From Week 7 of the Section II football season, here are five things to know.
BURNT HILLS OPENS ON ROAD
Three-time defending Class A champion Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (4-3) will begin sectional play on the road for the first time since the 2003 season, as the Grasso Division No. 3 seed at Capital Division No. 2 Averill Park (5-2) Friday.
Burnt Hills is on a rare two-game slide, with a 25-0 loss at Class AA Bethlehem preceding Saturday’s 28-12 division setback at rival Queensbury that settled the final standings and seedings.
“Good team. Good kids,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said of Averill Park. “We’ll watch film and come up with a game plan. We’ll have a shot. We’re not such a big underdog.”
Burnt Hills found a way to reach 12 of the last 13 Class A title games, missing out only in 2015. Over that 13-year stretch, Burnt Hills won nine area championships.
Burnt Hills beat Averill Park in the 2016 title game and beat Queensbury for the championship in 2017 and 2018. A late defensive stand sealed last year’s 21-16 victory.
“I was on the team last year, and that was the worst feeling,” Queensbury junior Jason Rodriguez said Saturday after rushing for 258 yards and four touchdowns. “None of us want to feel that. We’ll definitely keep that in the back of our mind.”
Queensbury (7-0) earned the Grasso Division’s No. 1 seed, Ballston Spa (5-2) is the division’s No. 2 seed and Scotia-Glenville (4-3) earned the division’s No. 4 seed. In Week 8’s Class A quarterfinals, Queensbury will play Capital Division No. 4 La Salle Institute (4-3), Ballston Spa will play Capital Division No. 3 Amsterdam (5-2) and Scotia will play Capital Division No. 1 Troy (6-1.).
SABRES GET NO. 1 SEED
Schalmont (5-2) completed a last-to-first run when it beat Holy Trinity 35-22 Friday to gain a share of the Class B Reinfurt Division title. After factoring in quarter points, Schalmont got the division’s No. 1 playoff seed, too, and a home game Friday against North Division No. 4 Hudson Falls (2-5).
“I am so proud of them,” Schalmont coach Joe Whipple gushed after Friday’s wire-to-wire win. “Schalmont kids keep fighting.”
Schalmont lost to Cobleskill-Richmondville in its opener before running the table within divisional play to go 4-1; Holy Trinity and Cobleskill-Richmondville also went 4-1 in the division. A Schalmont loss Friday would have left Holy Trinity as the Reinfurt’s outright champion and left the Sabres in third.
“We just knew we had to get after it,” Schalmont senior Ben Burchhardt said after running for 195 yards and three touchdowns.
Glens Falls (7-0), a state champion last year and in 2016, is the No. 1 Class B seed out of the North Division and will play Reinfurt Division No. 4 Hudson (3-4) in the quarterfinals. Other Class B quarterfinal matchups include Reinfurt Division No. 2 Holy Trinity (6-1) taking on North Division No. 3 Broadalbin-Perth (4-3) and Reinfurt Division No. 3 Cobleskill (4-3) playing North Division No. 2 Schuylerville (6-1).
STILLWATER LEADS CLASS C
His team was rarely tested during its 7-0 trip through the regular season, but Stillwater head coach Ian Godfrey knows that won’t last through the upcoming playoffs.
“Make no mistake,” Godfrey said after Friday’s 45-7 win against Fonda-Fultonville, “Class C is a really competitive and tough class.”
This season, Stillwater has won its games by an average margin of 31.1 points.
Stillwater (No. 1, 7-0) will start its playoff run against Granville (No. 8, 4-2). Other Week 8 quarterfinals are Cambridge/Salem (No. 2, 6-1) vs. Voorheesville (No. 7, 5-2), Watervliet (No. 3, 4-2) vs. Tamarac (No. 6, 4-2) and Fonda (No. 4, 6-1) vs. Greenwich (No. 5, 6-1).
Cambridge/Salem won last year’s Section II Class C title.
In Class AA, Shaker (7-0) will be the No. 1 seed and Shenendehowa (6-1) will be the No. 2 seed when the classification’s postseason starts in Week 9.
From there, the final two postseason seeds are yet to be filled. The key Week 8 games for determining the rest of the bracket are Bethlehem (4-2, 5-2) at Schenectady (3-3, 4-3) and Guilderland (5-2, 5-2) at CBA (3-3, 4-3).
GOOD TO GO
The Class D playoffs won’t start until Week 9, but the field is set.
Warrensburg (No. 1, 6-1) will play Helderberg Valley (No. 4, 2-5) in one semifinal, while Chatham (No. 2, 5-2) will play Whitehall (No. 3, 4-3) in another.
The semifinals will take place at Schuylerville.