BROADALBIN - There was plenty for the Homecoming crowd to cheer about Friday night at Broadalbin-Perth High School.
With fans filling the bleachers and lining the length of the fence surrounding the football field, the Patriots turned in a dominating performance, downing Cobleskill-Richmondville 33-15 to wrap up the regular season with a 6-1 record and a runner-up finish in the Section II Class B West standings.
"We were excited about homecoming," Broadalbin-Perth coach Jim Pelneau said. "Give credit to those guys from Cobleskill. They are tough kids and a good downhill running team. They busted a few big plays early and we stuck with it. I was proud of our guys effort tonight."
Broadalbin-Perth’s Andre Taylor runs for a first down during Friday’s Class B West Division game against Cobleskill-Richmondville at Patriot Field in Broadalbin. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Patriots capitalized on a pair of Cobleskill miscues to put their first points on the board.
With the Bulldogs driving, Biagio Bucciferro recovered a fumble after a pass completion from C-R quarterback Seth Billington to Matt Davenport.
B-P moved the ball into Bulldog territory before being hit with a penalty and was forced to punt the ball away.
They got their second break of the possession with Nate Gerhardt could not handle the kick, fumbling the ball and Damion Jabot pounced on the loose ball to give the Patriots possession on the Cobleskill 13 yard line.
Andre Taylor took care of the rest, breaking through to carry the ball in for the touchdown and a 6-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs went to work using big plays to move the ball down field. Billington hooked up with Kyle Kenyon for 15 yards and Dan Sperback for 25. On the first play of the second quarter Cobleskill took what would be its only lead of the game, 7-6, on a 48-yard touchdown run from Davenport and a point after kick from Zack Haskin.
"We just told the guys on the sidelines to calm down it was just one big play," Pelneau said. "They popped one because he [Davenport] is a very capable running back and he will do that. So we just calmed down and got back to doing what we wanted to do."
B-P went to work to regain the lead. After a penalty drove the Patriots back to their own 10 yard line, Taylor broke a 22-yard run before Morreale hit Mike Visco with a 31-yard pass. Visco added another 16 yards off a pitch from Morreale to the Bulldogs' 15. Taylor moved the ball 2 yards closer to the goal line before Luigi Magliocca dove into the end zone after catching a 13-yard pass from Morreale, who kicked the extra point to put the Patriots up 13-7.
The Patriots defense held on the ensuing Cobleskill possession and started their second scoring drive of the quarter on their own 35-yard line.
Morreale again hooked up with Visco for a big pass play, this time covering 55 yards to set the Patriots up with first and goal on the 8 yard line. A penalty moved the ball back to the 13 where Darius Reyes started his touchdown run up the middle and Morreale again kicked the extra point to extend the Patriots lead to 20-7.
With momentum on its side, Broadalbin-Perth successfully executed an on-side kick, recovering the ball on the Cobleskill 49.
Magliocca opened the drive with a 36-yard run and finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception from Morreale to build the lead to 26-7.
The Bulldogs looked to answer the score, driving from their 22-yard line deep into Broadalbin-Perth territory. However, the drive ended when Bucciferro intercepted Billington and the Patriots took a 26-7 lead into the locker room.
The Patriots extended their lead after a short punt set them up on their 45-yard line. Reyes took a shovel pass from Morreale on the first snap and weaved his way through the Bulldogs' defense for a 55-yard touchdown run. Morreale kicked the extra point to up the score to 33-7.
Cobleskill went to the air late in the third quarter to set up its final score of the game. Billington connected on a short pass to Kenyon who turned carried the ball to the 3-yard line before being tackled by Tyler Schmidt. Billington carried the ball in from the 2-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter and hit Ethan Miner with a 2-point conversion to put the score at 33-14.
Schmidt came up with a second big play in the final quarter when he intercepted a pass from Miner on the B-P 37. Taylor appeared to have his second score of the game when he carried the ball into the end zone from 50 yards out only to have the play called back for a block in the back.
"The only thing I would like to see us improve on is that we need to stop the penalties," Pelneau said. "That hurt us in some critical spots. We also need to get off the field on third down on defense. We get teams in third-and-long and they pop one for a first down. We need to get off the field better in those situations."
Taylor led the Patriots ground attack with 114 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Reyes had two touchdowns and 81 yards on 11 carries. Morreale finished with 121 yards passing and two touchdowns in a 7-for-12 performance.
The Patriots will now turn their attention to the Section II Class B tournament. B-P enters sectional play as the second seed from the West Division and will host its opening round game.
"Everyone is 0-0 and things get harder and harder now," Pelneau said. "We will take this game and enjoy it today and tomorrow. Then we get back to work on Sunday and Monday.
Broadalbin-Perth 33, Cobleskill-Richmondville 15
Cobleskill-Richmondville0 7 0 8 - 15
Broadalbin-Perth6 20 7 0 - 33
BP - Andre Taylor 13 run (kick failed), 3:07.
CR - Matt Davenport 48 run (Zack Haskin kick), 11:52.
BP - Luigi Magliocca 13 pass from Zach Morreale (Morreale kick), 9:25.
BP - Darius Reyes 13 run (Morreale kick), 4:58.
BP - Magliocca 7 pass from Morreale (run failed), 2:50.
BP - Reyes 55 run (Morreale kick), 4:23.
CR - Seth Billington 2 run (Ethan Miner pass from Billington), 11:55.