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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 6, 2005

Guilderland football vs. Ballston Spa

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland football team finally got that elusive first win, and it was a total team effort.

"Each week, we do a few things better and better," said Guilderland Coach Dan Penna. "Friday we put it all together."

The Dutchmen got great efforts on both sides of the ball to defeat Ballston Spa, 13-6, on Friday night.

"They were really psyched," Penna said of his players. "The previous week, there were distractions our team had to handle. This past week, we were all about football. We were determined to come out with a victory. We blocked out everything else. We had a lot of intensity and that really made a difference."

The Dutchmen controlled the line of scrimmage and were able to move the ball. Kevin Doherty and Tim Montgomery combined to run for over 200 yards.

Doherty finished the game with 136 yards on 18 carries. Montgomery had about 80 yards rushing.

"Both kids are starting to see the field well," Penna said. "They are starting to come into their own as running backs and it’s at a perfect time."

The offense also had other contributors.

"The offensive line is starting to click," Penna said. "That started to show on Friday. Bill Rafferty has been solid at quarterback. The players are really starting to step it up."

Penna said that linemen Matt Glock and Chris Cortes had strong games for the Dutch.

"Pay off on the field"

Guilderland scored first with a touchdown in the first quarter.

Rafferty connected with Scott Raffensperger for a touchdown pass. Nick Zanotta added the extra point and Guilderland led, 7-0.

Ballston Spa came back with a touchdown late in the second quarter.

Guilderland had to punt deep in its own territory and Ballston Spa got the ball on the 35-yard line.

"They were able to get a quick drive," Penna said.

The extra-point attempt was missed and the Dutch led at halftime, 7-6.

The Dutch added to their lead in the fourth quarter on a touchdown run by Kevin Doherty.

The Dutchmen came up big on defense as they held the Scotties to about 150 yards of offense.

"They try to play power football," Penna said of Ballston Spa. "They have a good offensive line and a strong running back that they try to get the ball to 20 to 30 times a game and try to wear the other team down. I felt like we did the opposite. We contained him better and that helps the defense."

Penna said that the entire defensive line stepped up and played a tremendous game. Kyle Hussey, Zanotta, John D’Ambrosio, and Judd Robinson controlled the line of scrimmage during the game.

Penna also credited his linebackers — Pete Stanish and Chris Wolfe, who returned from an injury, and Ian DeSol.

"We were able to add stability to the linebacker position," Penna said. "Our coverage was better. We did a better job of covering their receivers."

Joe Lima had two interceptions for the Dutchmen and Brandyn Gaito and Kevin Forbes also played well from defensive-back positions.

"Boy, it feels good," Penna said of getting his first win as head coach. "We’ve been putting a lot of work in for the last few weeks and months with the entire program. It is something to be proud of. We’ve hit and been just as physical and hung with the best teams, in CBA and Shen.

"Last week, we were down 27-7 and, though the outcome was frustrating, I’m proud of the way the kids came back. It’s gratifying all the work we’ve put in is starting to pay off on the field."

The Dutchmen host Colonie on Friday in their last home game of the regular season.

"They always get better during the season," Penna said. "We’ll have our hands full. But we’re happy with the opportunity to go out and show them what we can do."

Voorheesville football vs. Greenwich

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — The players of the Voorheesville football team were coming off an emotional high after last Saturday’s win over Watervliet. This Saturday, they reached an emotional low.

The Blackbirds struggled with a big, tough Greenwich team in a 19-12 loss at Thomas Buckley Field in Voorheesville on Saturday.

"I’m very disappointed in the level of intensity today," Voorheesville Coach Joe Sapienza said after the game. "I just told them that we prepared through the week. We worked harder. Coming off a big win you can have an emotional letdown. We played very hard, but, when push came to shove, the game meant more to Greenwich than Voorheesville."

The Blackbirds are 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the Southern Division of Class C and hold the top spot in the division.

Saturday looked to be another big day for the Voorheesville defense as they made a big stop on Greenwich’s first possession of the game.

The Witches returned the ball to their own 28-yard line and moved the ball down the field, combining running and passing.

Greenwich got inside the 20-yard line but could not score.

Voorheesville stopped a running play on first down and a pass play on second down. Then Blackbird Charlie McGrail made a big play, sacking Greenwich quarterback, Mike Schreiner, for a nine-yard loss that set up fourth-down and 17 yards to go. The fourth down pass fell incomplete and the Birds avoided falling behind early.

The Blackbirds then put on an impressive drive of their own, starting at their own 22-yard line and finishing with a touchdown.

Voorheesville was led by strong running from Paul Hognestad and Justin Lupien on the drive.

Lupien capped the drive with a 20-yard touchdown run.

The extra-point kick was blocked but the Birds led 6-0 with 3:17 left in the first quarter.

Fast and furious

But then Voorheesville gave up a big play.

Greenwich’s Dylan Stout returned the ensuing kickoff from his own 14-yard line to the Voorheesville seven to put his team in position to score.

And score is what they did on the next play on a run by Adam Beck.

The Witches missed the extra-point kick and the score was tied with 2:56 left in the opening quarter.

But the Blackbirds came right back to score on their next possession.

Voorheesville got the ball back on the kick-off and it was returned by Anthony Donato to the 31-yard line.

The Birds then proceeded to go on a 12-play drive that went into the second quarter and was capped by a touchdown pass from quarterback Andy Catellier to receiver Tim Robinson.

Voorheesville mixed the run and pass, and the big play on the drive was a 25-yard completion from Catellier to Nick Duncan that put the ball on the Greenwich 30-yard line.

The Birds faced fourth-down and one from the 10-yard line when Catellier found Robinson in the end zone for the score.

Voorheesville went for two points. The pass attempt was incomplete, but the Birds led, 12-6, with 9:04 left in the second quarter.

Voorheesville’s defense, held including making a big stop on a fourth down and five from the 30-yard line.

A run by Derek Slipperly moved the ball to the 30-yard line. But Slipperly was stopped for no gain on second down by Voorheesville’s Adam Duncan.

The third-down pass fell incomplete and Lupien made a big tackle on Schreiner on fourth down to end the drive. Linebacker Eric Dickson slowed down Schreiner on the play and Lupien finished him off with the tackle for a five-yard loss.

Lost chances

Greenwich took the lead with 2:14 left in the the third quarter as the Witches capped a long drive of their own. It took the Witches 11 plays to score when Schreiner hit Slipperly with a pass to tie the game.

The extra-point kick was good and gave the Witches a 13-12 lead.

Voorheesville was forced to punt on its next possession and Greenwich had the ball on its own 47-yard line.

It didn’t take as long for Greenwich to score on this possession as Slipperly finished off the three-play drive with a 35-yard touchdown run.

The extra-point kick was short and the Birds trailed by a score of 19-12 with 10:49 left to go in the contest.

Voorheesville had two chances to score but couldn’t convert. The Birds’ second opportunity was a great drive that started at their own 22-yard line after a punt.

Catellier, taking the snap from a shotgun formation, completed a pair of passes to Kurt Hoffart. The first moved the ball to the Greenwich 41-yard line; the second was good for nine yards.

Voorheesville continued to move the ball down field, getting as close as the seven-yard line but couldn’t finish the drive.

A fumble that went out bounds on third down lost about five yards and then a fourth down pass fell incomplete, and Greenwich was able to run out the clock on its next possession.

"When you rely on a spread offense, the field shortens when the ball is inside the 20," Sapienza said. "When it’s close, it’s hard. You need a running game. We were on a beautiful drive and in position to put it in."

The Blackbirds lost a big part of their running game when Hognestad left the game with an injury.

"P.J. is the type of back that moves the chains against a team like this," Sapienza said.

Hognestad hurt his knee but was moving around on the sideline. Sapienza thought that he suffered a slight sprain.

Sapienza also said that Greenwich is one of the toughest teams Voorheesville has played this season.

"They are the biggest and strongest team we faced all year," the coach said. "We knew we could out finesse them and we did that."

Catellier finished the game with 248 yards passing on 19 completions. Duncan made seven catches for 92 yards. Hoffart made four catches for 76 yards.

The Blackbirds return to divisional play and travel to the western fringe of Section II to play against a much improved team from Canajoharie. The Cougars have two divisional losses in close contests.

"The thing about Class C is it’s balanced," Sapinenza said. "Nobody is head and shoulders above the others. This was a good team and the game was pretty even. It gives people an incentive to keep working. We plan to be in the championship game. We should be there."

Voorheesville girls' soccer vs. Ravena

By Tim Matteson

VOORHEESVILLE — After improving their play over the past few games, the Voorheesville girls’ soccer team took a couple of steps backward in Monday’s game against Ravena.

The Lady Blackbirds lost to the Indians, 4-0, in a game that broke open in the second half.

"The players just go on the field," said Voorheesville Coach Joe Santos. "They don’t understand or forget to be somewhere. This is not good. We had played well the last few games. We’ve been in the ball games. We played well Saturday morning."

The Blackbirds on Saturday lost 1-0 to Holy Names, a team that is undefeated in the Colonial Council.

"I don’t understand," Santos said. "I don’t know. They got to be somewhere on the field and they just drift. They forget about concepts and what it is they need to do."

On Monday, Voorheesville trailed just 1-0 at halftime, though the Blackbirds were badly beaten to 50-50 balls and Ravena had several opportunities to score.

Ashley Wilson scored the goal for the Indians in the first half. Amanda White had the assist on the tally.

Ravena continued to add pressure to the Blackbirds in the second half and had the ball at its end of the field for most of the 40 minutes.

Lauren Howley added to the Indians’ lead when she scored with 25:19 left in the game. She lofted a shot over Voorheesville goalie Brittany Holcomb. Jackie Levie assisted on the goal.

Kelly McGuire put the game away for the Indians with two goals.

Her first tally came on a penalty kick after she was fouled in the penalty box near the goal.

McGuire’s second score came unassisted with 3:45 left in the game.

"We’ve regressed"

"We, just for whatever reason, don’t seem to grasp it when marking people," Santos said. "They don’t move to the ball or, when they do, they fly right by the player and let people go. We are aggressive when we shouldn’t be and, when we need to be, we are not. Two of the goals we gave up, we overran the plays."

The Blackbirds did not have many scoring opportunities. Forward Jess Giglio had the ball a couple of times deep in the Ravena end of the field but a stout Indians’ defense stopped her from getting a shot off.

Also the Blackbirds’ leading scorer, Hayley George, was contained and spent time on the bench, resting an injury.

The Birds got solid play from Holcomb in goal and Lindsey Dembo on defense.

"I told them that we’ve regressed," Santos said. "We played a wonderful game on Saturday. I couldn’t ask for anything more from them than what they performed. Today we regressed."

The Birds at times had trouble getting the ball out of their own end of the field.

"On goal kicks at our own end, we got green shirts in front of us," Santos said. "We can’t stand in front of them and we allow them to take the ball without a fight."

The road gets more difficult for the Blackbirds. They had to play Schalmont on Wednesday. They lost to the Sabers, 9-0, earlier in the season.

The Blackbirds are 2-7-1 this season. They have wins over Cobleskill and Cohoes this season.

On Friday, Voorheesville hosts Cobleskill and travels to Cohoes next Tuesday.

"Hopefully, in Wednesday’s game, we improve against Schalmont," Santos said after Monday’s game. "We went there and it was worse than this. There is no other magical formula. They have to know where they need to be and, from there, try to play."

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