The Schalmont football team took its lumps against a more physical Nanuet squad.
The Golden Knights scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and knocked the smaller Sabres (9-3) around the field on their way to a 28-7 victory in last Saturday's Class B state semifinal in Kingston.
It stings a lot right now, but I'm so proud of these guys, said Schalmont coach Joe Whipple. "Nanuet played hard, but to our credit, our kids played hard, too."
Nanuet (11-0) hit Schalmont hard on both sides of the ball. Tailback Jaren Ramundo and quarterback Vincent Gallo suffered shoulder injuries, but both players stayed in the game, " refusing to let the season end without them on the field.
"He just gave it all he had," Whipple said of Gallo, who had to give his passing duties to Ramundo and backup quarterback Joe Paskevich after injuring his shoulder. "He's just a warrior. He never gave up " none of these guys gave up."
Nanuet got its first licks in on offense. Quarterback Tom Hanney broke free for a long run on the Golden Knights' first play from scrimmage. Not long after that, Gabe Ostrow scored on a 13-yard run to give Nanuet a 7-0 lead.
"I think the difference in the game was that they got after it much faster than we did," said Whipple.
Hanney made the score 14-0 early in the second quarter when he scored on a seven-yard run. Schalmont's defense stepped up and kept Nanuet off the scoreboard the rest of the first half, but its offense was stuck in neutral as the Golden Knights kept Gallo, Ramundo and DaShawn Banks in check.
"They controlled the line of scrimmage for most of the game," said Whipple.
Nanuet put the game out of Schalmont's reach in the third quarter behind the running of Ostrow, Hanney and Bret Bonomolo. All three players picked up significant yards, with Hanney and Ostrow scoring on short touchdown runs to double the Golden Knights' halftime lead to 28 points.
Schalmont prevented Nanuet from recording a shutout in the fourth quarter. The Sabres pieced together a long drive that Gallo completed with a four-yard scoring run " his 30th touchdown of the season.
Gallo rushed for a season-low 79 yards, while Banks and Ramundo combined to gain 114 yards for Schalmont, which made its first state semifinal appearance.
"We're still regional champs, we're still Sectional champs and you can't take that away from us," said Whipple. "It was a good ride.""