CLIFTON PARK — Friday night the Glens Falls Indians traveled back down to Shenendehowa high school to play Section VII’s Beekmantown Eagles. Despite a battle with the weather, Glens Falls emerged victorious and secured a third consecutive semifinals appearance.
Glens Falls’ Joseph Girard III, Syracuse’s new basketball commit, played incredibly well. Girard threw for 170 yards in the first half alone with one touchdown. He finished the night just above 300 yards passing and added one more passing score in the second half. He also got it done on the ground. Be it on a designed keeper or a scramble from the pocket, he racked up 105 yards on the game with 86 in the first half.
Knowing that the evening’s rain would only make the playing conditions more difficult, aggression to start the game was a must. After forcing the Eagles of Beekmantown to punt on their opening drive, Girard III and his crew quickly marched down the field with their quick pace. This drive was finished when [Joe] Girard found his cousin Trent Girard in the middle of the field while scrambling to his right. He slung one and Trent took care of the rest, scoring a seventeen yard touchdown. [Trent] Girard finished the night with seven catches and 90 receiving yards.
The Indians couldn’t help hurt themselves with penalties in this contest. They were penalized seven times in the contest resulting in nearly one hundred penalty yards. These flags took multiple drives away like one in the second quarter where penalties took back a 12 yard catch by Trent Girard and a 26 yard run by Joe Girard III.
“Just being focused, it’s all we had to do,” said Aalijah Sampson on his teams penalty problems.
The Beekmantown’s offense seemed to be baffled by the Glens Falls defense in the first half. After shutting out Hudson Falls and Cobleskill-Richmondville, the Indians kept the streak alive and added two more consecutive scoreless quarters to their total. Even though they didn’t force any turnovers, the Eagles of Beekmantown found themselves punting from deep in their own territory at the end of each drive. They finished the half with 20 offensive yards.
Glens Falls came out aggressively once again in the second half. Starting the half with the ball, Joe Girard III found David Barclay, his junior receiver, for three consecutive completions and 20 yards. Then a 12 yard run by Aalijah Sampson and a one handed catch by Trent Girard got the Indians to the red zone. On the next play from scrimmage Joe Girard III found Hogan Fox in front of the end zone so he could fall in for six more points.
Coach Pat Lilac said, “That was big. It was a one score game and we came out and got ourselves a little breathing room in case they scored.”
After another scoreless quarter by the Glens Falls defense, Beekmantown finally broke through. With the help of some defensive penalties, the Eagles got to the red zone where Brandon Belrose found the fullback William Colvard going to the back corner of the end zone.
In Glens Falls’ next drive Aalijah Sampson ran down the sideline and shed an entire pile of defenders on a 42 yard run. Three plays later Sampson finally punched it in from the goal line, the games final score. Aalijah Sampson finished the game with 10 carries for 106 yards.
Glens Falls will advance to the state semifinals in Middletown next week. Last year they got to the semifinals and lost to Pleasantville 20-7.
“Sadly last year our road to the dome was cut short, all we had was one more game. But hopefully this year we can turn that all around and go all the way,” said Aalijah Sampson.