BROADALBIN - The first pass Broadalbin-Perth quarterback Gabe Mendez threw Friday night was intercepted.
For the night, he only completed four passes, but three of them went for touchdowns, as the Patriots bottled up the Hudson Falls Tigers, 35-12, at Patriot Field to open the season with their third straight win .
"My first pass was an interception so it was an awful read on my part," Mendez said. "The coaches just told me to bounce back and that's what I did. I told my line, 'I need some time to make this pass,' and it's hard to not make a pass when they give me that much time."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Anthony Visco waits for the ball as it sails over Hudson Falls’ Caleb Stevens during Friday’s Section II Class B West game at Patriot Field in Broadalbin. (The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo)
In this game, Mendez made as big of an impact on the defensive side of the football, especially when Hudson Falls tried to pass. He picked off two Hudson Falls passes, the second of which led to Broadalbin-Perth's third touchdown of the night, a 13-yard run by Tim Gordon, which gave the Patriots a 21-0 lead with 5:03 left in the first quarter.
"We were able to jump some routes," Mendez said. "We watched a lot of film this week. We knew what they liked to do and what routes that gave me and Anthony [Visco] a chance to get into positions where we could make big plays."
The Patriots also made big plays at the line of scrimmage, limiting running back Curtis Boddie to 66 yards. He did, however, score a pair of second-half touchdowns. The Patriots also recovered two Hudson Falls fumbles. The first was recovered by Pierre Laport and was immediately followed by Mendez's 40-yard touchdown pass to Visco, which gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead.
Darius Reyes also returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown, giving Broadalbin-Perth a 35-0 lead with 9:53 left in the third quarter.
"It was team defense," Broadalbin-Perth coach Jim Pelneau said. "That's what we preach to them. They all run to the ball, all 11 of them. They've been doing great at linebacker. The secondary comes back and smacks them. They're playing well right now."
Luigi Magliocca also made an impact both in the air and on the ground. He caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Mendez on the first play of the second quarter, giving the Patriots a 14-0 lead. He finished the game with 121 yards on six carries.
"He comes out on the edge and it looks like he's caught and he just breaks away," Pelneau said. "He's just a fast kid. He's worked hard, so we're glad he's having success."
The Patriots also showed quick-strike ability in the opening drive of the third quarter. After Magliocca picked up 54 yards on the first play, Mendez scored his third touchdown, a 21-yard strike to Andre Taylor, giving the Patriots a 28-0 lead.
"He's been doing it for us for the last two weeks," Pelneau said. "He's running the ball great and his throwing has improved 100 percent. He's very efficient for us."
The second quarter wasn't very efficient for either team as most of the second quarter was marred by penalties, which resulted in two untimed plays being run at the end of the second quarter.
After Mendez was sacked by the Tigers (1-2 overall, 1-2 Class B West) on the final play of the half, they were penalized for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
The Patriots took the extra play, but Mendez's pass was intercepted on the Tigers' half of the field and returned to the Patriots' 40-yard line.
However, a face-mask penalty against the Patriots extended the half by one more play, but the half ended when Hudson Falls' quarterback Steve Burch's pass fell incomplete.
"We came apart a little bit with some calls against us," Pelneau said. "We told them we wanted to come out and execute and we did."
The Patriots (3-0 overall, 2-0 Class B West) have now won their last three games by a combined score of 130-28 and will face their toughest test so far when they travel to Schalmont, who has won the last three Section II Class B championships.
"We're going to enjoy this win for the weekend then on Monday, we're going to watch film on them like we always do and forget about this game and move on," Mendez said. "We know what Schalmont likes to do. We went to their team camp in June. It's no secret what they like to do and it's really no secret what we like to do. It's going to be a really good game. From what I hear it's their homecoming. We are really pumped up and excited about that game."
Broadalbin-Perth 35, Hudson Falls 12
Hudson Falls 0 0 6 6 - 12
Broadalbin-Perth7 14 14 7 - 35
BP - A. Visco 40 pass from Mendez (M. Visco kick), 4:45.
BP - Magliocca 30 pass from Mendez (M. Visco kick), 11:52
BP -Gordon 13 run (M. Visco kick), 5:23
BP - Taylor 21 pass from Mendez (M. Visco kick), 10:54
BP - Reyes 42 fumble return (M. Visco kick), 9:53.
HF -Boddie 1 run (pass failed), 5:39
HF - Boddie 15 run (run failed), 4:05