SCHUYLERVILLE — In a clash of physical defenses that gave up very little Friday night, the Schuylerville football team held on for a 14-7 Class C North victory over Fonda.
The Black Horses turned a fumble into a touchdown just before halftime, then got a long interception return from Zach Bowen to open a 14-0 third-quarter lead as they improved to 2-0 in the division, 4-0 overall.
"We kind of thought it might be that kind of game, we thought the defensive side would take a bit of a front seat tonight," Schuylerville head coach John Bowen said, whose team held the Braves' speedy Giovanni DiCaprio to 82 rushing yards.
"The DiCaprio kid is a handful, we had to contain him," John Bowen said. "Our run fits were much better this week. Defense is an 11-man operation — everyone has an alley or a lane to fit into, and we didn't do a good job of that against Chatham a week ago. That was our biggest charge to the kids, to clean up that aspect of our defense."
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For most of the first half, the defenses canceled each other out, as neither team got much going on offense. Both teams finished the game with 140 total yards. Schuylerville's Carson Patrick picked off a Fonda pass in the first quarter.
It took another turnover to put the Black Horses on the board, when Lukas Sherman fell on a fumble at the Braves' 24 late in the first half. Schuylerville converted a fourth down on a pass interference penalty, then scored on fourth down four plays later. Owen Sherman found a diving Ryan Dow in the end zone with a 15-yard touchdown pass for a 6-0 lead with 49 seconds left in the half.
Early in the third quarter, Zach Bowen picked off a screen pass and raced 78 yards for the touchdown and a 14-0 Horses lead.
From there, Schuylerville burned the clock on the ground while keeping the Braves (1-1, 1-2) from getting untracked. Lukas Sherman led the Horses with 76 yards on 24 carries, and Owen Sherman went 9 for 16 passing for 66 yards.
Fonda did not score until Jonathan Cranker bashed in from 4 yards out with 1:52 left in the game.
"Offensively, it was a chess match," John Bowen said. "It's very hard to simulate their physicality and speed in practice — our guys had their eyes opened by the speed Fonda brought. It was two very physical football teams, and it came down to who made mistakes."