Cold ending in semi-final for Voorheesville football

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Poor tackling plagued the Voorheesville Blackbirds on Saturday night as its undefeated season came to an end against Fonda with a 37-to-7 loss in the Class C semifinals. Here, Braves’ quarterback Anthony Sinicropi starts to spin away from two misdirected Birds’ defenders. Fonda totaled 419 yards of offense, and Sinicropi rushed for 177 and two scores.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Grab bag: Senior Alex Minnick, who scored Voorheesville’s only touchdown against Fonda in the Class C semifinals last Saturday, runs after catching a pass in the second half with a Braves’ tackler on his leg. The Blackbirds (8-1) lost, 37 to 7, as quarterback Robert Denman completed only 14 of his 33 passes and threw four interceptions.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Turning the corner during the opening kick return is Voorheesville’s Shane Parry last Saturday in the Class C semifinal game against Fonda. The Blackbirds came into the game undefeated, but lost by 30 points.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Robert Denman tosses a pitch to his running back during the Blackbirds’ 37-to-7 loss to Fonda in the Class C semifinals on Saturday night. Denman threw for 154 yards, but was picked off four times; the Braves’ Ryan Scofield made three of those picks.

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Head-to-head: Voorheesville senior running back Matt Feller averaged 143 rush yards per game coming into last Saturday’s Class C semifinal against Fonda, and Feller, seen here with the ball during the game, was held in check with 66 rushing yards on the night. The Birds lost, 37 to 7.

STILLWATER — As the temperature dropped, so did the football out of the hands of the Voorheesville receivers. The Blackbirds had been flying high all season, but could barely get off the ground against Fonda last Saturday.

Dropped passes, bad tackling, and four interceptions on passes thrown by quarterback Robert Denman led to Voorheesville’s 37-to-7 semifinal loss to Fonda. Undefeated in its eight previous games, the Blackbirds looked bad.

Down, 31 to 7, early in the fourth quarter, and with no Voorheesville receivers in the vicinity, Denman threw his third pick to Fonda’s Kevin Myers. This is when the chants of “Let’s Go Birds!” started to fall on deaf ears.

“They played better than us,” said senior Alex Minnick, who caught Voorheesville’s only score in the second quarter. “That’s it. We felt fine coming in, but we didn’t have a good night.”

Clearly burdened from the tough loss, Minnick excused himself to be with his teammates. The Blackbirds had hoped for much more than an 8-1 season. Just one week before, Voorheesville had been shooting for a state title.

“I’m disappointed for the kids who worked so hard to get here,” Voorheesville Head Coach Joe Sapienza said. “They battled to the end. That’s all I can ask for.”

After Fonda had took possession at the start of the second half and dwindled the clock all the way down to 4:32 with its pounding rush attack, Voorheesville forced the Braves to punt. From the four-yard line, Denman started airing the ball out, but his throw to Shane Parry went too far, and Mickey Knight dropped two consecutive passes. Knight had gotten ahead of the defense on third down, destined for the end zone if he caught Denman’s nice pass, but it dropped out of his hands.

Fonda controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the night. Quarterback Anthony Sinicropi and running back Pat Hart each had 177 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Sinicropi and Hart combined for 11 runs of double-digit yardage as Fonda totaled 419 yards of offense to Voorheesville’s 220.

Fonda had power, speed, agility, and just couldn’t be tackled. When Hart ran 15 yards to put the Braves ahead by 30 points, he dragged Voorheesville’s Scott Roney for the last five yards into the end zone; Roney had a hold of his jersey.

“They were a really good team,” Sapienza said of Fonda, which plays Hoosick Falls for the Class C title this week. “There wasn’t much that we could do.”


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