When Guilderland thought it had bottled up Ballston Spa's offense, Mark Seager took matters into his own hands.
The junior quarterback rushed for 187 yards and three second-half touchdowns to lead the Scotties to a come-from-behind 26-16 victory over the Dutchmen in last Friday's Empire Division football game in Guilderland.
We knew he was a key cog in their running game, said Guilderland coach Dan Penna. "Up front, their (offensive) line was able to open some holes."
"I think what you're seeing here is the importance of our quarterback," said Ballston Spa coach John Bowen. "Mark has matured a year in our system. Last year, we didn't ask him to do a whole lot because we had some running backs who could break big plays to the outside. This year, a little more is being asked of him, and he's picking up everybody's game a little."
Guilderland (1-3) limited Ballston Spa (3-1) to one touchdown in the first half before Seager started calling his own number on a regular basis and ran through the heart of the Dutchmen defense. His second-half touchdown runs of 10, 16 and 25 yards erased a 16-7 Guilderland halftime lead.
"Schematically in the second half, they took advantage of one of our weaknesses " our interior run defense," said Penna.
The Dutchmen tried to respond, but several mistakes stalled their second half drives.
"They made some adjustments to our formations (in the second half), but for the most part it was mistakes that we made that hurt us," said Penna. "We had three crucial penalties that cost us."
Guilderland's offense looked good early against Ballston Spa. Senior tailback Tony Denn got the Dutchmen on the scoreboard first when he took a screen pass from quarterback Bobby Falcone and raced 31 yards for a touchdown. E.J. Genzano added the extra point to put Guilderland ahead 7-0 in the first quarter.