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New York State Class C Semifinals
Dobbs Ferry (9-1) vs. Hoosick Falls (11-0)
When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Where: Dietz Stadium, Kingston
State rankings: Hoosick Falls is 1. Dobbs Ferry is 2.
State tournament history
2001: Lost in Class D state final
2002: Won Class D state championship
2003: Lost in Class C state semifinals
2004: Won Class C state championship
2005: Lost in Class C state final
2006: Won Class C state championship
2007: Lost in Class C state final
2003: Lost in Class C state championship
2006: Lost in Class C state quaterfinals
2009: Lost in Class C state semifinals
2010: Lost in Class C state quarterfinals
Did you know? In 2007, Dobbs Ferry coach Jim Mackenzie died of a sudden heart attack. The school’s search for a replacement led them current Hoosick Falls coach Ron Jones, who was actually offered the job but turned it down. Dobbs Ferry instead hired Chris Wagner, who led the program to a state title that season.
Regional finals: Dobbs Ferry cruises past O'Neill
2011 Results: Hoosick Falls
|9/2||at Corinth||W 54-13|
|9/16||at Mechanicville||W 53-7|
|10/1||Hoosick Valley||W 54-7|
|10/7||at Greenwich||W 54-14|
|10/21||Taconic Hills||W 54-12|
|11/11||Saranac Lake*||W 47-13|
* - Playoff game
Scouting the opponent: Hoosick Falls
Xs and Os: The Panthers are an offensive juggernaut with two 1,000-yard backs and a quarterback who threw for over 1,200 yards last season. They run a spread attack that focuses on the option. QB Billy Pine has a very strong arm and has thrown for 1,398 yards and 16 touchdowns. There’s really nothing this team can’t do offensively. Defensively, Hoosick Falls uses a 3-3-5 formation.
Tanner Williams, Sr., RB/DB: The 5-10, 175-pounder is a speedster who thrives in the spread option attack. He’s rushed for 1,263 yards (14.2 avg.) and 20 touchdowns while racking up 646 yards and six touchdowns receiving.
Brad Burns, Sr., RB/LB: The leading rushing of this dynamic backfield duo last season, he’s gained 1,115 yards (9.5 avg.) and 25 touchdowns this fall. He’s also recorded five sacks defensively.
David Couch, Sr., G/LB: The bullish 5-10, 205 pounder is a three-year starter and the heart and soul of the defense.
Path to victory: Dobbs Ferry: The Eagles aren’t at all intimidated by the ridiculous statistics Hoosick Falls has put up this season. But they’re certainly cognizant of them. Dobbs’ Wing-T attack is something Hoosick has not faced all season, and there’s a good chance that even mediocre plays go for 3-4 yards. Dobbs must use that to their advantage. The more the ball is on Dobbs Ferry has the ball, the better their chances are to win. Possession and time are key. If the Eagles have a couple of 12-14 play scoring drives, Hoosick Falls will be in trouble.
Path to victory: Hoosick Falls: For all the hype Hoosick receives for their offense (and deservedly so), the Panthers will need their best defensive effort to win this game. Dobbs Ferry will do so many basic things out of the Wing-T that Hoosick has not seen this season. Hoosick’s best bet would be to load the box and try to take away fullback Tim Soave and limit the option game. Although Dobbs is so good on the perimeter, Hoosick cannot get into a ground-and-pound contest. Dobbs Ferry simply won’t wear down. With injuries to guards Darien Bica and Riley Niemann — who are both so good when they pull — Dobbs likely won’t be the same team running on the outside.
Devaney’s pick: This is a scary matchup for Dobbs Ferry considering they’ve faced only one true spread team all season. That was Woodlands and it was in a foot of snow. Hoosick knows it’s not going to be easy to run on Dobbs and is going to put the ball in the air. But with that said, I don’t see Hoosick Falls containing Dobbs’ five-back attack on offense. Dobbs Ferry will play this smart, slow the game down and not get into a shootout. I see a big game out of QB Spencer Avalos and the Eagles soaring back into the Dome. Prediction: Dobbs Ferry 28, Hoosick Falls 24.
Up next: The winner will face either Southwestern or Waverly in the state title game on Sunday, November 27 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Southwestern won the state title in 2008 and 2009.
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at email@example.com