Patriots ready for rematch with Sabres

BROADALBIN – In Week 4 of the 2013 high school football season, the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots gave the Schalmont Sabres their toughest game of the season.

The game was close as the half with B-P trailing 7-3 but Schalmont capitalized on a pair of errors by the Patriots to escape with a 21-3 victory.

“We felt we did match them, but they were able to capitalize on our few mistakes, and that was the difference in the game,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Jim Pelneau said after the game.

A Section II championship will be on the line today when the two teams square off again in the Class B Super Bowl at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park. Kick off is set for 3 p.m.

Since the Sept. 27 meeting the Patriots made some adjustments and posted five straight victories by outscoring their opponents 177-78 and earned a rematch with Schalmont in the Class B championship game with a 41-32 victory over Cohoes.

The Sabres also made adjustments to their lineup and went on a five-game win streak that included four shut outs in a run where they put 230 points on the board and allowed only 8.

“The kids have been working real hard all week and are looking forward to the challenge [today], Pelneau said. “I am sure they [Schalmont] are not looking forward to seeing us again. We are very familiar with them. We have been through camps together and we are close with their staff as well.”

The Patriots kept the Sabres’ key offensive players, Devon Willis and Nick Gallo in check when they last met. Gallo ran the ball 14 times for 58 yards, while Willis had 17 carries for 72 yards.

Gallo has had a position change and now quarterbacks the Sabres. In his last four games, Gallo has thrown for 467 yards and eight touchdowns. In the Class C semifinal game against Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Gallo threw for 160 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing the ball 15 times for 118 yards.

The Patriots have been solid on offense all season with multiple running backs keeping defenses on edge.

In last week’s semifinal win over Cohoes, Andre Taylor carried the ball into the end zone three times in a 22 carry, 154 yard rushing effort. Darius Reyes also broke the 100-yard rushing mark, carrying the ball 14 times for 128 yards. Junior quarterback Zach Morreale also has been successful throwing the ball this year with six touchdown passes and 687 total yards. He has also brought another dimension to the team with his ability to kick field goals, which he has done four times this year as well as successfully kick 23 point afters.

“We both know what the other team wants to do and we just need execute better and play our game,” Pelneau said.

The Patriots reportedly will be without the services of middle linebacker Biagio Bucciferro for today’s game after he suffered a knee injury in practice.

“We are doing our best at this point,” Pelneau said of the team’s overall health. “Everyone has their nicks at this time of the season but overall our health is good.”

Pelneau said the team’s success has also brought the community and school body out in full support.

“I was blown away by the support we had down in Cohoes,” he said. “It was a great showing by our community and fans. They were loud and raucous and we are going to need that against Schalmont at Shenendehowa.”