CLIFTON PARK — Against a Peru defense that had allowed just 7.4 points per game this season, Glens Falls came out and scored on its first three possessions Friday.
Peru slowed down Glens Falls in the second half but still fell 36-20 in an NYSPHSAA Class B football quarterfinal at Shenendehowa High School.
“The problem was we just couldn’t get the ball away from them,” Peru coach Nick Damiani said. “We had some key downs where we should’ve got off the field and didn’t, whether they had a big pass play or caught us on a little counter.
“We didn’t give our offense a chance to get it going.”
Glens Falls (10-1), which knocked off Schalmont last week to win the Section II championship, earned a spot in the Class B semifinals at Kingston’s Dietz Stadium.
“Usually after a big win like we had against Schalmont, where it was a little bit of an upset, you might have a little bit of a letdown,” Glens Falls coach Pat Lilac said. “But these kids didn’t have a letdown. They went after it, and I’m really proud of them.”
Peru trailed 22-6 at halftime but made some defensive adjustments and grabbed the momentum in the third quarter. Glens Falls, which had success with its ground game in the first half, had possession first and was limited to a short gain and a loss before Zane Bazzano snagged an interception.
Tim Remillard then ran 24 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown 2:27 into the quarter. Mackenzie LaRocque’s conversion run made it 22-14.
Peru’s defense held strong again, as Glens Falls went three-and-out, with Cam Girard getting sacked by Taylor Avanzato on third down.
But Peru (9-2) had to punt on its next drive after gaining just eight yards. When Glens Falls got the ball back, it not only added to its lead but also chewed up the clock.
The offense put together a 16-play, 76-yard drive that stretched into the fourth quarter. Mike Lanoir ended it by catching a 19-yard pass in the back corner of the end zone, and Glens Falls went up 29-14.
“It took us a little bit to make some adjustments. We made some adjustments, and it worked,” Damiani said. “We were able to slow them down, put them in third-down situations and fourth-down situations. Just couldn’t get off the field. “And that’s because their backs were big and physical and their offensive line was physical, and they controlled us up front when they were on offense.”
Peru stayed in it with a Remillard 3-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left in the game, but Bret Boyer’s extra-point attempt slid just wide, keeping it a two-score game.
Glens Falls tacked on another touchdown when Girard ran in from the 5-yard line with 2:20 left.
Lanoir finished with 67 rushing yards and 66 receiving yards on five catches for Glens Falls. Joe McMahon led the ground attack. He had 128 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and wound up with 181 yards on 20 carries.
McMahon ran 11 yards up the middle for a touchdown on Glens Falls’ first possession of the game.
Peru answered with Bazzano’s 8-yard scoring run but still trailed 8-6. Girard hit Jake Dailey for a 9-yard touchdown pass in the middle of the second quarter, and Lanoir later took off for a 43-yard score 2:08 before the half. Remillard, who was named Offensive Player of the Game, had 44 rushing yards plus a 21-yard reception. LaRocque ran for 41 yards, and Bazzano made five catches for 52 yards. Hunter Bruno was named Defensive Player of the Game.
Peru dropped its first game of the season to Saranac Lake and then reeled off nine straight wins, claiming its second straight Section VII title and beating Franklin Academy in a regional game last week.
“We wanted to maintain a consistency in our program like what it used to be. And we’ve got that back,” Damiani said. “And I feel like we came down here and represented Section VII by battling for four quarters of football, and we just came up a little short this time. But our kids know what it’s like to be in this game, and we plan on being back in it again in the future.”
Glens Falls 36, Peru 20
Peru 6 0 8 6 — 20
Glens Falls 8 14 0 14 — 36
GF-McMahon 11 run (Dailey pass from Girard), 7:28.
P- Bazzano 8 run (pass failed), 11:24.
GF- Dailey 9 pass from Girard (Armstrong kick), 5:14.
GF- McMahon 43 run (Armstrong kick), 9:52.
P- Remillard 24 run (LaRocque run), 2:27.
GF- Lanoir 19 pass from Girard (Armstrong kick), 1:09.
P- Remillard 3 run (kick missed), 5:00.GF- Girard 5 run (Armstrong kick), 9:40.
P- Remillard 6-44, 2 TD; LaRocque 9-41; Bruno 5-27; Altizer 3-5; Bazzano 2-4, TD. Totals: 25-121, 3 TD.
GF- McMahon 20-181, 2TD; Lanoir 19-67; Girard 8-0, TD. Totals: 47-248, 3 TD.
P- Altizer 7-16-1-81.
GF- Girard 9-12-1-100, 2 TD.
P- Bazzano 5-52; Remillard 1-21; Bruno 1-0.
GF- Lanoir 5-66, TD; Dailey 4-34, TD.
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