RAVENA: Defense comes up big for RCS

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk's defense came up big for the second week in a row.

As a result, the Indians are back in the Section II, Class B Super Bowl.

R-C-S held Broadalbin-Perth's talented running back duo of Jared Thurber and Mike Hayes to 162 combined yards and no touchdowns on its way to a 9-6 semifinal victory last Friday in Ravena.

We just played good defense, said R-C-S coach Gary VanDerzee. "We went to a 4-3 (defensive front) and focused on stopping the run."

The Indians (8-1) needed a great defensive effort because their offense had a hard time moving the ball on the Patriots (7-2). R-C-S gained only 68 total yards through the rain and Broadalbin-Perth's stingy defense.

"Both defenses played well," said VanDerzee. "We won the game because of our special teams. Our punt team outplayed their punt team, and our return team outplayed their return team."

The momentum swung R-C-S's way on a special teams breakdown by Broadalbin-Perth early in the fourth quarter. A high snap on a Patriots' punt attempt resulted in R-C-S getting the ball on Broadalbin-Perth's 17-yard line. The Indians pushed their way toward the goal line, and Jared Fortier bulldozed his way into the end zone from one yard out to give R-C-S its three-point lead.

"The offensive line gave us a good surge, and Jared gave us a good run up the middle," said VanDerzee.

Broadalbin-Perth tried to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but R-C-S came up with a critical stop on fourth down inside its 40-yard line to preserve its lead.

"Brian Paeglow, Geoff Deluca and Jared Fortier " our three senior captains " came up with big (defensive) games for us," said VanDerzee.

Fortier also had a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter for the Indians. Quarterback Cory Caswell scored Broadalbin-Perth's lone points on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

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