Cadets squash Patriots’ bid, get No. 2 seed

LaSalle Institute got everything it wanted out of Saturday’s football game at Schen­ectady, while th

LaSalle Institute got everything it wanted out of Saturday’s football game at Schen­ectady, while the Patriots were left in a regroup mode.

Garrett Delory threw three touchdown passes, Mitch Connolly kicked a pair of field goals and the Cadets turned in one of their best defensive efforts in a 39-13 victory at Larry Mulvaney Field that finalized the Class AA Liberty Division standings.

The win created a tie among LaSalle (3-2, 4-3), Schenectady (3-2, 3-4) and Shaker (3-2, 3-4) for second place in the division behind champion Columbia (5-1, 6-1), and after quarter points were tabulated as the tiebreaker, elevated the Cadets to the No. 2 seed for next week’s Section II playoffs.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday night at LaSalle, but was postponed due to poor field conditions caused by a torrential rainstorm, then moved to Schenectady’s turf.

“This gives us a good launching pad for the playoffs. I’m pretty happy,” said LaSalle coach Al Rapp. “Remember, this group of kids won one regular-season game last year.”

This year, they’re Section II’s highest-scoring Class AA team, and the Cadets displayed their speed and skill at the expense of a Schen­ectady group that was looking for a piece of the Liberty title.

“It was a little weird not playing and having the game switched to here,” said Delory. “When we came over on the bus, we were loose. We were in a good frame of mind and wanted to go out there and have some fun.”

Delory completed 16 of 21 passes for 297 yards with an interception and scoring strikes to Alex Daversa-Russo, Kevin Koberger and Marc Carroll. Koberger caught seven passes for 113 yards and ran for 40 more and a second touchdown, while Gabriel Smith ran for a score to go with Connolly’s field goals.

“He [Delory] missed his first pass, and that would have gone for a touchdown. After that, he was right on,” Rapp said of his senior quarterback. “He made plays.”

“There were several occasions where we collapsed the pocket, and he made those plays after scrambling away,” said Schenectady coach Jim Kramer. “He kept a lot of plays alive.”

LaSalle answered Schenectady’s first touchdown by Felix Rodriguez with 18 points, and rattled off 21 points after the Patriots got their second touchdown from Hassan Rainey.

“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes. That’s the most penalties we’ve had, and we had some turnovers. We just didn’t execute to our fullest, and we’re not going to use playing at 11 [in the morning] as an excuse,” said Kramer.

“These are high school kids and sometimes you have these days. It’s a pride challenge now. It’s a character challenge. We’re zero and zero, like seven other [playoff-bound] teams, and let’s see who can get to the final four.”

Schenectady will be the division’s No. 3 playoff seed and will travel to Christian Brothers Academy next week. Shaker will be No. 4 and go to Shenendehowa, and LaSalle, as the No. 2, will host Ballston Spa. Schen­ectady and Shaker tied in quarter points with 19, and the Patriots got the No. 3 because they beat the Blue Bison head-to-head. LaSalle finished with 23 quarter points.

In the other Class AA matchup, Columbia will host Guilderland. Section II tournament pairings will be finalized today.

“I was told we had to win the game and win two quarters to get the No. 2 seed,” said Rapp.

LaSalle won the first quarter Saturday on the last play, when, on third-and-six from the seven, Rapp sent in Connolly and the sophomore nailed a 24-yard field goal for a 9-6 lead.

“He [Rapp] just said, ‘We’ve got to have it. We need this,’” Connolly said. “I went in and kicked it.”

Connolly’s second field goal from 34 yards gave the Cadets an 18-6 third-quarter lead, and Schen­ectady quickly closed its gap on a 42-yard scoring run by Rainey. LaSalle responded with touchdowns on three straight possessions, on a 13-yard run by Koberger, a 74-yard pass to Carroll and a two-yard run by Smith.

“Our offense has been clicking well. We played some defense today, too,” said Rapp.

LaSalle had held only one opponent under 20 points before Saturday’s effort which included four sacks on Kwame Jarvis, and an interception by Brian King.

“The defense stepped up,” said Delory. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. When we had to have it, we did.”

LaSalle’s Iquan Ward ran for 93 yards, and Rainey, a midseason junior varsity call-up, led Schenectady with 97.

Schenectady 6 0 7 0 — 13

LaSalle 9 6 10 14 — 39

S — Rodriguez 10 run (kick failed).

C — Daversa-Russo 28 pass from Delory (kick failed).

C — Connolly 24 FG.

C — Koberger 12 pass from Delory (kick failed).

C — Connolly 34 FG.

S — Rainey 42 run (Aldhala kick).

C — Koberger 13 run (Connolly kick).

C — Carroll 74 pass from Delory (Connolly kick).

C — Smith 2 run (Connolly kick).

Categories: High School Sports

Leave a Reply