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Hold all playoff tickets in Colonie

Any talk about the Class AA playoffs following last Friday's Colonie-Shaker football game was premature.

Both teams still have a chance to make Sectionals, though one team's chances are more remote than the other team's chances.

Colonie (2-2 division, 3-3 overall) has the upper hand, thanks to last Friday's 27-19 Liberty Division victory over Shaker. All that the Garnet Raiders need is a win Saturday at Bethlehem to secure their spot in Sectionals.

Coincidentally, Shaker (0-4, 1-5) needs Colonie to beat Bethlehem and a victory of its own against Columbia Friday in East Greenbush to force a three-way tie for fourth place in the division, which would result in using quarter points to determine who makes Sectionals Shaker, Columbia or Bethlehem. And Colonie could fall out of the playoffs if it loses to Bethlehem (1-3, 2-4) and Columbia (1-3, 1-5) beats Shaker, which would create a three-way tie for third place.

We can't pack our bags to the playoffs just yet. We have to see what happens this weekend," said Colonie coach Mike Ambrosio. "If we take care of business Saturday, then we have nothing to worry about."

"It's a long shot, but it's still a shot," said Shaker coach Dennis Bender. "It's nice to have that feeling that we still have a shot."

Shaker had a shot to beat Colonie " several shots, in fact. The Blue Bison couldn't convert on a fourth-and-goal at Colonie's 1-yard line in the third quarter, and a bid for a touchdown in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter ended on an interception in the end zone.

"We left a couple of scores off the board," said Bender. "What it came down to is we still had a chance to tie the game at the end."

"We always wind up having a battle," said Ambrosio. "It's entertaining for the fans, but it's nerve wracking for the coaches."

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