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Glens Falls goes for state title

Glens Falls goes for state title

Indians represent Section II at the Dome
Glens Falls goes for state title
Glens Falls senior Joseph Girard III will play his final football game at the Carrier Dome, his future college home.
Photographer: ERICA MILLER

Glens Falls will go after its second state Class B football championship in three years Saturday when it takes on Batavia at noon at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

Here's a few things to know.

FUTURE HOME

Glens Falls' prolific quarterback, safety and punt returner, Joseph Girard III, will be playing his final high school football game in his future home away from home, the Carrier Dome. The state's all-time boys' basketball scoring leader recently signed his national letter to attend Syracuse University and play hoop  for the Orange and veteran coach Jim Boeheim.

FLASHBACK

Glens Falls can join Troy (four), Cambridge (three) and Amsterdam (two) as a multi-state champion from Section II. When Glens Falls defeated Chenango Forks 47-39 in the 2016 Class B title game, Girard III ran for two touchdowns, passed for two and had an interception, Aaron Sampson ran for two scores, and Andrew Murphy provided the clinching TD when he scooped up an onside kick and raced to the end zone.

Glens Falls also played for a state title in 2012 and lost to Maine-Endwell 42-12.

LAST TEAM STANDING

Glens Falls is the lone Section II team to reach a state championship game this season after three did so every year from 2014-17. Section II also had three New York finalists in 2012, and two in 2013. The last time Section II had one title-game representative was in 2011 when Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake lost to Maine-Endwell in the Class A final 27-20.

RECORD BREAKER

Batavia senior running back Ray Leach broke his own state football tournament record with a 474-yard rushing performance (on 51 attempts), and tied his own tourney mark with eight touchdowns, in a 54-49 semifinal win against Skaneateles. Leach set tournament records the week before in a 56-28 quarterfinal win over Cheektowaga with 417 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

When Batavia (12-0) beat Wayne for the Section V title 49-14, Leach ran for 344 yards and scored six touchdowns.

PATH TO THE DOME

Glens Falls (10-2) will bring a six-game win streak into the title game. The Indians' path to Syracuse includes a 40-0 win over Cobleskill-Richmondville in the Section II final, a 21-7 regional victory against Beekmantown, and a 48-28 state semifinal triumph against Marlboro. In that contest, Girard III passed for 306 yards and three touchdowns and scored on a fumble return, Aalijah Sampson ran for 134 yards and three TDs whilealso  hauling in a scoring pass.

Glens Falls' 2017 season ended in the state semifinals, against Pleasantville 20-7. Going back to 2016, Glens Falls owns a 15-1 record in postseason games.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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