New York's Section II began football playoffs tonight, and in Class AA, form held. All roads lead to the Class AA Super Bowl, taking place November 3 at RPI's East Campus Village Stadium.
Troy High would like to make that a de facto home game.
Coach Bob "The Builder" Burns and the Flying Horses welcomed Ballston Spa to Picken Memorial Field tonight, but it seems as though the Scotties left half their offense at home. Ballston Spa took the opening kickoff and marched down the field, mostly on the legs of running back Jason McCarthy. However, Troy's defense stiffened in the red zone, and the Scotties turned the ball over on downs.
After an exchange of punts, Troy's John Germinerio contributed on defense, picking off his quarterback counterpart, Christian Leva. Germinerio, on offense, then found Jesse Brown in the end zone to give Troy a 7-0 lead with under a minute in the first quarter.
That touchdown was the wake-up call the defense needed, as despite Leva & McCarthy still gashing the run defense, the Scotties couldn't get anything done through the air. In all, Leva was intercepted twice and sacked at least three times. Joe Casale had the other interception and nearly returned it all the way, getting stopped at the Ballston Spa 2. Joey Ward scored on the next play to put the game away.
Germinerio finished with four TD passes, two to Brown, the others to Dev Holmes and Ethan Evans, and Ward finished with three rushing TD's, the last a 75 yard gallop to start the 4th quarter, and Troy shut out Ballston Spa, 49-0.
It won't be that easy next week, not by any stretch. Troy will next face Christian Brothers Academy, which routed Columbia, 55-22, to earn a berth in the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Shaker & Guilderland will meet in the other semi-final.
Unfortunately, the season is over for Troy's soccer teams. The women were eliminated by Bethlehem, 5-0, on Thursday. The Eagles had previously beaten Troy, 7-0, exactly one month earlier. The boys fell to Guilderland, 3-0, earlier today, ending a winless season at 0-16-1. The women finish at 4-11-1.
Holy Trinity, the unification of Catholic Central High School and Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, will play their first playoff game Saturday afternoon at Hoosic Valley. That will be an achievement unto itself, considering that the Holy Trinity field house, on the Bishop Gibbons campus in Schenectady, was ravaged by fire, which destroyed virtually all of Holy Trinity's football equipement. Arson is suspected, which leads one to wonder why someone would go out of their way to sabotage a team that has struggled the last few years before earning its first post-season berth. Thousands of dollars and equipment have been donated, with the latter supplied by the University at Albany. Here's to hoping the disrespectful soul responsible finds it within himself to turn himself in.
Not every school in Section II has lights. In addition to Holy Trinity @ Hoosic Valley, Albany Academy visits Glens Falls, and Queensbury welcomes Mohonasen tomorrow as we wrap the first weekend of post-season play.