Area teams like Johnstown, Gloversville and Amsterdam are scrambling for postseason spots

Week 6 of the local high school football season features a pair of rivalry games and a showdown between a pair of top teams in the section.

The Gloversville Huskies will make the trip to the Lynch Literacy Academy for a key Class A Northwest contest on Amsterdam’s senior night.

Long-time rivals Dolgeville and West Canada Valley will square off in a rematch of the 2015 Section III Class D semifinal game in which the Indians eliminated Dolgeville from the postseason tournament.

Canajoharie and Cambridge were among the preseason favorites to have a shot at winning the Section II Class D title this year.

They will meet under the lights at Canajoharie High School tonight in what could be a preview of a Section II Class D final four matchup.

Broadalbin-Perth is looking to secure a berth in the Class B postseason tournament and will host Hudson Falls tonight.

Johnstown and Fonda-Fultonville are looking to put their first wins of the season in the book this weekend.

Johnstown will host Holy Trinity, a team comprised of players from Bishop Gibbons and Catholic Central, tonight at Knox Field.

Fonda-Fultonville will take to the road Saturday for a 1 p.m. game against Hoosic Valley.

Class A

Gloversville

(2-3 overall, 1-1 Class A Northwest)

at Amsterdam

(3-2 overall, 1-1 Class A Northwest)

Today, 7 p.m.

The phrase “next man up” has become more than just an expression for Amsterdam quarterbacks this season.

After losing first-string quarterback Trey Holloway for the season with a broken leg, Trey Ausfeld stepped up and guided the Rams to a 35-0 victory over Lansingburgh in Week 4.

Saturday, Ausfeld left the game against South Glens Falls with a leg injury and senior running back Adel Rosario stepped in to become the Rams third signal caller so far this season.

“We did work with Adel a little bit in practice,” Amsterdam coach Doug Edick said. “We got caught with our pants down in Queensbury and we were not ready. We had a package together [for Rosario] and he is such a smart kid. He knows the offense inside and out and the defense inside and outside.”

However, it doesn’t seem to matter who is taking the snaps as the focus is on senior running back Dale Stanavich.

Against South Glens Falls, Stanavich rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, threw for two touchdowns, intercepted two passes, one of which he ran back for a touchdown, picked up a fumble recovery and had a punt return for a touchdown called back by a penalty.

“I feel like I have said this for the last four years, we need to stop Stanavich,” Gloversville coach Jared Bongo said for his team to be successful against Amsterdam. “Dale has done some nice things this year. They always play well at home. We have to have a special effort to compete.”

The Huskies are coming off a hard-fought 48-28 loss against Queensbury where it took a strong offensive surge by the Spartans at the start of the third quarter proved to be the difference in the game.

“Gloversville is a rival,” Edick said. “It is always good football when we play Gloversville. Hopefully our kids realize that and I really think they will. We see them all summer in 7-on-7 and are familiar with them and they are familiar with us. It is always a great crowd and a great game. I am glad we have them at home.”

Gloversville and Amsterdam head into the game tied with 1-1 records in the Class A Northwest Division, while the Rams are 3-2 overall and the Huskies are 2-3.

Amsterdam has outscored its opponents 144-104, while Gloversville as scored 94 points and surrendered 167.

Class B

Hudson Falls

(2-3 overall, 1-1 Class B West)

at Broadalbin-Perth

(1-4 overall, 0-2 Class B West)

Today, 7 p.m.

Tonight’s matchup could be a slugfest between a pair of teams that have similar strengths.

“I think we both have big strong lines on both sides of the ball and we both have QBs that can throw and run well, so the match-up is very similar,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Jim Pelneau said. “We have to be better at protecting the ball, and finally putting together a complete game. We can’t afford break downs that have plagued us all season long.”

Last Friday Patriots’ quarterback Brodryk Benton passed for 242 yards with Alex Gardner collecting 132 of those yards including a 51 yard touchdown catch.

With two weeks remaining to the regular season, the Patriots are still seeking that elusive division victory that could secure a spot in the Class B sectional tournament. A victory over Hudson Falls or next week’s opponent Johnstown, could put them in the postseason tournament.

“We haven’t even thought about the following week’s game, this week it’s all about Hudson Falls,” Pelneau said. “The only pressure we feel is to get ourselves in position to for one of the two playoff spots from our division and this is a game that we need to control our own destiny in that regard.”

Injuries altered the Patriots line up against Schuylerville, but they will benefit from the return of running back Ben Frye.

“We get back running back/defensive back Ben Frye this week, but lost two players from last Friday night, Tom Coddington and Andrew Cabezas,” Pelneau said. “We will be turning to our sophomores to lead the way at linebacker for us.”

Class B-C Crossover

Holy Trinity

(3-2 overall, 1-2 Class C Central)

at Johnstown

(0-5 overall, 0-3 Class B West)

Today, 7 p.m.

The Sir Bills will go for their first win of the season tonight against Class C contender Holy Trinity, a team with players from Bishop Gibbons and Catholic Central high schools.

Johnstown is coming off a tough loss to Hudson Falls in which the defense stepped up to keep the game close.

Holy Trinity is coming off a 32-7 loss to Stillwater.

The Sir Bills will honor their seniors tonight in the final regular-season home game.

Class D

Cambridge

(5-0 overall, 5-0 Class D)

at Canajoharie

(4-1 overall, 4-1 Class D)

Today, 7 p.m.

In the preseason polls, Cambridge and Canajoharie were projected to be in the final four of the Class D sectional tournament again this season.

Both have already secured berths in the tournament and are now going head-to-head with the Cougars looking to knock Cambridge from the unbeaten ranks.

However, a loss would not be a bad thing either.

“We have talked about that as a staff and as a team,” Canajoharie coach Shannon Hyney said. “We feel that if we have a loss it isn’t the worst thing in the world. We have rather win in the playoffs if that was the case. Of course you always want to win though.”

The Indians come into the game with a 5-0 record and ranked eighth in the state among Class D teams, while Canajoharie is 4-1 and ranked 19th.

Cambridge has outscored its opponents 289-20 so far this season while the Cougars have topped their opponents 170-69.

“When facing a team like Cambridge, they are so well coached and have such good athletes, you have to be on the top of your game on every play.” Hyney said. “Our biggest challenge has been to stay focused on what the prize really is and that is playing deep into the playoffs.”

Canajoharie suffered its lone setback of the season two weeks ago at home against Whitehall. The Cougars rebounded to defeat Warrensburg/Bolton Landing on the road 25-21 last week.

“We feel in the game with Whitehall we had two key starters that were out and with a team like Whitehall it will always be a battle,” Hyney said. “From a coaching stand point, this game this weekend was even more important. We battled with adversity and could still rebound against a great Warrensburg team. This past weekend helped kids refocus.”

The Cougars come into the game in good shape injury-wise.

“With having a great weight room staff and school support we can say that we are very healthy this week,” Hyney said. “The kids have been working hard all year for this game and we hope we can have a good showing.”

Class C

Fonda-Fultonville

(0-5 overall, 0-3 Class C Central)

at Hoosic Valley

(4-1 overall, 4-0 Class C North)

Saturday, 1 p.m.

The injury bug has hit Fonda-Fultonville hard this season.

The Braves went up against a solid Chatham squad last week without starting quarterback Dan Parslow and came up on the short end of the 40-6 final score.

The highlight of the game for the Braves was an 82-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run from Nick Oertel .

“Injuries are part of the game, unfortunately, we have had some this year,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Tom Carpenter said. “Our goal is to improve this year and finish the season strong.”

Fonda-Fultonville will travel to take on Hoosic Valley, a team that is coming off its first loss of the season, a 48-21 defeat at the hands of Glens Falls in a Class B/C crossover.

Carpenter said for the Braves to be successful Saturday the will “have to try to control the line of scrimmage and tackle.”

With Parslow’s injury keeping him sidelined, the Braves will get a chance to give a pair of young quarterbacks playing time.

“Again, unfortunately, it looks like Dan will be out for the rest of the season,” Carpenter said. “[sophomore] Massimo DiCaprio and [freshman JV call up] John Mancini will both see some time at quarterback.”

Section III Class D

Dolgeville

(5-0 overall, 5-0 Class D East)

at West Canada Valley

(4-1 overall, 4-1 Class D East)

Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

In a rematch of the 2015 Section III Class D semifinals the unbeaten Blue Devils hit the road to take on once-beaten West Canada Valley.

The long-time rivals played twice last season with the Indians shutting out Dolgeville 31-0 on its home field and then 28-8 at Rome Free Academy in the Class D semis.

“It is important to realize this is a great small-town football game between two teams,” Dolgeville coach Dan Zilkowski said. “Emotions are a part of any contest, but it will be important for our players to practice self-control and play football.”

The Blue Devils are coming off a 42-20 victory over Herkimer in which Cole Harlow rushed for 169 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. Quarterback Aasin Claus carried the ball eight times for 106 yards and completed two of three pass attempts for 36 yards and a touchdown.

“It will be important for us to establish ourselves on defense and react/defend to the no huddle spread looks that West Canada uses,” Zilkowski said. “We also need to continue our success on offense and put points on the board. Special teams will play an important role in establishing field position.”

Dolgeville comes into the game ranked fifth in the Class D state rankings, while West Canada Valley is ranked 16th.

“West Canada is a very good football team that returned many players in key positions” Zilkowski said. “We have worked hard to establish ourselves as a contender again this year. It is important to not dwell on something you can’t control from last year, but learn from your experiences and always move forward to make yourself and our team better.”

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