Saranac Lake’s Devin Darrah battles for ball possession with Peru’s Tyler Murphy in the season opener Sept. 3.
The Saranac Lake varsity football team was in an unfamiliar situation in their season opener Sept. 3.
Trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, head coach Eric Bennett said that he needed his team to keep working hard.
And, while the Peru Indians scored a 22-19 victory, Bennett was pleased that his team did what he needed them to do.
“We pride ourselves in not quitting,” Bennett said. “It came down to the last snap and we had a chance to win.”
The Indians scored on two of their first three drives to jump out to a 14-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Red Storm quarterback Matt Phelan, in his first varsity start, found Mike Burpoe on an out route, breaking away from the defender to score a 75-yard touchdown and cut the lead to 14-7.
Then, as the half was winding down, the Storm again made their way down the field as Phelan connected with Devin Darrah on a 10-yard scoring pass. However, Saranac Lake was unable to tie the score when Peru blocked the point after attempt.
In the third quarter, the Red Storm took the lead on a 12 play, 68 yard drive that ended with Phelan running a bootleg for the final two yards and a touchdown.
“Matt had a great game for us,” Bennett said. “For his first varsity start, he did the best that he could.”
Phelan finished with 193 passing yards on 10 completions, two of those for touchdowns. He also ran for 93 yards on 21 carries, scoring once.
The Red Storm rally lasted through most of the fourth quarter before Peru scored with 2:49 remaining on the clock, converting a two-point conversion to give the Indians a 22-19 lead.
On the next possession, the Red Strom got the ball to the Indians 18, but a last-ditch pass from Phelan to Burpoe fell incomplete, turning the ball over for the Indians to run the victory formation.
Bennett said after the game that they will not change their strategy, but will work on fundamentals.
“We need to tackle better and run correct routes,” Bennett said.
Burpoe finished with 125 yards receiving, while Darrah had 59 yards.
Lumberjacks open with win
Jordan Garrow ran for 91 yards and one score as the Lumberjacks opened the season with a 24-18 win over Gouverneur Sept. 3.
Elliot Kerst added 63 rushing yards and a score, while Tim Ropas had 54 yards and Morgan Stevens ran for one touchdown and 38 yards.
Stevens also threw for 51 yards on 4-fo-6 passing.
Mitch Keniston anchored the defensive effort with two interceptions.
Patriots ousted in opener
The AuSable Valley Patriots were unable to overcome a 21-0 open against Franklin Academy, falling 42-13 Sept. 3.
After the Huskies scored the first three touchdowns of the first quarter, Patriots quarterback Austin House found Kyle Prinsen, who was able to score from 61 yards out.
House also connected with Jeremy Owen for a three-yard score in the fourth quarter. House finished with 132 yards passing and the two touchdowns.
Dillon Savage led the team with 34 rush yards and an interception.