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Football: Patriots deal Raiders a damaging loss

Rodriguez leads Schenectady past Colonie in critical Liberty Division showdown

Colonie running back Devon Edwards takes off during an Oct. 4 Liberty Division game at Schenectady.

Colonie running back Devon Edwards takes off during an Oct. 4 Liberty Division game at Schenectady. Photo by Rob Jonas.

— The Colonie football team’s dream of winning the Liberty Division title may have come to an end.

Schenectady rallied from a 14-point deficit to defeat the Garnet Raiders 34-28 last Friday and knock Colonie (2-1 league, 3-2) out of a first-place tie with crosstown rival Shaker (3-0, 4-1) with two games left in the regular season.

“I think they played harder, they played more physical and they played more disciplined than we did,” said Colonie coach Bill Roemer.

Schenectady (2-1, 3-2) started the second half with running back Felix Rodriguez as its quarterback when starting signal caller Brandon Gwinner suffered a head injury late in the second quarter. The move worked out well for the Patriots, as Rodrgiuez guided them on three straight scoring drives.

“You can’t put into words what that kid did in the second half,” said Schenectady coach Mark Cerrone. “We took one of the best running backs in Section II and had him play a position he never played before, and he did a fantastic job.”

Rodriguez scored on a 10-yard run with 35 seconds left in the third quarter to pull Schenectady within six points of Colonie. Hassan Rainey started the fourth quarter with a 54-yard scoring run to tie the game at 28-28, and Rodriguez capped the Patriots’ final drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 1:13 left.

Devon Edwards used a pair of touchdown runs and a 21-yard half-back option scoring strike to Kevon Johnson to help Colonie build a 20-14 halftime lead. Johnson scored on a seven-yard run in the third quarter to expand Colonie’s lead to 28-14.

Colonie hosts LaSalle Friday.

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