If the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk football team wants to own a piece of the Reinfurt Division title, it needs to beat Albany Academy Saturday in Albany.
It won't be easy. The Cadets rolled over their first five opponents before pulling out a 28-22 victory over Hudson last weekend a game in which the Bluehawks staged a late comeback to get within a touchdown.
We're going to have to keep them from making big plays and force them to drive the ball," said RCS coach Gary VanDerzee. "If we do that, we'll be just fine."
The Indians (2-1 division, 5-1 overall) have played well since a 14-7 loss at Hudson three weeks ago. RCS ran over Cohoes 42-0 Sept. 29 and then pulled out a 20-14 victory over Bishop Maginn last Friday in a non-league game.
"I feel very good about (the team). They're playing very well," said VanDerzee.
RCS is led by the running back duo of Pat Filkins and Jared Fortier. Filkins leads Section II in rushing yards with 1,068 and is coming off a 202-yard effort against Maginn, while Fortier has eight touchdown runs this year, two of which came last Friday.
"It doesn't matter who gets in the end zone, as long as somebody does," said VanDerzee.
To beat Albany Academy, though, RCS must contain the Cadets' balanced offense and be able to throw the ball effectively.
"You've always got to be balanced between the run and the pass," said VanDerzee. "You have to throw the ball so (opposing defenses) don't put nine, 10 or 11 people up on the line" to stop the running backs.
RCS's defense came up big when it had to against Maginn. Nate Graham gave the Indians a boost when he returned a Maginn fumble 51 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter to put his team ahead 7-6. Then, RCS stopped a Maginn drive at the Indians' 2-yard line with less than two minutes left in the second quarter to preserve its lead.