SCHENECTADY — Monday night football at Schenectady High School was about making memories, and the Patriots have a bunch of good ones after closing out their “Fall II” season with a rousing performance at Larry Mulvaney Field.
Jakeim Edge took the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown and also scored on a 70-yard reception, and Schenectady reached the end zone on a lengthy run and interception return, too, in a 42-6 Class AA win over Saratoga Springs.
“We were on from the opening kickoff,” Schenectady coach Carm DePoalo said after his team completed a 3-3 campaign. “When the guys work hard, play together and do as they’re told, we’re going to win.”
Schenectady did not win, and scored its only points late, last week in a 42-8 Empire Division quarterfinal loss at Shenendehowa.
“I wish we won last week,” said 12th-grader Jah-Sean Haggray, whose 92-yard interception return for a touchdown was part of a 36-point first half for Schenectady. “This is a little better. The seniors get to go off this field with a win before we go off to college.”
It was a sophomore who kick-started the scoring frenzy, though, with Edge taking the ball up the middle and then breaking to his right as he outran Saratoga’s kickoff coverage unit.
“I told one of our coaches, “On the first one, I’m taking it to the end zone,’ ” Edge said.
He added: “This one was for the seniors. We had to work hard for them because it was their last game on this field.”
Before the first quarter was through, Edge had a second touchdown, leaping high to snag a Nik Sanchez pass around the Saratoga 45 before outrunning a pair of Blue Streaks to the end zone.
“He [Edge] has made some great catches for us,” DePoalo said. “He is going to be special.”
Schenectady’s defense got fumble recoveries from Joel Reyes and Haggray, and Haggray and Miguel Flores had interceptions. Moses Grant helped set the tone early for the Schenectady defense with a sack on Saratoga Springs quarterback Rodell Evans, and Robert Body also played a significant role with his hits.
Haggray brought back his pick 92 yards for a TD in the second quarter before scoring again soon after on a 10-yard run.
“We found a way to make big plays and got it done,” Haggray said.
Denzere Woolcock took an end-around and went 72 yards for Schenectady’s final touchdown late in the third quarter
“This was good,” DePoalo said. “It’s better than going off with a loss. There were a lot of positives we can point to heading into next season.”
Jaheim Hernandez blocked a punt that led to a first-quarter, 30-yard touchdown run by Chris Davis, and the senior blocked the extra point attempt after Evans scored Saratoga’s touchdown from one yard away in the third quarter.
Jake DeLuca was Saratoga’s top offensive performer with 95 rushing yards on eight carries, with all but nine of those yards coming in the second half.
All three of Schenectady’s wins came at home, the others against Colonie and Bethlehem.
“Everyone got to play. It was a good send-off for the seniors,” DePoalo said. “We’ll take a couple of weeks off and then get back at it.”
Saratoga (1-4) was on COVID-19 pause last week and did not play its scheduled Class AA Empire Division quarterfinal game with Guilderland.
Saratoga 0 0 6 0 — 6
Schenectady 22 14 6 0 — 42
Sch — Edge 75 kickoff return (Grant run)
Sch — Davis 30 run (run failed)
Sch — Edge 70 pass from Sanchez (Woolcock pass from Sanchez)
Sch — Haggray 92 interception return (run failed)
Sch — Haggray 10 run (Booth pass from Sanchez)
Sara — Evans 1 run (kick blocked)
Sch — Woolcock 72 run (pass failed)