Gloversville, Ravena to meet in Section II Class B football title game


Gloversville’s Garrett Dooling with the ball against Hudson Falls’ Peyton Smith during an Oct. 22 high school football game at Park Terrace Elementary in Gloversville.

Heading into last weekend’s Section II Class B semifinals, Glens Falls and Schalmont were expected to advance to the championship games.

However, Gloversville and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk flipped the script, avenging early-season losses.

The Huskies edged Schalmont, 15-14, while Ravena posted a 35-28 win over Glens Falls in last weekend’s semifinals.

As a result, Gloversville (7-3 overall) will face Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (8-2 overall) on Saturday in the Section II Class B championship game at Christian Brothers Academy in Colonie at 3 p.m.

“I’m expecting a battle Saturday with Ravena and their coaches, Gary VanDerzee and Bob Dorrance,” Gloversville coach Jim Robare said. “I expect them to be ready and I know we will be too. They beat us the first time, but we’re a different team now and I know they are too.”

To earn their spot in the title game, the Huskies avenged an earlier 28-7 loss to Class B Reinfurt Division champion Schalmont, getting a two-point conversion run from Gio Glionna with 14.7 seconds to play to earn the victory. Dom Dorman accounted for both Gloversville touchdowns, catching a pair of touchdown passes from Garrett Dooling. Dorman finished with seven catches for 126 yards for the Huskies, who have won five of its last six games after starting the season 2-2.

“I don’t think any team in the section has improved more over the course of the season than we have,” Robare said. “I’m proud of our players and what they’ve accomplished.”

Like Gloversville, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk also had to avenge an earlier loss to Class B North Division Glens Falls to reach the title game.

“I was kept up to date on the Glens Falls-Ravena game,” said John Heimer, who is one of four senior captains for Gloversville this season. “I was in shock that Ravena won. They beat a team that had beaten them before to get to the championship game just like we did. No matter who we were going to face, we knew we would have to come out and give 110 percent effort.”

Just one week after losing 42-0 to Glens Falls in its regular-season finale, Ravena used a strong start to post a 35-28 win in last Saturday’s semifinal matchup.

Ravena led 27-7 in the second quarter before holding off late charge from Glens Falls.

Frankie Broadhurst scored on runs of 16, 8 and 7 yards for Ravena, while Ryan Schermerhorn added a 1-yard touchdown run. Ryan Southworth hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Luke Misetich for Ravena’s other score.

Both teams have gone more than a decade since their last appearance in a sectional title game.

The Huskies last played for a title in 2000 when they dropped a 26-8 decision to La Salle in the Class A championship game.

“This group believes in themselves and their talent,” Robare said. “Anything is possible when you’re playing with confidence. It’s amazing what confidence does.”

Gloversville last won a sectional title in 1987 when Robare was a member of the team, defeating Hudson, 50-8, in the Class B title game. This year also marked the Huskies’ first playoff appearance since 2016 when it dropped a 54-7 decision to Averill Park in a quarterfinal contest. Prior to this season, Gloversville last reached the sectional semifinals in 2009, dropping a 28-13 decision at Troy.

“We really want to be the first team from Gloversville to play in the state tournament,” Dooling said. “When the 1987 team won, there was no more games after the sectional championship game.”

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.

Getting to the title game has been battle for Gloversville, which has overcome injuries and illness this season.

“Every time out we’ve gotten better. We’ve overcome adversity this season and we’ve persevered,” Robare said. “We’ve tried to fix our issues and get better each game. That’s what we’ve done.”

Gloversville started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2015 with wins over Johnstown and Lansingburgh. However, the Huskies dropped their next two contests to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and Schalmont.

Since those two losses, Gloversville has posted wins over Mohonasen, Broadalbin-Perth, Hudson Falls, Scotia-Glenville and Schalmont, with the lone loss coming against Glens Falls.

“We’ve trusted the process this season,” Robare said. “We’ve had some bumps along the way, but we’ve overcome them and we’ve earned the chance to keep playing.”

The Huskies come into Saturday’s title game with a three-game win streak and as healthy as they have been all season.

“Sometimes being lucky is great,” Robare said. “Knock on wood, we seemed to be able to get our injury and illness issues out of the way. We’re in pretty good shape health-wise right now and this is the time of year that you need to be healthy for.”

Robare, who is in his third season as coach, is assisted by Ryan Mulligan, Eric Cheney, Adam Towne, Marc Porter and Martin Mulligan.

“My coaching staff as done a great job this season,” Robare said. “We bounce things off one another and work things out.”

Robare and his staff have prepared for Saturday’s game like they have every other week this season.

“We’re working as usual. Every time we go out for practice, it’s a work day,” he said. “It’s business as usual for us and we’re sticking to the fundamentals. We work on the basics for the first 30-45 minutes of every practice and then focus in on getting ready for that week’s opponent.”

This week’s opponent, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, handed the Huskies their first loss of the season back on Sept. 17, posting a 28-6 victory at Husky Field.

Aiden Lochner scored three times for Ravena in the win, while Nathaniel Ray added a 23-yard touchdown run.

Glionna scored the lone touchdown for Gloversville, hauling in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Dooling.

Though Saturday’s rematch will be played at a neutral site, Dooling said he’s expecting to see plenty of familiar faces in the crowd.

“I think our advantage will be the atmosphere,” he said. “We have a full spectator bus going to the game and a lot of people are planning to go, so we’re going to have a lot of support.”

By Paul Wager

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