SECTION II – After the postseason officially began last week with the Class C quarterfinals, this week all five Section II football classifications will be in playoff action.
Here are five things to know heading into the area semifinals.
Of the 10 semifinal games scheduled for Friday and Saturday, nine of them are rematches from the regular season. The only exception is in Class C, where Fonda-Fultonville and Schuylerville — last year’s Super Bowl participants in that classification — did not meet during the regular season.
Of those nine rematches, seven of the regular-season meetings were won by the higher-seeded teams in the playoff matchups. The exceptions to that come in Class A, where both of Friday’s road teams — Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and La Salle — beat the teams they’ll visit — Averill Park and Niskayuna — early in the regular season.
SUPER BOWL REDUX
Two classifications will feature semifinal tilts this year between teams who met in the championship round in 2021.
In Class B, defending champion Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk hosts Gloversville in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl won 33-14 by the Indians.
In Class C, 2021 winner Schuylerville travels to Fonda-Fultonville. The Black Horses won last year’s Super Bowl 26-16.
TITLE DEFENSES INTACT
All five area champions from 2021 have made it back to the semifinal round in 2022.
In addition to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and Schuylerville, the remaining defending champions are Christian Brothers Academy in Class AA, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in Class A and Greenwich in Class D. Two of those three — Burnt Hills and Greenwich — are the lower-seeded teams in their semifinal games.
Five area teams spread out over four classifications have made it to this stage of the season still undefeated: CBA, Glens Falls, Fonda-Fultonville, Warrensburg/Lake George/North Warren and Cambridge/Salem.
Class C, with Fonda-Fultonville and Warrensburg/Lake George/North Warren, offers the only potential Super Bowl matchup between undefeated teams.
Conversely, all four Class A playoff teams — Niskayuna, Burnt Hills, Averill Park and La Salle — suffered at least two regular-season losses.
The only classification that can feature a 2021 Super Bowl rematch in this year’s championship round is Class AA. Last year, CBA beat Shenendehowa 28-14 to win the largest classification after both teams won road semifinal games against Guilderland and Shaker, respectively.
This year, both teams are at home for the semis, with CBA hosting Saratoga Springs and Shenendehowa once again facing off with Shaker.
Last year’s semifinal win over Shaker was the first time Shenendehowa head coach Brian Clawson had beaten the Blue Bison since taking over as the Plainsmen’s head coach for the 2012 season. Shenendehowa also beat Shaker in overtime earlier this year. In fact, both of Shaker’s regular-season losses to Section II opponents — CBA and Shenendehowa — came in overtime.