Ravena excel in Class B football road win at Schalmont

ROTTERDAM — Without extensive experience to draw on, Schalmont football coach Joe Whipple realized this season’s roster would have to grow quickly, as the Sabers’ initial schedule required them to face teams back-to-back Class B playoffs from 2021. On Friday night, defending section champion Ravena proved too much for Schalmont to tame.

The Indians methodically marched down the field to produce a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter and opened the game in the second quarter with four touchdowns, the last three being capped by touchdown passes from senior quarterback Luke Misetich.

For the second week in a row, the Ravena starters played just one half as the Indians took a 48-6 victory over the Sabers.

“I would be stupid to say anything other than I’m happy,” said Ravena coach Gary VanDerzee.

The Indians (2-0 overall, 2-0 in the league) enjoyed a 275-45 yard advantage on offense in the first 24 minutes. Schalmont (0-2, 0-2) hampered himself with four turnovers plus a missed snap on a punt that provided Ravena with the ball deep in Sabers territory.

“We have to learn and improve. Sometimes you have to get your ass kicked…to see what you need to do to improve,” Schalmont coach Joe Whipple said. “We have to minimize mistakes. We couldn’t start training.”

VanDerzee and his team felt that after watching the Sabers’ record 29-12 loss to Gloversville last week, the way to attack Schalmont’s defense was on the perimeter. In his first two scoring drives that each lasted seven games, Ravena ran 11 times and each carry was designed to come out with a transfer to a moving man or via a throwing sweep.

Junior running back Dominik Paljusaj wrapped up the first drive of the game with a 10-yard touchdown run for the Indians and lead running back Aidan Lochner followed with a 1-yard touchdown dive to cap the second series as the Indians led 14-0 for a quarter. .

The second quarter turned out to be even better for the Indians. The team’s third practice ended with a one-yard touchdown run from Misetich, who fumbled the snap, recovered the loose ball, and shoved his way into the end zone. He then connected touchdown passes covering 7 and 3 yards to Jack McFerran and capped off his first-half performance with a 23-yard touchdown connection with Wyatt Algozzine.

Defensively, Ravena gave Ryan Shultis a 44-yard rush in the first quarter and one yard the rest of the first half.

“There are so many substitutes for speed and they fly to the football and aren’t afraid to kick,” VanDerzee said.

Schalmont avoided the shutout as quarterback Ryan Woodrow joined Elijah Smith on an 84-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Ravena backup quarterback Kaden Potter threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Algozzine. Later in the third quarter, Schalmont looked set to score again on another pass to Smith, but Paljusaj chased him from behind and released the ball and the Indians got it back.

“It was great commotion and exactly what you’re talking about. It was perfect,” VanDerzee said.

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