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COLONIE: Garnet Raiders avoid Pats' upset bid

The Colonie football team came dangerously close to losing to Schenectady.

Fortunately for the Garnet Raiders, they found their defense just in time to pull out a 34-27 victory over the Patriots in Friday's Liberty Division game.

Schenectady (0-1 division, 1-1 overall) jumped out to a 27-12 halftime lead, but Colonie (2-0, 2-0) scored the last three touchdowns to avoid the upset.

The defense did a good job of shutting them down in the second half, said Colonie coach Mike Ambrosio. "We changed some match-ups, and that seemed to work."

Joe Miskewicz put Colonie ahead early with a 21-yard touchdown run, but Schenectady's aerial attack made that quickly disappear. Nick Ottati threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Josh Mason and a 45-yard scoring strike to Marcus Brandon in the first quarter to give the Patriots a 13-6 lead.

"We were a little sluggish at the start of week two," said Ambrosio. "They're an athletic team, and they caught us by surprise."

Colonie started the second quarter like it started the first quarter " with a touchdown. This time, Tom Duff tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to Matt June to pull the Garnet Raiders within a point.

Ottati struck again by capping Schenectady's ensuing drive with a one-yard touchdown run. He then connected with Brandon for a 13-yard touchdown pass to put the Patriots ahead by 15 points entering halftime.

Ishmal McCann started Colonie's comeback with a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. June then caught a 56-yard scoring pass from Duff to pull the Garnet Raiders within a point heading into the fourth quarter.

Jim Kehrer capped Colonie's rally with a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Kehrer added a two-point conversion run to give the Garnet Raiders a seven-point cushion, which they maintained the rest of the way.

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