RAVENA: Indians survive mistakes

The five interceptions don't matter. The zero second half points don't matter.

All that matters to the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk football team is that it's still alive in the Section II, Class B playoffs. That's because when it counted the most, the Indians defense came up big.

C.J. Murray intercepted Josh Nethaway at the R-C-S 36-yard line with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter, and the Indians ran out the clock to pull out a 15-12 quarterfinal victory over Fonda-Fultonville Saturday in Ravena.

We won 15-12. That's the key part, said R-C-S coach Gary VanDerzee.

That part was up in the air throughout the second half as both teams struggled to hold on to the ball. R-C-S quarterback Rob Nolan threw two interceptions early in the third quarter " one that stalled an Indians' drive at Fonda's 11-yard line, and another at midfield that led to the Braves' second touchdown of the game.

But Fonda had even more difficulty hanging on to the ball. Besides Nethaway's fourth quarter interception, the Braves fumbled the ball several times, four of which were recovered by the Indians (7-1).

In all, the two teams accounted for 13 turnovers.

"I've been in some bizarre games before, but this ranks right up there," said VanDerzee.

The game didn't start out sloppy for R-C-S. Tailback Jared Fortier capped a first quarter drive with an 8-yard touchdown run and added the extra point to give the Indians a 7-0 lead.

The tide turned in the second quarter. Pat Sperow intercepted a Nolan pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown to pull Fonda within a point, but R-C-S stopped the two-point conversion run to hang on to the lead.

Then near the end of the quarter, a high snap on a Fonda punt attempt gave R-C-S the ball at the Braves' 15-yard line. Tailback Zach Deering capped the short series with a 2-yard touchdown run, and Nolan threw a conversion pass to Steve Alberts to put the Indians ahead 15-6.

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