ROTTERDAM — The blowout Week 1 win it registered offered hope.
A win in Week 2 at Queensbury, which played in last year’s Section II Class A Super Bowl, would do more than that for the Mohonasen football program.
“It would send a message to the rest of the teams,” Mohonasen head coach Joe Emma said earlier this week.
Off a 58-14 win last week against South Glens Falls, Mohonasen heads to Queensbury for a 1:30 p.m. Saturday matchup. The winner of that game moves to 2-0 within the Grasso Division, and likely establishes itself as the top challenger to Burnt Hills within the division. Queensbury is coming off a 10-6 win against Ballston Spa, and the Mighty Warriors know they need to play their best game to have a shot at upsetting the Spartans on their home field after they lost to Queensbury 62-20 a year ago.
“But we’re excited to go at them,” Mohonasen junior Alex Gannon said. “They’re a tough team and physical. We need to be more physical. That’s how we’ll win games.”
Last week, though, it was Gannon’s speed that provided so many highlights for a Mohonasen program that hasn’t made the Section II playoffs since 2016. Gannon scored four touchdowns in Week 1, scoring twice on running plays, once on a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Alek Britten and another on a kickoff return.
“The blocking was perfect on every play,” Gannon said, “especially on the kick return.”
Last week’s game was Gannon’s varsity debut, and he said he hadn’t played any organized football the prior two seasons. Instead, he had played fall baseball.
“But I didn’t want to miss my last two years,” Gannon said. “I missed football, so I came back.”
Slowing down Gannon is likely atop Queensbury’s to-do list. Last week, Queensbury didn’t allow any points until the fourth quarter.
“They’re definitely going to key on him,” Emma said. “But he’s an athlete, and we’ll make our adjustments, as well.”
Coming off its Week 1 win, Britten said Mohonasen approached its preparation to play Queensbury no different than it did when the Mighty Warriors got ready to play South Glens Falls.
“We’ve just come into practice and worked as hard as we can every day,” Britten said.
While Mohonasen hasn’t reached the postseason since 2016 — when it lost to Queensbury in the quarterfinals — Emma said his group is confident ahead of its early-season matchup against one of Section II’s top programs in recent years. Emma, a second-year varsity head coach, guided many of his current players to a Section II Class A JV championship in 2016, and thinks this year’s varsity group has the potential for a winning season.
“We’ve got a lot of talent here,” Emma said. “They know what it takes to win.”