Some late-game heroics made a winner out of Colonie’s Eric Rouleau in his head coaching debut.
The Garnet Raiders scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to rally past Guilderland 18-10 in a non-league football game Friday, Sept. 5.
“It was a good start to a new year,” said Rouleau.
Quarterback Will McCann threw two touchdown passes in the final 12 minutes to help Colonie (1-0) overcome a 10-0 deficit. The first scoring strike went to Eugene Reyes, and the second went to Jay Newsom for the eventual game winner.
“I think for us to do what we did in that fourth quarter speaks volumes about our kids,” said Rouleau, who took over the Colonie program after Bill Roemer was let go in a budget cut and original replacement Matt Stein became Mohonasen’s athletic director. “If we continue to do those things for four quarters the rest of the way, we should do well.”
Guilderland (0-1) built its 10-point lead on the strength of a 33-yard field goal by Andrew Sentz and a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Cameron Long. But second-half injuries to Tim Pasquini and Ryan Gallup left the Dutchmen short two key players down the stretch.
“The kids played hard throughout the game. We were just out-executed down the stretch,” said Guilderland coach Dan Penna.
Pasquini’s injury was particularly scary, said Penna. Pasquini had his helmet partially dislodged on a defensive play, and the part of his head and neck that became exposed came into contact with another player’s helmet.
“They called the paramedics, and they immobilized him and took him out on a stretcher,” said Penna. “But he’s alright now, as it turns out.”
Pasquini and Gallup, who Penna said re-injured his collarbone late in the third quarter, were both out of the game when Colonie made its comeback. McCann hit Reyes for an 11-yard touchdown pass to cut Guilderland’s lead to 10-6. McCann then connected with Newsom on a 9-yard scoring strike to cap the Garnet Raiders’ next offensive series and give the home team a 12-10 advantage. Isaiah Cooks sealed Colonie’s victory with a 36-yard touchdown run.
McCann completed 20 of his 36 pass attempts for 217 yards to lead Colonie’s offense. Christian Brothers Academy transfer Dan Kehrer had 94 all-purpose yards in his Garnet Raiders debut, and Newsom added 88 all-purpose yards.
Sentz was solid in his first start at quarterback for Guilderland, as he threw for 142 yards and rushed for 51 yards. However, four Dutchmen turnovers hampered their efforts.
Colonie’s next assignment is a tough one, as it travels to Clifton Park Friday, Sept. 12, to face a Shenendehowa team coming off a 61-0 victory over Columbia.
“I think this game is going to come down to the kids doing what they need to do and following their assignments,” said Rouleau. “I think the kids will come into this game with some confidence riding that wave from their previous game.”
Meanwhile, Guilderland gets the chance to play Columbia Friday at home.
“If we execute better next week, we should be able to get a win,” said Penna.
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