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Saratoga squads playoff picture Week 1

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Saratoga squads playoff picture Week 1

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Saratoga squads playoff picture Week 1

Class AA playoffs
No. 3 Colonie (4-3) at No. 2 Shenendehowa (6-1), 7 p.m.
This isn’t a walkover for the Plainsmen at home tonight. These two squads are familiar with each other throughout the years and is big a rival as Shenendehowa has in football.
The Plainsmen were proven beatable last week by Guilderland, dropping them to the No. 2 spot in the playoffs and catapulting the Dutchmen to the No. 1 spot.
If Colonie quarterback Tom Duff (696 yards passing) can exploit Shenendehowa’s secondary for the second consecutive week, expect senior wide out Matt June (233 yards receiving) to have a big day at the Plainsmen’s expense.
The Garnet Raiders are coming off an embarrassing 55-16 loss to non-league opponent Monroe-Woodbury and could be looking to right the ship at Shenendehowa’s expense.
Don’t expect the Plainsmen to show anything new against Colonie, just senior Jason Bedard (721 yards) and D.J. Evans (657 yards) running off tackle again and again. It will be up to the Garnet Raiders to stop the Plainsmen offensive attack.
These Plainsmen are smarting after their own home loss, ruining a chance at an undefeated Section II season. With rain in the forecast, ball control will be key.

No. 3 Ballston Spa (6-1) at No. 2 Troy (6-1), 2 p.m. Saturday
This is another anything goes playoff tilt. Troy’s only loss came last week against rival LaSalle, (19-14) and its only shutout came against non-league opponent, FDR-Hyde Park, 48-0.
The Flying Horses are on the top once again under returning coach Jack Burger, but Troy has been a team that can give up points, averaging 14.5 points against per game.
The Horses will need another big running game from Fred Fitch (566 yards rushing) and Elijah Rush (441 yards), mixing things up in the air on the arm of Zach Dolan (501 yards passing).
The Scotties have proven they can put up points, averaging 24 points per game and needing each one. Ballston Spa’s average win differential is only a touchdown with several contests decided late in the fourth quarter.
Scottie coach John Bowen will put his “lunch pail kids” to the test, relying on Steve Duncan (549 yards rushing) and Eric Marciano 518 yards). Quarterback Mark Seager will be at the point, running the option and a muddy field could be a detriment for the offense or a god send if the defense can’t get a foothold.

Class A playoffs
No. 4 Gloversville (3-4) at No. 1 Burnt Hills (6-1), 7 p.m.
The Spartans have had a lot written about its offense and with good reason, after averaging 36 points per win, but it’s the Burnt Hills defense that could lead it to another Section II title. The Spartans defense has allowed less than 10 points per game in its six victories.
That’s not good news for Huskies who have averaged 10 points in its four losses…see a pattern developing.
Expect Burnt Hills to have a spy in the secondary to keep an eye on Gloversville quarterback Kris Barone (821 yards passing). The Huskies defense will have its hands full with Spartan quarterback Paul Layton. The signal caller has passed for 544 yards and rushed for 415 out of the backfield. If Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell wants to stay with a ground game against his alma mater, Nick Henderson (456 yards rushing) is up for the task.
Look for the Spartans to take care of business and set up a re-match against Amsterdam next week, a chance for Burnt Hills to avenge its lone loss during the regular season.

Class C playoffs
No. 4 Coxsackie (5-2) at No. 1 Schuylerville (6-1), 7 p.m.
The match-up only looks good on paper.
Coxsackie has had big margin wins over Mechanicville, Hooosic Valley, Tamarac, Catholic Central, but when taking on the Class C power houses, Chatham and Watervliet, the Indians fell by a combined score of 83-19.
Schuylerville has one loss, its season opener at Cambridge, 46-13, from there; the Black Horses are on a six-game winning streak and looking for more.
Expect the Black Horses to roll up the Indians on the ground with Shane Larkin (678 yards rushing) and Anthony Casimano (453 yards), putting Coxsackie behind early.
If Schuylerville can contain Coxsackie’s quarterback Ryan Kane (452 yards passing, 854 yards rushing) out of the backfield, the Black Horses can focus on round two.

No. 3 Corinth (5-2) at No. 2 Chatham (6-1), 7 p.m.
Tonight will be one of the Indian’s biggest challenges, taking on the Panthers on the road.
Chatham is averaging 44 points in its six wins, giving up only 11 points each time.
Corinth will have to find a way to contain quarterback Zach Kraham who is dangerous on both fronts. He has passed for 871 yards on the season and rushed for 364.
In the Tomahawks two losses, its defense had a hard time containing the scoring, a 27-0 shutout at the hands of Schuylerville and a 33-19 loss to Cambridge.
Corinth could be facing a shoot-out, but quarterback Rick Lucia is capable, passing for 723 yards on the year. The running attack of C.J. Saunders 572 and Mike Rubel 358 yards could be the tandem to upset Chatham’s season.

Class AA crossover
Saratoga (2-5) at Niskayuna (2-5), 7 p.m.
Crossover contests are designed to allow the programs to continue to progress after the regular season ends and the Blue Streaks are looking to turn a negative into a positive.
With only two wins, a four-game losing streak and a playoff-hope ending loss to Albany last week, Saratoga and first-year coach Terry Jones could take out some frustrations against Niskayuna.
Look for the night to be dominated by three Blue Streak stars, junior quarterback Colin Mulholland, sophomore running back Ford Plowman and potentially sophomore running back Tony DeLoatch.
All three are keys to next year’s success and are ripe for big games as a win will keep Saratoga playing for another week.

Class A crossover
Queensbury (1-6) at South Glens Falls (1-6), 7 p.m.
The surprise is Queensbury with only one win this season, its opening upset of Bethlehem. Other than that, the Spartans are a far cry from the success of past seasons.
The Bulldogs could have something to celebrate with a win over cross town rival, Queensbury and senior Zach Coffinger will have to lead the way. He has potential with 351 yards passing and two touchdowns, but given up seven interceptions. His success has been scoring on the ground, 10 touchdowns on 408 yards rushing.

Class B crossover
Taconic Hills (0-7) at Stillwater (2-5), Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
The Titans may have to face a season without a win after traveling to face the Warriors on the road. Stillwater will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak and Jake Izzo could be primed for a career-best day to add onto his five touchdowns, 572 yard season.

Class C crossover
Mechanicville (3-4) at Greenwich (3-4), 7 p.m.
This is a game that neither team wanted to be playing. Both squads had promising seasons upended by key loses to division rivals and didn’t get the necessary help from other squads to propel them into the post-season.
Both squads share two things, the same record and both are on two-game slides, making this one of the best non-playoff tilts on the schedule.
Greenwich senior Dylan Stout will again be dangerous, logging 537 yards on the ground and 316 yard receiving for the Witches.
Greenwich quarterback Ethan Bain will match-up well against Mechanicville’s threat of Paul MacMillan.
Bain is almost equal in the air and on the ground with 384 yards passing with five touchdowns and 388 yards on the ground. His has also been picked off six times.
Mechanicville answers with MacMillan’s 585 yards passing for four scores and his 463 yards rushing for nine touchdowns. Senior Dallas Perkins could be looking for a big game finale to add on his 270 yards, or could take the night off to save his shoulder from injury heading into the next two sport seasons. This is the night for junior Chris Grayson to shine for coach Kevin Collins, he’ll be promoted to the A-back next season for the Red Raiders.

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