SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Entering its’ fourth season as a combined program this year, one thing Hoosick Falls/Tamarac had never done is beat perennial Class C power Schuylerville. That changed Friday night.
The Wildcats recorded the greatest win in program history, traveling to Schuylerville, the No. 2 ranked team in New York State for Class C, and knocking off the previously undefeated Black Horses 19-7 in our 1st & 10 “Game of the Week.”
“I said “we gotta get over the hump,” and to get over the hump, you gotta beat a team like Schuylerville, or Fonda. This felt good; they got over the hump,” said Hoosick Falls/Tamarac head coach Erick Roadcap. “I’m proud of these kids. They didn’t quit. It was a game right to the end; they kept going, and I can’t be more proud of them. I really can’t.”
The Wildcats came out on the attack from the jump. They opened up with a play-action pass on their first play from scrimmage, and junior quarterback Sam Fauler dropped a deep ball right in the bucket to a streaking Richie Stifter Jr. – a 72-yard hookup that gave Hoosick Falls/Tamarac the early 6-0 edge.
But Schuylerville responded two possessions later in true Black Horses fashion, eating up yards on the ground, and with zeros on the clock at the end of the first quarter, Martin Flanders Jr. powered ahead for a three-yard rushing touchdown. An ensuing Connor Battle PAT not only claimed Schuylerville a 7-6 edge, it also helped towards the team’s quarter-points total, which will likely come into play to decide seeding for sectionals.
The score remained 7-6 until halftime, and Schuylerville had stifled the Wildcats’ offense ever since that home run ball to start the game. But on its’ second drive of the third quarter, Hoosick Falls/Tamarac started to find a rhythm again. Just outside the red zone, the coaching staff turned Fauler loose once more, and he lofted a jump ball towards the end zone that was brought down by junior wide receiver Carson Glover for a 28-yard score, reclaiming the Wildcats the advantage at 12-7.
After Schuylerville’s Landen Cumm took the ensuing kickoff deep into enemy territory, the Black Horses were set up at the 14-yard line just five plays later. Cumm took a first-down handoff up the middle of the Wildcats’ defense, but while fighting for extra yardage, the ball came free, and Stifter Jr. was right there to pick it up. He returned the fumble 92 yards to the house, giving Hoosick Falls/Tamarac a two-score edge that it would never relinquish.
The Wildcats held Schuylerville scoreless in the fourth quarter, sealing the 19-7 victory.
“We had one of the best weeks of practice we’ve had all year,” said Fauler after his two-touchdown performance. “We’ve been preparing for this since pretty much Week 1 – just waiting for it; being ready. The weeks (leading) up to it were just crazy.”
“This means a lot,” added Stifter Jr., who, outside of his two long touchdowns, had a number of pass deflections in the Wildcats’ secondary. “This is our biggest rivalry. We had to come out here and do our best, and we did that; we executed. After Fonda, we were kind of down. We were kind of doubting ourselves. But now, our hopes are up; we’re feeling good. We’re ready for the playoffs.”
And the race to those playoffs became increasingly congested Friday. With Hoosick Falls/Tamarac’s win, and Fonda-Fultonville defeating Coxsackie-Athens, that creates a three-way tie atop the Class C standings with all the teams owning a 6-1 record. Should all three teams win out for the final two weeks of the regular season, seeding will likely come down to the aforementioned quarter-points.
Hoosick Falls/Tamarac will hit the road in Week 7 to take on Granville/Whitehall next Saturday, Oct. 21. Schuylerville remains home next Friday to battle Coxsackie-Athens.