs. With a win, Gloversville will clinch a Class A playoff spot. A loss put them on the outside looking in.
Gloversville improved to 3-2 overall with a 49-14 win over Bishop Maginn in a crossover contest last Friday.
Quantel McGee rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns for the Huskies, while David VanDenabeele had 91 yards receiving and 34 yards rushing. Asa Barnhill was 6-for-10 passing for 149 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“We need to keep the momentum going against South High,” Gloversville coach Jared Bongo said. “Our goal is to play perfect football Saturday in all phases and make sure we don’t have silly penalties.”
South Glens Falls lost 60-14 at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake last Friday. Travis Ramsey scored on a 71-yard run for the Bulldogs, while Steven Hubinsky returned an interception 44 yards for South High’s other score.
“South High runs multiple wing T formations and will throw everything at us because they have nothing to lose,” Bongo said.
Last season, Gloversville posted a 33-0 win over South Glens Falls at Husky Field.
Class A Northwest
(3-2 overall, 1-1 Class A Northwest)
at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
(4-1 overall, 2-1 Class A Northwest)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
After losing 48-28 last week at home to Queensbury, Amsterdam will look to regroup tonight.
The task will be far from an easy one, as the Rams will travel to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake to face the defending state Class A champions. Burnt Hills is ranked ninth in the latest state Class A poll.
“I think we will bounce back. There is a lot at stake,” Amsterdam coach Doug Ebert said. “We are trying to get a home playoff game.”
The winner of the contest will have the inside track to finishing first or second in the division, earning a home quarterfinal contest.
Quarterback Julian Gallup finished with three touchdown passes for the Rams last week against Queensbury.
The Amsterdam defense gave up six rushing touchdowns to Queensbury last week.
The running game powered Burnt Hills to a 60-14 win over South Glens Falls last Friday. Josh Quesada had six carries for 171 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 22, 36 and 45 yards.
“We need to stop the running game and put them in long third-down situations,” Edick said. “Make sure we do not give up big plays and do not let them score on special teams.”
Last season, Amsterdam lost 32-22 to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake during the regular season before it dropped a 48-6 decision to the Spartans in the Section II Class A championship game at Shenendehowa.
Section III Class D East
West Canada Valley
(3-2 overall, 3-1 Class D East)
(5-0 overall, 4-0 Class D East)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
After winning its lone non-divisional contest of the season over Frankfort-Schuyler 30-14, Dolgeville returns to divisional play against one of its biggest rivals – West Canada Valley.
“We approach every game with same hard work and attention to detail,” Dolgeville coach Dan Zilkowski said. “West Canada happens to be Week 6 and they are a very talented and well-coached team. The players and staff have worked very hard every week to prepare for the opponent we are facing.”
Last season, West Canada Valley posted a 40-0 win over Dolgeville in Newport.
“We coach the players to focus at the task at hand,” Zilkowski said. “We can’t change what happened in the game last year, but we certainly have the opportunity to execute our game plan on Saturday.”
Last Saturday, the Blue Devils outscored Frankfort-Schuyler 16-6 in the fourth quarter to seal a win over the Maroon Knights.
Jason Nastovski scored on runs of 1 and 13 yards for the Blue Devils, finishing the game with 163 yards on 35 carries. Devin Coonradt added an 11-yard touchdown run and hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Reid Johnson for the Blue Devils. Coonradt rushed for 91 yards on 17 carries for Dolgeville (5-0 overall), while Johnson was 3-for-5 for 64 yards and a touchdown.
This week, the Blue Devils, ranked ninth in the latest state Class D poll, will look to move a step closer to the Class D East title with a win over the Indians.
“The rivalry between Dolgeville and West Canada has a long tradition,” Zilkowski said. “It brings an added excitement to the game when you are playing against a neighboring school.”
Last week, Cole Smith scored two touchdowns to lead West Canada Valley to a 26-0 shutout over Oriskany in a Class D crossover game.
Ryan Moody also scored a first-quarter touchdown that gave the Indians a 19-0 halftime lead.
“There are many variables to being successful in the game on Saturday,” Zilkowski said. “Some areas to focus on include eliminating big plays on defense, protecting the football on offense, and executing effectively on special teams.”