It’s easy to get dazzled by the bigger schools, but the best Section II playoff game this weekend may be in Class C.
That’s because it’s a rematch of last year’s final. Schuylerville (7-2) travels to play undefeated Fonda-Fultonville (10-0) in a 7 p.m. semifinal Friday.
Schuylerville is coming off a 56-14 quarterfinal win over Ichabod Crane. After missing part of two games due to injury, quarterback Luke Sherman returned, but he’s just part of a solid corps of offensive weapons.
Fonda-Fultonville opened its playoffs with a 41-14 win over Hoosick Falls/Tamarac. Jackson Cusack threw for two touchdowns and ran for two. Owen Hicks had three touchdowns – two running and one receiving.
The Braves have outscored opponents 478-80 this year, but it’s their history against Schuylerville that has Fonda-Fultonville coach Mike Mancini’s attention. That includes the Black Horses’ 26-16 win in last year’s Class C final.
“We’ve played them three times in the last 18 months, there’s not a lot of surprises,” Mancini said. “Defensively, we have to limit their plays, we have to limit their opportunities. Offensively, we have to be better than we have been against them. We’ve averaged around 10 points a game against them, and that won’t get it done.”
Mancini said his team is very focused and businesslike going into the game against a team whose record is meaningless.
“They’re a top-10 team in the state,” said Mancini, whose Braves are actually ranked third in the state. “With Coach Bowen, and having a guy like Coach Burger on his staff, between them they’ve made a bunch of state championship appearances. We have a great deal of respect for their program. It’s going to be a heavyweight fight. We’ve got to take care of the football and make big plays when we get the opportunity. That’s what has decided the other games between us.”
The other playoff game involving a Montgomery County team involves Canajoharie/Fort Plain. The fourth-seeded Cougars (5-3) play top-seeded Cambridge/Salem at 6 p.m. Friday at Mechanicville.
The Cougars are coming off a 28-12 crossover win over Watervliet, while Cambridge/Salem (9-0) beat Johnstown 33-6 last week. It had three rushers over 100 yards and rushed for 404 yards as a team.
Cambridge/Salem topped Canajoharie/Fort Plain 47-12 on Sept. 16.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, Class A Amsterdam (5-3) hosts Class AA Bethlehem (3-5) in a crossover. The Rams stepped up to the challenge and beat now-playoff-bound La Salle 41-14, but lost out on a playoff spot due to quarter points for the second consecutive year.
The only common opponent between them is Columbia. Amsterdam beat the Blue Devils 50-42, while Bethlehem beat them 34-22.