ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — The Niskayuna football team has not looked like a program playing in it’s first playoff tournament in 12 years.

After breezing past La Salle in the semi-finals, the Silver Warriors claimed their first-ever section title Saturday night, throttling Averill Park 35-6 behind three passing touchdowns from sophomore gunslinger Ethan Gilson.

One of those touchdown tosses came on the first play of the game. Head coach Brian Grastorf dialed up a flea-flicker, and Gilson launched a pass downfield for senior wide receiver Dahvion Wimberly. Wimberly juggled the ball, caught it, then broke a tackle at the A-P 20-yard line, and trotted into the end zone – a 69-yard play in total that put the Silver Warriors on the board first.

The Warriors had a response on their opening drive, though. Sophomore running back Jacob Phelps took an off-tackle run run to the house from 22 yards out. But after a failed two-point conversion, Nisky still lead 7-6.

And that’s as close as Averill Park would get the rest of the night. On Nisky’s ensuing series, Gilson swung a pass into the flat for freshman wide receiver Cameron Grasso, who raced 30 yards to the end zone, slipping a number of arm tackles along the way, and the Silver Warriors upped their lead to eight points.

Niskayuna got creative on its’ following possession, putting Cameron Grasso in the Wildcat for two straight plays that got the Silver Warriors into the red zone. On the third play with Grasso in the shotgun, he handed the ball off to senior wide receiver Deangelo McGlothlan on a jet sweep. McGlothlan turned it upfield, and high-stepped his way to pay dirt, and Nisky led 21-6 with 7:55 to play in the second quarter.

The Silver Warriors closed out their first-half scoring barrage with a 23-yard strike from Gilson to McGlothlan, giving them a 28-6 advantage headed into the locker room.

Nisky sophomore running back Isaiah Linyear added a rushing touchdown in the second half, while the defense pitched a shutout after the break. The Silver Warriors cruised to the finish line, and their fans rushed onto the field to join in the celebration for the program’s first-ever section title.

After the game, Grastorf credited the accomplishment to his team’s relentless work ethic since the season began for them over the summer.

“I think it just shows the work these guys put in in the offseason,” said Grastorf. “Every week we talked about getting better every week, and every day during the week we get better. And I think that just showed today. You know, defense did a hell of a job; offense came out firing, and, you know, it’s just really great for the program, the community, and the guys. They’ve worked so hard for it, and it’s awesome to see.”

Wimberly recalled how a section title has been on his team’s mind all season, and to finally reach that point is a special feeling.

“It feels amazing,” said Wimberly. “We been fightin’ all year for this, and we finally got it. It feels amazing. We’re all a family. You know, Coach has been preaching that since week one. Family, family, family, family.”

Niskayuna (9-2, 5-0) advances to regionals, and will square off Friday against Section V, Class A2 champion Canandaigua Academy. That game will be played at Shenendehowa High School; kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Averill Park’s season comes to a close. The Warriors finish the year with a record of 7-4, and they went undefeated at 5-0 in Capital Division play.