Jacob Ashline runs for the endzone against Plattsburgh High.
The AuSable Valley Patriots varsity football team will host the team many believe to be the top in Section VII Friday night, as the Peru Indians come to town on Hall of Fame night.
The Patriots put an end to an 11-game skid and gave the team a shot of momentum heading into a pair of very tough match-ups in the next two weeks against Plattsburgh High Sept. 13.
AVCS used a 28-0 second quarter to pull away from the Hornets, scoring a 42-6 victory under their home lights.
“We were on a slide with no wins and now that is put to bed,” head coach Heith Ford said.
“This is awesome,” said quarterback John Goodnough.
“It has been a while since we got one so this is a good experience for the whole team,” receiver Jacob Ashline said.
“It’s very good for us,” running back Dillon Savage added. “It’s the first win in 12 games, so that does a lot to help our mindset to know that we can win.”
Early in the opening quarter, the game had an appearance of a back-and-forth battle, with Dillon Savage causing a fumble that was returned by Goodnough for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the game, giving the Patriots a 6-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, PHS returned the kick for a touchdown, tying the game 6-6 only 31 seconds in.
On the first play of the second quarter, Ashline took a handoff and went 15 yards to give the Patriots a 13-6 lead. On their next offensive play, Ashline was on the receiving end of a Goodnough pass, beating his defender and scampering 66 yards to the PHS three. Goodnough then scored on the next play for a 19-6 lead.
“I looked over and saw that they were playing him tight,” Goodnough said. “I gave him the audible and he made a great catch.”
“It was just a well-thrown ball,” Ashline said. “I gave the signal, and he put it right where it needed to be.”
Goodnough again scored in the second quarter on a 27 yard touchdown run, which was followed by a 16 yard scoring run by Savage two plays after forcing his second turnover of the night.
“The defense has been playing great,” Savage said. “We have to tighten up on the penalties, but we have been getting to the holes fast and shooting the gaps. We still have some work to do.”
“We have been trying to put the focus on defense more this season,” Ford said. “The guys had a real fresh idea of how to play and where to be on the field.”
Goodnough scored the final touchdown of the game with a 25 yard run in the third quarter, while Brandon Nolan recorded a safety in the fourth quarter to cap the 42-6 victory.
Goodnough finished 2-of-3 passing for 82 yards, 66 going to Ashline and the other 16 going to Connor Kennedy. He also had 100 yards rushing on eight carries, scoring three times.
Savage carried the ball 17 times for 140 yards and one score, while Ashline carried 10 times for 49 yards and Brad Pray added 31 yards on three carries. In all, the Patriots ran for 320 yards and had 402 yards of total offense.
The Patriots next host Peru Friday, Sept. 21, followed by their lone Class C game of the regular season against Saranac Lake Saturday, Sept. 29.
“Peru is a very good team and will be a challenge,” Ford said. “We will use this to get ready for that Class C game. The focus is on Saranac Lake.”