In week one of the regular season Greenwich pounded the Panthers of Hoosick Falls. Everyone knowing how much talent the Witches had lost to graduation from a season ago, wondered after seeing the blowout score, was Hoosick Falls that bad or Greenwich that good. Nobody’s wondering now.
The Witches after trailing 7-0 early, scored 27 unanswered points, 20 coming after intermission in posting the 27-7 victory over Mechanicville in the Class C Section II final securing back to back football titles.
On a cool, crisp November night it wasn’t a scripted start for Greenwich when on the first play from scrimmage Witches quarterback Cole Burgess put the ball on the ground and Mechanicville came away with the football.
The Red Raiders capitalized, driving the ball to the Greenwich one yard line setting up a Dan Motta touchdown run, and with the Jake LaFountain point after Mechanicville led 7-0 just three minutes in.
At the time little did we know those would be the last Raider points of the night.
Greenwich tied things on a second period 26-yard touchdown run from Burgess and a Chris Albrecht extra point, and the two squads went to the break deadlocked at 7-7.
In the second half Greenwich running back Reese Cristaldi broke that tie with 4:26 remaining in the third, taking it in from 15 yards out giving the Witches the 14-7 advantage that they took into the final period.
In the fourth it was Cristaldi again, scoring on an 18-yard carry giving Greenwich control at 20-7 with 6:01 left. A window dressing 1-yard plunge by Cristaldi at the 2:01 mark wrapped up the scoring and sent the Witches home with the hardware, and a trip to next weekends regional.
For Mechanicville, senior fullback Marc DeBates led the attack rushing for 133 yards, with Motta adding 75 more for the Raiders who end a fine 2016 campaign at 7-3.
Greenwich (8-2), rode the two-headed monster of Burgess (161 yards), and Cristaldi ( 122 yards), to the title win, and now the Witches after their second straight Section II championship begin what they hope is their second straight run to a state football final.