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Glens Falls football

Glens Falls quarterback Joseph Girard III stretches his arm out as he is tackled by a Pleasantville defender in an attempt to make the first down during the Class B state semifinal in Middletown on Saturday.

Jenn March, Special to The Post-Star

Even though their 24-game winning streak came to an end Saturday with a 20-7 Class B state semifinal loss to Pleasantville, the Glens Falls Indians hope they provided some inspiration to the next generation of Glens Falls football players.

“It’s the Glens Falls identity from here on,” senior lineman Andrew Rizzo said. “The little kids coming up through the (Police Athletic League) program and flag football see what we did and the community support that they gave us throughout these two years, and hopefully they can look up to that and say, ‘I want to be like those guys, I want to win more than those guys.”

And they hope this is not the last state championship run for the Indians program, the way the 2012 Glens Falls state runner-up team inspired them to win last year’s title and try for a second.

“There’s a picture in the weight room of a couple of us playing on the sideline during (the 2012) trip to Syracuse,” Rizzo said, “and we always said, we’re going to do and do it better than them.”

“It’s amazing, it really is — 24 straight and, well, this one hurts, obviously,” junior linebacker Kyle Vachon said. “But it’s amazing because it really helps our PAL system and it pushes the younger kids to work harder. We really worked hard for this, to be as good as we can be, we wanted to be better than anyone else.”

— Pete Tobey

Kicker with a tackle

Kickers in high school football — if they don’t play another position — are often soccer players who put on the pads for a few hours a week and stick to perfecting their craft.

Cambridge senior Daniel Medina — a native of Mexico who has lived in Cambridge for years — is a Wasaren League all-star in soccer and he handles the kickoffs for the Indians football team.

But on Friday night, Medina got to be a football player. On his third kickoff of the game, Millbrook star Erik Manfredi broke a couple of tackles and appeared to be in the clear — until Medina stopped him with a picture-perfect tackle from the side.

Manfredi’s big gain was wiped out by a holding penalty on the return, but Medina’s stop stood out in a 56-8 Cambridge victory in the Class D state semifinal.

— Pete Tobey

Mooney’s new mark

Speaking of Cambridge kickers — senior kicker Helen Mooney went 8 for 8 on extra-point attempts during Friday’s game, giving her 65 points for the season. That breaks her own state single-season record for most points in a season by a female football player, which she set last year at 60.

This season, she has kicked 62 extra points and one field goal. For her career, she has 125 points, by far the most in state history for a female football player.

— Pete Tobey

Great game plan

Pleasantville’s defensive game plan Saturday boiled down to one simple job: stop Joseph Girard III and Aaron Sampson. It worked to perfection.

“Girard and Sampson, 11 and 2, they were our focal point,” Panthers head coach Tony Becerra said. “We figured if we could stop them, let anyone else beat us.”

Becerra was especially worried about Girard, who torched Pleasantville for 304 passing yards and five touchdowns last year.

“He’s so elusive when he’s flushed out, it was like playing an option team — you have to be disciplined, and the guys were,” Becerra said. “They got their big gains, they moved the chains, but overall the kids did their job defensively.”

— Pete Tobey

Defensive linchpin

Senior middle linebacker Brenden Holcomb is the quarterback of the Cambridge defense, which held Millbrook’s double wing to a net gain of 62 yards and five first downs on Friday. Holcomb collected three of the Indians’ five turnovers, with an interception and two fumble recoveries.

“Brenden’s the leader of the defense — he knows exactly what’s going on, he probably knows it as well as the coaches,” Cambridge head coach Doug Luke said. “Big things are expected from him, and he’s producing.”

— Pete Tobey


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