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COLONIE: Garnet Raiders clinch Sectional playoff berth

Another key special teams play gave Colonie good field position in the second quarter. Eric Smith blocked a Niskayuna punt, which placed the Garnet Raiders on the Silver Warriors' 44-yard line. Two plays later, Duff faked a handoff and connected with Matt June on a 43-yard touchdown pass. DeVoe's extra point made it 27-0.

Colonie scored its final points in the third quarter. Poleto ran the ball four times for 75 yards during a 10-play, 94-yard drive " capping it with a 2-yard touchdown run that made the score 34-0.

Niskayuna's spread offense " which had been stymied by Colonie's defense in the first half " finally got going late in the second half. Justin McShane scored touchdowns of 17 and 21 yards to get the Silver Warriors on the scoreboard. McShane finished with 105 yards on 11 carries, while quarterback Danny Peters was limited to 82 passing yards.

The loss crippled Niskayuna's playoff hopes. The Silver Warriors would need a victory over winless Columbia Friday and a Shaker victory over Schenectady to forge a three-way tie for fourth place in the Liberty Division. Shaker (1-4, 1-5) was already eliminated from playoff contention following last week's 31-28 loss to Colonie.

Another team still searching for a class AA playoff berth is Christian Brothers Academy. The Brothers lost to Ballston Spa 21-16 Friday to remain in a three-way tie for fourth place with Bethlehem and Saratoga in the Empire Division.

The Brothers (2-4) took a 16-14 lead against Ballston Spa on Andrew Vivian's 11-yard touchdown pass to Justin Marini late in the second quarter, but Dan Decker's 2-yard scoring run in the third quarter put the Scotties (5-1) ahead for good.

CBA will try to claim the final playoff berth in the Empire Division when it visits Bethlehem Friday. A Brothers victory coupled with a Saratoga loss gives CBA sole possession of fourth place and an opening-round game against either Troy or LaSalle.""

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