GLOVERSVILLE — With the season on the line, the Gloversville football team put the ball in the hands of its biggest player.
As he has all season for the Huskies, Giorgio Glionna delivered.
After Dominic Dorman hauled in a touchdown pass to pull Gloversville within 14-13 in its Section II Class B semifinal contest at Schalmont last Friday, Huskies’ coach Jim Robare was planning to go for the two-point conversion rather than the tie.
However, Schalmont called a timeout, giving Gloversville an opportunity to reconsider.
“I was planning to go for two, but then Schalmont called a timeout,” Robare said. “I left the decision to my seniors and asked them what they wanted to do. They wanted to go for two and for the win.”
The Gloversville seniors knew exactly what they wanted to do and who they wanted to have the ball.
“It was a big moment,” Glionna said. “The team put the ball in my hands and I knew I couldn’t let them down. I was going to do whatever [I] had to do to get that two-point conversion.”
The decision paid off as Glionna powered into the end zone to lift Gloversville to a 15-14 victory over the Sabres, who won the Class B Reinfurt Division title. Schalmont also posted a 28-7 victory over the Huskies earlier this season.
“We didn’t want to kick the extra point. We all knew we wanted to go for the win,” Gloversville senior Simon Bruce said. “We wanted to give the ball to the biggest kid on our team. Gio came through for us like he always does.”
Glionna has done a whole lot of everything this season for Gloversville.
From kickoffs to extra points on special teams, to sacks and tackles on defense, to blocking, receiving and short-yardage runs on offense, Glionna has done whatever he has been asked to do for the Huskies.
Glionna has scored seven touchdowns this season for Gloversville, rushing for four and catching three others.
“Gio has been a great leader for our team this season,” Robare said. “He goes out and plays hard for us on both sides of the ball.”
For Glionna, having a senior season like this one has been something that he has worked hard for.
“I’ve been working a lot on my health and fitness, and it has paid off this season,” he said.
Despite going 0-4 during the Fall II season last spring, Glionna said that he had high hopes for the Huskies coming into this season.
“I knew coming into the season that we had a talented team,” Glionna said. “We didn’t win a game in the short spring season, but we had a lot of guys returning and we wanted to have a good season.”
Gloversville is 7-3 heading into Saturday’s Class B championship game against Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk.
It marks the first time in 21 years that Gloversville will play for a sectional title, something that Glionna is excited to play for in his senior season.
“I live and die for football. It’s my sport,” Glionna said. “To have a chance at a sectional title in my senior season is amazing. We deserve to be in this position. We’ve worked hard all season.”
The Huskies last played for a title in 2000, dropping a 26-8 decision to La Salle Institute in the Class A championship game.
Gloversville last won a sectional title in 1987 when it defeated Hudson, 50-8, in the Class B title game. Robare was a member of that team.
Like Gloversville, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (8-2 overall) also turned the tables on its semifinal opponent.
One week after losing 42-0 to Glens Falls in their regular-season finale, Ravena notched a 35-28 victory at Glens Falls in last Saturday’s semifinal rematch.
Ravena last appeared in the Class B title game in 2010, when it lost 48-13 to Schalmont. Ravena last won a Class B title in 2004, posting a 59-28 win over Lansingburgh.
Saturday’s game will be rematch of a Sept. 17 contest that saw the Indians post a 28-6 victory over Gloversville at Husky Field.
“I want to win the game Saturday,” Glionna said. “We’re going to fight right to the last whistle, and hopefully, celebrate with my boys in the middle of the field after it’s over.”