Schalmont’s Alex Hildebrans (25) celebrates one of his four touchdowns in the Sabres’ 26-14 victory over Schuylerville Oct. 15 that clinched the team’s fourth consecutive Section II Class B West Division title.
Photo by Rob Jonas.
continued The Sabres wasted little time in getting the momentum back. On their ensuing drive, Devon Willis took off on a 60-yard run to move the ball to Schuylerville's 12-yard line. Hildebrand took it from there into the end zone for six points, and Willis added a two-point conversion run to increase Schalmont's lead to 20-7.
Schuylerville got a needed break late in the third quarter when Dan Waldron intercepted a Niko Nicoletti pass and returned it to Schalmont's 2-yard line. Quarterback Ryan Mulligan scored two plays later to trim Schalmont's lead to 20-14.
Once again, Schalmont's offense had the answer. The Sabres went on a time-consuming drive in the fourth quarter that ended when Hildebrand caught a short pass from Nicoletti and turned it into a 30-yard touchdown reception that gave Schalmont a 12-point advantage.
The Sabres' defense -- which limited Schuylerville to 101 yards -- sealed the victory by pouncing on one more Black Horses' fumble with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter. It was Schalmont's fourth fumble recovery and fifth recovered turnover of the game.
"I'm really proud of the way our defense played," said Whipple. "To do that against a team that scored something like 100 points over the last three games is a great accomplishment."
The win gave the Sabres the No. 1 seed out of the West Division for the Section II Class B playoffs. Schalmont hosts Hudson, the fourth-place team out of the Reinfurt Division, in next weekend's opening round.
"They are a very athletic team," Whipple said of Hudson, who defeated Schalmont in the 2008 Sectional quarterfinals after the Sabres had won the first of their four consecutive West Division titles. "We've got to play well. We've got to play it like it's the Super Bowl because if we don't, we will get beat."