Saugerties football team must beat Wallkill to have a post-season

Jack Hindes forces his way past an FDR defender on his way to a long gain. (photo by Robert Ford)

As unbelievable as it may seem, the Saugerties’ Sawyers football team is in a position to be in the playoffs despite its dismal 2-4 record. The team’s hard-fought 35-26 victory over FDR in Saturday’s Mum Bowl game made it a contender for the post-season.

Here’s what has to happen for the Sawyers to make it to the playoffs. They and FDR are both in the Section 9, Class A division. The Sawyers’ record after beating FDR is 2-3 in the division, while FDR is 3-3.

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The Sawyers travel to Wallkill Friday night for a divisional game. If they win, they, like FDR. will be 3-3 in divisional play. FDR plays Kingston in an out-of-division game on Friday night. If both Saugerties and FDR finish 3-3 at the end of the regular season, the Sawyers go to the post-season because of the team’s triumph over FDR in the Mum Bowl.

That’s what it’ll take.

In the beginning of the FDR game, it appeared that Saugerties was going to end the day with a 1-5 record. The Presidents scored on their first possession of the game. It was a flea-flicker play, where the center hikes the ball to the quarterback, who in turn flicks the ball in a behind-the-line pass to the tight end. Then the tight end heaves the ball as far as he can downfield to a streaking wideout.
In this case, the wideout caught the ball and went in for the touchdown.

FDR failed on the extra point. Before most of the fans have even gotten into their seats, the Sawyers were down 6-0.

On the home team’s first possession of the game, quarterback Matt Bucci tossed an interception. FDR was back in business. The Presidents’ quarterback and receiver hooked up for a long pass play, which was followed up by a Sawyer facemask penalty. FDR scored, making it 12-0 after only about four minutes of the game. Saugerties’ looked stunned after its two big defensive lapses. Things looked bleak.

Three Sawyer runs went nowhere.  On a critical fourth-down play, Saugerties ran a fake punt, with Jimmy Heinlein getting the ball and running for the first down. Bucci hooked up with Hake Browe on a long TD pass. After a Sam Bagshaw extra point, the score was 12-7 in favor of FDR.

The Presidents and Sawyers exchanged punts on their next two possessions.

After a short punt by Bucci, who has had some difficulty getting distance on his kicks, FDR took over. A 50-yard run brought the ball down to the Sawyer three-yard line.  After a short run and a failed extra point, the score was 18-7.

Saugerties and FDR exchanged turnovers, with the Presidents fumbling, and the Sawyers getting intercepted.

With FDR driving the ball towards the Sawyer goal line for another score just prior to the end of the half, Tavin Rell came up with a big interception and ran it for an 85-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good. The teams went into the locker room at the half with FDR up 18-13.

After the halftime Mum Bowl festivities, Jimmy Heinlein had a long kickoff return. Bucci handed off to Jack Hines, and he was off to the races for a touchdown. A Hindes run for the extra point put the Sawyers ahead, 21-18.

On the next Saugerties offensive possession, Bucci ran a quarterback keeper for a touchdown. With a Bagshaw extra point it was 28-18. The Sawyers never looked back.

FDR scored once more, and the two-point conversion barrowed the score to 28-26. But then the Sawyers salted the game away on a Matt Bucci keeper and a Bagshaw extra point. The final score was 35-26, and the Sawyers were one win away from an unlikely post-season playoff game.

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