Section 2 High School Football Super Bowls On Tap This Weekend
Shenendehowa took another step toward a Section II championship on Friday night turning away LaSalle, 45-20, in a Class AA semifinal football game at Steuerwald Stadium.
The Plainsmen, ranked fifth in the state Class AA polls, raised their record to 9-0 and will meet Columbia in the Super Bowl on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.
Once again, senior back Tony Fusco was the offensive star for Shen with five touchdowns.
Shen will go after its first Super Bowl title since 2003. It was also Shen coach Brent Steuerwald's last game on his home field. He will retire at the end of the season.
In the other Class AA semifinal, Columbia knocked off CBA of Albany, 25-14.
Christopher Smith took the spotlight for Columbia with three touchdowns and rushed for 240 yards. The Blue Devils lost their first game of the season and then have reeled off eight straight wins.
It's remarkable the job that first-year head coach Craig Cavotta and his staff have done. Cavotta was the school's junior varsity coach a year ago and now they face the best team in Section II in Shenendehowa.
In the Class A semifinals, Burnt Hills got its wish - a rematch with Amsterdam the only team to beat them this season. Amsterdam won that meeting, 23-7.
The Spartans stopped a very tough Troy team, 38-7, to advance. This will mark Burnt Hills' sixth straight Super Bowl appearance.
Daniel Porter starred for Burnt Hills with three touchdowns and 145 yards on the ground. Tom Ruppel aided the cause with a touchdown and 120 yards rushing.
Troy ended its season with an 8-1 record.
After the game was tied, 7-7, Burnt Hills scored 31 unanswered points.
Troy was ranked fourth in the state Class A poll while Burnt Hills occupied 17th place.
Meanwhile, Amsterdam head coach Pat Liverio made his final appearance at the Lynch Literacy Academy Field a memorable one in a 21-6 win over Queensbury. The Rugged Rams, 9-0 and ninth in the state Class A poll, beat the Spartans for the second time this season.
Chris Carbone excelled for Amsterdam with two interceptions (one returned 76 yards for a touchdown), a fumble recovery and had a big game on both sides of the ball.
Liverio knows the rematch with Burnt Hills is going to be something else.
"When we came into week two, we had everything going for us. The kids wanted that game so very badly. It's going to be turned around now. Burnt Hills is the hunter. They've learned from that loss. We're going to have our hands full. Burnt Hills is going to be tough," he said.
Rugged Rams quarterback Vinny Sobkowich also feels Burnt Hills will be a different team this time around.
"Burnt Hills will be coming for us hard. We played them the second game, they were a tough team. They're going to be 10 times better in the Super Bowl. We're going to have prepare, practice and work hard. It'll be a good game. I don't think about losing. We play as a team and we're going to win," he said.
In Class B semifinals, unbeaten Schalmont beat Ravena, 19-14, to improve its record to 9-0. The Sabres are fifth in the state rankings.
Schalmont will make its third straight trip to the Super Bowl. Alex Hildebrand, Devon Willis and Niko Nicoletti, the premier offensive players, reached the end zone for Schalmont. Willis led the rushing attack with 140 yards and Hildebrand was right behind at 134.
"The game was a terrific high school football game. We won the field position battle making them travel the length of the field for their scores, and in turn had a short field after kickoff returns and turnovers, but could not convert this into points. We were stopped a yard or less short of first downs on three separate fourth down attempts. They (Schalmont) made three or four big plays that were the difference in the game," said Ravena head coach Gary Vanderzee.
Conner Hartigan scored twice and rushed for 125 yards as Albany Academy downed a stubborn Cobleskill-Richmondville team, 14-6, in the other Class B semifinal.
It will be the Cadets first Super Bowl appearance since 2006.
High-flying Hoosick Falls (9-0) whipped Watervliet, 34-8, in a Class C semifinal contest. Tanner Williams reached the end zone twice for the winners.
Wally Kowalski had three touchdowns and Ken Twardzik contributed two as Fonda-Fultonville defeated Chatham, 37-14, in the other Class C semifinal.
Skyler Saunders had a huge game scoring five touchdowns as unbeaten Cambridge beat Whitehall, 54-6, in a Class D semifinal.
Rensselaer (8-1) got off to a 40-0 halftime lead en route to posting a 40-16 victory over Fort Edward for the right to meet Cambridge in the Super Bowl.
In one crossover game, inter-city rivals Gloversville and Johnstown got together for the first time since 2006. The final score: Gloversville, 84-13. Cam Oathout led the Huskies with four touchdowns and three touchdown passes.
Article by Mike Collar