ROTTERDAM — It got better for Schalmont’s football team Tuesday night, and then it got worse.
The Sabres overcame an early two-touchdown deficit before Hudson used a key pass to wrestle momentum back and never let it get away in a 42-30 win that decided second place in the Class B Reinfurt Division.
Hudson scored two quick touchdowns to begin the contest, and strung together four to pull away, that outburst triggered by a 64-yard scoring pass from Caleb Romano to Michael Green late in the second quarter.
“At the end of the second quarter, some guys were a little down,” Hudson coach John Davi said. “We got that long pass, and that gave us momentum. Going into the half, that helped. The guys came out for the second half all fired up.”
Though Schalmont (3-2, 4-3) was able to put together a three-touchdown run, penalties, turnovers and missed tackles hampered the Sabres in their third straight loss, one that left them with the Reinfurt Division’s No. 3 seed for the Section II tournament.
Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled for Oct. 5, but was postponed when cases of Coxsackievirus were confirmed at Schalmont.
“Embarrassing,” Schalmont coach Joe Whipple said. “It’s the most embarrassing loss we’ve ever had here. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
Schalmont will play at Schuylerville (North Division No. 2, 3-1, 5-2) Saturday in a sectional quarterfinal. Schalmont’s losing skid began with a 56-34 loss to Schuylerville, and last Friday, the Sabres lost to Cobleskill-Richmondville on a late field goal 22-21.
Schalmont’s four-game winning streak to start the season included a 14-6 triumph over Troy, the state Class AA champ in 2017 and 2016.
“Schuylerville took the wind right out of us,” Whipple said. “From Troy to now, we’re a different team.”
Hudson (4-1, 5-2) will host Hudson Falls (North Division No. 3-2, 4-2) Saturday to begin its postseason bid.
“That’s where we’re at our best, on our turf,” Davi said.
Hudson performed well on the grass Tuesday, particularly running back Josh Wallace, who delivered the Blue Hawks’ first two touchdowns and ran 24 times for 230 yards. In all, Hudson rushed for 336 yards.
“I think our guys up front pushed them around,” Davi said. “And Josh, he’s tough. Once you get a body on someone and give him a little space, he’s off to the races.”
Wallace broke off key runs throughout the second half, when Tyler Bleau, Zyonn Clanton and Charles Goodermote produced the Hudson touchdowns. Bleau and Clanton scored on runs of six and 26 yards in the third quarter, and Goodermore scored from 35 yards away in the fourth as Hudson’s advantage grew to 42-22.
“You can’t teach heart,” said a dejected Whipple. “You can’t teach effort.”
Wallace scored on a 6-yard run to cap Hudson’s game-starting drive, and Corey Topple intercepted Schalmont quarterback Shane O’Dell two plays into the Sabres’ first possession. Wallace scored two plays later on a 7-yard dash.
Schalmont’s answer came in the form of an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Darnell Green after that Wallace TD, and 39 and 65-yard touchdown passes from O’Dell to Gannon Strube in the second quarter.
“I never thought we had the game in control,” Whipple said. “They were pounding on us. We couldn’t stop the run.”
Or a long pass late in the half, which was followed by a two-point conversion run by Hudson lineman Spencer Goldstein. Momentum swung ever further Hudson’s way when Goodermote recovered a fumble on the kickoff to begin the third quarter, and Bleau cashed in four plays later.
Jake Sanford caught a third TD pass from O’Dell, covering eight yards, after the Hudson scoring spree.
Earlier this season, football games were postponed involving Gloversville and Amsterdam after cases of Coxsackievirus were confirmed at those schools. The postponed Sept. 7 Gloversville at Ballston Spa game was played Sept. 10. The postponed Sept. 21 Amsterdam at Broadalbin-Perth game has yet to be made up.
Hudson 12 8 14 8 — 42
Schalmont 7 15 0 8 — 30
H — Wallace 6 run (kick blocked)
H — Wallace 7 run (run failed)
S — Green 80 kickoff return (Amedore kick)
S — Strube 39 pass from O’Dell (Amedore kick)
S — Strube 65 pass from O’Dell (Sanford pass from Randle)
H — Green 64 pass from Romano (Goldstein run)
H — Bleau 6 run (run failed)
H — Clanton 26 run (Clanton run)
H — Goodermote 35 run (Bleau run)
S — Sanford 8 pass from O’Dell (O’Dell run)