HIGH SCHOOLS – Canajoharie/Fort Plain didn’t start the football season with all the pieces in the proper places, according to coach Shannon Hyney.
But lately that jigsaw puzzle has started to reveal a very nice picture. And the Cougars (2-2 Class D, 3-2 overall) can feel even more confident about their playoff chances with a win Friday over Voorheesville, when the teams meet at 7 p.m. at Canajoharie for what is likely the last of four playoff spots in Class D.
Hyney said he’s happy with the team’s progression.
“We didn’t know what to expect going in [to the season], our numbers were a little low, but the team has gelled nicely,” Hyney said. “We’re extremely pleased with how things are going.”
The Cougars began the season with an 18-15 win over Heldeberg Valley, then fell to Cambridge/Salem, 47-12, and Greenwich, 28-20, before rebounding with wins over Corinth/Fort Edward/Hadley-Luzerne, 67-6, and Cairo-Durham/Catskill, 47-12.
“Cambridge was Cambridge, and Greenwich, we figured if we had some personnel in different spots, the outcome could have been different,” Hyney said.
The biggest change Canajoharie/Fort Plain made was switching its middle linebacker and one of its defensive ends. That has paid off dividends, but the area Hyney feels quite strongly about is defensive secondary.
“We feel we have one of the best ones in the section,” Hyney said. “We had four interceptions last week, and probably eight or nine for the year, and they’re definitely big run-stoppers, too.”
Hyney was also pleased that his team delivered a one-sided win last week even though, in his words, “everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
“I think we’re back on track now,” he added. “Defense is what we hang our hat on. Cambridge, we don’t factor that. But after that we decided we’re just going to let them play aggressively, and we’ve kind of reloaded pretty well.”
Voorheesville is 2-3 in Class D and 3-3 overall.
Amsterdam’s run of three straight Class A Capital Division games starts at 7 p.m. Friday with an away game at Averill Park. The Rams (2-0, 4-1) had several key turnovers in a 29-8 loss to Burnt HIlls-Ballston Lake last Saturday, while Averill Park (2-0, 3-3) fell to Ballston Spa in a barnburner, 45-40.
The Rams continue to be slightly hampered by injuries, as they lost leading receiver Ceasar Thompson on the last play of the first half during last week’s loss after a hit to the head.
Also at 7 p.m. Friday, Cobleskill-Richmondville (4-1, 4-1) travels to Fonda-Fultonville (4-0, 6-0) in a key Class C South Division contest. The Braves notched their third consecutive shutout last week with a 47-0 non-league win over Section IV’s Newark Valley. Fonda-Fultonville has outscored its opponents 276-33.
Jonathan Cranker and Owen Hicks each scored two touchdowns in the Braves’ victory.
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