The Niskayuna football team doesn't have to worry about playoff scenarios. The Silver Warriors know exactly where they're going to be seeded.
Niskayuna (3-2 division, 4-2 overall) clinched third place in the Liberty Division with a 32-6 victory over Colonie last Friday, which means a road game in the first round of the Class AA playoffs against the second-place team from the Empire Division.
The Silver Warriors can't climb to second place because they lost to LaSalle (3-1, 4-2) earlier this year, and they can't drop to fourth place because they beat Columbia (2-2, 3-3) in the season opener.
It's good to have a good sense of where we are, said Niskayuna coach John Furey.
The only thing Niskayuna doesn't know is who will be its first-round opponent. Shenendehowa (4-1, 4-2) currently occupies second place in the division, but could drop into a three-way tie for second with a loss to Ballston Spa (3-2, 4-2) and a Bethlehem (3-2, 3-3) victory over Christian Brothers Academy (1-4, 1-5) Friday.
"No matter who we get, I know it will be a tough road ahead because they are all good teams," said Furey.
Niskayuna has been playing some of its best football in the last two weeks, outscoring Colonie and Guilderland by a combined score of 74-13.
"Our defense has really stepped up," said Furey. "Our defensive line has stiffened up, and our linebackers have been doing a great job. Our secondary has been playing well all season long."
The Silver Warriors are hoping that defensive effort will continue Friday when they host Warwick Valley from Section IX in a non-league game, but it won't be easy. Like Niskayuna, Warwick Valley possesses a high-scoring offense that features a strong passing attack.
"They're pretty similar to us," said Furey. "They run a spread formation on offense, and they have a quarterback who can run."