September 02, 2006
There were some great football games last night around the Capital Region. Unfortunately, I didn't go to any of them. I went to the Columbia-LaSalle game yesterday, an ugly 7-6 affair won by Columbia. I had to leave midway through the second quarter, so I didn't even see either touchdown. But I will summarize what I did see:
It was mostly a back-and-forth game - I believe there was only one first down recorded by either team in the first quarter. Both teams' running backs seemed very small (both were listed at around 5'6, 145), and LaSalle's main RB Marquis Terrell is just a sophmore.
The main problem for the Cadets early on was their special teams play. They were terrible on special teams. Columbia ran back the opening kickoff to about midfield, and then LaSalle fumbled the Blue Devils' first punt (but recovered). Columbia got two more punts inside the LaSalle 10-yard-line before I left; the first one looked misplayed, the second was a lucky bounce. The LaSalle punter shanked a punt as well in the first quarter (though they got a man free and almost blocked a punt in the second). In a defensive battle like this, field position and special teams are extremely important, and that's probably why LaSalle lost.
LaSalle's QB, junior Jered Henkel, wasn't extremely impressive - he made a few nice throws and ended up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 yards, but he was overthrowing his recievers a lot as well - but he often didn't have much time to throw. The running backs got nothing going during the part of the game I saw; three or four guys would be on them as soon as they crossed the line of scrimmage.
This was a minor upset - I had Columbia ranked ahead of only Schenectady and Guilderland in yesterday's preview - but nobody really knows what to make of these first-week games.
Colonie 27, Saratoga 21 (OT) - Colonie upsets the prohibitive favorites behind the stellar QB play of junior Tom Duff. Duff threw for over 150 yards and two TDs. I still think Saratoga is my favorite to win the section title, but I'm not so sure (especially given how impressive Troy looked yesterday). And Colonie would probably jump to third in my rankings, ahead of CBA and Shen (Maybe I'll do that - a weekly power ranking post. Sounds pretty cool). Full Story
Troy 19, Shen 8 - Troy jumped out to a 19-0 first-half lead and held on to give Shen its first regular-season loss since 2001. Troy now has to be the favorite to get the #1 seed heading into the playoffs - their toughest games left are both at home (CBA and LaSalle), and they don't have to play Colonie or Saratoga. They could easily go undefeated, and Saratoga now already has a loss. Full Story
Bethlehem 33, Schenectady 20 - Schenectady's offense finally got clicking in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points, but it wasn't enough. Bethlehem looked very good offensively, though I think that might tell more about the Schenectady defense. Dan Unright rushed for 153 yards on 15 carries for the Eagles.
Guilderland 26, Shaker 13 - Naturally, the team I had ranked last ends the weekend with a win, while the team I had ranked first opens with a loss. Go figure. Shaker's not really a title contender either, but this is a nice win for Guilderland.
Henninger 34, CBA 28 - I don't really know what to make of this game - Henninger is a section 3 team, and I don't have any idea how good they are - but putting 28 points on the board is a good sign for the Brothers' offense.
Burnt Hills 34, Gloversville 13 - The one prediction that people seemed to disagree with most yesterday was my picking Burnt Hills to win the Class A title. Well, they made me look good yesterday. The two BH-BL running backs (Kyle Holmes, David Moore) ran for a combined 289 yards and four touchdowns. QB Kris Barone looked impressive for the Huskies, but their defense couldn't slow down Burnt Hills.
Amsterdam 13, Bishop Maginn 12 - The defending state champs squeak by Maginn, with help from a couple late interceptions. The play-calling on the Amsterdam side wasn't great, according to people who watched the game, and they should have won by more than one point. Amsterdam should get better, but Maginn will be a team nobody wants to play.
Mohonasen 34, South Glens Falls 7 - SGF seems like the weakest team in this tough Class A division, and Mohon got lucky enough to play them early. Pat Barnes looked good at QB for Mohon.
Glens Falls 35, Averill Park 0 - GF established themselves as a legitamite contender in Class A with a rout of AP. Their wideouts played very well, seeming to not miss all-state WR Jimmer Fredette at all.
Lansingburgh 52, Scotia 8 - Lansingburgh gets their Class A career off to a great start by demolishing Scotia. Class A is going to be crazy this year.
Hudson 33, Broadalbin-Perth 0 - Hudson was a team that some people thought I should have ranked higher than fifth in the class, and yesterday's result vindicates that viewpoint. Willie Simon ran for four TDs and 153 yards for the Blue Hawks.
Schalmont 14, Cohoes 12 - I don't really know what to say about this game. Ryan Donadio ran for 143 yards and returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
Johnstown 13, Taconic Hills 2 - Neither team should contend for the class title this year, but Johnstown continues to establish themselves as a program on the rise.
Cobleskill 44, Watervliet 21 - Cobleskill is a legitimate contender for the Class B crown this year. Watervliet could win the Class C crown as well, but they'll have to start playing well - Class C is almost as loaded as Class A is this year. Nick DeChristopher and Aaron Christman combined for just under 200 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Hoosick Falls 41, Schuylerville 24 - The two-time defending champs fell yesterday at the hands of the Panthers. Jon Burns rushed for 215 yards and 3 TDs, and QB Rollie O'Brien ran for 85 yards as well. Hoosick makes a nice statement that they are for real this year.
Chatham 71, Hoosic Valley 7 - This is Hoosic Valley's first year with a football team - not a good way to open your career. I usually don't agree with people who advocate point limits and penalize coaches who run up the score, but nobody should score 71 points in a high school game.
Lake George 16, Warrensburg 7 - Lake George seems to be on the rise this year, but they should beat Class D Warrensburg by at least double digit points if they want to compete in Class C.
Tamarac 20, Bishop Gibbons 0 - Tamarac gets their first home win in five years. So I won't ruin their parade by mentioning that BG is easily the worst team in the section and that Tamarac will still probably finish in the basement of Class C.
Renssalaer 13, Coxsackie 6 - Coxsackie is one of the weakest teams in Class C, and they fall at the hands of Class D Renssalaer. I still don't really think the Rams have enough to win the D crown.
Games to watch for today:
Salem @ Cambridge
Ravena @ Hudson Falls
Catholic Central @ Voorheesville