Sabres are feeling Super (with photo gallery)

Schalmont came into this year’s Section II football tournament without a single victory on its playo

Schalmont came into this year’s Section II football tournament without a single victory on its playoff resume.

Now, the Sabres have three, capping a history-making run Saturday with a touchdown splurge against a perennial area power.

“This is truely amazing,” sen­ior quarterback Vince Gallo said after scoring two touchdowns in his team’s 35-20 Class B championship-game triumph over of Lansingburgh. “I think everyone’s in shock right now.”

Schalmont stunned Lansingburgh with touchdowns on each of its first four drives — the first three scores coming in a span of 10 plays — and earned its second payback win of these playoffs on the turf at Schen­ectady High School.

DaShawn Banks also scored two touchdowns, Jaren Ramundo had the other and J.J.Murphy was perfect on extra points as the Sabres set a program record with eight wins. The eight have come consecutively after season-opening setbacks against Albany Academy (35-18) and Lansingburgh (42-29).

“There was no doubt in my mind because we work hard and believe in each other,” said first-year Schalmont coach Joe Whipple. “I really thought this was going to happen.”

“Coach said if we play football like we know how to play football, we’ll come out with a win,” said Banks, a senior running back who rushed for 98 yards on 12 carries. “We just stepped it up.”

And they stepped all over a Lansingburgh (8-2) team that was making its seventh title-game appearance in eight years, and came in with a No. 10 state ranking. The Knights, outgained, 243-57, in first-half rushing and passing yards, were denied their fifth crown.

“The better team won. They came out on fire, and we came out flat,” said first-year Lansingburgh coach Al McNall.

Schalmont (8-2) lost to Hudson by a point in last year’s sectional quarterfinals, and also lost playoff games in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The two-time Class B West Division winners topped Albany Academy in the quarterfinals (32-12) and then Cohoes (55-14) before Saturday’s superb championship showing.

Schalmont will meet Section VII representative Beekmantown (9-0) Friday night at 7 at Plattsburgh High School in its first state regional game. Beekmantown advanced with a 41-15 win over Peru.

“Schalmont improved from day one, week to week,” McNall said of the state’s No. 17-ranked team. “We knew this was going to be a test, and Joe had them ready.”

“After we lost that playoff game last year, I told myself, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again,’ ” said Gallo, who ran for 135 yards on 30 carries and upped his school-record touchdown total to 26. “This is great. This is a great day for Schalmont. DeShawn Banks just came over to me and said, ‘Wake me up.’ ”

Banks raced 64 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the game, and Ramundo took an end around 38 yards to the end zone on the Sabres fourth play. That touchdown came after the Knights were halted on a fourth-and-two run attempt from their own 39.

A short punt set up Schalmont’s third touchdown, with Gallo delivering from two yards away to cap a six-play, 39-yard sequence. Alberto Beltran and Gallo had back-to-back 14-yard runs to start that drive.

“We just ran our stuff,” said Whipple, whose Sabres finished with 375 rushing and pasing yards. “Nothing different than the last time. We just ran it better.”

Beltran’s interception set up Schalmont’s fourth touchdown, a five-yard scamper by Banks three plays into the second quarter.

“That was really shocking,” Gallo said of the touchdown burst. “The team really showed up.”

Lansingburgh cut into Schalmont’s lead in the third quarter when T.J. McLaughlin found Kynan Vandenburgh with a 21-yard touchdown pass, and Schalmont answered immediately on a 33-yard scoring dash by Gallo. McLaughlin threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Vandenburgh and a 48-yard scoring pass to Terrance Kemp in the fourth quarter.

Quincy Michael intercepted two passes for Lansingburgh, the Class B Reinfurt Division champion which knocked off Hudson Falls last week (52-35) and Broadalbin-Perth (35-0) the week before.

Lansingburgh  0 0 6 14 — 20

Schalmont 21 7 7  0 — 35

S — Banks 64 run (Murphy kick).

S — Ramundo 38 run (Murphy kick).

S — Gallo 2 run (Murphy kick).

S — Banks 5 run (Murphy kick).

L — Vandenburgh 21 pass from McLaughlin (kick failed).

S — Gallo 33 run (Murphy kick).

L — Vandenburgh 47 pass from McLaughlin (run failed).

L — Kemp 48 pass from McLaughlin (Kemp pass from McLaughlin).

Class C


STILLWATER — In a battle of Panthers, Quinn Rasmus kicked a 39-yard field goal with 2.9 seconds left to lift Hooisick Falls (10-0) over Chatham (9-1). Section II scoring leader Josh Keyes scored on a four-yard run, and Tanner Niles tossed a TD pass to David Coon for Chatham. Alex Hanson scored on a one-yard plunge, and Tanner Williams caught a 34-yard scoring strike from Tanner Niles for Hoosick Falls.

Chatham 7  0 0 7 — 14

Hoosick Falls 0 14 0 3 — 17

C — Coon 10 pass from Niles (Coon kick).

HF — Williams 34 pass from O’Brien (Rasmus kick).

HF — Hansen 1 run (Rasmus kick).

C — Keyes 4 run (Coon kick).

HF — Rasmus 39 FG.

Class D


CLIFTON PARK — Rensselaer (9-1) erupted for 28 second-quarter points and repeated as sectional champion. Mico De Los Santos scored three touchdowns for the Rams, who also got scores from Tim Foust, Jashem Hamilton and Jarrid Willinson in beating Greenwich (7-3) for the second time this season. Tyler Pruiksma scored twice for the Witches.

Greenwich 0  0  8 16 — 24

Rensselaer 0 28 14  0 — 42

R — De Los Santos 54 run (Foust kick).

R — Hamilton 11 run (Hamilton run).

R — De Los Santos 7 run (Foust kick).

R — Foust 1 run (kick failed).

R — De Los Santos 8 run (Foust kick).

R — Willinson 25 pass from Foust (Foust kick).

G — James 8 pass from Giroux (Pruiksma run).

G — Pruiksma 1 run (Pruiskma run).

G — Pruiska 33 run (McCormick pass from Giroux).

Categories: High School Sports


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