Three area high school football teams will play for the opportunity to compete for a championship today.
Amsterdam, Broadalbin-Perth and Fonda-Fultonville will all take to the field this afternoon looking for a chance to play for a title.
The Rugged Rams will travel to Queensbury for a 2:30 p.m. contest, Broadalbin-Perth will travel to Cohoes for a 2 p.m. contest and Fonda-Fultonville will make the trek to Stillwater to face Hoosick Falls.
Class A Semifinals
Amsterdam (5-3 overall) at Queensbury (8-0 overall)
Playing Queensbury for the second time this season, the Rugged Rams will look to avenge their 48-28 loss to the Spartans on Oct. 4.
Section II Class AA Semifinals
Shaker 35, Saratoga Springs 0
CBA 28, Guilderland 7
Section II Class A Semifinals
Burnt Hills 24, Troy 19
Section II Class B Semifinals
Schalmont 35, Ravena 8
Section III Class D Semifinals
Sandy Creek 24, Dolgeville 12
Herkimer 29, Westmoreland 20
Amsterdam held a 21-20 lead in the third quarter before Queensbury outscored the Rams 28-7 the rest of the way to earn the win.
"We need to not give up any big plays this time," Amsterdam coach Doug Edick said. "I believe by starting out better than we did in the first game will give us a better chance against a very powerful team."
In last week's 48-34 quarterfinal win at Averill Park, Bryan Stanavich ran for 208 yards and three touchdowns and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass for the Rugged Rams.
Stanavich scored on runs of 44, 35 and 80 yards, while also catching a 30-yard touchdown pass from Julian Gallup.
Amsterdam trailed 28-20 at the half before outscoring Averill Park 28-6 in the second half.
Hector Diaz scored on a 33-yard run for the Rugged Rams, while Gallup added a 58-yard touchdown run.
Marcus Pritchard had two field goals for the Rams, connecting from 33 and 41 yards.
Amsterdam is 3-1 on the road this season, including last week's win at Averill Park.
"We have played pretty well on the road, except for the Burnt Hills game, so I think it won't be too much of a disadvantage," Edick said.
In its quarterfinal contest, Queensbury blanked Bishop Maginn, 41-0, last Saturday.
The Spartans had 433 yards rushing, including two touchdowns from Kalen Minott. Eric Wettersten, Phil Wettersten, Tim Voorhis and Chris Goudy also scored rushing touchdowns for Queensbury.
"We need to play our responsibility on defense and control the line of scrimmage," Edick said.
The winner will face Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake next Saturday at Shenendehowa at 7 p.m. in the Class A championship game. The Spartans, the defending Section II and state Class A champions, posted a 24-19 win over Troy in the semifinals on Friday.
Class B Semifinals
Broadalbin-Perth (7-1 overall) at Cohoes (6-2 overall)
Playing in the semifinals for the first time since 2007, the Broadalbin-Perth football team will be looking to take the next step and play for a title.
"Our team is excited for the opportunity to play in the semifinals but also know that we need to remain focused on the task at hand, I think we will respond well as a team," Pelneau said.
In its 43-7 quarterfinal win over Lansingburgh, the B-P defense kept Anthony Walker out of the end zone.
The offense also opened up a 29-0 halftime lead.
B-P quarterback Zach Morreale rushed for one touchdown and threw for another for B-P, while Luigi Magliocca caught a touchdown pass and ran for another score. Darius Reyes and Andre Taylor also rushed for touchdowns for the Patriots, while Biagio Bucciferro recovered a fumble for another score.
"Our defense will have to play with just as much effort this week against a very good Cohoes team," Pelneau said. "If we are going to be successful, we will have to tackle well and play great team defense."
In its 42-19 quarterfinal win over Glens Falls, Cohoes got three touchdown runs from Shelton Alston.
Brandon LaForest hauled in a pair of touchdown passes from Max Carey, who also threw a TD pass to Nick Ernst.
"We will need to play great team defense, tackle well, execute on offense and win the kicking game for us to get successful in the game," Pelneau said.
Broadalbin-Perth, which has won four straight games, is 4-0 on the road this season.
"I don't think playing on the road is a disadvantage, sometimes we actually like it," Pelneau said. "There are a lot less distractions you just get on the bus, get off and play. We enjoy playing on road and have been successful on the road this year, and hopefully we can continue that this week."
The game also will be televised live on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel.
"I don't think playing on TV will affect us," Pelneau said. "I know the kids will be excited to be on TV but once the game starts, it is another football game and those things take care of themselves."
The winner will face Schalmont in the Class B championship game next Saturday at 3 p.m. at Shenendehowa High School. Schalmont posted a 35-8 semifinal win over Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk on Friday.
Class C Semifinals
Fonda-Fultonville (7-1 overall) at Hoosick Falls (8-0 overall)
In each of the past three seasons, the Fonda-Fultonville team has had its season end at the hands of Hoosick Falls.
Last year, the Braves lost 47-0 in the Class C semifinals.
"Hopefully this year we can get off to a better start than we did last year," Fonda-Fultonville coach Tom Carpenter said.
In 2011, Hoosick Falls posted a 32-7 win over FFCS in the Class C title game, and in 2010, the Panthers notched a 46-13 win over the Braves.
Fonda-Fultonville will look to solve its Panther problem today.
"We need to do our jobs, get off blocks and tackle," Carpenter said.
In last week's 47-6 quarterfinal win over Stillwater, junior running back Pat Hart gained 201 yards and scored two touchdowns. The effort also put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
Anthony Sinicropi, Dylan Peterson, Russ Williams and Zach Nizet also rushed for touchdowns for FFCS, which led 40-0 at the half.
Hoosick Falls, the defending state and Section II Class C champions, also rolled to a win in its playoff opener last week, posting a 40-6 win over Watervliet.
Mike Matatt rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries last week for the Panthers, while Garrett Wright rushed for two touchdowns. Brandon Hodges added 120 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries for Hoosick Falls.
The Panthers have dominated the opposition, outscoring their foes 319-19 through eight games.
"Offensively, we tried to put our players in positions to be successful no matter what team we played," Carpenter said. "We had a good week of practice. Hopefully we will be ready to play."
The winner will face Chatham or Corinth in the Class C championship game next Friday at 7 p.m. at Stillwater High School.