One football team has dominated all season long while the other got hot at just the right time. Both methods of operation stayed the course on Saturday as both Cambridge-Salem and Hoosic Valley posted semifinal “W’s” and moved on to play in Super Bowl games next weekend.
The Indians of Cambridge-Salem have been on a season-long roll posting eight straight wins while outscoring their opponents by 300 points in the process. Saturday in Stillwater they faced the Panthers of Hoosick Falls who brought with them a 7-1 mark, the only loss coming in week three to the Indians.
While this one was closer than the 57-31 decision back in September, Cambridge-Salem after trailing 8-7 early in the first, regained the lead and control by halftime, and put it away with two fourth quarter touchdowns to come away with the 35-14 victory.
Tommy English got C-S on the board with a 23-yard touchdown run in the first, but the Falls answered with a 75-yard kickoff return by Jeffrey Vincent for six and with the two-point conversion an 8-7 advantage.
But English ran for another score in the period and added a third before halftime giving the Indians a 21-8 lead at the break.
After a scoreless third period, English rang the bell again, this time from 60 yards out and Aiden Terry added a 7-yard scoring tote and Cambridge-Salem was onto the Class C Super Bowl next Friday night at Lansingburgh where they’ll face the winner of today’s Chatham / Holy Trinity matchup.
English finished the contest with 287 yards on 21 carries and the Indians defense came up big in the second half stopping the Panthers on downs three times inside the Cambridge 10-yard line.
Vincent with 111 yards led the Hoosick Falls ground game and quarterback Sam Richards threw for 170 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers.
The Indians of Hoosic Valley started the year at 0-3 with their third loss, a 40-20 defeat compliments of the Whitehall Railroaders. Over the first three weekends the Valley had scored just 42 points while giving up 115.
But since week three, the Valley said, to paraphrase Stallone in Rocky II, ” We’re not going down again.” Over their last five outings the Indians outscored the opposition 269-67 notching “W’s” in all five contests.
On Saturday at Schuylerville in the Class D semifinal Hoosic Valley, similar to their season, fell behind early but rallied to post a convincing 22-7 decision over those same Railroaders of Whitehall.
On the wet Schuylerville turf Brandon Covey staked the Railroaders to a 7-0 lead with a 5-yard touchdown run early in the first.
But Hoosic Valley answered before quarter’s end on a two-yard scoring run by quarterback Ethan Caiazza, and a 38-yard scoring strike from Caiazza to Issac Carlo to lead 16-7 heading to the second.
Defense and the elements on this cold, damp night, were the themes the rest of the way with just one touchdown allowed over the final three periods that coming in the third when the Valley’s Jacob White ran it in from 10 yards out to cap the scoring and seal the victory.
White with 91 rushing yards and Will Scofield with 79 yards led the Indians ground game that totaled just over 200 yards on the night.
The Valley advances to the Class D Super Bowl on Saturday at Schuylerville where they’ll face Warrensburg in a 1:00 kickoff.
Cambridge-Salem and Hoosic Valley traveled very different roads over nine weeks of football, but both have found their way to week 10 with a chance to compete for a sectional championship.