The Schalmont football team is about to discover how far its come this year.
The Sabres (1-1) host Hudson Falls (2-0) Friday in their first Class B West Division game of the season. Schalmont is coming off a 36-6 home victory over Hudson last weekend, while Hudson Falls escaped with a 14-13 victory over Albany Academy.
We've got a big challenge ahead of us in Hudson Falls, said Schalmont coach Mike DiCocco.
The challenge for Schalmont will be stopping Hudson Falls running back Joe McMurry. Through the first two games, McMurry has gained more than 400 yards in helping the Tigers beat Albany Academy and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk.
"Obviously, McMurry is a huge strength for Hudson Falls. Not only is he durable, but I don't think I've seen him fumble in three years," said DiCocco. "He's fast, he's strong and he has good field vision. How do we stop him? We wrap up, and we gang tackle."
The Sabres have their own talented running back in junior Vince Gallo. In last Friday's win against Hudson, Gallo gained 158 yards and scored Schalmont's first three touchdowns.
DiCocco is hoping the momentum his team gained from beating Hudson carries over to Friday's showdown with Hudson Falls.
"The kids put a lot of work in during the off-season, and it's starting to show," he said.
A victory over Hudson Falls could provide the catalyst for Schalmont's best finish in the West Division since classification play began several years ago. Cobleskill-Richmondville is down after graduating most of its starters from last year's Section II championship team, while Broadalbin-Perth and Johnstown are still building their programs.
However, DiCocco isn't going to jump the gun. "We can't assume anything. We have to play hard every single down," he said.
In other football action Friday, Mohonasen will try to build off the momentum of last week's victory over South Glens Falls when it visits Lansingburgh, while Niskayuna will square off against Schenectady.