RAVENA - The Broadalbin-Perth Patriots were able to move the football against a stingy Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk defense, twice reaching the red zone.
That is where the Indians' size and experience took over as they made two big momentum-killing stops en route to defeating the Patriots 30-0 in a Class B sectional quarterfinal game Saturday night at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School.
"Those were huge," Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk coach Gary Vanderzee said. "They score on either one of them, and they are right back in the game. 16-7 or 16-8 and it is a whole different ball game. Those were momentum breakers. They are a young club and you have to get on top, keep them down and not let them think they have a chance to get back in it."
Broadalbin-Perth quarterback Gabe Mendez (9) breaks through the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk line for a gain during Saturday’s Class B quarterfinal game at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Broadalbin-Perth coach Jim Pelneau complimented the Indians saying, "That was as good of a defense as we have seen all year. So they were able to clamp down on us pretty good once we got down in scoring position."
After stopping B-P (5-3 overall) on its first possession, the Indians (7-1 overall) opened its initial scoring drive on their own 43. Using the running combination of Fred Pechette and Dylan Keyer, Ravena drove the ball to the Patriots 8-yard line. The B-P defense dug in dropping Keyer and Pechette for losses before Conner Zeoli hit Keyer with a 12-yard touchdown pass. On the extra-point attempt, a high snap was brought down by holder Desmond Williams who ran the ball in for a two-point conversion and a quick 8-0 Ravena advantage.
The Patriots went to work to answer the Indians touchdown and successfully moved the ball deep into Indians territory with the help of Mike Visco's one-handed catch on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Gabe Mendez, putting the ball on the RCS 15.
Strong back-to-back runs from Tim Gordon took the ball to the 2-yard line. That was as close as the Patriots got as the Indians defense dropped Mendez for a 4-yard loss, stopped Luigi Magliocca for no gain and forced a pair of incomplete passes in the end zone to take over on downs on their own 6.
After an incompletion on an attempted screen pass, Zeoli hit Keyer along the sideline for a 93-yard catch and run that Magliocca stopped on the 1-yard line. Pechette finished the run with a 1-yard plunge and ran the two-point conversion in for a 16-0 lead.
The Patriots again worked to answer the score and moved the ball successfully with long pass receptions to Visco. Again, the Indians came up with a big red-zone stop when they recovered a fumble on their 13-yard line.
Ravena kept its time-consuming ground game in motion on the soft natural turf field, before B-P forced the first Ravena punt of the game with 1:49 left in the half.
The Patriots could not capitalize on their midfield starting position and punted the ball away to the Indians who ran the clock out for a 16-0 halftime advantage.
RCS kept its first-half momentum going on its first possession of the third quarter, driving from the B-P 42 to its 19 before Pechette broke around the right side for a 19-yard touchdown run. Tyler Thompson kicked the point after for a 23-0 lead.
This time, the Indians did not allow Broadalbin-Perth to attempt an answering drive as they got the stop they wanted on three-and-out.
Ravena only moved the ball 17 yards against the Patriots defense and punted the ball away, setting Broadalbin-Perth up on its own 24-yard line.
Mendez opened the drive with a 22-yard pass completion to Anthony Visco and the Patriots kept the ball moving forward until the opening play of the fourth quarter, when David Warnken intercepted Mendez's pass at the 5-yard line and returned it to the 25.
Ravena capitalized on the turnover, driving 75 yards in seven plays, culminating in a 37-yard touchdown strike from Zeoli to Warnken. Thompson again kicked the PAT for the final 30-0 score.
"The bottom line is they made more plays when they had the opportunities than we did," Pelneau said. "We have to finish drives and get off the field on third down. We weren't able to do that early in the game and that put us behind."
Mendez finished with 54 yards rushing for the Patriots, while completing 7 of 18 pass attempts for 100 yards and was intercepted once. Tim Gordon added 34 yards rushing on 10 attempts.
"We knew their defense might be the best one in the Bs and we had to loosen them up a little bit," Pelneau said. "Anthony and Mike Visco both made the most of their opportunities. They did not have a lot of them this year because we were able to run the ball. They did a great jobs we just need to finish drives and get off the field earlier. We kept fighting. Our guys never quit and I am proud of them for that."
Ravena advances to the Class B semifinals where it will face defending champion Schalmont. Broadalbin-Perth will play a crossover game against an opponent yet to be announced.
"I told the guys to walk of the field with their heads held high. The bottom line is Ravena made more plays than we did," Pelneau said. "Those five seniors can be proud of leading us back here [to sectionals] and we dressed as many sophomores as we could so they could experience this and use it for motivation for next year."
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 30, Broadalbin-Perth 0
Broadalbin-Perth0 0 0 0 - 0
Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk8 8 7 7 - 30
RCS - Dylan Keyer 12 pass from Conner Zeoli (Desmond Williams run) 4:32.
RCS - Fred Pechette 1 run (Pechette run) 11:57.
RCS - Pechette 19 run (Tyler Thompson kick), 9:59.
RCS - David Warnken 37 pass from Zeoli (Thompson kick) 9:25.