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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 21, 2010

Blackbirds shut down Watervliet, earn Class C South third seed in playoff

By Jordan J. Michael

WATERVLIET –– The Voorheesville football team might do considerable damage in the Class C playoffs if it continues to play like it did in Watervliet on Saturday.

The Blackbirds shut out the Cannoneers, 24 to 0, with superb execution on both offense and defense. Voorheesville was looking for a big win on the final day of the regular season because the team was battling Canajoharie for a playoff spot.

“We played our best today,” said senior running back Max Schuster, who had 28 carries for 215 yards and three touchdowns. “We practiced very hard and the intensity level was at an all-time high coming in.”

Voorheesville’s convincing win on Saturday was enough to earn the number-three seed in the Class C South. The Birds will travel an hour north on Friday for its Class C quarterfinal match-up with Greenwich. Both teams are 5-2.

“This is where we want to be right now,” Voorheesville Head Coach Joe Sapienza said on Saturday. “On a high note. Everything came together.”

Watervliet started the game with possession, but ended up fumbling the ball and the Blackbirds recovered at the 40-yard line. Voorheesville had a fourth down and two at the five-yard line and decided to kick a field goal. Mike Chiseri put it through the uprights from 22 yards out for a 3-to-0 lead.

The Cannoneers drove into Voorheesville’s territory on the next possession, but senior James Currier came up with a huge interception at the 10-yard line for the Birds. Watervliet argued that the ball touched the ground, but the interception ruling stood.

“We played really physical and everyone did their job,” said Voorheesville’s Brian Katchman. “Our plays were executed perfectly because we stayed disciplined.”

In the second quarter, the Cannoneers’ running back Andre Williams was stopped short by the Voorheesville defense on a fourth down and one. Quarterback Ryan Duncan completed a nine-yard pass to Nick Brockley to start the drive for the Birds and eventually Schuster pounded out a run for 25 yards.

Schuster was handed the ball again and he broke a run out to the left for 41 yards and a touchdown. Later, Schuster scored on a two-yard run after teammate Aumir Roberson set Voorheesville up nicely with a 30-yard scamper. The score was 17 to 0 at halftime.

“The blocking was incredible,” Schuster said, making sure to thank Roberson and Anthony Scaccia for added effort in the run game.

Sapienza told The Enterprise that the Blackbirds “established a couple of different running backs” during the game. “We had nice short yard plays,” Sapienza said. “It was efficient –– all the way through.”

Currier picked off his second pass of the day late in the third quarter and that set up another score for Voorheesville. Schuster streaked up the middle through a massive hole in the defense for a 47-yard touchdown on the first play.

The Blackbirds and the Cannoneers have a heated rivalry that goes back 30 years.

“We came here to shut them out,” Schuster said. “That was our goal and we made it happen.”

Schuster said that the team came in with a “different” energy. “We’re always ready to play, but this game was much more important,” he said. “This win rose us up to an elite level.”

Voorheesville could face Watervliet again in the Class C playoffs.

“We’ll keep this momentum going if we continue to play physical football,” Katchman said.

“Nothing is going to stop our momentum.,” said Schuster.

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