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School Football: Schenectady feels team can play bettter

Thursday, September 12, 2013
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Schenectady put a dent into a big Fayetteville-Manlius lead last Friday in its non-league season debut at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

The Patriots could have had more.

“We put 20 points on the board, and we probably left 14, maybe 20 out there. We left a lot of oppor­tunities on the field,” first-year Schenectady coach Mark Cerrone said during a break at Tuesday’s practice. “We know what we have to do about that. We have to finish.”

That’s part of Schenectady’s two-fold objective in its home opener tonight against Bethlehem at Larry Mulvaney Field. The Patriots not only left points on the Carrier Dome turf, but gave up plenty, too.

“You can reach in your pocket and look for every excuse. We’re not going to do that. They were a good team with a heck of a coaching staff, and at the end of the day, they did more things with their offense than we did with our defense,” said Cerrone. “We can play better, and I think we will.”

Schenectady fell behind by four touchdowns before breaking through in the second half in what would be a 55-20 Kickoff Classic setback.

“That got us mad, but at the same time, it showed the things we need to improve on. That game showed our strong points and weaknesses,” said Schenectady senior running back Hassan Rainey. “We’re looking to improve. We want to fix every mistake we had. We’re looking to be great.”

Bethlehem will also be looking to make amends after losing at Christian Brothers Academy Friday,

32-13. Like Schenectady, Bethlehem fell behind and then mounted a comeback.

“We played pretty well. We had one bad stretch of about nine minutes, but in the first quarter and in the second half, we were right there with them,” said Bethlehem coach Rick Leach, whose team gave up 19 unanswered points in the second frame. “I want to build on the things we did well. I want to continue to improve.”

“I’ve never played against them, but you’ve got to think the best of every team,” said Rainey. “We expect that that’ll bring their ‘A’ game. We have to bring our ‘A’ game and hope it’s better.”

Schenectady overcame a 32-31 loss to Columbia to start last season by winning five of its next six games, and reached the Class AA sectionals for the sixth consecutive time.

“We have it in us to bounce back,” said Cerrone. “As you can see, these guys are fired up. They want it. They came back this week with short memories.”

“It’s a loss, but it was a non-league game. It doesn’t count toward the playoffs,” said Rainey, who ran 50 yards for the last of Schenectady’s three touchdowns at the Carrier Dome. “It was a minor setback, and we can bounce back. We’re going to bounce back.”

Schenectady first-year starter Brandon Gwinner threw a touchdown pass to Hassan Miller, and Felix Rodriguez rushed for 118 yards and a score before Rainey’s scamper to the end zone.

“Our game plan was sound. Our offense was in tune, but we had a fumble at the goal line that was huge, and we had a couple of tipped passes,” said Cerrone, whose team turned the ball over four times. “What I liked is Brandon showed tremendout poise. It was his first [varsity] start, and he didn’t get gun-shy even with a couple of picks.”

Jake Wittig flourished for Fayetteville-Manlius with three touchdown passes to Luke Krizman and two touchdown runs. Wittig hit Krizman with a 59-yard touchdown strike on the game’s first play.

“They hit us with some big plays, and that got in the kids’ heads. They got rattled,” Cerrone said.

Cerrone expects nothing to come easy against the Eagles in tonight’s Class AA crossover.

“They had us working hard in our meeting on Sunday,” said Cerrone. “Even though they lost to CBA, their kids competed and fought until the end. When they have the ball, they give you a lot of things to account for. On defense, they have excellent ends [in Dan Comber and Jason Clas] and solid tackles to complement them.

“Bethlehem is going in the right direction, and this will be a good test to see how well we bounce back.”

Clas scored a pair of touchdowns last week and finished with 122 rushing yards.

“We made some adjustments and started to move the ball better in the second half,” said Leach. “Our defense, at times, was very good against what I consider one of the better offensive teams in the area. We intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble and held them scoreless in the first quarter.

“There was some disappointemt when we got on the bus, but after watching the film, there was a much more positive attitude about what happened.”

Schenectady won the last meeting between the teams during the 2009 season, 48-13.

schalmont at home

Schalmont will make its home debut Friday against Scotia-Glenville in a Class B West Division game.

The Sabres avenged their Super Bowl loss to Glens Falls with a 51-0 victory Saturday, while the Tartans put together a second-half rally before losing at Broadalbin-Perth, 19-12, last Friday.

“It’s very tough to start out 0-2 in our division. You’re putting yourself in a deep hole. I’ve told my kids they’re going to pull out every stop to win the game,” said Schalmont coach Joe Whipple. “That’s their motivation.”

Schalmont will put its 25-game division winning streak on the line after extending it at Glens Falls’ expense. Dalton Cooke threw three touchdown passes against the Indians, and Kyle Strube scored three times.

“I was happy with our balance,” said Whipple. “We passed for 276 yards and ran for 266 yards. It was a good win for us.”

Schalmont standout runner Devon Willis managed 107 ground yards, and scored on a reception and a run, despite feeling ill.

“He didn’t play much. We had him for 10 carries, but some other kids picked it up,” said Whipple. “That was good for their confid­ence.”

Defending state champion Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (1-0) travels to Troy (0-1) for a Class A crossover as part of Friday’s card. Troy dealt Burnt Hills a 17-7 setback in last year’s opening week before the Spartans strung together 12 straight wins. The Spartans stretched their streak last week with a 69-25 thumping of Lansingburgh when head coach Matt Shell notched career win No. 99, while Troy fell to Queensbury, 40-22.

Saturday’s lineup includes a Class AA Empire Division game sending CBA to Shenendehowa (1-0). Matt Hardy, who last December was injured in an auto mishap that took the lives of popular Shenendehowa students Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers, scored the final touchdown in the Plainsmen’s 34-10 season-starting win over Columbia.

STANDINGS

CLASS A

Empire Division

W L T        Overall

CBA 1 0 0 1-0-0

Guilderland 1 0 0 1-0-0

Saratoga Springs 1 0 0 1-0-0

Shenendehowa 0 0 0 1-0-0

Albany 0 1 0 0-1-0

Ballston Spa 0 1 0 0-1-0

Bethlehem 0 1 0 0-1-0

Liberty Division

Colonie 1 0 0 1-0-0

Shaker 1 0 0 1-0-0

Columbia 0 0 0 0-1-0

Niskayuna 0 1 0 0-1-0

LaSalle 0 1 0 0-1-0

Schenectady 0 0 0 0-1-0

———

CLASS A

Northwest

Amsterdam 0 0 0 1-0-0

BH-BL 0 0 0 1-0-0

Gloversville 0 0 0 1-0-0

Queensbury 0 0 0 1-0-0

S. Glens Falls 0 0 0 0-1-0

Southeast

Bishop Maginn 0 0 0 1-0-0

Averill Park 0 0 0 0-1-0

Mohonasen 0 0 0 0-1-0

Troy 0 0 0 0-1-0

———

CLASS B

Reinfurt Division

Cohoes 1 0 0 1-0-0

Green Tech 1 0 0 1-0-0

Hudson 1 0 0 1-0-0

Albany Academy 0 1 0 0-1-0

Ichabod Crane 0 1 0 0-1-0

Lansingburgh 0 0 0 0-1-0

Ravena 0 1 0 0-1-0

Western Division

Broadalbin-Perth 1 0 0 1-0-0

Cobleskill-Rich. 1 0 0 1-0-0

Schalmont 1 0 0 1-0-0

Schuylerville 1 0 0 1-0-0

Glens Falls 0 1 0 0-1-0

Hudson Falls 0 1 0 0-1-0

Johnstown 0 1 0 0-1-0

Scotia-Glenville 0 1 0 0-1-0

———

CLASS C

North

Hoosick Falls 1 0 0 1-0-0

Mechanicville 1 0 0 1-0-0

Stillwater 1 0 0 1-0-0

Corinth 0 0 0 1-0-0

Catholic Central 0 1 0 0-1-0

Granville 0 1 0 0-1-1

Tamarac 0 1 0 0-1-0

South

Chatham 1 0 0 1-0-0

Fonda-Fult. 1 0 1 1-0-0

Watervliet 1 0 0 1-0-0

Coxsackie-Ath. 0 0 0 0-1-0

Cairo-Durham 0 1 0 0-1-0

Taconic Hills 0 1 0 0-1-0

Voorheesville 0 1 0 0-1-0

———

CLASS D

North

Whitehall 0 0 0 1-0-0

Fort Edward 0 0 0 0-1-0

Greenwich 0 0 0 0-1-0

Lake George 0 0 0 0-1-0

Salem 0 0 0 0-1-0

Warrensburg 0 0 0 0-1-0

South

Cambridge 0 0 0 1-0-0

Canajoharie 0 0 0 1-0-0

Rensselaer 0 0 0 1-0-0

Schoburg 0 0 0 1-0-0

Hoosic Valley 0 0 0 0-1-0

NDBG/SCC 0 0 0 0-1-0

 
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