Wrapping up Week 4 of the Section II football season

Saratoga's Jarod Arpey steps into the end zone in front of Schenectady's Josiah Spivey Friday.
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Saratoga's Jarod Arpey steps into the end zone in front of Schenectady's Josiah Spivey Friday.

SECTION II Week 4 of the Section II football season is in the books. 

Before we turn our attention fully to Week 5, here’s one last look back at several notable moments from this past week’s football action.

TURNOVERS TELL THE STORY

Ihsaan Alozie, Luke McAuliffe and Henry Picard scored the touchdowns for Shenendehowa in its 20-14 overtime win Friday against Shaker, with Picard’s 11-yard run in the extra session handing the Plainsmen the victory, but those big plays came on the back of a defense that forced four turnovers — all of them in Shenendehowa territory.

The Plainsmen intercepted Shaker quarterback Jake Iacobaccio three times, including a leaping pick on the game’s first drive when Quinn O’Connor wrestled the ball away from Shaker receiver Kevin Williams in midair, and Justin Velez’s interception that ended Shaker’s offensive series in overtime, and forced a fumble near the goal line on a long Shaker run early in the second half.

Shaker’s three losses this season — to Syracuse CBA, Albany CBA and Shenendehowa — have come by a grand total of 14 points, with two of them coming in overtime.

YUP, ANOTHER WILD ONE

No program in Section II has produced crazier games in recent memory than Amsterdam, and Friday’s 50-42 win over Columbia was yet another one for the books.

The game, which took nearly 3 1/2 hours to complete thanks to 92 combined points and multiple lengthy injury delays, was Amsterdam’s ninth one-possession game in the last three seasons. It was also the Rams’ fifth game in the last three years — and second this season — where both teams scored at least 30 points.

Amsterdam’s star duo of quarterback Jhai Vellon and wide receiver Ceasar Thompson delivered big games yet again, and are on pace for some of the best seasons ever produced at their positions in Section II. Through four games, Vellon has passed for 1,073 yards with 14 touchdowns against two interceptions, while adding another 479 yards and eight scores on the ground, meaning a season with 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards is well in reach. Thompson has caught 29 passes for 563 yards and eight touchdowns, and could threaten the Section II single-season receiving record of 1,182 yards set by Shenendehowa’s Jordan Zlogar in 2012.

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GREAT FAITH

Not only did Jack Rigabar become the first freshman quarterback to start a game for Saratoga Springs since 1984, he did so with few constraints on him. Rigabar attempted 17 passes and completed 13 of them for 169 yards, two interceptions and two touchdowns. While slant passes worked well, he also got the call to air it out several times and showed a good arm.

“He made some throws that I thought were just outstanding; he made some great reads,” Saratoga Springs coach Terry Jones said. “He threw a couple of interceptions, and on one of them we didn’t run a very good route. The second one he made the right read, and if he puts just a little more air under the ball, I think it was a touchdown. But again, the kid’s 14 years old. He’s going to get stronger, he’s going to make that throw in the years to come.”

TOUGH NIGHT AT THE OFFICE

Due to injuries and COVID-19 concerns for Coxsackie-Athens, the Broadalbin-Perth football team went from hosting the winless Riverhawks for its homecoming game to hosting unbeaten Schuylerville, the defending Section II Class C champion.

The Black Horses, ranked first in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class C poll, posted a 44-0 victory over the previously unbeaten Patriots.

The night started off badly for B-P as Schuylerville blocked a punt and the Black Horses’ Martin Flanders had the ball bounce right to him for a 25-yard touchdown to end the Patriots’ opening drive.

From there, things did not go much better for B-P, which completed just one pass for 4 yards on the night and had just 61 rushing yards on 23 carries.

Ryan Savoie led the Patriots with just 23 yards on three carries, Sam Hotaling had seven carries for 18 yards and Zach Laconte had eight carries for 11 yards.

The Patriots are slated to travel to Cobleskill-Richmondville on Friday for a 7 p.m. contest, which will be key to both teams’ playoff aspirations. 

STILL STANDING

September’s in the books, and the list of undefeated Section II football teams has been whittled down to nine.

Those remaining teams that enter October unbeaten are: CBA and Shenendehowa in Class AA, Amsterdam in Class A, Glens Falls and Gloversville in Class B, Fonda-Fultonville, Schuylerville and Warrensburg/Lake George North Warren in Class C, and Cambridge/Salem in Class D.

That number will be whittled down by at least two in Week 5, which features a pair of unbeaten clashes between CBA and Shenendehowa, and Glens Falls and Gloversville.

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