Sunday, November 8, 2015

So close, yet so far away........

I was late returning from a day trip in Albany yesterday, so I missed most of the first half of the Section II Class A title game between Troy High & Amsterdam. Maybe, just maybe, it's just as well.

Amsterdam had run off six straight wins after losing a heartbreaker at home to Troy on September 18, 26-21. They knew they could exploit Troy's porous run defense, because that was how they mounted their comeback the first time. On both offense & defense, to go by what the announcers were saying, it was, again, a showcase for Amsterdam senior star Bryan Stanovich, who ran for 2 TD's in the first half, passed for another on the halfback option, and scored on defense as well. The Rams led 35-7 at halftime.

Troy's only 1st half score was a John Germinerio TD toss to Dajuan Hudson. The two connected again twice more in the 3rd quarter, wrapped around an Amsterdam TD, to make the score 42-21. However, it should've been 42-28 at the end of 3, but a Germinerio TD pass to Dev Holmes was wiped out by not one, but two penalties against Troy. The sad part about that, though, is that it took the game officials about 5 minutes and two rounds of donuts to figure out what happened. Those of us who weren't there at Shenendehowa High could only watch and feel as though the zebras were trying to stick it to Troy again, just like they tried 8 nights earlier vs. Queensbury. Albany Times-Union high school beat writer James Allen, calling the game for Time Warner Cable, said he couldn't see where the penalties were, which only lends itself to the conspiracy theory that someone in Section II didn't want Troy advancing to the state title game, and would go to any lengths to achieve that unsavory goal.

However, Troy mounted a furious rally in the 4th, only to fall short, as Amsterdam put up one last TD to ice the game, punching their ticket to the state semi-finals in Kingston on November 21 with a 49-35 verdict. The win streak is now 7 in a row for Amsterdam, but this one is tainted by some selective officiating that went in their favor. Germinerio didn't help his cause, throwing a season high 3 interceptions, as Troy's 9 game win streak came to a crashing end.

While Amsterdam has two weeks to prepare for their next game, Troy can focus on basketball, and hope that the schedule makers send the Rams to Picken Field next year for the return match. Revenge will be on the menu that night, to be sure.

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