Broadalbin-Perth quarterback Brodryk Benton, center, runs the ball during football practice Thursday at Patriot Field in Broadalbin. (Adam Shinder/Recorder staff)
By ADAM SHINDER
Despite the two teams playing less than 10 miles from each other in Fulton County, Broadalbin-Perth vs. Gloversville isn’t exactly a traditional matchup in Section II football.
That makes tonight’s 7 p.m. contest, when the Patriots will travel to Gloversville to take on the Huskies, a little bit more special. Because while it’s a rare sight to see these two teams line up against each other during the regular season, they’re more than a little familiar with each other from the work they put in during the offseason.
“It’s gonna be a lot of fun. We’ve never played them (in football) before, but we play them in everything else in the Foothills and the kids are familiar with each other,” B-P coach Jim Pelneau said. “We do a lot with them over the summer. It’s gonna be a good time.”
“It’s probably good for both communities,” Gloversville coach Jared Bongo said. “I’m pretty close with Jimmy Pelneau, we do a lot of stuff in the offseason, we do 7-on-7 all summer, so we’re pretty familiar with one another.”
B-P (1-1) comes in off a strong effort in Week 2 that saw the Patriots come away with a 22-16 road win over Lansingburgh. Running backs Lucas Coon and Joey Vitalis both exceeded 100 rushing yards in the win over the Knights, and the Patriots put up more than 300 rushing yards as a team.
That, Pelneau said, was a particular emphasis after getting away from a more smashmouth-oriented style in the team’s season-opening loss to Cobleskill-Richmondville.
“That was our challenge, was to get back to having an identity,” Pelneau said. “We felt like we kind of lost way of that a bit in Week 1. We wanted to get back to running the ball and being physical up front, and we were able to do that.”
Along with the 219 combined rushing yards from Coon and Vitalis, quarterback Brodryk Benton had an efficient night against ‘Burgh, completing 11 of his 15 passes for 119 yards, with Alex Gardner (5 catches, 42 yards) and Nick Geren (3 catches, 65 yards) as his primary targets.
Kobe Waldvogel had a sack and a fumble recovery to lead a defense that held Lansingburgh to just one offensive score.
In Gloversville (0-2), the Patriots face a team from a higher classification that’s had a tough-luck start to its season. The Huskies were close in both of their games this season, but fell 35-20 at home to South Glens Falls and 20-14 on the road against Averill Park, leaving them zero margin for error the rest of the way if they want to reach the Section II Class A playoffs.
“We were in the games. We’ve kind of hurt ourselves more than other teams have hurt us,” Bongo said. “If we can not hurt ourselves and limit our mistakes, I think we can be competitive with just about anybody.”
Quarterback Buck Galster, running back Jared Malagisi and jack-of-all-trades Trevor Mee have fueled the Huskies’ offense through two weeks, and Bongo had high praise for Korey Cotugno as the leader of the team’s defense.
With defending state champion Glens Falls on the docket for B-P next week, Pelneau said tonight’s game should be a good gauge for the Patriots.
“They’re tough kids. They’ve done a lot of good things,” Pelneau said of Gloversville. “Coach Bongo will put you in a bind with their offense a little bit, and you have to play disciplined to beat them.”
A look at the rest of the high school football slate around the area tonight:
Corinth (0-2) at Fonda-Fultonville (0-2), 7 p.m. — Two 0-2 teams looking to get their season on the right track will meet at John G. Boshart Field. The Braves haven’t hesitated in handing the reins of their offense to sophomore quarterback John Mancini, who has completed 31 of 60 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns in the first two games of the season. In the Braves’ Week 2 loss to Lake George/Hadley-Luzerne, it was a one-point game through three quarters before the WarEagles got a pair of long touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to hand F-F a 26-12 setback. Corinth has been outscored 89-20 in losses to Stillwater and Hoosick Falls. Quarterback Colt Guilder runs the Tomahawks’ flexbone offense under first-year coach Justin Culligan and has scored all three of the team’s touchdowns this season.
Cohoes (0-2) at Canajoharie-Fort Plain (2-1), 7 p.m. — Cohoes didn’t play varsity football in 2016 and made a late return to the varsity level this year, though the Class B-sized program is playing a schedule of Class D teams this year. The Tigers have been outscored 68-6 in their first two games of the season, dropping games to Whitehall and Fort Edward/Argyle. C-FP has outscored its first two opponents 74-7 and got a huge all-around game from Nick Kocjan in Saturday’s 33-7 win over Helderberg Valley with a passing touchdown, rushing touchdown and a 99-yard interception return for a score on one of his two picks during the game.