Schalmont’s defense didn’t allow a first-half point in its first nine games. The streak ended early in Saturday’s Section II Class B championship tilt when Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk quarterback Tyler Swart fired a 27-yard touchdown pass to Connor Zeoli.
“That just set us off,” said Sabres senior Alberto Beltran. “We pretty much went crazy after that.”
Beltran returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to break a 7-7 tie, and Schalmont added five more touchdowns with its ground asault while stiffening on defense in a 48-13 victory at Schenectady’s Larry Mulvaney Field.
Schalmont’s second straight title-game win was even more impressive than the last, a 35-20 blistering of Lansingburgh on the same turf field.
“They kicked our butts,” said Indians coach Gary VanDerzee, whose 8-2 team had not lost to a Class B opponent before Saturday. “They’re a very solid football team. I was impressee with their physical play and speed. They’re a fitting Class B champion.”
Schalmont (10-0) set a school single-season record for victories and earned a regional date with Ogdensburgh Free Academy (10-0) Friday night at 7 at Shenendehowa. The Sabres reached the state semifinals a year ago before bowing to Nanuet.
“I think we can go to the [Syracuse Carrier] dome,” said Beltran, who scored Schalmont’s first two touchdowns and had one of his team’s two interceptions. “We mesh well. We’ve got a good team. Our motto is ‘finish,’ and that’s what we want to do.”
Schalmont finished off Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk with its slew of touchdowns and defensive might as the state’s No. 5 ranked team extended its winning streak against Section II foes to 18 games.
Touchdown runs by Jaren Ramundo in the second quarter and Edgar Marcano in the third increased the Sabres’ advantage to 28-7, and freshman Devon Willis added a pair of scoring jaunts to highlight the final stanza.
“These guys wanted to accomplish something special,” said Schalmont coach Joe Whipple. “They believed they could do it again. This group is special.”
The teams exchanged touchdowns through the air to begin the contest, with Joe Paskevich hitting Beltran for a 61-yard score on Schalmont’s opening possession before the Indians answered.
“These are proud kids,” said Whipple. “When they scored on us, that fired them up.”
Beltran went 90 yards for his touchdown after Zeoli’s scoring grab.
“Everyone did their job blocking,” said Beltran. “I saw a seam, cut up and broke it.”
“That’s Alberto,” said Whipple, who saw the senior end catch three passes for 86 yards. “He’s an electric player.”
Ramundo scored on a fourth-down, two-yard run to finish off a 12-play, 82-yard march in the second quarter as Schalmont began to exert its authority. Ramundo had runs of 13 and 14 yards during the drive, and finished with 73 yards on 16 carries as part of the Sabres’ balanced offense.
Paskevich was 6-for-9 passing for 187 yards with his TD and no interceptions, and he ran for 48 yards on 15 carries. Marcano made two receptions covering 98 yards.
“It’s awfully hard to defend a team with so many weapons,” said VanDerzee. “We knew we had to make plays defensively, and we weren’t able to. We didn’t tackle well.”
Marcano ran eight yards for a third-quarter touchdown, with the senior hauling in a 34-yard pass just before scoring. Marcano’s 64-yard reception led to a fourth-quarter touchdown run by Nick Reali before Willis added his two scoring efforts.
In between those, Swart tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to standout Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk back Corey Watts.
Watts ran for 33 yards on his first carry of the game, but managed 78 yards in all, and six in the second half against the relentless Sabres defense.
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk has lost four straight sectional title games since its 59-28 triumph over Lansingburgh in 2004.
Schalmont’s win streak inside Section II includes a 13-12 win over the Indians last season. The Indians entered Saturday’s game ranked No. 19 in the state.
Schalmont 14 7 7 20 — 48
RCS 7 0 0 6 — 13
S — Beltran 61 pass from Paskevich (Murphy kick).
R — Zeoli 27 pass from Swart (Hoose kick).
S — Beltran 90 kickoff return (Murphy kick).
S — Ramundo 2 run (Murphy kick).
S — Marcano 8 run (Murphy kick).
S — Reali 7 run (Murphy kick).
S — Willis 2 run (Murphy kick).
R — Watts 7 pass from Swart (run failed).
S — Willis 51 run (kick failed).
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Categories: High School Sports