By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Marlboro will face a New York State legend when it takes on Glens Falls in the semifinals of the Class B state football playoffs on Saturday at Faller Field in Middletown.
Senior Joe Girard III has made a big name for himself as an electric, high scoring guard. A prized recruit, Girard will play basketball at Syracuse next year, but the kid can also sling it. Girard, the state’s all-time leading scorer with 3,306 points on the hardwood, is Glens Falls’ playmaking starting quarterback.
Basketball might be where he gained fame, but he also received offers to play football from Tulane and UMass. Several other Division I schools, including Syracuse, expressed interest in Girard as a quarterback.
“Girard is an extremely talented kid and he can really throw the ball around the field,” Marlboro coach Brian Beck said. “He can really get the ball in there to his receivers in some tight spaces. Girard is a legit Division I athlete who can run around and throw the ball. We will focus on him all week.”
Girard completed 21 of 35 passes for 286 yards with two touchdowns to lead Glens Falls (9-2) to a 21-7 win over Beekmantown in the quarterfinals of the Class B state playoffs. He also ran for 88 yards. Glens Falls won the Class B state title in 2016, but lost to Pleasantville in the semifinals last year.
Girard, who is 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, committed to play basketball at Syracuse in October. He chose Syracuse out of a final list of schools that included Duke, Boston College, Notre Dame, Penn State and Michigan.
Girard is considered one of the top 3-point shooters in the 2019 college recruiting class. He averaged 50 points per game for Glens Falls last year. He also broke the New York State career scoring record previously held by Los Angeles Lakers forward Lance Stephenson.
“Girard is a very athletic kid,” Marlboro quarterback Sam Mongelli said. “I have seen him drop 50 points in a high school game, which is insane. His commitment to Syracuse shows how good he is and he’ s a great quarterback, too. He had a great arm and can use his legs. We are just going to try to keep him in the pocket and pick him off if we can.”
Girard has earned and deserves the advanced billing for Saturday’s semifinal showdown, but don’t forget that Marlboro also comes equipped with a talented Division I athlete. Mongelli is a battle-tested, star three-sport athlete who verbally committed to play shortstop at Sacred Heart two summers ago. He will sign his national letter of intent next week.
“(Girard) is an incredible athlete who has accomplished a lot,” Marlboro center Matt Jackson said. “But we have a Division I guy as well in Sam. I’ve seen Girard on film and he makes a lot of plays for his team. It will be a lot of work for us, but don’t bet against us.”
Added Beck: “Kids like Sammy and Girard play at a different level. When you have players like that, you are never out of it. Glens Falls is lucky to have (Girard) and we are lucky to have Sammy. He is an X-factor and makes things happen out of nothing.”