By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — The RCS Indians football team continued their winning ways Friday night with their seventh straight win of the season.
The hometown team, playing on Senior Night, defeated the Lansingburgh Knights by a score of 45-14. The win came after the Indians had a week off last week when the Hudson team they were scheduled to play canceled the rest of their season due to a lack of eligible players, putting the Indians at a 6-0 season.
The Knights came into the game with a 5-1 record, but by night’s end, RCS would continue its undefeated season.
There is only one more regular season game remaining, with the Indians playing Ichabod Crane in an away game next Friday. The Riders had a 3-2 record at press time.
The Indians wasted no time at the start of Friday’s game, with Ethan Green scoring a touchdown on a 66-yard run only 20 seconds into the game. The extra point kick by Jack McFerran was good, giving RCS an early lead at 7-0.
Then it was time for the defense to go to work. The Knights received the ball on their own 4-yard line, followed by a trio of first downs that brought the visiting team to their own 42-yard line before RCS’s defense shut them down and forced the punt.
The Indians’ touchdown in the opening seconds of the game was the only score in the first quarter, which ended with RCS up 7-0.
RCS marched down the field at the top of the second quarter, getting to the 34-yard line before the Indians were unable to convert to another first down and turned the ball over to the Knights on the Lansingburgh 34-yard line.
The Knights were able to convert one first down before being forced to punt again, opening the door to another Indians touchdown on the next possession. The Indians took over the ball at their own 37-yard line and were able to get into Knights territory on runs by Ethan Green and Dominic Paljusaj. Paljusaj ran into the end zone on a 7-yard touchdown run and McFerran’s extra point kick was good, putting the Indians up 14-0.
The Knights scored their first points of the game on the next possession on a 51-yard touchdown pass with 1:57 left in the first half. The extra point was good, putting the visiting team within one touchdown as RCS led 14-7.
But that was as close as they would get.
The Indians responded with a quick touchdown of their own. After Wyatt Algozzine returned the ball to the Indians’ 36-yard line, RCS took a time out and it worked — the next play was a 64-yard touchdown pass by Mason Carkner to Jack McFerran and the extra point gave the hometown team a 21-7 lead with 1:37 left in the half.
A McFerran interception with just under a minute left in the second quarter would lead to another Indians threat, but in the waning seconds of the half, the Indians were unable to convert another score and went into the locker room with a 21-7 lead at halftime.
At the top of the second half, the Indians’ defense forced a fumble and senior Dominic Maltese recovered the ball. A couple of carries by Green and Paljusaj gave the Indians another touchdown and a McFerran extra point kick made the score Indians 28, Knights 7.
But RCS wasn’t done yet. After the Knights took over the ball at their own 27-yard line, on the first play of the possession they fumbled the ball on the exchange and Green recovered it, leading to a 20-yard touchdown run by Paljusaj on the next play. The score was 35-7 with 6:06 left in the third quarter.
After the Knights turned the ball over on downs on the next possession, quarterback Mason Carkner broke through the crowd and raced down the field for a 47-yard run and was only stopped when he got to the Lansingburgh 7-yard line. The Indians were stopped at the 3-yard line before McFerran kicked a field goal — the ball was deflected by the Knights but still made it over the crossbar, giving the Indians a 38-7 lead to end the third quarter.
The Knights would score their second and final touchdown of the game at the top of the fourth quarter after a Carkner pass was intercepted and a couple of runs and an offsides penalty called against RCS led to a Knights touchdown and extra point, putting the score at Indians 38, Knights 14.
The final score of the evening would come on a 20-yard touchdown run by Indians senior Thomas Burns on the next possession. The extra point kick by McFerran gave the Indians a 45-14 lead. Strong defense the rest of the quarter held the Knights at bay and the Indians closed out the Senior Night game with a 45-14 win.
The team remains undefeated with one game left in the regular season. They will next play the Ichabod Crane Riders on Friday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m., in an away game in Valatie.
Here are more images from Friday night’s game, thanks to photojournalist Jennifer Kennedy.