Horde hosting Blackbirds

The Granville Golden Horde will face a familiar post-season opponent during the first week of cross over contests as Class C South’s Voorheesville comes to town. Granville will host the 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 game at Sam Eppolito Field against the 3-4 Blackbirds.

Granville head coach Mario Torres said he planned to meet with Voorheesville coach Joe Sapienza Monday to exchange game film and begin preparation for the Saturday week eight showdown.

Torres said both teams are in a similar position with young teams who have struggled to win games this season.

The Blackbirds received one forfeit win when (Cairo-Durham) folded it season much like Saratoga Catholic in Class D and toppled 1-6 Canajoharie 43-28 Sept. 24 and 0-7 winless Coxsackie-Athens 7-6 on Oct. 1.

Granville has history with Voorheesville.

In 2005, Granville lost a 23-22 first round heartbreaker when a field goal ended their playoff run. The Horde held the edge in the game 22-20 as the clock ran out on a sputtering Blackbirds drive, that is until soccer player and field goal kicker Matt Miller got off the bus returning from a sectional soccer game with just enough time to boot the game-winner.

In 2008 Granville got the better of Voorheesville with the rushing tandem of Nick Dunbar and Jordan Osborne piling up the yards in a 44-19 win.

The coaches went to Mechanicville for a meeting last week to determine week one of the cross over games, head coach Mario Torres said.

Torres said he tried to get a Whitehall-Granville match up, but it did not work out as Whitehall has elected to rest players and wait for the rematch of the 48-0 loss at the hands of the Cambridge Indians which takes place in week nine.

“It would have been nice to restore that rivalry a little bit,” Torres said. With some renewed contact between the two schools at football camp, seven-on-seven, other football-related activities along with social media interaction, Torres said it has lit the spark under what had been a cold bed of coals in the rivalry bonfire for many years.

“I think it was more so this year (seen as a rivalry) because we played them this year and they came to our team camp … so the kids kind of see that, more so than in the last few years when it’s kind of gone by the wayside. We would have liked to have played that game this year,” Torres said. 

With the week nine rematch between Cambridge and Whitehall in Class D sectional play, the chance for the game is lost, at least for this year.

Torres said he’s trying to keep the games somewhat close to home to give the fans and family members a chance to attend the final two games and also line up two more potential wins for the Horde.

Another team Torres said he tried to line up was Class A South Glens Falls. Despite the difference in size designation, Torres said the schools have similar sized teams and faced similar challenges during the year that match up looks to be out of the realm of possibilities, however.

What is possible and even likely is a match up against Salem, home or away.

“We’ll play anybody. We want to give our kids an opportunity to play nine games, to get an opportunity to finish with two wins, winning three out of their last four and losing only to the number two team in the state – if you put it into perspective like that you’re finishing strong and you build momentum going into the off season,” Torres said.

It is important for the team to send out the graduating seniors with a home win but equally as important to make the last home game of a long, tough season a victory.

Granville will likely not know for sure what team they will face in week nine until after the first round of sectionals plays out this weekend, but Torres said he’s lobbying hard for Salem.

“Any time you play and keep score, it counts so we’re going this week to try and win a football game,” Torres said.

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