OFF TO Class B SEMIS
Indians overcome slow offensive start to top Beekmantown, earn spot in state semifinals
Glens Falls beat Beekmantown 21-7 Friday night to advance to the Class B football semis.
David Barclay had no trouble giving himself and the other 10 defensive starters for Glens Falls an A-plus grade regarding Friday’s performance in the Class B state quarterfinals against Beekmantown. When it came time to offer up a grade for the Indians’ offensive work, Barclay struggled to come up with the proper mark.
“It is hard to put a letter grade on it,” said Barclay, a junior captain who starts at receiver and linebacker for the Indians.
Although the Section II Class B champions left points out on the Steuerwald Stadium turf, the Indians overcame an uneven offensive performance to produce a 21-7 victory over the Eagles.
Glens Falls (9-2) registered its fifth state playoff win since 2016 and advance to the state semifinals for the third straight year. The Indians will take on the winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal between Section I champion Ardsley (9-0) and Section IX representative Marlboro (9-1) on Nov. 17 at Middletown High School.
“Last year, we all know what happened in Middletown,” Barclay said, referring to a 20-7 semifinal loss to eventual state champion Pleasantville. “Right now, it is not about getting to the Dome. It is about being back in Middletown and getting revenge for (the 2017 loss).”
“This is a game where you always tend to look ahead alittlebit.itissortofatrap game,” Glens Falls coach Pat Lilac said of Friday’s quarterfinal encounter. “We know the teams that come down from (Section VII or X) are going to be scrappy and really tough teams. That’s what they were.”
Glens Falls led only 7-0 at halftime Friday, even though the Indians owned a 275-20 edge on offense through steady rain during the first 24 minutes.
“Especially this playoff season, we have dealt with all the weather circumstances: a little bit of snow, a little of hail, a little bit of sleet, the rain, the wind — we’ve dealt with it all,” Glens Falls senior quarterback Joseph Girard III said. “It is making us tougher and making us a better team.”
The Indians were able to move the ball effectively in the difficult conditions. Glens Falls, however, missed on two field goals and Girard
tossed an interception in the end zone to limit the scoring in the first half.
“Penalties killed us. We had some dumb ones: some holds, a pass interference on offense,” Barclay said. “We overcame it, came down and scored right away to start the second half. Our defense is playing outstanding.”
A constant throughout the playoffs, the Indians’ defense limited Beekmantown (8-2) to just 135 yards of offense. Glens Falls managed to generate 504 yards of offense -- 218 yards rushing and 286 yards through the air on 21for-35 accuracy from Girard.
“We just weren’t playing like the team I know we play like, but we came out in the second half, clicked and got the job done,” Glens Falls sophomore running back Aalijah Sampson said.
The Indians opened the third quarter with a six-play, 73-yard drive capped by a 14yard touchdown pass from Girard to junior receiver Hogan Fox for a 14-0 lead.
“When we popped that touchdown, it got us going,” Sampson said.
“It was a one-score game. We come out and get ourselves a little breathing room, in case they score, which they did,” Lilac said. “We were able to answer there. Aalijah had a great run when he kept his balance and we were able to punch it in.”
Beekmantown cut the deficit in half as William Colvard caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Cade Preston with 9:47 left. The touchdown and extra-point kick represented the most points allowed in the playoffs by Glens Falls as the Indians have given up just 13 points in four postseason wins.
Glens Falls answered the touchdown by the Eagles with an 80-yard march culminated by a 1-yard touchdown run from Sampson with 4:34 remaining. The sophomore delivered a spectacular 42-yard run along the right sideline to push the ball down to the Eagles’ 4.
Girard, who is the state’s all-time leading scorer in boys’ basketball, will sign his national letter of intent to play at Syracuse University on Wednesday. Before diving into his senior season on the hardwood, the 6-foot-2 quarterback has some unfinished business left to handle in Middletown after Pleasantville denied the Indians a shot at repeating as state football champions.
“It is an unbelievable opportunity,” Girard said. “Being a born competitor, I have always been looking forward to it. I am known for my basketball, but I am out here competing — no matter what sport it is. In football, I don’t want to lose. When I do, I am always going to regret it and think about it.”
Glens Falls running back Aalijah Sampson breaks a tackle against Beekmantown in their state quarterfinal on Friday at Shenendehowa High School.
Glens falls’ Hogan fox gains ground during the indians’ win over Beekmantown on friday at Shenendehowa High School.