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Not to be overlooked in Saturday’s wild and crazy 40-37 overtime victory by Glens Falls was the outstanding effort by Schuylerville in the Class B sectional championship game.

The Black Horses jumped out to first-half leads of 15-0 and 22-7 — the largest deficit faced by Glens Falls in two years — then answered each time the Indians rallied in the second half.

Most impressively, Schuylerville took away the Indians’ running game, limiting Aaron Sampson to 79 yards on 12 carries, turning the Indians into a one-dimensional team.

“The first time we played (on Oct. 6), we controlled possession for long chunks and they were trying to defend both the run and the pass,” Glens Falls head coach Pat Lilac said. “(Saturday) they decided to take the running game away, shut down the outside and said if we were going to beat them, it would have to be by passing.”

Despite the Black Horses pinning their ears back and blitzing often, Glens Falls quarterback Joseph Girard III threw for 422 yards and three touchdowns as the Indians rallied.

“We knew going in that they were going to get their big chunk yards,” Schuylerville head coach John Bowen said. “We were hoping we could limit their big plays.

“With the amount of firepower they have all over the field, we knew we would have to weather the storm, and our boys did a good job of responding,” Bowen said. “It was a punch-counterpunch type of game — nothing we didn’t expect.”

— Pete Tobey

A tough out

Glens Falls and Schuylerville both showed terrific resiliency during the season, and that was on display all evening Saturday. Neither team could put the other away, as the lead changed hands five times after halftime, with the Indians finally winning on Sam Hogan’s overtime field goal to extend their winning streak to 23 games.

“When you go on a run like we have, you’re not going down easy,” Glens Falls head coach Pat Lilac said. “We saw that with Chenango Forks last year in the state final — they kept coming back and coming back. I understand why we couldn’t put them away, it was that resiliency.”

— Pete Tobey

Unflappable G.F.

Glens Falls executed scoring drives of 96 and 80 yards in the final five minutes of the Class B final, needing just 62 and 70 seconds to score on each drive to pull into a 37-37 tie at the end of regulation.

“We have good skill kids, a very good offensive line and Aaron Sampson’s ability to pass protect, and Joe (Joseph Girard III), with the stuff he does, is special,” Lilac said. “Our two-minute drill has bailed us out a few times this year, and they just executed. When you go at a faster pace, it’s tougher for the defense to change up and move people around.”

Lilac said he never felt a sense of panic from his football team, and certainly not from his quarterback.

“It was all, ‘Get the ball back and let’s go,’” he said. “We had good and bad plays, and (Girard) doesn’t get rattled, just forget the last play and move on to the next. He has a refuse-to-lose attitude, which is even more important than his physical skills.”

— Pete Tobey

A good loss

Colton Dean, one of the stars of Cambridge’s 40-7 win over Greenwich in the sectional Class D championship Saturday, said the Indians’ earlier-season loss was hard on the team, but good for them, too.

“It straightened us out,” Dean said. “We were working a lot harder in practice. We knew this team was going to be the biggest game I’ve ever played in, and that’s including states last year. We just had to bring it all today.

“Our mindset was 100 percent changed. Just more dedication: people wouldn’t miss practices anymore, we’d be going hard in the weight room.”

— Will Springstead

Glad to have them

Cambridge’s Max Hoffer was reportedly a game-time decision due to a sprained knee the week before, but he was an important factor as a linebacker on the defense. He had a number of tackles, especially on Greenwich’s top threat, quarterback Cole Burgess.

Two other players that missed most of the earlier-season loss to Greenwich also came up big: Brenden Holcomb and Jacob Peters. Holcomb had a number of tackles and a fumble recovery, while Peters caught a touchdown pass and also recovered a fumble when on defense.

— Will Springstead

Running wild

Schuylerville’s flexbone offense had great success running the ball against Glens Falls, gouging the Indians repeatedly on runs up the middle and racking up 271 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Junior quarterback Stratton Sherman added 205 passing yards, including a 62-yard touchdown strike to Justin Carte.

“We did such a good job defending them the first time that we didn’t do a ton of adjustments, but they schemed well against what we do defensively and they did a good job to expose us,” Lilac said. “They were teeing off on us in the first half.”

Lilac said the Indians were able to make a few adjustments to get the key stops when they needed in the fourth quarter and overtime.

— Pete Tobey

Improved line

Queensbury’s impressive rushing effort against Burnt Hills in the Class A championship game — which produced 283 yards on the ground against the No. 4-ranked team in the state — was the culmination of a much-improved offensive line.

The Spartans lose only seniors Mike Siano and JD Aspland, so they will return center Ryan Tubbs, Devin Hunt and Kellen Gannon, along with tight ends Sean Collins and Zaki Farah to build around.

With Burnt Hills returning several skills players, Queensbury and Burnt Hills could be tangling with each other for top honors again next year.

— Pete Tobey


Greenwich’s one scoring drive was heavily influenced by quarterback Cole Burgess. He started it with a 6-yard run, aided by a Cambridge facemask penalty. Two plays later, he found John Walsh for a 30-yard gain.

Two plays and another Cambridge face-mask penalty later, it led to the Witches’ touchdown: a 13-yard strike from Burgess to Josh James in the back of the end zone.

— Will Springstead


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