November 16, 2013

Eagles to search for holes in Schalmont's stingy defense

BEEKMANTOWN — Beekmantown football coach Jamie Lozier hasn’t seen a quicker sideline-to-sideline team than the one he’s prepped for all week. 

Lozier’s Eagles (6-4) will challenge No. 4 Schalmont in the NYSPHSAA Class B quarterfinals at AuSable Valley for 1 p.m. today.

The Section II champion Sabres have surrendered just 31 points all year, pitching five shutouts in all.

“Their defense is the best in the state,” Lozier said. “Their defense on film just looks like a base defense and that’s what’s scary. It’s because they’re all that good.

“Usually, you can get a defense looking sloppy when you get a couple good guys making plays. But when it looks like that, that’s scary because everybody’s doing their job.”

While Schalmont’s defense has suffocated its opponents, its offense is just as dangerous.

The Sabres have pummeled their opponents, scoring more than 50 points five times, including a 54-7 drubbing of No. 17 Broadalbin-Perth in the Section II Class B Super Bowl last Saturday. The perennial Section II power outgained Broadalbin-Perth on offense by a 449-70 margin.

Schalmont averages 371 yards of offense per game, including 253 rushing yards.

Devon Willis, who was a first-team all-state player in Class B a season ago, leads the team with 870 yards and 16 touchdowns. A 6-foot-1-inch 185-pound back, Willis has been riddled with injuries during his senior season.

Quarterback Nick Gallo has also been a major contributor on offense. Since a positional change in Week 5, Gallo is 32-for-43 with 611 passing yards and eight touchdowns.

During that five-game span, the junior has run for 266 yards and three touchdowns on 43 carries.

“We want to eliminate the big plays,” Beekmantown running back and outside linebacker Justin Stevens said. “We want to just clog everything we can. Just really make it all congested for them. Hopefully, we’ll force them to beat us with people they haven’t been beating teams with.”

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