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Football: Shootout at the Colonie Corral

Defensive play turns the tide for Niskayuna

Colonie tailback Jason Gayle (40) tries to cut past a Niskayuna defender during last Friday’s game.

Colonie tailback Jason Gayle (40) tries to cut past a Niskayuna defender during last Friday’s game. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— The Silver Warriors didn’t miss a beat, though. Nate Malerk stepped in for Henry and gained 67 yards on nine carries and scored a pair of touchdowns – the first one coming late in the third quarter with Niskayuna clinging to a 34-31 lead. The Silver Warriors then faked the extra point kick and got a two-point conversion pass from holder Tyler Pantalone to Randy Baisy to increase their lead to 42-31.

Colonie (0-3) tried to cut into the deficit to start the fourth quarter, but Helenek made sure that it didn’t happen by scoring off his interception. Niskayuna forced two more Colonie turnovers in the fourth quarter to seal its victory.

“Those second half turnovers were huge for us,” said Furey.

Wutzer had a strong performance for Colonie, despite the two late turnovers. The senior quarterback completed 17 of his 28 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Crago.

Colonie’s ground game was also strong as Devon Edwards, Jason Gayle and Dave Monin each ran for touchdowns. Edwards, a sophomore, finished with a team-high 75 yards on seven carries, while Gayle accounted for 58 yards on 12 carries.

“A lot of kids contributed, and they did some nice things,” said Ambrosio.

Niskayuna meets Saratoga Springs Friday, while Colonie hosts LaSalle in a must-win for the Garnet Raiders.

Colonie needs to win its final two Liberty Division games in order to have a shot at making the Section II Class AA playoffs with no worse than a fourth-place finish.

“It’s going to be tough [to make the playoffs], but we’re not mathematically out of it yet,” said Ambrosio.

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