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Football: Saratoga advances to section final with win over Shen

Saturday, October 31, 2015 by Aidan Joly

It was the Saratoga vs. Shenendehowa rematch, but this time, there were higher stakes. It sent a team to the Class AA super bowl for Section 2.

The Saratoga Blue Streaks defeated the Shenendehowa Plainsmen on Friday night at Saratoga High School by a score of 35-7, clinching them a spot in the 2015 Class AA super bowl.

Shen was on the board first by way of a two-yard touchdown run by Carl Fiore with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter after Saratoga had turned their initial possession over on downs.

“Defensively, we gave them some momentum by going for it on fourth down and not making it, and they went down the field and were able to score, and from there, our defense just shut them down,” Head Coach Terry Jones said after the game.

Saratoga would tie the game at seven just over three minutes later on an eight-yard run into the end zone by Brian Williams at the end of the first quarter.

At the midway point of the second quarter, Dakota Harvey scored the first of his three touchdowns on the evening, the first being a 10-yard run, and the second touchdown was also a 10-yard run.

“He was just remarkable tonight,” Jones said. “He did some things and he does things that you just can’t coach. He’s just a remarkable football player and a remarkable young man.”

Saratoga went into the break with a slim 14-7 lead.

With Saratoga up 21-7 during the third quarter, quarterback Brian Williams threw a pass to Brandon Hipsley that seemed to be the turning point in the game. This drive followed a three-and-out by Shen that gave Saratoga the ball just over a minute after Harvey’s second touchdown that put the Blue Streaks up to 21. After the 13-yard touchdown to Hipsley, it was 28-7, and that is where it would stay through the end of the quarter.

During the fourth, Harvey exploded for a 51 yard touchdown run to give Saratoga a 35-7 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the game. Just a minute later, Robert Haughton intercepted a Saratoga pass, but they didn’t convert on that would-be final drive.

Jones said about advancing to the Class AA super bowl, “You ask any team in August what their goal is and it’s to win the super bowl. So in order to win it, you have to be there. We accomplished that tonight.”

Defensive tackle Bryan Bochette was injured in the final minutes of the game with an apparent knee injury but walked off the field. He will undergo further evaluation.

Saratoga is now 9-0 on the season, still undefeated. They will be taking on Shaker in the super bowl, and the game will be Friday, November 6, with a venue yet to be determined. That game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Photos are by Eli Fisher. Click any photo for full size.


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