The only difference between Colonie's two meetings with Saratoga Springs is that the Blue Streaks didn't let the Garnet Raiders hang around the second time around.
Saratoga (7-1) jumped out to a 13-0 lead after the first quarter and cruised to a 34-6 victory over Colonie (3-5) in last Friday's Section II, Class AA football quarterfinal game in Saratoga Springs.
They're a good football team, there's no doubt about that, said Colonie coach Mike Ambrosio.
Whereas Colonie scored the first touchdown in the first meeting Sept. 11 (a 31-13 loss), Saratoga scored first in last Friday's game. Tailback Tony DeLoatch capped the Blue Streaks' first drive with a 20-yard touchdown run to give his team a 7-0 lead.
Tyler Bates put Saratoga in command from there. He capped another Blue Streaks' first-quarter series with a 1-yard touchdown run, and he broke free for a 78-yard scoring scamper in the second quarter to increase Saratoga's lead to 20-0.
Meanwhile, Saratoga's defense made life difficult for Colonie's offense. The Blue Streaks limited the Garnet Raiders to less than 90 rushing yards and picked off quarterback Mike Branche at the goal line to stop a drive that could have gotten Colonie back in the game.
"We were close," said Ambrosio. "We made some mistakes at some inopportune times that cost us. We could have made it a little closer than it was."
The Garnet Raiders finally got into the end zone in the fourth quarter when Jon LaPoint caught a 10-yard pass from Branche. But by that point, Saratoga was firmly in command with a 34-0 lead, thanks to third-quarter touchdown runs by Ford Plowman and Luke Fauler.
Colonie closes out the season Thursday when it faces Albany (0-8) in a crossover game.
"I told the kids we want to win this game so we can have some momentum heading into off-season conditioning," said Ambrosio. "We're already guaranteed a losing season, and we haven't had back-to-back losing seasons in a long time. So, it's important for us to get a win here."