Section II Teams Gear Up For Regional Football Contests
Five Section II teams will try to get one step closer to the Carrier Dome (Syracuse) when they compete in regional competition this weekend.
Shenendehowa (10-0) will meet Section I's North Rockland (8-1) in Class AA at Dietz Stadium (Kingston) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
In Class A, Burnt Hills (9-1) takes on Section X's Malone's Franklin Academy (9-1) at Shenendehowa Saturday at 7 p.m., Schalmont (10-0) goes against Section VII's Peru (10-0) at AuSable Valley Saturday at 1 p.m. in Class B, Hoosick Falls (10-0) opposes Saranac Lake (Section 7, 8-1) at Stillwater Saturday at 7 p.m. and Cambridge (10-0) battles Section VII's Ticonderoga (6-4) in Class D at AuSable Valley, Friday at 7 p.m.
Shenendehowa knocked off Columbia, 49-6, in the Section II Class AA championship game to earn a trip to Kingston.
Running back Tony Fusco had five touchdowns in the game to up his season total to 30. Marcelino Christie has nine scores to help the Plainsmen attack. Corey Acker provides a valuable foot with 43 PAT's and two field goals.
North Rockland outlasted John Jay-East Fishkill, 14-7, in overtime for the Section I title.
"I saw two evenly-matched teams last Sunday," said Shenendehowa head coach Brent Steuerwald who witnessed the Section I encounter. "They're (North Rockland) a good, strong team, very big. Section I has been a dominant force for a long time. It will be the strongest defense we'll see this year. They are very consistent, not a fancy team."
Tom Lynch took over the North Rockland team from longtime coach Joe Casarella who served for more than 30 years.
Before the season, Steuerwald announced this is his last season after serving 44 years on the Shen sideline.
"They (North Rockland) are a very physical team. It will be an interesting contest. I like what what we're doing with our offense and the defense has been strong all year. We're thrilled to make it to this level," said Steuerwald.
Burnt Hills rallied to get the best of Amsterdam, 26-23, for its fourth straight Section II Class A crown. Thomas Ruppel leads the offense with 14 touchdowns and Daniel Porter has contributed nine TDs. Quarterback Ryan McDonnell engineers the Spartans with his versatility putting together three field goals, 32 PAT's and two touchdowns.
"They're (Franklin Academy) real big in size. Offensively, they spread you out and put different kids in different positions. It's a big team upfront," said Burnt Hills head coach Matt Shell.
Franklin Academy beat Potsdam, 48-20, for the Section VII/X championship. Quarterback Mitchell Gallagher had an excellent game for Franklin Academy with four touchdown passes, three touchdowns and 12 carries for 185 yards. John Picaro aided the cause scoring three touchdowns and catching four passes for 168 yards.
"We've been playing well the past few weeks. We have quiet leadership. They're very excited to be in this position. There's obviously a lot at stake Saturday night. I'm glad we're playing close to home instead of making a three-hour trip," said Shell.
Schalmont beat Albany Academy, 36-35, in overtime to claim the Class B crown. It took a clutch two-point conversion by Devon Willis to help the Sabres celebrate.
Alex Hildebrand and Willis are the touchdown-makers for Schalmont with 19 and 17, respectively. Quarterback Niko Nicoletti has seven touchdowns and shows his talent on every play.
Peru defeated Beekmantown, 21-14, for the right to meet the Sabres. A year ago, Peru had a 3-6 record.
Hoosick Falls, top-ranked Class C school in the state, continues to score points as it topped Fonda-Fultonville, 32-7, for the Section II Class C championship.
Tanner Williams has reached the end zone 27 times and his teammate Brad Burns isn't too far behind at 25.
Saranac Lake had an easy time with AuSable Valley, 57-16, for the Section VII/X crown. It marks the second straight title for Saranac Lake. Quarterback Matt Phelan had four touchdown passes and Mike Burpoe hauled in three touchdown passes.
Cambridge whipped Rensselaer, 65-30, for the Class D top honors in Section II. Skyler Saunders had three touchdowns in that game to up his season total to 28. Aaron Mulready has scored 13 TDs and William Bromirski 10 TDs and 42 PAT's. Matt Parmenter is also there to produce points with nine TDs. Cambridge has scored 516 points this season.
Ticonderoga shut out Moriah, 22-0, for the Section VII/X title.
Class AA-3. Shenendehowa, 5. North Rockland, 26. Columbia, 30. CBA; A-7. Burnt Hills, 14. Amsterdam, 20. Troy; B-4. Schalmont; C-1. Hoosick Falls, 12. Fonda-Fultonville, 16. Tamarac, 19. Watervliet; D-7. Cambridge, 15. Rensselaer
Article by Mike Collar