GLOVERSVILLE — With a playoff spot on the line, the Gloversville football team repelled a second-half charge from Hudson Falls to post a 27-21 victory in a Class B North Division contest at Husky Field on Friday night.
The Huskies dominated in the first half, taking a 21-0 lead into the break before the Tigers opened the second half with 21 straight points to tie the game.
Gloversville got a 39-yard touchdown from Garrett Dooling to retake the lead and stopped a late Hudson Falls drive inside its own 20-yard line to hold on for the win.
“Hudson Falls is a good team and they didn’t quit. They made us earn it tonight,” Gloversville coach Jim Robare said. “They made some adjustments for the second half and got it going.”
Dooling rushed for 77 yards and two touchdowns on six carries for the Huskies. He also threw for 126 yards with touchdown and an interception while completing 11 of 25 passes.
Gloversville gained 218 of its 354 yards on the ground, rushing for 118 yards in the first half and 110 in the second half.
Kyle Robare added 82 yards on 14 carries for the Huskies, while John Heimer had 10 carries for 62 yards.
“Coach [Ryan] Mulligan called a good game on offense,” coach Robare said. “The offense was in sync, though I would have liked our last touchdown to have come with 30 seconds left, not almost three minutes.”
Brandon Fish led Hudson Falls with 137 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while Jesse Mullis added 83 yards and two scores on 14 carries. Hudson Falls had 187 of its 251 rushing yards in the second half.
“I’ve got to give credit to Hudson Falls. They’re a tough, smash-mouth team and it was a battle tonight,” coach Robare said.
Over the first 24 minutes, the battle was a one-sided one as Gloversville dominated.
On their opening possession, the Huskies drove to the Hudson Falls’ 22-yard line before the Tigers’ Cody Lewis ended the drive with an interception.
It was the lone bright spot for Hudson Falls in the first half, as the Huskies scored on their next three possessions.
Dooling scored the first points of the game with 5:36 left in the first quarter on a 26-yard run.
Glionna then capped a 20-play, 64-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:45 left in the second quarter.
Kyle Robare recovered a fumble to end Hudson Falls’ next possession and Gloversville cashed in 11 plays later when Dooling found Dom Dorman with a 2-yard touchdown pass with just 12.8 seconds left in the half to make it 21-0. Dorman finished with four catches for 48 yards.
Gloversville allowed just 62 first-half yards.
As lopsided as the first half was in favor of the Huskies, the second half was all Tigers.
Hudson Falls scored on its first play of the half, just 19 seconds in, when Fish raced 43 yards for a score. The Tigers benefited from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Gloversville, which failed to return to the field on time to begin the second half.
It was the first of seven second-half penalties by the Huskies, who were whistled for 12 in the game.
“Having that many penalties isn’t good, especially in a close game,” coach Robare said. “We’ve got to clean that up.”
The scored remained 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter before the Tigers closed to within a touchdown on a 33-yard touchdown run by Mullis 41 seconds into the fourth quarter.
After forcing a punt on Gloversville’s next possession, Hudson Falls pulled even when Mullis scored on a 4-yard run to cap a nine-play, 65-yard drive to tie the game at 21-21.
“We thought it would be a good game and that we were evenly matched,” Hudson Falls coach Brett Watkins said. “That’s how it played out. We played well in the second half. We just dug ourselves too deep of a hole to get all the way out of.”
The Huskies responded with a scoring drive of their own to retake the lead when Dooling scored on a 39-yard run with 2:52 left in the game.
Hudson Falls drove to the Huskies’ 18-yard line on its final possession before the Gloversville defense held on to seal the win.
“Our defense bent, but didn’t break,” coach Robare said. “They made a late stand when we needed it the most. I’m happy to come out with the win.”
Friday’s game was the final regular-season home game for the Huskies, who honored their seniors prior to the game.
Gloversville (5-3 overall, 2-1 Class B North) is scheduled to travel to Scotia-Glenville next Friday for its regular-season finale.
Hudson Falls (3-4 overall, 1-2 Class B North) is slated to travel to Broadalbin-Perth next Friday for its regular-season finale.
Hudson Falls 0 0 7 14 – 21
Gloversville 7 14 0 6 – 27
G – Dooling 26 run (Glionna kick)
G – Glionna 1 run (Glionna kick)
G – Dorman 2 pass from Dooling (Glionna kick)
HF – Fish 43 run (Smith kick)
HF – Mullis 33 run (Smith kick)
HF – Mullis 4 run (Smith kick)
G – Dooling 39 run (kick blocked)