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Showdown set in Delmar

Guilderland meets Bethlehem with playoff berth on the line

Bethlehem’s RJ Diego gets ahead of a pair of Columbia defenders during last Thursday’s cross-divisional game in East Greenbush. The Eagles host Guilderland Friday with a Section II Class AA playoff berth on the line.

Bethlehem’s RJ Diego gets ahead of a pair of Columbia defenders during last Thursday’s cross-divisional game in East Greenbush. The Eagles host Guilderland Friday with a Section II Class AA playoff berth on the line. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— Penna and Leach said controlling the ball will be the key to success Friday night.

“You really have to plan on playing consistently well offensively so that you can put together a 70- or 80-yard scoring drive because they [Bethlehem] have the capability of breaking a big play,” said Penna.

“We just have to mix up our coverages and mix up our blitzes [on defense],” said Leach. “The big problem we have is their size up front. They’re bigger than us on the line.”

Whoever wins Friday night’s Guilderland-Bethlehem game won’t have to wait to see if they made the playoffs. Albany (0-5, 0-6) and Saratoga (1-4, 1-5) are out of the picture, which allows Bethlehem and Guilderland to focus strictly on each other.

“It’s like getting an extra playoff game,” said Leach.

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