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Football: Glens Falls vs. Lansingburgh

Glens Falls running back Griffin Woodell evades a tackle from Lansingburgh defensive back Quashawn McFarlane during Saturday's football game.

GLENS FALLS — Blowout wins like Glens Falls and Schuylerville experienced in Week 1 really don’t give opposing coaches an accurate idea of what those football teams could present this week.

Neither team had trouble in its opener — the Indians cruised past Lansingburgh 67-6 on Saturday, and the Black Horses trampled Johnstown 55-16 the night before.

The true test comes Friday, as Glens Falls travels to Schuylerville for a 7 p.m. Class B North showdown in what has become the area’s best gridiron rivalry.

“I don’t know, based on our body of work at this point, how much either one of us know fully about each other — or about ourselves, for that matter,” Schuylerville head coach John Bowen said. “So we’ll probably have a lot of self-realization occurring on Friday night.”

“It will be interesting on both sides of the ball,” Indians head coach Pat Lilac said. “We were clearly quicker than Lansingburgh at many positions, but Schuylerville can match us in quickness. It’s a fairly even matchup athletically, so it will come down to discipline and toughness.”

Since first meeting in 2012, Glens Falls and Schuylerville have been perennial contenders in Class B North, often meeting with high stakes — and in two cases, Section II titles — on the line. The Indians hold a 7-3 series edge over Schuylerville, winning four in a row, including a 43-14 victory last season.

Both teams suffered significant graduation losses. Both lost three-year starting quarterbacks — Glens Falls’ Joseph Girard III and Schuylerville’s Stratton Sherman — and several linemen and skill players.

Bowen is under no illusions that the Indians have missed a beat with new starter Noah Girard behind center. Glens Falls has returning standouts like running back Griffin Woodell, slotback David Barclay and receivers Aalijah Sampson and Hogan Fox ready to shine on offense.

“Anybody that thought, ‘Well, they lost so much to graduation that they’re not going to be able to reload,’ wasn’t looking very closely at their roster over the last few years,” Bowen said.

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The Indians had a monster game against an overmatched Lansingburgh squad, scoring on nine of their 10 possessions, with their starters relaxing on the bench before halftime.

“They’ve got some phenomenal, physical kids that have been three-year guys for them. Those pieces of the puzzle are the same — they know what it takes to win a championship and you can see that,” Bowen said. “That confidence comes out in them, they expect to be there and they expect to win — that’s the heart of a champion and we have to work to match that.”

“The guys who had to step in have done a good job,” Lilac said. “Noah (Girard) has done a decent job of not trying to do too much, just doing what we need him to do. He’s grasped what we’re doing X-and-O-wise, but even more important is he’s become a leader on this team.”

Schuylerville produced 355 yards and eight touchdowns, all on the ground, and dominated on defense against Johnstown.

“What impressed me is their ability to have multiple fronts and blitzes,” Lilac said of the Horses. “They’re much more versatile defensively — jumping from odd fronts to even fronts, springing blitzes from different angles, and flying to the football.”

“I thought we were sharp in all three phases of the game — being able to run the ball, playing good team defense, and our special teams came up with some big plays, we created a couple of turnovers,” Bowen said.

Lilac said Schuylerville’s flexbone offense looked very smooth against Johnstown, with new quarterbacks Jacob Vanderhoof and Owen Sherman both playing. Vanderhoof, Colton Weatherwax and Jack Dwyer each scored twice.

“They were as crisp as they’ve ever been running it,” Lilac said. “They’re breaking in new offensive linemen like we are, and they have new skill guys, but they look like they haven’t skipped a beat. They get their best athletes the ball in space — exactly like we do.”

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Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity.

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reporter

Covering high school and minor-league sports in Section II since 1989. SUNY Plattsburgh grad. Colleen's lesser half. Three amazing young people call me Dad. Fan of Philadelphia Eagles, New York Rangers and Mets, and Syracuse Orange.

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