"That was a big play. He threw it on the mark," said Furey.
Saratoga refused to go away, though. The Blue Streaks drove down the field on their next series, and Wellman Loviza recovered a teammate's fumble in the end zone for a Saratoga touchdown that cut the deficit to seven points. Then, Saratoga drove to Niskayuna's 22-yard line before the Silver Warriors defense stopped Perez for a loss on fourth down to seal the victory.
"It was a huge play on defense for us to stop that fourth down play," said Furey.
Niskayuna's next defensive task is a big one as the Silver Warriors must slow down a Troy offense that has averaged more than 41 points per game. Of particular concern is tailback Jordan Canzeri, who has rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns through eight games.
"You just load up on him and put the most people in the area where you think he's going to run," said Furey.
In other Section II playoff action this weekend, Schalmont (8-0) meets Albany Academy (6-2) in Friday's Class B semifinal game in Rotterdam.
The Sabres have their own talented tailback to tame as they face off with Academy's Zay Richardson. The senior has gained more than 1,700 yards and scored 26 touchdowns for the Cadets, though his production has slowed somewhat since reaching the end zone 19 times in the first four games of the season.
Schalmont's defense has been among the best in Section II this season. The Sabres have allowed 38 points and posted three shutouts in the eight games leading up to Friday's semifinal game.
Schalmont cruised into the semifinals with a 53-6 quarterfinal victory over Cairo-Durham last Friday in Rotterdam. Quarterback Joe Paskevich threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Sabres defense returned two interceptions for scores.""