ROTTERDAM — As soon as Gloversville wide receiver Dominic Dorman cradled the 11-yard touchdown pass to his body with 14.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter of Friday’s Section II Class B semifinal against Schalmont, Huskies football coach Jim Robare had already decided to go for a 2-point conversion and the lead.
A Schalmont timeout gave Robare a chance to reevaluate. He put the decision in the hands of his seniors.
“There was no doubt [we were going for it],” Gloversville senior tight end/fullback Giorgio Glionna said. “I knew I wanted the ball. I was going to get it for us.”
With the green light to go for it, Gloversville lined up in the wishbone formation and handed it to the 255-pound Glionna, who rumbled just over the goal line for the go-ahead score.
The Gloversville defense — stout all game long — denied Schalmont’s last-ditch attempt, and a few moments later Robare was doused with ice and water as the Huskies celebrated a 15-14 win and the program’s first trip to a Section II Super Bowl in 21 years.
“These boys have put up a fight all season long,” Glionna said. “This is the best season we’ve had in a while.”
Gloversville (7-3) hasn’t made a Super Bowl appearance since falling 26-8 to La Salle Institute in the 2000 Class A championship game. The Huskies haven’t won an area banner since 1987. They’ll get a chance on Nov. 13 against the winner of Saturday’s other semifinal between Glens Falls and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, two teams that Gloversville played — and lost to — during the regular season.
Of course, Gloversville had already lost to Schalmont (7-2) during the regular season, too, with the Sabres cruising to a 28-7 win on Sept. 24 in Rotterdam.
Friday night, Gloversville turned the tables with a stubborn defense and a grind-it-out offense that got a number of clutch plays from Dorman, who hauled in seven passes for 126 yards and scored both Gloversville touchdowns.
“Dom’s been on a growth spurt for us all year,” Robare said. “He’s getting better every game.”
The Huskies led from Dorman’s leaping 17-yard grab early in the second quarter until Schalmont finally broke through with 1:51 left when Sean Willis — who rushed for 102 yards on 23 carries — scored from 3 yards out on his second touchdown run of the day, then tossed a 2-point conversion pass to Max Pratt to make it 14-7.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the touchdown forced Schalmont to kick off from its own 25, allowing Gloversville to start from its own 44 with 1:45 to play.
Quarterback Garrett Dooling maneuvered Gloversville downfield with intermediate passes, with a 13-yard pass to Dorman and a roughing the passer penalty putting the ball at the Schalmont 11 in the final 20 seconds.
On first down, Dooling lobbed a pass to Dorman in the back left corner of the end zone, and while the sophomore wideout juggled it initially, he managed to control the ball and get a foot down inbounds for the touchdown.
“I saw the ball go up, and I was like, ‘That’s mine,’” Dorman said. “So, I went up and got it.”
Glionna, who also had three tackles for loss on defense, powered in for the deciding conversion for a Gloversville team that walked off the Schalmont High School gridiron elated.
“We’ve been clicking on all cylinders,” Robare said. “We’re just as tough as any of the top four in Class B. I’m just proud of the way the kids played. They’ve faced adversity, they know what the challenge is and they took it on.”
Gloversville 0 7 0 8 — 15
Schalmont 0 6 0 8 — 14
G — Dorman 17 pass from Dooling (Glionna kick)
S — Willis 30 run (run failed)
S — Willis 3 run (Pratt pass from Willis)
G — Dorman 11 pass from Dooling (Glionna run)