COBLESKILL — That they’re still playing doesn’t surprise them.
The Cobleskill-Richmondville Bulldogs, though, don’t expect anyone else to feel the same way about the run of success that has led them to Saturday’s 3 p.m. Section II Class B Super Bowl matchup against Glens Falls at Shenendehowa.
“And I don’t think a lot of people expect us to beat Glens Falls, either,” Cobleskill senior Donovan Pacatte said earlier this week.
That is probably correct. Glens Falls, which has won the last two area Class B championships and features senior star Joseph Girard III at quarterback, is easy to peg as the favorite in its Super Bowl clash with Cobleskill. Glens Falls already defeated Cobleskill 36-28 earlier this season, too.
But . . .
“Right after we lost to Glens Falls that first time, that stayed in our minds,” said Pacatte, a senior star who quarterbacks the Bulldogs. “We wanted to meet up with them again in the Super Bowl. . . . That was definitely a game that stuck with all of us. We let that one slip away at the end.”
“And we know we’ve grown as a team a lot throughout the last seven weeks since seeing them,” Cobleskill senior Patrick Nichols said.
In that Week 2 game between Cobleskill (7-2) and Glens Falls (7-2), the Bulldogs led 7-0 after one quarter, 21-14 at halftime and 28-24 after three quarters. Girard, though, ran for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lead Glens Falls’ comeback.
Nichols said Cobleskill went into that first meeting with Glens Falls a little unsure how it would match up with the Indians. That won’t be the case this time.
“It definitely feels a lot different,” Nichols said, “and there’s a lot more at stake.”
Cobleskill head coach Ed Hantho, whose program is celebrating its 50th year of existence, said his team is embracing the pressure of those high stakes.
“These kids have it in their minds that there’s a potential for more for us,” said Hantho, whose program had not won a playoff game since 2011 before registering two this year. “Every game we get is a great opportunity. The gravity of this game, it’s in [our] minds, but we’ll do our best just to focus on our next opponent.”
Cobleskill is the team bringing the longer winning streak into the championship game, with its seven-game run outdoing Glens Falls’ three-game streak. Cobleskill hasn’t lost since its defeat against Glens Falls, but Pacatte said the Bulldogs want to use their appearance in the championship game to show any doubters they belong.
“We feel like a lot of people still think that [we don’t],” Pacatte said, “and that we have to still prove that we’re really this good.”
Programs that have won nine of the last 10 Section II Class A championships meet 7:30 p.m. Saturday in this year’s championship game when Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Queensbury meet in a “Spartans Bowl” at Shenendehowa.
Queensbury (9-0) topped Burnt Hills (8-1) in the regular season, with Queensbury scoring a 42-21 Week 7 win in a game in which it scored the final 20 points to pull away.
Long before that impressive game-ending run, though, Queensbury asserted itself in a powerful way. In Week 7, Queensbury’s opening 96-yard touchdown drive spanned 20 plays — and consumed all of the first quarter, plus the first play of the second. Liam O’Mara scored that drive’s touchdown on his way to a 176-yard night on which he scored all six Queensbury touchdowns and the team’s three 2-point conversions.
Burnt Hills has won the last two Class A area championship games, and it topped Queensbury 27-20 in last year’s final.
CLASS D CLASH
In the Section II Class D Super Bowl, Warrensburg (7-1) will meet Hoosic Valley (6-3) 1 p.m. Saturday at Schuylerville.
Warrensburg defeated Hoosic Valley 34-14 back in Week 2 to start its seven-game winning streak.
Hoosic Valley has won six consecutive games since its 0-3 start.