Here are five things to know heading into Week 5 of the Section II “Fall II” football season.
With Saratoga Springs and Colonie on COVID-19 pause, Guilderland and CBA have received semifinal byes in the Class AA division playoffs and will see action in the Week 6 division title games.
Guilderland (No. 1 seed, 3-1) was set to host Saratoga (No. 4, 1-3) in an Empire Division semifinal game Friday, and CBA (No. 2, 2-2) was scheduled to host Colonie (No. 3, 1-3) in a Liberty Division semifinal game Friday.
Guilderland will have the weekend off and host Friday’s Shenendehowa (No. 2, 3-1)-Schenectady (No. 3, 2-2) winner in Week 6.
“Our coach [Dan Penna] said we’re a little banged up, so maybe it’s not the worst thing,” Guilderland athletic director Dave Austin said.
Cicero-North Syracuse extended an invite to Guilderland to play a non-league game this weekend in Syracuse.
“There was an option presented to us, but for several reasons it wasn’t in the cards,” Austin said, before adding, “We’re having a great season, and we’re looking forward to closing it out in a positive way.”
CBA will play Friday’s Shaker (No. 1, 4-0)-Bethlehem (No. 4, 0-4) winner in Week 6 at a site to be determined. CBA will prep for its playoff with a non-classification game at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (4-0) Friday.
Burnt Hills was originally slated to play a Class A game at Scotia-Glenville (0-2) Friday, and Scotia-Glenville will go to Class B Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (1-1) instead. Ravena had an open date when its original Week 5 opponent, Holy Trinity, called off its season several days ago due to lack of players.
“CBA was without a game. Ravena was without a game,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said. “We thought we could help everyone out.”
Due to COVID-19 protocols in Fulton County, Johnstown (1-2) and Broadalbin-Perth (1-0) have called off their originally scheduled Week 5 games (against Granville and Green Tech) and will play each other in a non-classification tilt on the Patriots’ field Saturday.
FOCUS ON RECORD-SETTER
After setting the state one-game receptions record last week against Averill Park, Amsterdam senior Josiah Newborn will certainly be a focus of attention for the Ballston Spa defense in Friday’s Class A game at Ballston Spa.
Newborn caught 22 passes in the Rams’ 41-40 loss to Averill Park to top the New York record of 18 that Luke Timm of Our Lady of Lourdes had in the 2015 state Class A title game.
“I didn’t really pay attention to how many catches I had in the game,” Newborn said. “Coach [John Homich] called me the morning after the game and told me that.”
Newborn totaled 143 receiving yards and caught one of three touchdown passes from Tommy Ziskin.
“They were right in rhythm,” Homich said. “He [Newborn] was hungry, so we just kept feeding him.”
Newborn was among Amsterdam’s standouts during the 2019 season in the Rams’ 35-12 Class A playoff loss to Ballston Spa with five receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Saturday’s Class A game between Niskayuna (2-2) and Queensbury (1-1) on the Schenectady turf should be an interesting one, with the teams featuring contrasting offensive styles.
Niskayuna likes to pass the ball a lot out of its spread offense, and Queensbury likes to run the ball a lot out of its tightly-packed double-wing offense.
For example, Niskayuna quarterback Dan Quinn threw the football 26 times in last week’s 44-26 win over Scotia-Glenville, and five of those tosses went for touchdowns, while Queensbury has attempted a total of seven passes in its two games, completed one, and has run the ball 86 times.
Brett Rodriguez was Queensbury’s lead runner in last week’s 21-14 win over Ballston Spa with 198 yards and two TDs on 26 attempts. He also caught that one pass, from Sean Collins, and turned it into an 8-yard touchdown.
HORSES ON A ROLL
Schuylerville (4-0) will be seeking its 13th consecutive win inside Section II when it plays at Fonda-Fultonville (1-2) Saturday in a Class C contest.
The Black Horses’ streak began during the 2019 season with a 42-7 Week 3 win against Broadalbin-Perth, includes a 28-22 Section II Class B title-game win over Holy Trinity in Week 10 of that year, and reached 12 games last Saturday with a 50-14 triumph over Corinth/Fort Edward.
Owen Sherman ran for three touchdowns and passed for two scores in that victory over Corinth/Fort Edward. Schuylerville also owns wins this season against Granville (54-8), Johnstown (48-0) and Mechanicville (38-0).
Schuylerville is 15-2 overall since the start of the 2019 campaign, losing only to Glens Falls 34-13 in Week 2 of 2019, and to Chenango Forks 38-14 in the 2019 state Class B championship game.
GET HIM THE BALL
Schalmont coach Joe Whipple wants to give Darius Green more opportunities to break big plays like he did last Saturday in a 46-14 Class B win over Lansingburgh.
“He’s a good athlete,” Whipple said of the senior receiver. “We’ve got to find a way to get him the ball.”
Green ran for seven yards on an end-around on Schalmont’s first play against Lansingburgh, and later caught six passes from Trent Randle for 132 yards. Three of his receptions went for touchdowns covering 25, 41, 48 yards.
“I’m not trying to think about it too much,” Green said of being on the receiving end of a Randle pass. “Let the ball come to me. See it and catch it.”
Schalmont (3-0) is scheduled to play at Cobleskill-Richmondville (1-2) Friday.