COHOES - The Cohoes Tigers ran onto the field to Eminem's "Berzerk" Saturday, but it was the Broadalbin-Perth offense that went berserk in the second quarter on their way to a 41-32 victory. The Patriots put up 27 points in the second quarter to help propel them to the Class B championship game.
The Patriots weren't always in control, however. Cohoes scored the first two touchdowns of the game. Following punts on both teams' opening drives, Cohoes quarterback Max Carey tried with success to find Brandon LaForest through the air. Carey hit LaForest for a 9-yard gain early in a drive that ended with Carey finding LaForest over the top of the defense for a 37-yard touchdown.
The Patriots drove 69 yards on the ensuing drive, running the ball successfully with a mixture of four players. The run was halted at the Cohoes 5-yard line when Zach Morreale's fourth down pass intended for Luigi Magliocca fell incomplete. The Tigers took advantage of the turnover. Carey threw a 60-yard pass to Nick Ernst on the third play of their drive and a 21-yard pass to Trey Nelson Gill later on. From the Broadalbin-Perth 5-yard line, running back Shelton Alston took the ball into the end zone to put Cohoes up 12-0.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Andre Taylor (2) stiffarms a Cohoes defender during Saturday’s Section II Class B semifinal game at Cohoes High School. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
The scoring run that Broadalbin-Perth proceeded to embark upon is becoming common for them. The Patriots scored 22 points in the second quarter of their quarterfinal win over Lansingburgh.
"They just seem to flip on a switch and hopefully we can continue to do it," said Broadalbin-Perth head coach Jim Pelneau. "It's just something that we start getting a flow and we really play off of the takeaways."
Following an incomplete pass by Morreale, Andre Taylor rumbled for runs of 10 and 28 yards. Magliocca took the ball to the end zone from 23 yards out two plays later. After the Patriots forced Cohoes to go three and out for the first time in the ballgame, Darius Reyes broke off a 44-yard touchdown run that, with the extra point by Morreale, gave the Patriots a lead they would not give away.
SECTION II FOOTBALL
Class A Semifinals
Queensbury 59, Amsterdam 26
Class B Semifinals
Broadalbin-Perth 41, Cohoes 32
Class C Semifinals
Hoosick Falls 36, Fonda-Fultonville 0
Chatham 52, Corinth 6
Class D Semifinals
Rensselaer 42, Greenwich 34
Cambridge 58, Salem 24
Carey was intercepted by Damion Jabot on the second play of Cohoes' next drive, setting up an 8-yard touchdown pass from Morreale to Mike Visco. On Carey's very next throw, it was Magliocca who came down with the pick.
Reyes scrambled for 21 yards and Taylor hauled in a catch for 34 yards before Taylor found the end zone from 1 yard away just before halftime.
The Patriots remained scorching hot to begin the second half. Visco returned the opening kickoff to the Cohoes 12-yard line. After a run for negative yardage, Taylor took the ball 15 yards for the touchdown to give Broadalbin-Perth a 34-12 advantage.
The Tigers responded well despite being down by 22 points. Cohoes' leading scorer, Alston, took to the turf seven times during a 13-play drive. Alston registered a 3-yard score, but not before 7:25 had been run off the clock.
In the fourth quarter, Morreale tossed his only interception of the game to LaForest. Cohoes only needed one play, a 37-yard run by Alston, to find the end zone and trim Broadalbin-Perth's lead to 10.
"We had to hang on," said Pelneau. "Give Cohoes a ton of credit. They kept fighting and making big, big plays."
Following Alston's touchdown, his third of the game, Taylor capped off a Broadalbin-Perth drive with his third score of the game to extend the lead.
Carey threw three completions for 72 yards including a 9-yard touchdown pass to LaForest on Cohoes next drive, but both teams exchanged lost fumbles as the quarter wound down. Broadalbin-Perth was able to kneel the ball to secure their trip to the title game.
"They gave us everything they could," said Pelneau. "It could have been easy for them to quit and they didn't. They came back and they made one heck of a game out of it."
Taylor finished the game with 155 yards on the ground to go with his three touchdowns.
"We had a bit of a rough start today, but we stood together and fought our way back," Taylor said. "All the credit has to go to our offensive line. Those guys made the job easy today."
The Patriots will meet the Schalmont Sabres in the championship game. The Sabres defeated Broadalbin-Perth 21-3 in September.
"They're a super team and it will take a great effort to beat them, but we'll bring our best game," said Taylor. "We've got a great opportunity right in front of us and we're very confident."
The title game will take place next Saturday at 3 p.m. at Shenendehowa High School.
Broadalbin-Perth 41, Cohoes 32
Broadalbin-Perth0 27 7 7 - 41
Cohoes6 6 6 14 - 32
C - LaForest 37 pass from Carey (2 point failed)
C - Alston 5 run (2 point failed)
B-P - Magliocca 23 run (Morreale kick)
B-P - Reyes 44 run (kick failed)
B-P - Visco 8 pass from Morreale (Morreale kick)
B-P - Taylor 1 run (Morreale kick)
B-P - Taylor 15 run (Morreale kick)
C - Alston 3 run (2 point failed)
C - Alston 37 run (2 point failed)
B-P - Taylor 6 run (Morreale kick)
C - LaForest 9 pass from Carey (2 point good)