Ryan Van Galen reached season highs for passes attempted and completed and even ran for his first touchdown in Friday night’s Section II Class AA Super Bowl. Shenendehowa’s senior quarterback also threw a pair of interceptions, the second coming at the worst time.
“I thought it was over right there,” Van Galen said. “Everyone got behind me. We came back and won the game.”
Shenendehowa did with a Matt Taft touchdown run and a final defensive stand, beating Christian Brothers Academy in what some have called a classic at Bob Ford Field, 25-20.
Van Galen was center stage in the late drama that unfolded with his gaff and some passing excellence with Jordan Zlogar afterward.
With Shenendehowa trailing inside the final six minutes, 20-19, Van Galen had a pass picked by Don Vivian on a third-and-four from the CBA 12.
“I was rolling out. I saw a couple of receivers in the end zone waving their hands,” Van Galen said of his roll to the right. “One of their linemen got a hand on me. It came out bad in my hand.”
The Plainsmen forced CBA into a three-and-out and drove 71 yards on seven plays for the win. Van Galen found Zlogar four times for 62 of those yards, with a 36-yard hook-up between the seniors setting up Taft’s second touchdown from the four.
“Last night, I couldn’t express how I was feeling. One of the great moments I have been a part of,” Van Galen said Saturday. “To drive and punch it in like that. Amazing.”
Van Galen’s quarterback sneak had tied the game at 13 in the third quarter, and his touchdown pass to Brendan Marra got the Plainsmen within 20-19 after a Vivian score.
“The whole game was back and forth. Back and forth,” said Van Galen. “It was who got the ball last, and we made the best of it.”
Van Galen was 18-for-30 passing for 298 yards, his second-best total behind the school-record 337 he had against Saratoga. Zlogar was superb with 10 receptions, including several sideline grabs, for 149 yards.
Hoosick Falls beat Fonda-Fultonville for the Section II Class C flag, 31-14, setting an area record with its sixth straight title-game win. Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (2008-12), Amsterdam (2001-05), Troy (1996-2000) and Rensselaer (1991-95) all won five in a row.
Cambridge/Salem extended its Section II record for overall titles to 14 by beating Whitehall in the Class D final, 42-0. Shenendehowa is No. 2 with 12 titles, and Hoosick Falls is tied for third with nine.
Cambridge/Salem also tied Amsterdam for the area lead with its 18th overall championship-game appearance. Shenendehowa made its 17th final.
Burnt Hills is No. 2 in Section II with nine consecutive title-game appearances after its 34-13 Class B loss to Queensbury. Cambridge appeared in 11 straight finals (1995-2005).
IN A HURRY
Schalmont’s no-huddle, rapid-fire offense is averaging over 40 points. That is, more than 40 points in the first half of its games.
The Sabres have done most of their offensive damage over the opening two quarters of play by accumulating 412 of their 599 points. Of those 412, 233 have come in opening quarters.
“That’s an outstanding football team over there,” Schuylerville coach John Bowen said after Schalmont’s 40-8 Class B title-game win. “They’ve made their living making good teams look pedestrian.”
Schalmont had a 50-point opening quarter against Hudson, and put up 68 first-half points against Ichabod Crane. Six times Schalmont has amassed over 40 first-half points.
Schalmont (10-0) plays Peru (Section VII, 10-0) Friday at 7 at Steuerwald Stadium in a Class B regional, or state quarterfinal, game. Schalmont is 4-0 in regionals with a 25-20 win over Peru in 2011 its closest call.
Shenendehowa (10-0) plays John Jay-East Fishkill (Section I, 9-1) Saturday at 7 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. Shenendehowa’s last regional game in 2011, a 13-10 overtime win against North Rockland, was legendary coach Brent Steuerwald’s 318th and final victory.
Queensbury (10-0) continues its quest for another state Class A title at Potsdam High School Friday at 7 against Massena (Section X, 5-4). Hoosick Falls (10-0) and Saranac Lake (Section VII, 9-1) tangle in a Class C regional Saturday at 1 at AuSable Valley. Cambridge/Salem (9-1) and Ticonderoga (Section VII, 7-3) meet in a Class D regional Saturday at 1 at Schuylerville.
John Jay beat Arlington for the Section I title, 13-3. Peru, Saranac Lake and Ticonderoga beat Section X opponents in sub-regional games.
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Categories: High School Sports