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Schalmont Sabres roar louder than Hudson Falls Tigers

Anyone care to doubt that the Schalmont football team is for real now?

After defeating Hudson Falls 30-19 last Friday in Rotterdam, the Sabres (1-0 division, 2-1 overall) have gained the early advantage in the battle for the Class B West Division title.

Just don't expect Schalmont coach Mike DiCocco to get too excited about the significance of beating Hudson Falls.

We'll have to wait to see how the whole season unfolds to know for sure, but it was an important win for our team's morale and for our community, said DiCocco.

Schalmont did two things to Hudson Falls (0-1, 2-1) that no other team had been able to do this season: it had a running back (Vincent Gallo) rush for more than 200 yards against the Tigers' defense, and it limited Hudson Falls' star tailback (Joe McMurry) to 55 yards from scrimmage.

"Our game plan was to stop McMurry. He's been their go-to guy for the last three years," said DiCocco. "He has a great supporting cast with some good receivers and a good quarterback, but we knew the key would be to stop him."

Gallo had no trouble knifing through Hudson Falls' defense. The junior tailback rushed for 256 yards and three touchdowns to lead Schalmont.

"I can say a ton of nice things about Vinnie because he is everything he's made out to be," said DiCocco. "Not only is he a physical runner and a great defender, but he's also a smart player."

Helping Gallo was a Schalmont offensive line that opened huge holes in a Hudson Falls defense that had allowed only 27 points through the first two weeks.

"They run on all cylinders, and because they do, that allows Vinnie to get down field," said DiCocco.

Schalmont will try to keep the momentum going at home Friday against Johnstown as it looks for its first winning record since classification play began several years ago.

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