Gallo, Sabres overwhelm Bills

Vince Gallo ran for 183 yards and four touchdowns as the Schalmont beat Johnstown, 39-0, in a Class

Friday night’s winning numbers were 50, 56, 72, 77, 90 and 92.

Those uniform numbers, worn by the offensive line of Schalmont, helped Vince Gallo run for 183 yards and four touchdowns as the Sabres beat Johnstown, 39-0, in a Class B West Division football game.

“Our offensive line is going

crazy,” said Gallo of his big buddies, who get little attention, but are a key reason the Sabres are 3-1 after their third straight win. “They make things a lot easier for all of us in the backfield. I can’t give them enough credit.”

Seniors Shawn Pryba, Elbasan Syla, Brian Ellis and Coleman Jennes, along with 11th-graders Shawn Schellenger and Ethan Berberich, continually got Gallo and the other Schalmont runners into the second level of the Johnstown defense, resulting in numerous running plays of 10 yards or better.

Gallo, who carried 19 times, broke off five runs of 20 yards or better.

“The offensive line is strong, they’re physical, they’re fast and they’re smart,” said Sabres coach Mike DiCocco, whose team played without captain Mark Waite, a big part of the offensive line. “We have our center [Pryba] at times calling the direction of the play, because he understands what’s going on.

“They know who to trap, who to kick out, if they’ve got to change it on the fly, they’re very good at that. And Gallo runs very hard, and makes things happen after he gets to the line.”

The Sabres have already matched their win totals of the last two seasons. They last won four games in 2003, going 4-5.

While the improvement of the line and the Sabres’ success goes hand-in-hand, neither has been by accident.

“We had a lot of commitment in the offseason with our workouts and training,” said Gallo, who scored on runs of 27, 26, 1 and 30 yards. “Coach DiCocco has encouraged us to get in the weight room and work in the offseason. It’s paying off in our first winning season in a while.”

“This team was very committed in the offseason, and I think that shows,” said DiCocco. “And we’ve got some athletes making plays.

“This group is special because they have strong ties to one another, they respect each other and they understand the concept of a team.

“Vinnie Gallo would not say anything about his play until he said something about his offensive line.”

“It’s extremely different,” said Gallo, of getting to the line and seeing open space. “We never had those blockers who could physically push people out of the way and

create holes like this.”

Gallo did almost all of his damage in the first half, picking up 39 yards as the Sabres covered 68 yards on four plays to make it 33-0 on the opening possession of the third quarter.

Senior quarterback Kyle Mc­Kelvey turned in an efficient game directing the offense. He got a

bonus on his team’s final possession of the first half, when his long pass down the right sideline bounced off Dan Bonitatibus’ helmet and into the hands of Ryan Hyde, who was in the vicinity and who sprinted the final 10 yards into the end zone after grabbing the carom.

McKelvey also founds Jennes with a 26-yard pass that set up Gallo’s one-yard TD run.

“He’s a smart football player,” DiCocco said of McKelvey. “He knows how to control the tempo. He’s so even-keeled that it radiates into the kids.”

The Sabres have put up at 30 points in each game since losing their opener, 20-16, at Albany Academy, and knocked off West favorite Hudson Falls, 30-19, a week ago.

The Sabres defense was also tough Friday, with Mark Belles getting a pair of sacks and Madison Decerce intercepting a pass.

“They’re having fun and enjoying their success, and they’re trying to maintain a level head about it,” said DiCocco, whose team visits

Cobleskill-Richmondville in six days.

“We’re off to a good start, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you finish strong. These kids understand that.”

Johnstown 0   0 0 0 —  0

Schalmont 8 18  7 6  — 39

S — Gallo 27 run (Ramundo run).

S — Gallo 26 run (run failed).

S — Gallo 1 run (run failed).

S — Hyde 49 pass from McKelvey (kick failed).

S — Gallo 30 run (Gaughan kick).

S — Ramundo 4 run (kick failed).

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