MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk football team to Section VII’s Peru is like Batman to a villain in Gotham City: their worst nightmare.
For the third straight season, the Indians took down the Nighthawks in the regional round of the NYSPHSAA Class B Championship tournament, which was held Saturday night at Mechanicville High School. This meeting was the most impressive of the bunch for RCS. Gary VanDerzee’s squad unloaded for a 42-7 victory, securing yet another spot in the state semifinals.
“We played a Peru team that’s a storied program; they’re one of the top programs in the state. To beat them three times in a row is special,” said VanDerzee. “I said to the kids, “Any time you can be one of the last four standing – that’s a good thing.” And this is as special as it gets – going there.”
The Indians got off to an impressive start, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions. Senior quarterback Kaden Potter linked up with senior wideout Wyatt Algozzine for a 33-yard strike on the opening drive. In the second quarter, a Potter-to-Ethan Green connection set the offense up at the Peru one-yard line. Potter then reached pay dirt on a QB sneak, giving RCS a 14-0 lead with 8:30 to play before halftime.
The Knighthawks would respond, though, with a touchdown march of their own. Ethan Breen found Landen Duprey open in the end zone on a play-action roll out, and that cut the Indians’ lead in half going into the locker room.
But RCS made a massive statement out of the break, throwing up three touchdowns in three consecutive series to start the second half, and just over nine minutes into the third quarter, the Indians had roared out to a commanding, 35-7 advantage. All three scores came on the ground – the first from senior running back Dominick Paljusaj, and junior back Ethan Green made the other two trips to house.
Potter had one more big play in him for the fourth quarter: a 45-yard bomb to senior wide receiver Jack McFerran for Potter’s third TD of the night, earning him offensive MVP for the game.
“At halftime, we knew we weren’t playing up to par. We were biting ourselves in the foot every other play,” said Potter. “We just had to calm down. VanDerzee helped us do that, and we really came out (in the second half) and gave it to ’em. If we play like that the whole game, nobody’s stopping us.”
RCS will have to put together a four-quarter effort against Section I’s Rye in the state semis next Saturday, Nov. 25. The Garnets downed Pleasantville in their section title game – the team that knocked off RCS in the last two state tournaments – and took down Port Jervis 28-14 for their regional title.
Kickoff from Middletown High School Saturday is set for 3:00 p.m.