By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — When the RCS Indians and the Schalmont Sabres, both undefeated as of Friday night, went head to head, it was a foregone conclusion that one of them would come up with their first loss of the season.
The Indians fell behind early and suffered from a couple of untimely fumbles, but the defense stayed strong throughout the game, giving the offense the chance to score the team’s second touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter, and that was all the Indians needed.
The Indians came out with their fifth straight win of the season by a score of 14-7 in the team’s homecoming game.
The two powerhouse teams failed to put points on the board in the first quarter. As the stanza wound down, the Indians chipped away at yardage, marching down the field to within striking distance, but with seconds to go in the first the Indians fumbled the ball and the Sabres recovered on their own 2-yard line.
The error would come back to haunt the Indians. At the top of the second, Schalmont had a 78-yard touchdown run, giving them the first score of the game. The extra point kick was good, putting the score at Schalmont 7, Indians 0.
But the Indians did not back down. On the next possession they took over the ball on their own 33-yard line before Ethan Green ran for a first down, putting the ball at the Indians’ 45-yard line. A couple of back-to-back first downs put the Indians at second and goal inside the Schalmont 1-yard line.
Quarterback Kaden Potter ran the ball into the endzone for the hometown team’s first score of the night. An attempted 2-point conversion failed, leaving the Sabres ahead by a score of 7-6.
The score remained with the Indians down by a point until halftime, with RCS going into the locker room uncharacteristically down against a tough Sabres team.
During halftime the homecoming festivities were held, celebrating all of the school’s teams.
The two teams traded punts before a long Dominick Paljusaj run put the ball at Schalmont’s 9-yard line, but another fumble by the Indians turned the ball over to the Sabres on their own 7-yard line.
The Indians’ defense went to work again, and Schalmont failed to make a first down on the possession.
The score remained Sabres 7, Indians 6, through the end of the third quarter.
Halfway through the fourth quarter it was time for the Indians’ offense to crank things up and they did, driving the ball deep into Sabres’ territory before Paljusaj would give the team their second score on a 4-yard running touchdown to put the Indians ahead for the first time in the game.
A 2-point conversion was successful, giving the Indians a 14-7 lead with 7:41 left on the game clock.
An excellent kick by Jack McFerran with less than 5 minutes left in the game left the Sabres at their own 1-yard line, but a couple of completed Sabres’ passes got the visiting team out of the hole before an interception by the Indians’ Mason Carkner brought the crowd to its feet and put the game out of reach.
The Indians took the 14-7 victory, handing the Sabres their first loss of the season in a hotly contested game that was dominated by defense. RCS now has a 5-0 overall record on the season and a 3-0 in-league record.
They are in first place in Section 2.
The Indians will have their first of only two regular season away games next weekend, playing Hudson on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. After that there are only two remaining regular season games — the team will face off against Lansingburgh at home on Oct. 13 and then the final game of the season will be an away match against Ichabod Crane on Oct. 20.