Wrapping up Week 5 of the Section II football season

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Jake Pausley dives towards the end zone pylon for a touchdown against Amsterdam Saturday.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Jake Pausley dives towards the end zone pylon for a touchdown against Amsterdam Saturday.

SECTION II – Week 5 of the Section II football season is in the books. 

Before we turn our attention fully to Week 6, here’s one last look back at several notable moments from this past week’s football action.


Shenendehowa coach Brian Clawson knew that to keep pace with high-powered Christian Brothers Academy, his Plainsmen were going to have to pull a few things out of their bag of tricks.

Well, more than a few, actually.

In the first half of Friday’s 41-25 loss to the Brothers, Shenendehowa’s offense used a half-dozen trick plays to keep pace in the first half. Those included a pair of passes thrown by wide receiver Blake Mello, a halfback option pass by Henry Picard, and both a flea flicker and a behind-the-back shovel pass from quarterback Michael Whatley. Those playcalls resulted in two long gains on Mello’s passes, a touchdown on the flea flicker and a near-miss on fourth down when Picard’s pass to the end zone was knocked out of the hands of receiver Luke McAuliffe by a CBA defender.

“CBA’s a good football team,” Shenendehowa coach Brian Clawson said. “We figured we’d try everything that we’ve got in order to score some points and stay with them.”

Not to be outdone, CBA also broke out a couple tricks. The Brothers ran a fake on their first extra point of the night that was stopped, but came back later by lining up quarterback Donald Jones at receiver and giving him the ball on a jet sweep, only to turn and fire a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jahmir Pitcher.

More: All Sports | All High Schools


Tested early by scrimmaging Shenendehowa then facing CBA in Week 1, it took a few weeks for a Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake offense that lost its top three rushers, top four receivers and starting quarterback to graduation from last year’s Section II Class A championship team.

A month later, the Spartans are starting to hum.

Burnt Hills dominated on the ground in Saturday’s 29-8 win over Amsterdam, with Luke Zoller carrying 23 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns, while Jake Paulsey added a 46-yard touchdown among his five carries for 64 yards.

Much of the Spartans’ success, especially early on and in short yardage, came in heavy, wildcat-like formations where Zoller took a direct snap.

“We’ve improved a lot,” Burnt Hills coach Matt Shell said. “We’ve found things that we’re good at, and we try to stick with it.”


Gloversville and Glens Falls were trying so hard to be perfect in their Class B showdown Saturday that they weren’t that close.

Penalties and turnovers hurt both teams. Gloversville was flagged eight times for 45 yards, while Glens Falls was penalized 11 times for 90 yards. 

“Sometimes in those big games, you forget the little things,” Glens Falls coach Pat Lilac said of his team’s penalties.

As for the turnovers, perhaps the best example came on a play late in the second quarter. A Glens Falls player sacked Gloversville quarterback Caelan Porter. For a split-second, players weren’t sure whether it would be ruled a fumble or incomplete pass, but the Huskies recovered it and advanced it a few yards before fumbling it, when the Indians’ Jared Hance recovered it.


While Ballston Spa’s and Averill Park’s players must have been tired after the Scotties’ 45-40 win Friday night, it was a strenuous night for the chain gang and scoreboard operator.

The teams combined for 31 first downs and 719 yards from scrimmage. Also in the fourth quarter, the teams scored a combined 39 points. Ballston Spa had two players get over 100 yards in three categories. Quarterback Nico Savini had 192 yards rushing and 131 yards passing. Running back Blaine Zoller finished with 126 yards receiving.


Heading into Week 6, the list of remaining undefeated teams in Section II now stands at just six after Shenendehowa, Amsterdam and Gloversville all suffered their first setbacks of the season.

Half of those unbeaten teams are in Class C with Fonda-Fultonville, Warrensburg/Lake George/North Warren and Schuylerville, the latter two of which will meet this week to determine the Class C North Division title. The other teams still standing with perfect records are CBA in Class AA, Glens Falls in Class B and Cambridge/Salem in Class D.

More: All Sports | All High Schools

Categories: -Sports-, Clifton Park and Halfmoon, High School Football, High School Sports, Sports

Leave a Reply