continued Graves got things going for Bethlehem by returning the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Spencer Ferrigan's extra point gave the Eagles a quick 7-0 lead.
Colonie's defense came up with a pair of first-half turnovers to keep the Garnet Raiders close. Then, tailback Devon Edwards capped a Colonie series with a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the score at 7 midway through the second quarter.
Bethlehem regained the lead before halftime when Ferrigan nailed a 42-yard field goal and expanded its advantage to 16-7 on Graves 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Colonie had a chance to trim the deficit early in the fourth quarter when it had a first-and-goal at Bethlehem's 5-yard line, but the Eagles recovered a fumble to end the drive.
The "red zone" turnover proved to be the turning point, as Graves found an open lane and took off on a 96-yard touchdown run two plays later. Ferrigan's extra point made the score 23-7.
"He's a special kid, and he's a special player," Leach said of Graves, who rushed for 218 yards.
Ferrigan added his second field goal of the night later in the fourth quarter to seal Bethlehem's 19-point victory.
"That's backbreaking," Roemer said of Ferrigan's clinching 30-yard field goal. "The difference of a couple of field goals pushed it to a three possession game."
Edwards rushed for 102 yards and caught six passes for 74 yards to lead Colonie's offense, and Leach said his defense did well to hold him to that total.
"The toughest part about (Edwards) is they use him in so many ways -- as a running back, as a receiver and as a quarterback," said Leach. "But, we did a good job of tackling him."
Colonie travels to Clifton Park for its Sectional quarterfinal game against Empire Division champion Shenendehowa next Friday, while Bethlehem visits Niskayuna in a crossover contest.