ROTTERDAM — Years ago when the Schalmont and Mohonasen football teams met on a regular basis, it was always referred to as one of those games where you throw out the records.
That still stands.
Ryan Shultis kicked a go-ahead 32-yard field goal with just over four minutes left, and the Sabres did all of their scoring in a wild fourth quarter to beat the Mighty Warriors 17-8 in a Class B matchup Friday night.
Schalmont (7-1) came in with a five-game win streak and a playoff berth already locked up, while Mohonasen (2-5) was going nowhere except for a crossover game. Both teams, though, played their final league contest like there was a sectional spot on the line.
“It’s still alive,” Schalmont coach Joe Whipple said after the longtime rivalry once known as “The Route 7 Rumble” was renewed. “I told the kids it’s going to be emotional. They [Mohonasen] are going to play hard. You’ll get punched in the mouth.”
Mohonasen scored in the first quarter and spent the next frames two holding off Schalmont in a determined effort on senior night.
“I am so proud of the toughness we displayed,” Mohonasen coach John Gallo said. “We’re going to hold onto that.”
Mohonasen was holding onto an 8-6 lead when Shultis drilled his go-ahead field goal with 4:07 left. The junior eyed his drive as it sailed through the uprights, and pumped his fist.
“I knew it was a big point in the game,” said Shultis, who also plays linebacker for the Sabres.
“He’s the man,” Whipple said of Shultis, whose extra point was the difference in Schalmont’s 29-28 win over Glens Falls in the Class B title game last season. “Every day we do field goals, and he’s good. You want to win a championship, and you’ve got to have a kicker.”
Mohonasen went nowhere in four plays after the field goal and Schalmont gained possession at the Mighty Warriors 20. Mohonasen had no time outs left, and let Schalmont’s Sean Willis score uncontested on the Sabres first play with 2:35 left. Schalmont then made it a two-possession game when Willis took an end-around pitch and threw to Max Pratt for a two point conversion.
“We had to do what we had to do,” Gallo said of giving up the uncontested TD to give his team a chance to come back late. “If we stopped the two it would have made things a lot more interesting.”
Mohonasen’s final bid ended near midfield.
“We were trying to send the seniors off on a good win,” Gallo said. “For 42, 43 minutes we executed and the guys did what we asked.”
“We hadn’t played them in a long time,” Shultis said after the first meeting between the teams since a 34-0 Schalmont win in late fall of 2000. “It’s a crosstown rivalry. It gives us more momentum going into the playoffs.”
Mohonasen quarterback Don Carpenter scored on a 2-yard run late in the first quarter and then the junior ran for a 2-point conversion.The second quarter included a fourth-down stop by the Might Warriors and an interception by Mohonasen’s Anthony Pacifico, and the third quarter included a 43-yard field goal attempt by Shultis that had the leg but sailed wide left.
“Forget the first one,” Shultis thought before his second kick. “And fix what I did wrong.”
Schalmont got on the board when Pratt hauled in a 59-yard touchdown pass from Noah O’Connor 2:30 into the fourth quarter, that coming on a third-and-23 play just after a holding penalty denied a 43-yard scoring grab by Pratt.
“We saw a matchup,” Whipple said of going to Pratt on consecutive long pass plays. “Max has been answering the bell all year. I think he’s the player of the year in Class B.”
After Pratt’s TD, Willis bobbled and dropped a 2-point pass from Michael Motyka in end zone traffic.
Carpenter led all rushers with 84 yards on 21 carries. Pratt caught three passes for 94 yards.
“We want to build a culture. Tonight was a big step that way,” Gallo said. “I think everyone who saw this is going to say, ‘Wow.’”
Schalmont 0 0 0 17 — 17
Mohonasen 8 0 0 0 — 8
M — Carpenter 2 run (Carpenter run)
S — Pratt 59 pass from O’Connor (pass failed)
S — Shultis 32 FG
S — Willis 20 run (Pratt pass from Willis)