South High football

South Glens Falls junior running back Joe Johnson (22) pumps up the Bulldogs in a pre-game speech before their home opener against Broadalbin-Perth on Sept. 13.

SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Talk about a 180-degree turnaround and what a difference one week can make.

South Glens Falls had taken a 58-14 thumping last week to open its season against Mohonasen.

In a role reversal, the Bulldogs were the ones who dominated from start to finish with a suffocating defense, a relentless running attack and uninhibited enthusiasm.

Junior running back Joe Johnson rushed 19 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns, Josh Ahrens added 132 rushing yards and a score and the South Glens Falls defense held Broadalbin-Perth to just 37 total yards on their way to a 26-0 victory Friday in a non-league game.

“I think we just executed our game plan,” said first-year South Glens Falls football coach Matt Howard. “We had confidence and we did our job. We trusted in each other more. We had a good week of practice. The guys beneath each other did their jobs and we did it. That’s awesome and that’s what happens.”

Howard pointed to the mental aspect as well as the preparation for the dramatic change.

“It’s all mental,” Howard said. “The guys studied film. We knew our assignments. We build off that. Everybody makes a play. The momentum builds and builds and builds and you start playing above where you’ve been playing. These guys played for one another tonight. I think it surprised a lot of people outside of our team, but it didn’t surprise us.”

South High took advantage of their opportunities from the onset, forcing a turnover on downs on B-P’s opening series after a pair of incomplete passes. The Bulldogs (1-1) marched down the field 50 yards in nine plays to break through first on a 13-yard touchdown run by Johnson.

The second quarter began in a chaotic manner when the teams traded possessions on consecutive plays. First, the Patriots (1-1) intercepted the ball on South High’s 40-yard line, but it was given right back when a fumble recovery by senior Zach Wolfe put the Bulldogs on their own 47-yard line.

The Bulldogs went back to their running game and found success by completing a 10-play, 53-yard drive with another touchdown scamper by Johnson, who cut back for a five-yard score. Ahrens followed on a quick snap and bounced to the outside for a two-point conversion to increase the lead to 14-0.

South High received the kickoff to begin the third quarter and Sam Filson alertly covered an onside kick attempt by B-P.

The Bulldogs capitalized on it, driving six plays for another 51 yards. Ahrens found a huge seam and streaked down the sidelines for a 28-yard run and finished off the drive with a five-yard touchdown run by Ahrens.

The Bulldogs combined to rush for 320 yards on 53 carries. Junior Isaiah Cuva added 48 yards on 10 carries.

“Those guys ran so hard,” Howard said. “We said after the game that wouldn’t take any other three backs (Johnson, Ahrens and Cuva) in the league. The credit goes to our offensive line as well. We adjusted some schemes and we honed in some things. We are young and are still trying to find our identity. We kind of found a little bit of that tonight. We got clicking and it was a snowball effect. The line paved the way and the backs hit the holes hard.”

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