Best of the decade: Sustained success for local teams
Ed. note: Today's the second installment of our "Best Teams of the Decade" series. We move to football with boys soccer and field hockey in the next few editions. Teams are listed in reverse chronological order.
By Banner Sports
2019 Burr and Burton
A jump up in division was no problem for Burr and Burton, it was focused on one thing - winning.
The Bulldogs followed up their Division II state title with a Division I championship this month, besting St. Johnsbury.
BBA's lone blemish in a 10-1 season came against the Hilltoppers, but a dominating 47-20 win for the title answered any questions about the Bulldogs' legitimacy.
Joey McCoy had a Gatorade Player of the Year-worthy season, racking up a total of 56 touchdowns through the air and on the ground.
His favorite target, John Morgantini, was on the receiving end of many of those touchdowns, and when healthy, Logan Morgan shredded defenses in the running game.
Defensively, Morgan was just as strong with his ability to read the quarterback's eye and the line was constantly pressuring the state's elite signal callers.
That's how you make a statement.
2018 Burr and Burton
After two years of disappointing playoff losses, Burr and Burton got its storybook ending.
BBA dominated a high-level Fair Haven squad and set a record for points in a championship game, topping the Slaters 63-14 for a Division II title.
The Bulldogs (10-1) were rolling on all cylinders throughout the season.
Junior Joey McCoy more than announced his presence at quarterback, taking over for his graduated brother Jay.
Morgantini established himself as an elite pass-catching threat and senior Jake Baker was dominant in the running game.
Aside from a loss to Middlebury, the Bulldogs scored 40 or more points in every game.
BBA showed up just as much on the defensive side of the ball too, allowing only 11.8 points per game.
A lot changed for Cambridge heading into the 2018 season.
The team combined with Salem and made the move up to Class C, following a pair of Class D state championships.
Cambridge (10-1) made both transitions look seamless and fairly handily made its way to the state tournament.
In wintry conditions, the Indians fell to Ogdensburg Free Academy in the state quarterfinals.
In typical Indians fashion, Cambridge-Salem was led by a dominant running game.
Tommy English finished off a stellar career with a 1,527 rushing-yard season. Classmate Tyler Linendoll wasn't far behind with 1,127 yards rushing.
Defensively, junior Jordan Dean and senior Nate Genevick had more than 100 tackles.
The 2017 Cambridge football team was a history-making one.
The Indians became the first team in Section II history to win back-to-back state championships when they bested Maple Grove 26-14 in the Class D title game at the Carrier Dome.
From start to finish, Cambridge was dominant throughout the 2017 season.
With a midseason loss to Greenwich as their only blemish, the Indians scored 40 or more points in 10 games. Their best output came against Warrensburg, where they scored 75 points.
The two-headed running back combo of Tommy English and Jonas Butz nearly had 1,000 yards apiece.
Quarterback Zack Rowland tossed 13 touchdowns, nine of which caught by Brenden Holcomb.
A defense led by Holcomb, Nate Genevick and Max Hoffer gave opposing teams fits.
It's fair to say there was no questioning who the top dog was in 2017.
As dominating of a team as Cambridge has been throughout the 2000's, the Indians hadn't won a state title since 1999.
That changed in 2016 and it happened in the most dramatic of fashions.
In double overtime, Cambridge senior Maurice Seymore scored a touchdown to put the Indians down a point.
Indians coach Doug Luke had a decision to make. Does he go for two or take the extra point and tie?
I think you know what happened.
Cambridge converted the two-point conversion, and with it, took home the hardware in a 22-21 win.
An undefeated 13-0 season, the Indians were back on top of the high school football world.
2015 Burr and Burton
Burr and Burton made history in 2015, winning its first state title in program history.
BBA scored three unanswered touchdowns to down Bellows Falls and secure the title.
Quarterback Griff Stalcup threw two touchdowns in that game, giving him 36 for the season.
Carter Vickers and Sean Apps starred as Stalcup's top receiving threats all season long.
The Bulldogs' defense allowed only 11.6 points per game in their unbeaten 11-0 season.
2014 Hoosick Falls
The 2014 season marked the end of a tremendous three-year run by the Panthers. In 2012, they won the Class C title for the first time. In 2013, they only allowed 47 points and reached the state semifinal.
In 2014, Hoosick made the state championship game again, going undefeated before a gut-wrenching 20-14 defeat in the title game against Chenango Forks.
After its previous success, the team started the season at the Carrier Dome, beating Section IV's Owego in the opening game.
They ran through Section II competition, and then when they got to the state tournament, they topped Saranac Lake and Millbrook by a combined 53-6.
Garrett Wright led the way under center, throwing for 1,548 yards and 14 touchdowns. Colby Davendonis and Austin Pitt both went over 1,000 yards rushing and combined for 34 touchdowns.
The defense was on point as well, with Evan Hand leading the team with 127 tackles and Mark Hackett adding 122 tackles.
2013 Hoosick Falls
After winning its first state title the year before, expectations were high for the Panthers and they matched it.
They went 11-1 overall, outscoring opponents 405-47, but their championship hopes were dashed in a 14-0 loss to Section I's Rye Neck, the only thing stopping the Panthers from three straight Class C state title game appearance.
Garrett Wright, a junior that year who eventually attended St. John Fisher, threw for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also running for another 10. Brandon Hodges rushed for more than 1,000 yards, while Levi Brewster led the team in receiving.
The defense was one of the strongest in Section II history, allowing only 47 points — 33 before its semifinal loss — and racked up five shutouts. Brewster led the way defensively with six interceptions.
2012 Hoosick Falls
With 51 straight wins for Section VI's Hornell, Hoosick Falls had a huge test on its hands if it wanted to win its first state championship in program history.
The Panthers were ready for that challenge through, scoring 27 unanswered points in the first half of the title game to win 34-21.
The historic win finished off a historic season for Hoosick Falls, as it finished a perfect 13-0.
Every football team might have a hole somewhere, but those were hard to find with the 2012 group.
Brad Burns had an astounding senior season with 2,150 yards rushing and 37 touchdowns. He alone had 248 points scored.
Billy Pine, at quarterback, had 24 touchdown passes to just four interceptions.
The defense was stellar, allowing just 7.5 points per game.
The best team in program history to that point had won the big one.
- Cambridge's sectional championship in 2011 was its second of the decade, following a 2010 season, where the Indians were eliminated in the Class D quarterfinals.
Cambridge (11-2) got over that quarterfinal hump the next season, but ran into a buzzsaw in the state semifinals.
That buzzsaw was by the name of Saxon Smith, who rushed for 147 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-22 Chester win against the Indians.
The Cambridge running game, per usual, was dominant with a pair of 1,000 yard rushers.
Skyler Saunders had 1,597 yards, while Aaron Mulready had 1,241 yards.
Quarterback Ethan English had 15 touchdown passes, 10 of which to Will Bromirski.
Defensively, Bromirski had 12 interceptions for a Cambridge defense that allowed 14.5 points per game
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