Broadalbin-Perth defensive end Alex Gardner (32) bears down on Hudson Falls quarterback Riley Maddison (3) during Friday’s game at Patriot Field in Broadalbin.
By ADAM SHINDER
For the Express
BROADALBIN — Turnovers giveth, and turnovers taketh away.
The Broadalbin-Perth Patriots took advantage of four Hudson Falls turnovers to erase an early 16-point deficit and take the lead 54 seconds into the fourth quarter of Friday night’s Section II Class B North Division football contest at Patriot Field.
Then, the pendulum swung the other way. The Patriots committed a pair of key turnovers in the fourth quarter; an interception that Schyler Russell returned 35 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, and a fumble when B-P was driving with a chance to go back in front that allowed Hudson Falls to seal a 22-20 victory and lock up the No. 3 seed out of the North Division in the Class B playoffs.
“We put ourselves in a hole early. We didn’t come out and play physical, and credit to Hudson Falls, they slugged us in the mouth,” B-P coach Jim Pelneau said. “We didn’t respond until late in the game, and you’re not going to win games like that and turn the ball over.”
Brodryk Benton threw three touchdown passes for B-P (2-4, 0-3 Class B North), which suffered its third straight loss. Russell led Hudson Falls (4-2, 2-1) with 104 rushing yards on 25 carries, including a touchdown in the first quarter.
Hudson Falls led 16-0 thanks to two touchdowns in the game’s first 11 minutes, but B-P made it a 16-13 game at the half as Benton hit Alex Gardner for an 84-yard touchdown on the last play of the first quarter, then found Glenn Buyce in traffic for a 27-yard touchdown as the first half expired.
In the fourth quarter, after the Patriots got the ball thanks to a badly botched Hudson Falls snap, a flea flicker resulted in a 60-yard heave from Benton to Nick Geren for the go-ahead score.
B-P had a chance to add more following Buyce’s second interception of Hudson Falls quarterback Riley Maddison, but a screen pass attempt by Benton was batted in the air and intercepted by Russell, who broke loose and headed to the end zone with 6:20 to play.
The Patriots responded with a drive deep into Hudson Falls territory, but after converting a fourth down, on the very next play a fumble gave the Tigers the ball back with 2:40 remaining.
“We were setting ourselves up for a score, but you can’t put the ball on the turf,” Pelneau said.
Hudson Falls ran off most of the remaining clock and B-P was unable to dial up a last-ditch play, setting the Patriots up in a do-or-die scenario next week at Johnstown with the winner claiming a playoff berth.
“Do or die to get in,” Pelneau said. “We want to get in, we want to give it a shot and get into sectionals, that’s our goal. Obviously, we would’ve liked the higher seed, but end of the day, playoffs start next week.”