SCHENECTADY — Nik Sanchez, Jakeim Edge and the rest of the guys on the Schenectady football team had the kind of homecoming game they were hoping for Friday night, one full of big plays, touchdowns and, in the end, a memorable victory.
Sanchez ran for the Patriots’ first touchdown and went on to throw four scoring passes afterward in a 50-30 Class AA win over Colonie at Larry Mulvaney Field.
Six Schenectady players reached the end zone, with Edge getting there twice on scoring bombs covering 45 and 62 yards.
“It was a show for everyone who came back,” said Edge, who had an interception to go with his two touchdown grabs. “We wanted to show that we still had heart and that we are sticking together.”
Schenectady (2-4 Class AA, 2-4 overall) ended a four-game losing streak last week when it knocked off Bethlehem 36-13 in a game that saw five different Patriots score touchdowns.
“That was the builder. We were down 7-0 and turned it around and took over,” Schenectady coach Carm DePoalo said of the win over Bethlehem. “We took that into our week of preparation, and we came into this game with a whole different attitude.”
Schenectady nearly matched last week’s point total in the first half Friday when it raced to a 34-0 lead by gaining the end zone on its first five possessions.
In the second half Schenectady held leads of 42-16 and 50-22 and could have finished with even more, but opted to knee out the clock after Damire Smith’s 34-yard scamper took the ball to the Colonie 1-yard-line.
“When we’re on, we’re on,” DePoalo said.
Sanchez led the way on offense with his passing, going 14 for 17 for 266 yards with his four scoring strikes and no interceptions.
“He had a good game last week, too,” DePoalo said of his junior quarterback. “I’ve watched him grow this year. He’s had ups and downs. He’s stepping up to be a leader for us.”
“My front [line] came out to play today and I’m trusting my receivers,” Sanchez said of his passing success
Edge was Sanchez’ leading receiver with five catches covering 156 yards. Aside from beating the Colonie defense before hauling in the long scoring passes, the junior made a sprawling 29-yard catch between two Garnet Raiders that helped set up a 25-yard scoring connection between Sanchez and Miguel Flores late in the second quarter.
“We have been playing since seventh grade and we’ve always had a good connection,” Sanchez said of Edge.
Sanchez completed passes to five different teammates and found Nino Robinson with a 23-yard pass for Schenectady’s final TD in the fourth quarter.
“I try to get all of my receivers touches every game,” Sanchez said. “I’m building more chemistry with them every day.”
Schenectady had success on the ground, as well, with Moses Grant rushing seven times for 124 yards and a touchdown as well as two 2-point conversions, and Smith rushing five times for 109 yards and a TD.
“I was satisfied with our performance,” said DePoalo, whose team saw its slim playoff hopes dashed later Friday night when Guilderland beat CBA.
AJ Lewis proved to be a handful for the Schenectady defense as the shifty junior running back picked up 120 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and caught four passes from John Kemp for 55 yards and another TD.
Kemp was 13 for 23 for 129 passing yards with his interception and scoring passes to Jose Dallesandri and Ben Ross, as well as Lewis.
Sanchez was among the defenders in Colonie’s way, playing inside linebacker to go with his quarterback duties.
“He’s a stud and he loves it,” DePoalo said. “He wants to play there, and he’s going to play there.”
Colonie 0 8 8 14 — 30
Schenectady 14 20 8 8 — 50
S — Sanchez 1 run (Grant run)
S —Edge 45 pass from Sanchez (pass failed)
S — Grant 56 run (run failed)
S — Smith 2 run (pass failed)
S — Flores 25 pass from Sanchez (Grant run)
C — Lewis 22 pass from Kemp (Small pass from Kemp)
C — Lewis 3 run (Kemp run)
S — Edge 62 pass from Sanchez (Robinson pass from Sanchez)
C — Dallesandri 3 pass from Kemp (pass failed)
S — Robinson 23 pass from Sanchez (Tyler pass from Sanchez)
C — Ross 8 pass from Kemp (Satin pass from Kemp)