BROADALBIN - Opening night was a bit of a roller-coaster ride, but in the end, the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots finished on top.
After failing to close out three first half trips into the red zone, the Patriots settled down, scored and got big defensive plays to defeat Scotia-Glenville 19-12 Friday night on Patriot Field at Broadalbin-Perth High School.
The Patriots saw their 13-0 lead evaporate as the Tartans pushed across a pair of touchdowns but could not collect the extra points thanks to the Patriots' defense blocking a point after kick and stopping a 2-point conversion run for a 13-12 advantage.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Mike Visco (21) follows Russell Dickson through the line for a big gain Friday night against Scotia-Glenville. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The defense stepped up its game in the fourth quarter with cornerback Jake Coveney making solo tackles on three attempted screen passes to set up the Patriots final score of the game, a 51-yard catch and run from Zach Morreale to Mike Visco to secure the Class B West victory.
"It is nice to be able to do that and win a game on defense," Broadalbin-Perth coach Jim Pelneau said. "Going back a few years it has been an issue for us and for the defense and for [Jake Coveney] in particular it was great. He is such a big, long, strong cornerback it is hard to get outside him."
The Patriots (1-0 overall, 1-0 West) moved the ball on their opening possession with Morreale connecting with Andre Taylor on a 21 yard pass reception in the drive.
However, B-P came up short when Morreale's fourth-and-4 pass was picked off at the goal line.
The Patriots continued to have success moving the ball early in the game. Darius Reyes provided the key play in B-P's second possession, scampering 42 yards before the drive stalled just outside the 10-yard line.
The third trip into the red zone was a success for B-P.
After completing passes to Tyler Schmidt, followed by an 11-yard run by Visco, Morreale faked out the Tartans defense and ran around the right side for the final 20 yards untouched for his first career varsity touchdown. Morreale kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
"We saw that they were in position for a big play and [Morreale] got a little excited because it was his first touchdown and that was expected," Pelneau said. "He did a good job in his first start against a really good team."
The Patriots defense came up with a big stop late in the second quarter.
Scotia-Glenville quarterback Dan Zeglen broke through the line for a big gain but had the ball jarred loose by Pierre LaPort. Schmidt scrambled and recovered the fumble on the Scotia 27.
Morreale and Schmidt hooked up on a 22-yard pass that was accompanied by a roughing the passer penalty to put the ball on the 7-yard line with 30 seconds remaining.
The Patriots moved the ball to the 2-yard line before time expired on the opening half.
"We've got to finish," Pelneau said. "We got there [red zone] and started making mistakes or getting penalties. It is week one and we have a lot of things to clean up."
The Patriots second score of the game came with 3:35 left in the third quarter.
Morreale connected with Visco on a third and nine play but as Visco was hit he attempted to lateral the ball to Luigi Magliocca. Magliocca received the ball but fumbled it. The ball rolled into the end zone before Magliocca recovered it for the touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
The Tartans fired back scoring a pair of unanswered touchdowns when Zeglen connected with Colin Evers on a 21-yard touchdown pass and finished a second drive with a 3-yard run.
After Zeglen's touchdown run, the Patriots defense made a big play, stonewalling Ramair Brown shy of the goal line.
The Tartans came up with the defensive stop they needed on the ensuing B-P possession but the Patriots defense dug in.
Zeglen ran successfully ran the ball for eight yards on two carries before dropping back, setting up a screen pass to Brown. Coveney read the play and dropped Brown for a yard loss.
Zeglen called Brown's number again on the next play and the result was the same as Coveney again read the play and dropped Brown for another loss, giving the Patriots possession of the ball on the 5-yard line with 4:37 left to play.
The Tartans defense moved the Patriots back to their own 49 before Morreale spotted Visco wide open along the left sideline and hit him for a 51-yard touchdown reception and a 19-12 lead with 3:05 to play.
The Broadalbin-Perth defense again came through, holding the Tartans in check and capped the game off with Schmidt picking off Zeglen's pass with 26 seconds remaining to lock up the victory.
"Give them [Scotia-Glenville] a ton of credit," Pelneau said. "They came out in the second half and I felt were physically wearing us down a bit and got some momentum. But our defensive line did a great job the whole game."
Morreale finished the game with 118 yards passing and running for a touchdown. Reyes finished with 66 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Broadalbin-Perth will take to the road for its next game, a divisional matchup against local rival Johnstown on Friday night at Knox Field.
Broadalbin-Perth 19, Scotia-Glenville 12
Scotia-Glenville0 0 6 6 - 12
Broadalbin-Perth0 7 6 6 - 19
BP - Zach Morreale, 20 run, (Morreale kick), 3:06.
BP - Luigi Magliocca, fumble recovery in end zone (kick blocked), 3:35.
SG - Colin Evers 21 pass from Dan Zeglen, (kick blocked), 1:31.
SG - Zeglen 3 run (run failed) 8:28.
BP - Mike Visco 51 pass from Morreale, (run failed).