Tyler Champine tries to get the ball away from a Peru defender.
The AuSable Valley varsity football team wanted to avoid injuries and cut down on penalties in their Sept. 20 meeting with the Peru Indians.
While they were able to come away relatively pain free, it was one penalty during the Indians’ 47-7 victory that will change the game plan heading into their Class C matchup with Saranac Lake scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 28.
During the Indians’ second drive, Peru’s Jozua Cote and AuSable’s Dillon Savage were flagged with personal fouls and ejected from the game, making them ineligible for their next games against Beekmantown and Saranac Lake, respectively.
“It was the key penalty in the game, and we are going to try and appeal it,” head coach Heith Ford said after the game. “It took awhile for us to recover after that happened, but we were able to change gears a little in the second half.”
Without its leading rusher, the Patriots turned to senior quarterback John Goodnough, who opened the game with interceptions on the Patriots’ first two series but then settled down to finish 12-of-27 for 163 yards and three picks. Goodnough also ran the ball 16 times for 48 yards, including his team’s lone score.
“John stepped up in a big way and became a leader tonight on the field and in that locker room,” Ford said. “He had a bad toe and he played through it and had a good second half when he showed some accuracy with his passes and the ability to target open players.”
Tyler Champine caught four passes for 46 yards while Sultan Sikandar caught three for 38 yards, Chasm Perkett two for 26 yards, Connor Kennedy two for 23 yards and Lucas Perez one for 23 yards. Kennedy also carried the ball four times for five yards, while Savage had a pair of carries for as many yards in two series before the ejection.
Kyle Coolidge continued to help lead the Patriots’ defensive unit, both recovering and forcing a fumble, the latter being recovered by Gavin Friedrich.
“Kyle stepped up for us and did a great job at the middle linebacker position,” Ford said.
So far, the Patriots have recovered six fumbles in three games, scoring on two. They have also recorded a safety.
The Patriots now prepare for their lone Class C game of the regular season, traveling to Saranac Lake to face the Red Storm.
“We will change some things around and maybe add a twist or two that Saranac Lake has not seen yet,” Ford said.