By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — The Indians won their ninth straight game heading into the playoffs Friday night against the Gloversville Huskies.
The Huskies ended the 2023 regular season with a 4-4 record, while the Indians had a perfect 8-0 season.
While Gloversville threatened a few times throughout Friday night’s game on the gridiron at RCS, it was never even close, with the Indians coming out on top 55-0.
Gloversville had the first possession of the game and turned the ball over on downs at the Indians’ 40-yard line. It took the hometown team only two plays to put the ball in the end zone — a Kaden Potter completed pass to Jack McFerran that brought the Indians to the 28-yard line, and on the next play, Dominick Paljusaj scored the first touchdown of the game on a 28-yard run. The extra point kick was no good, keeping the score at Indians up 6-0.
On the next play, McFerran made an onside kick attempt that McFerran recovered, giving the ball back to the Indians at the Gloversville 45-yard line, but a fumble would turn the ball back over to the Huskies. After a couple of sacks by Jack Reif and Ethan Green, and a costly penalty for the Huskies, Gloversville was able to move the ball to mid-field before punting on 4th and 28.
The Indians took over the ball at their own 27-yard line and on the first play of the possession, Paljusaj had a 73-yard touchdown run to put the score at 12-0, and then Paljusaj had a successful 2-point conversion, making the score 14-0 at the end of the quarter.
The Indians — and Paljusaj, who would go on to score another three touchdowns — never looked back.
At the top of the second quarter the Indians’ Ethan Green had a couple of carries to get a first down before Paljusaj had another touchdown, running the ball 33 yards down the field. The extra point kick was no good, keeping the score at Indians 20, Huskies 0.
With 8:15 left in the second quarter, Gloversville fumbled the ball and Green recovered, giving the Indians the ball at mid-field. RCS went on to fumble the ball, but flags on the play and a costly facemask penalty on the Huskies put the ball at the Gloversville 21-yard line. Quarterback Kaden Potter was injured on the play but was able to walk off the field, with Mason Carkner coming in to take over the quarterback duties.
Then Paljusaj did it again, scoring his fourth touchdown of the game on a 25-yard run. The extra point attempt was blocked, with RCS up 26-0.
With 1:04 left in the half, Wyatt Algozzine caught a 32-yard pass reception from Carkner before he was knocked out of bounds at the Gloversville 21-yard line. A couple of penalties on the Indians — holding, which was declined, and illegal blocking, which was accepted — put the ball back to the Huskies’ 25-yard line before Paljusaj scored yet another touchdown on a 25-yard run. The two-point conversion by Green made the score Indians 34, Huskies 0, with :27 left in the half.
The Indians recovered the kick and took over the ball yet again at the Huskies’ 25-yard line. Within seconds, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Carkner to McFerran ran the score up to 40-0 before the extra kick went through the goalposts and the score was Indians up 41-0, ending the half.
At the top of the second half, Algozzine caught the kick and returned the ball all the way down the field for a touchdown just seconds into the third quarter. The score went to 48-0 with the extra point.
The Huskies threatened with three minutes left in the third, getting to the Indians’ 11 yard line before losing the ball on downs.
On the first play, Green blazed across the field with an 85-yard touchdown run with the final seconds of the third quarter ticking down. The extra point put the score at Indians 55, Huskies 0, which would be the final score of the game.
The Indians move on to the semi-finals next Friday at 7 p.m. when they host the winner of the Lansingburgh vs. Mechanicville/Hoosic Valley game.