FONDA - Although the Fonda-Fultonville Braves jumped out to an impressive 3-0 start this season, they had not been challenged.
Saturday, they faced long-time rival Watervliet in their first big test of the season.
And they passed . . . or rather ran.
Fonda-Fultonville’s Dylan Peterson blocks the punt by Watervliet’s Tyler Touzin (8) during fourth-quarter action Saturday at John Boshart Field at Fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Runningback Pat Hart pounded out 208 of Fonda-Fultonville's 262 rushing yards to lead the Braves to a solid 27-7 victory over the Cannoneers Saturday at John Boshart Field at Fonda-Fultonville High School.
"I am really pleased," Fonda-Fultonville coach tom Carpenter said. "I wish we could have come out better in the second half and drove the ball, but you get a penalty and it kind of switches things a little bit. But we bounced back and got a stop and kind of took control so I was happy with that."
The Fonda-Fultonville defense made their presence felt on the Cannoneers' first possession forcing a three-and-out.
The Braves' offense used a balanced combination of running and passing to move the ball 65-yards in eight plays, culminating in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Russ Williams to Will Turner for a quick 6-0 lead.
Watervliet made progress on its second possession, moving into Fonda-Fultonville territory for the first time, but could not sustain the drive and punted the ball away.
Fonda-Fultonville upped the score to 12-0 on its first drive of the second period.
This time Hart carried the ball on seven of the 12 plays from scrimmage for 49 of the 63 yards in the drive that finished with Anthony Sinicropi plowing in from 2-yards out.
Watervliet again answered with an offensive surge.
Starting on their 35-yard line, Watervliet drove to the Fonda-Fultonville 16 in five plays. Quarterback Taylor Dockstader hit Tyler Touzin with a pass in the corner of the end zone but Touzin could not get his feet down in bounds to complete the pass.
The Braves' pass rush led by Jack Derby and Mitch Hayes dropped Dockstader for a nine-yard loss and an illegal procedure penalty on the en suing play dropped the Cannoneers back to the Fonda-Fultonville 30. Zach Nizet moved them back two more yards with his sack on Dockstader setting up a fourth-and-26.
Dockstader connected with Tyler Smith for a 12-yard gain but it was not enough and the Braves took over on their own 20-yard line.
Eight plays later Williams nit Brandon Baker in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown and then completed a pass to Turner on the 2-point conversion to give the Braves a 20-0 halftime lead.
"They [Fonda-Fultonville] played well and smacked us in the mouth early," Watervliet coach Brian Hoefer said. "They did some things early that bothered us and we didn't really execute very well early. We emphasized all we that we needed to stop [Hart] and give ourselves a chance. At any level when you are able to run the ball with success it eats up the clock."
The Cannoneers built some momentum early in the third quarter when Jake Lindsay intercepted a Williams pass at the Fonda-Fultonville 40.
Paul Gordon broke a 33-yard run to put Watervliet on the the one-yard line but it took two plays before the Gordon was able to punch the ball in from the three and Nikita Shuvalov kicked the extra point to put the score at 20-7.
The Braves' defense again set up their final score of the game.
Stopping Watervliet on their own 31 and forcing a punt, Dylan Peterson broke through the line and blocked Touzin's kick and Nizet recovered the ball on the Watervliet 16.
Four plays later, the Braves rewarded Peterson for his effort as the line opened a hole and Peterson ran the ball in from three yards out for the touchdown. Hart kicked the extra point to up the score to 27-7 with 9:25 left to play.
The Braves did not allow the Cannoneers a chance to answer the play as Logan Miller fumbled the en suing kick off and Ben Bogan recovered the loose ball on the Watervliet 20.
This time the Cannoneers defense held its ground, forcing the Braves to punt the ball in a fourth-and-25 situation. Sinicropi's kick sailed into the end zone and Watervliet took over on their own 20.
Watervliet mounted a 12-play drive that stalled on the Fonda-Fultonville 30, giving the Braves possession with 5:10 remaining.
Hart sprinted for 35 yards in three carries and Sinicropi ran the ball 21 yards in three carries before the Braves went into their victory formation with Williams taking a knee on the final two snaps to end the game.
"Last week we played real nice team defense and today we did the same thing. I am real happy with the effort from all the kids on defense," Carpenter said. "We had a good team offense and mixed in the pass nicely with the run. I think the kids up front doing what they are supposed to do and [Hart] running hard made a good combination."
Hart finished with 208 yards rushing on 27 carries, while Sinicropi had 54 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Williams finished the day with a 5-for-20 passing performance for 70 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Fonda-Fultonville 27, Watervliet 7
Watervliet0 0 7 0 - 7
Fonda-Fultonville6 14 0 7 - 27
FF - Will Turner 25 pass from Russ Williams (kick failed)
FF - Anthony Sinicropi 2 run (pass failed)
FF - Brandon Baker 12 pass from Williams (Turner from Williams).
W - Paul Gordon 3 run (Nikita Shuvalov kick).
FF - Dylan Peterson 3 run (Pat Hart kick).
Canajoharie 28, NDBG-SCC 6
SCHENECTADY - Dillon Veeder pulled down three catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars returned to the win column Saturday.
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons/Saratoga Catholic Central pulled to within a point early in the third quarter but Canajoharie (3-1 overall) put up three unanswered scores including a 87 yard scoring pass from Jace Fox to Veeder, to put the game away.
The Canajoharie defense recorded four sacks, a fumble recovery and an interception in the victory.
Canajoharie 28, NDBG-SCC 6
Canajoharie7 0 14 7 - 28
NDBG-SCC0 0 6 0 - 6
C - Dillon Veeder 35 pass from Jace Fox (Jordan Griswold kick).
NDBG-SCC - David Haskell 23 run (kick failed).
C - Nathan Ferguson 6 run (Griswold kick).
C - Veeder 87 pass from Fox (Griswold kick).
C - Zach Folts 1 run (Griswold kick).
Dolgeville 48, Sauquoit Valley 26
SAUQUOIT - Jason Nastovski rushed for six touchdowns to give the Blue Devils the Section III Class D East victory Friday.
Dolgeville (4-0) rallied from an early 14-0 deficit to take a 21-20 halftime lead.
The blue Devils took advantage of a third-quarter turnover with Nastovski plowing in from 2 yards out to take the lead.
The senior running back put the game out of reach with a nine-yard run capping off a 33-yard drive after the Indians fumbled the en suing kick off.
Nastovski finished with 155 yards rushing
Dolgeville 48, Sauquoit Valley 26
Dolgeville7 14 12 15 - 48
Sauquoit Valley14 6 0 6 - 26
SV - Jason Simon 46 run (Tyler Stuttard kick).
SV - Ethan Harris 53 pass from Korey Lewandrowski (Stuttard kick).
D - Jason Nastovski 8 run (Greg Pelan).
D - Nastovski 2 run (Pelan kick).
SV - Zach Freeman 25 pass from Lewandrowski (kick).
D - Kasey Foster 38 interception return (Pelan kick).
D - Nastovski 2 run (kick failed).
D - Nastovski 9 run (kick failed).
D - Nastovski 1 run (Johann Doerrer pass from Reid Johnson).
SV - Ethan Evans 6 pass from Lewandrowski (pass failed).
D - Nastovski 20 run (Pelan kick).