HIGHSCHOOL FOOTBALL: previews and predictions for grades AA and A | Sports activities
TROY, NY – When the Fall II season began, it was the first time in a year and a half that local soccer teams had a chance to compete.
Friday evening is the last time teams will compete against each other until autumn.
Shaker will host Guilderland for the Class AA Championship and Troy will be the home team when Burnt Hills comes to town for the Class A Championship.
Tamarac and Schuylerville play for class C on Saturday.
GUILDERLAND (4-1) AT SHAKER (6-0), 7pm at Shaker High School
HOW TO GET HERE
Shaker – Week 1, Shen 20-0 win; Week 2, 35-23 win over Guilderland; Week 3, 49-0 win against Saratoga; Week 4, 49-0 win over Schenectady; Quarter-finals, 40-0 win over Bethlehem; Semi-final, 35-21 win over CBA
Guilderland – Week 1, 35-8 Bethlehem win; Week 2, 35-25 loss to Shaker; Week 3, 48-6 win against Colonie; Week 4, 30-7 win against CBA; Quarterfinals, BYE; Semi-finals, 17-14 win over Shen
BY THE NUMBERS
Not entirely shocking that these two teams get the chance to meet in the Class AA finals on Friday night. Shaker has been the favorite since the Fall II season began, and Guilderland only lost one game en route to the finals.
That one loss was a 35-25 loss to Shaker on March 26th.
Guilderland has scored the most points against Shaker this season. You are one of only two teams to score points against the Blue Bison this season.
Up to this point Shaker has beaten opponents 228-46. Guilderland has beaten his opponents 155-70.
Last week Shaker CBA allowed 21 points. When Guilderland played CBA on April 10th, they only allowed 7.
Both teams have proven that they are not afraid to throw the ball and this game will ultimately boil down to running back the depth and defensive side of the ball and how it neutralizes the pass. Shakers Donovan Deguire, Dean Hartl, Porter Ninstant and Connor Strand will be able to split up the ongoing duties while Joe Mirabile is tasked with figuring out the passing game.
Hartl scored two touchdowns against CBA in the semifinals last week.
Guilderland’s Logan Broomhall scored the first two touchdowns against Shen with his legs last week, and Dillon Blanchard’s shoe sealed the victory in the close battle against the Plainsmen.
Along with Broomhall and Blanchard, Ethan Curtis was instrumental in Guilderland’s semi-final victory. The wide-angle receiver helped Broomhall fly 150 feet through the air. Guilderland’s defenses have stepped up to shut down Shen and they have to play with this brave kid for 48 minutes Friday night.
Guilderland has given Shaker the toughest time this shortened season. Last week’s close battle has shown that they can play defense when they absolutely need to, but can they play shutdown defense throughout the game?
Final: 24-17, Shaker via Guilderland
BURNT HILLS (6-0) AT TROY (6-0), 7pm at Troy High School
HOW TO GET HERE
Burnt Hills – Week 1, 35-12 win over Ballston Spa; Week 2, 42-6 win against Niskayuna; Week 3, 49-0 win over Queensbury; Week 4, 55-14 win against Mohonasen; Week 5, 28-20 victory over CBA; Semi-finals, 28-0 win over Averill Park
Troy – week 1, 42-12 win over La Salle; Week 2, 55-6 win against Amsterdam; Week 3, 46-0 win over Averill Park; Week 4, 49-13 win over Columbia; Week 5, 58-14 win over Albany; Semi-finals, 48-0 win over Queensbury
BY THE NUMBERS
A battle between the last two undefeated teams marked the end of this Class A football season. Spartans versus flying horses.
Burnt Hills tightened her defensive muscles as the offensive turned sloppy in last week’s 28-0 semi-final win over Averill Park. Caedan LaPietro threw the win for 55 yards while rushing for another 29. Michael Frattarola rushed in two touchdowns and Rocco Mareno added one of his own while Jack Shea blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown for his own score.
The Spartans defeated the opponents with 241-52. Most of the points they allowed in a game this season were when CBA scored 20 points in an exhibition on April 16.
The Burnt Hills crime is full of talent. In addition to LaPietro, Mareno and Frattarola, the Spartans have a deep running game that consists of Jaleel Joseph and Owen Muller. Kevin Carney and Justin Gray are LaPietro’s two targets at Wide Receiver. In the semifinals, the Spartans dominated the special teams and defense throughout the game, while the offensive caught up. In the final on Friday with Troy, the offense cannot take any risks and exploit Flying Horses’ mistakes.
Troy is a train chugging along the tracks. The only thing that can get them off course is another train pulling in.
The Flying Horses defeated the opponents 286-59. They achieve an average of 47.67 points per game and have scored no less than 42 points in Autumn II.
Alex Wolfe threw 154 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Queensbury. Xavier Leigh ran back 74 yards and caught two touchdown passes from Wolfe while racing in one. Wolfe added two with his legs.
Troy touts an extremely talented unit led by Wolfe and Leigh. When you add in players like Xavier Ward and Nasir Dawud-Soto, you have a team that is super talented and a proven winner.
Troy has been here before. Certainly under different circumstances, but recently fought for A and AA titles. It is very hard to hold your own against a proven perennial winner, but it will be a shooting.
FINAL: 42-35, Troy via Burnt Hills