Moriah Bows Out in State Semifinal; Beekmantown Bows

2013 Section VII Football Season Standings

Peru Indians
Ticonderoga Sentinels
Saranac Lake Red Storm
Beekmantown Eagles
Moriah Vikings
Saranac Central Chiefs
AuSable Valley Patriots
Plattsburgh Hornets
Div.     NLg  Overall   PF    PA
7-0      0-0       7-0    266     83
6-1      0-1       6-2    175   135
4-3      0-0       4-3    115   158
4-3      0-0       4-3    247   156
3-4      0-0       3-4    227   187
3-4      0-0       3-4    124   164
1-6      0-0       1-6    129   266
0-7      0-0       0-7        6   128

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Saranac Lake running back Trent Fitzgerald (22) climbs over the Ogdensburg defense and follows offensive lineman Collin Shipman (66) into the end zone for a 12-0 lead just eight seconds into the second quarter.  But the Blue Devils followed with 27 straight points, then fended off a late rally from the Red Storm to score a 27-19 victory in the State Class C playoff opener and "North Country C Super Bowl."  (Ferguson photo)  Game Gallery  NCSN Broadcast


Games of Weeks 11-12: November 15-22, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


N.Y.S. Class D Semifinal - Kingston, NY
Chester (IX) 55, Moriah (VII) 14



N.Y.S. Class D Quarterfinal at AuSable Valley
Moriah (VII) 34, Cambridge (II) 32



N.Y.S. Class B Quarterfinal at AuSable Valley
Schalmont (II) vs. Beekmantown (VII), 1:00 p.m.


Moriah’s 55-14 loss to Section IX’s Chester in the New York State Class D semifinals brought an official close to the 2013 North Country high school football season. Only a junior, Chester’s Vincent Aloi tied a state record by spiraling seven touchdown passes, while racking up 250 yards through the air, in the contest. The Hambletonians (10-1) gained a 7-0 lead when Aloi spun a 29-yard TD pass just 4:44 gone into the game. Fifth-ranked Moriah (7-5) countered when Cole Gaddor tossed a 24-yard touchdown strike to Rainier Garnica just three minutes later for a 7-7 tie. That’s as good as it got. Chester reeled off five straight touchdown drives, capped by Aloi TD shots of 42, 32, 8, 25 and 32 yards. A 75-yard interception touchdown late in the third quarter capped the Hambletonian’s run. Moriah’s Austin Allen, chosen Moriah’s offensive MVP, scored the other Viking touchdown late in the third frame.


The up-tempo, no-huddle Schalmont Sabres fatigued and dismantled the Beekmantown Eagles in the second quarter of the New York State Class B quarterfinal game on Saturday afternoon at AuSable Valley. When the period started, the Eagles trailed just 7-0 to the Section II champions. In the section quarter alone, the state-ranked, #4 Schalmont had blown through Beekmantown with the speed and devastation of a tornado, racking up 47 unanswered points and forcing three turnovers that piled up a 54-0 lead. Within the first 3:15 of the quarter, Schalmont produced four touchdown drives for 27 points, including a 35-yard fumble return. With another 2:39 span near the end of the quarter, the Sabres raced for three big-yardage touchdowns that included a 79-yard interception return, a 48-yard run and a 40-yard passing play. Schalmont chewed up 280 yards in rushing in the first half alone. For Beekmantown, two drives past midfield ended in turnovers, among four giveaways in the first half. However, the Eagles came back from the locker room with positives in the second half. Schalmont was held to six points in a 6-6 second half. Devin Fessette, who led Beekmantown rushers with 19 carries for 71 yards, notched the Eagles’ lone score on a four-yard plunge midway through the fourth quarter and contributed an interception. Justin Stevens also rushed for 62 yards.


Two extra points and a field-goal stand proved to be the difference for the Section VII Champion Moriah Vikings, rated 20th in Class D, to pull off a stunning 34-32 victory over the highly-touted, previously-undefeated and No. 4-rated Cambridge Indians in the New York State Region II championship and propel the Vikings into the State Final Four at Dietz Stadium in Kingston, NY next week. Cambridge took an immediate lead just 18 seconds into the first quarter on a 70-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Ethan English on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Moriah answered on the ensuing drive when Troy Welch carried five yards to paydirt to tie the score 7-7. English scored on an interception “Pick Six” from the Moriah 25 to provide Cambridge with a 14-7 lead to round out the first quarter scoring. The resilient Vikings countered by marching back to the Indians one-yard line where quarterback Cole Gaddor pounded the ball home and, following Jarred MacDougal’s extra point kick, tied the score 14-14. The battle of alternating touchdowns continued when Chris Warnke reeled in an English spiral from 15 yards out, then Gaddor capped a third tying drive with a one-yard plunge to knot the contest at 20-20 at intermission. Moriah finally gained its first lead on the initial possession of the second half. C.J. Raymond scrambled to the end zone from the nine-yard line to put the Vikings ahead 27-20. Now it was Cambridge’s turn to play from behind. Caleb Rowland’s 19-yard run late in the third frame drew the Indians within a point, 27-26, but the two-point conversion failed. Tyler Pratt extended the Vikings’ advantage with a 17-yard touchdown run, while MacDougal added the extra point at 1:22 of the fourth quarter. After stopping Cambridge’s ensuing drive, the Vikings had a chance to open up the game when C.J. Raymond fled the defensive pressure, scooting 47 yards up the sideline, but suffered a gut-wrenching fumble. With momentum rekindled, the Indians forged ahead to score and draw within two points. Down 34-32 with just 1:39 remaining, the Section II Champion Indians ran a counter for their two-point conversion, but it was stuffed at the one-yard line to preserve the Moriah lead. Three plays later, Moriah earned a drive-sustaining first down that killed any hope of Cambridge getting the ball back and sealed the win. Gaddor finished with five completions for 112 yards, but three interceptions. Raymond rushed 24 times for 111 yards. English fired 13 completions for 255 yards. Moriah will return to the New York State Final Four for the fourth time in the past six years, facing either Tuckahoe or Chester next week.


Games of Week 10: November 8-9, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


N.Y.S. Class C Quarterfinal at Massena HS
Ogdensburg (X) 27, Saranac Lake (VII) 19
N.Y.S. Class D Regional Semifinal at AuSable HS
Moriah (VII) 29, Tupper Lake (14



N.Y.S. Class B Quarterfinal at AuSable Valley
Beekmantown (VII) 51, Malone (X) 14


The Malone Huskies scored first, but the Beekmantown Eagles then racked up 32 unanswered points before the half in cruising to a 51-14 win over Franklin Academy in the opening round of the New York State Class B playoffs. Malone’s Camron Gallagher wound a six-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Lamica to open the scoring late in the first quarter. Beekmantown’s ensuing drive took the ball to the one-yard line where Devin Fessette powered into the end zone to tie the game 6-6, just 40 seconds into the second quarter. But the next 11 minutes would devastate the Huskies hopes. Eagle quarterback Jacob Remchuk doled out two touchdown passes to Cameron Garceau – first on a twisting 30-yard pump with just under seven minutes remaining, then on a 29-yard strike with four minutes left in the half to widen the lead to 19-6. Then Justin Stevens took the spotlight. The wide receiver went deep and amazingly reeled in a one-handed catch that he pulled over his back and completed a 79-yard touchdown run. On the ensuring Huskies’ drive, Stevens put Eagle claws on a Gallagher pass and sprinted 60 yards to the house with 3.5 seconds left – two plays in the final 68 seconds of the half to collar the Huskies with a 32-6 halftime deficit. In the first half alone, Remchuk aired out 171 yards and three TD passes. Malone’s woes deepened in the third quarter with a string of injuries, including the loss of two players who were reportedly taken off on stretcher. Adding insult to injury, Devin Fessette scored on a nine-yard in the first 1:07. Malone fumbled on the ensuing kick return and, on the next play, Remchuk unloaded a 32-yard TD strike to Kyle Dupigny to widen the lead to 44-6 just three minutes into the third quarter. The Huskies’ Devin Noreault got his last senior moment with a two-yard touchdown burst with just over eight minutes remaining. Beekmantown’s Dylan Persea stormed 11 yards into the end zone in the final three minutes to round out the win. The Eagles advance to face Section II’s Schalmont next week at AuSable Valley. After a zero-offense start in the first two games of the season, the Huskies rebounded nicely to finish the season at 5-5 overall.


The Moriah Vikings took the early lead and never relinquished it, downing the Tupper Lake Lumberjacks 29-14 in the opening-round game of the New York State Class D playoffs, in one of three North Country Super Bowl contests this weekend. Viking quarterback Cole Gaddor air-mailed three long-distance touchdown passes in the contest – two to Rainier Garnica for 29 and 51 yards, and the other for 53 yards to Tyler Pratt. Cody Stockwll added a 22-yard “Pick Six” interception and kicker Jarred MacDougal booted a 26-yard field goal to round out the Vikings’ scoring. Mitch Keniston launched the Lumberjacks early in the second quarter on a one-yard run to draw within a point 7-6. However, the Pratt TD, Stockwell’s takeaway and McDougall’s kick set Tupper Lake back 22-6 at the half. Keniston also scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter on a three-yard toss from quarterback Morgan Stevens, but with just 2:01 remaining for a 29-14 final. Tupper Lake finished its season at 4-6. The 6-4 Vikings advance to the New York State quarterfinals against either Cambridge or Rensselaer next weekend, in a game to be played at AuSable Valley.


O.F.A. Overcomes Slow Start to beat Saranac Lake

Ogdensburg's Taylor Bouchard (9) paws away a pass intended for Saranac Lake's Dan Strack (21) during a fourth-quarter comeback by the Red Storm.  Saranac Lake took a 12-0 lead before O.F.A. found momentum and scored 27 straight points.  O.F.A. held off a late drive to beat the Red Storm 27-19 in the opening round of the N.Y. State Class C playoffs.  (Ferguson photo)  Game Gallery  NCSN Broadcast

The Saranac Lake Red Storm and Ogdensburg Blue Devils renewed their Class C rivalry for the first time since the demise of the Section VII-Section X merger. And the 2013 revival in the New York State Class C playoff opener was as intense and storied in strategies and comeback as the previous meetings. Saranac Lake took its first two possessions to the house, but saw the lead slip away before the half. It wasn’t until changing tempo in the final two drives, down two possessions, that they threatened to “storm” back in the often-called “North Country Super Bowl.” Red Storm sophomore quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald engineered a 12-0 lead, with handoffs to his brother, senior running back Trent Fitzgerald, on rushes of three yards and seven yards within the first eight seconds of the second quarter. To that point, Fitzgerald was a flawless five-for-five passing for 81 yards and Saranac Lake had dominated the time of possession with two drives, while affording the Blue Devils just three downs. However, the almost-dormant Devils found momentum on the pitching arm and quick legs of quarterback Josh Liebstein who carried the bulk of the load over the next two drives. Liebstein fired up the offensive line after a fifth false-start penalty and used that same firepower himself to muscle past Red Storm defenders for 63 yards over the next two drives. With a renewed mix of pass-and-run, Liebstein drove the Blue Devils down to the 10-yard line, then fired a bullet pass over the middle on a quick Jon Rogers’ crossing route to finally put O.F.A. on the scoreboard at 4:58 of the second quarter. After holding the Red Storm on the ensuing drive, Liebstein (nine passes for 103 yards) capped a58-yard scoring drive with a seven-yard spiral to John Tayler to even the score 12-12, with just 3.3 seconds left in the half. The Devils initially failed on the two-point conversion, but got a “do over” when Saranac Lake was flagged for pass interference. With the shortened distance, Liebstein called the keeper and, behind a wall of manpower, buried the ball in the end zone for a 14-12 lead at the half. Both teams launched the second half with failed drives, but O.F.A. would rush out to an almost insurmountable lead with two successful marches. Rogers broke free on a 27-yard sideline run and Jordan McCormick hauled in a seven-yard pass to thrust Ogdensburg into a 27-12 advantage with 10:12 remaining. For Saranac Lake, that’s when the tempo had to change. QB Fitzgerald orchestrated the first comeback drive in quick fashion. Within four minutes, a series of mid-range passes and productive five-to-ten-yard rushing pickups, ended with a two-yard keeper that drew the Storm within one possession, 27-19. Saranac Lake successfully stopped Ogdensburg on their next possession, leaving nearly four minutes for another comeback drive. After the Storm penetrated Blue Devil territory with just over two minutes remaining, McCormick stepped up and intercepted a short slant pass and ended the Saranac Lake threat. After a three-play first down that burned the Red Storm timeouts, the Blue Devils needed just two kneel-downs for the victory. Tristan Fitzgerald finished the night with 12 passes for 103 yards, while his brother Trent carried 19 times for 102 yards. Ogdensburg advances to face Section II Champion Hoosick Falls the State Class C quarterfinal next Friday night at 7:00 at Stillwater High School.


Games of Week 9: November 2, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Class B Championship at AuSable Valley
(#2) Beekmantown 33, (#1) Peru 28
Class C Championship at AuSable Valley
(#1) Saranac Lake 30, (#2) Saranac Central 28
Class D Championship at AuSable Valley
(#2) Moriah 6, (#1) Ticonderoga 0


Football coaches often tell their players that in a one-game playoff, the team with the fewest mistakes will usually win. And even more so, if you can convert the other team’s mistakes into points. In the 2013 Section VII Class B Championship, the Beekmantown Eagles gifted Coach Jamie Lozier with four turnovers, then helped him celebrate his birthday with a stunning 33-28 victory over the previously-unbeaten Peru Indians 33-28. The cold and rain-slickened field conditions contributed to the Indians’ troubles, but #17-ranked Peru clung to a slim 28-27 lead with four minutes left in the game, but then a fourth turnover disaster. The game got off to a quick start for the Eagles, who put up two first-quarter touchdowns on Justin Stevens’ runs of 13 and 32 yards. Both teams scored a pair of touchdowns alternately in the second quarter. Peru’s Ryan Lovely scored on a 45-yard pass from quarterback Blake Altizer, just 11 seconds into the second quarter. Devin Fessette’s 60-year run restored a 20-7 advantage. Peru’s Taylor Avanzato responded three minutes later on a three-yard carry to trim the lead to 20-14. However, Stevens (108 all-purpose yards) scored his third TD of the first half on a 17-yard pass from Jacob Remchuk for a 27-14 halftime lead. After intermission, the defense provided the momentum swing that the Indians needed to pull into the lead. Senior Zane Bazzano (28 carries for 174 yards) had short-yardage runs of six yards in the third quarter, then three yards in the fourth quarter, along with Jordan Guay’s two extra point kicks to lift Peru into their first lead 28-27. After holding Beekmantown again scoreless on the ensuing drive, it appeared the Indians close out another comeback and hold out for the win. But then, their fourth turnover disaster. On second down deep in their own territory, Altizer and his center misconnected on the snap. The ball squirted out, up for grabs on the wet artificial surface, and recovered by the Eagles on the Indians’ four-yard line. Two downs later, Stevens muscled into the end zone for Beekmantown’s first and only score of the second half. In the final 3:19, Peru advanced the ball from their own 40 to the Eagles’ 30. Then on 4th-and-5 with Beekmantown bringing ramped up pressure, Bazzano’s final play of a standout high-school career would be a 10-yard setback off a halfback option. Beekmantown will host the Section X Class B Champion Franklin Academy Huskies of Malone in the regional playoff opener next weekend at AuSable Valley. Peru finished its season at 8-1.

One touchdown, several key defensive stops and a game-determining goal-line stand were the key elements of the Section VII Class D Championship game, the third of three thrilling, down-to-the-wire title games at AuSable Valley on Championship Saturday. And by some ironic twist of fate, the lone Moriah touchdown was scored by a former Ticonderoga player. After trading interceptions and punts in a scoreless first half, Moriah scored on their opening possession of the second half. Running back C.J. Raymond, who transferred this year from Ticonderoga to Moriah, ripped through a sealed opening in the middle and carried the ball for one of the few long-yardage plays of the game – 48 yards to paydirt to stake the Vikings to a 6-0 lead. Raymond (14 carries for 107 yards) and backfield teammate Troy Welsh (21 carries for 113 yards) handled the rushing load for the Vikings, but were also prevented from further access to the house by the Sentinel defense. With under two minutes left in the game, Ticonderoga got their best chance – one final chance to steal the victory on their last drive. The Sentinels achieved first-and-goal, after quarterback Michael Graney wielded just his second pass of the game and picked up 27 yards down to the Moriah three-yard line. The Sentinels at the Moriah defensive middle three times, edging the football down to the Moriah 1. On a do-or-die fourth down, Konnor Bruce took his third handoff of the four plays. In the monstrous struggle, the Moriah defense held him just short of the goal line again. The Sentinels (7-2) missed their top rusher Cameron Wright who was sidelined after injuring his leg in a crossover game last weekend. Moriah advances to the regional playoff game next week against Tupper Lake, scheduled Friday evening at AuSable Valley.


Saranac Lake quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald had his most clutch game of the season, coming through with a touchdown pass in the final two minutes in a cold, breezy and steadily increasing rain, while the defense snared two clutch interceptions in the Red Storm’s 30-28 comeback win over the upstart Saranac Central Chiefs and their fourth-consecutive Section VII Class C Championship. With nightfall approaching and the icy rain about to turn to snow that would later coat the ground with up to three inches, the Red Storm knew that the key to victory was finding a way to prevent the Chiefs’ high-powered running back John Maye from taking over the game and determining the outcome – again. Two weeks’ earlier on the Storm’s home field, Maye was unstoppable in the second half with three touchdowns scored in a 34-13 romp. In the Class C final, Maye chewed up often sizeable yardage and scored three touchdowns in the first half, building a 21-10 lead, even though Saranac Lake tried to rein him in. Saranac Lake gained the first lead 7-0 late in the first quarter, when Dylan Gunther broke loose on a 35-yard sideline sprint. However, it didn’t take long for Maye to put the Chiefs on his back with three consecutive visits to the end zone. Maye tied the game 7-7 on a three-yard tussle up the middle. However, two of his touchdowns – right-side, end-around runs – were virtually wide open and untouched by the Storm defense. A 35-yard scamper gave the Chiefs their first lead 14-7. Saranac stopped the Red Storm’s next drive at the five-yard line and, in a rare field-goal attempt, Ty Marmion split the uprights from 22 yards to cut the lead to 14-10. Maye led the Chiefs up the field again, carrying the football to paydirt from the 12 yards away with 1:57 left in the half to extend a growing lead to 21-10. With the “two-minute drill” in play, Fitzgerald engineered the first of two critical drives. The QB ripped a 14-yard spiral to Dan Strack that completed a 74-second drive that shifted back some momentum and kept the Storm close 21-16. Saranac Lake got a huge boost and the lead in the third quarter, when the Chiefs rushed to the line of scrimmage to beat the 25-second play clock. In the hurry, the offensive line failed to account for senior Trent Fitzgerald who chased Chiefs’ quarterback Ethan Goslin out of the pocket. As Goslin retreated and continued to scramble back inside his own 10-yard line, he flung a sideline pass into Red Storm coverage. Dustin Fischer snared the interception and dashed 28 yards to paydirt. With the Pick Six and two-point conversion, the Storm had risen from an 11-point hole and led 24-21. Again, Maye and the Chiefs responded. After getting the ball on a short field. Maye polished off the ensuing drive, just inching over the goal line on a delayed call from the officials. Paul Herrera’s fourth point-after kick restored the Chiefs’ lead 28-24 with 4:23 remaining. Saranac Lake took over on their own 31 and took the ball to the Chiefs’ 26, with the clock ticking down to the final two minutes and the steady rain getting heavier and colder. However, on this day, while rushing 14 yards in the drive, Fitzgerald’s passing touch (9-for-13 for 104 yards) and been virtually “spot on.” Dylan Gunther (162 all-purpose yards) ran a left-sideline post pattern and Fitzgerald hit him in perfect stride for a 30-28 lead with 1:03 remaining. However, the Chiefs could not find that same magic. On their last drive needing big yardage to at least get within field-goal range, Goslin’s second-down pass was intercepted by Gunther to seal the Red Storm victory. The Red Storm (5-4) advance to face Section X Class C Champion Ogdensburg on Friday night at 7:00 at Massena High School. Saranac Central closed its season at 4-5 overall.


Games of Week 8: October 25-26, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Non-League Crossover Games
Ticonderoga 28, Beekmantown 27 (OT)
Moriah 27, Saranac Lake 24



Class C Semifinal
(#2) Saranac Central 28, (#3) AuSable Valley 0


For just the second time in school history, the Saranac Chiefs won a post-season game. And it has propelled them into the Section VII Class C Championship next week against the Saranac Lake Red Storm. The Chiefs registered two first-half scores off Patriot miscues. The Chiefs recovered a muffed punt at the Pats’ 22. John Maye completed the ensuing short drive with a one-yard touchdown to put the Chiefs ahead 7-0. Just seconds before the half, AuSable fumbled the football. Two plays later, with four seconds left in the second quarter, quarterback Ethan Goslin spiraled a three-yard strike to Chad Moulton to double the lead. Saranac carried the momentum into the start of the third quarter. Goslin drilled a 42-yard touchdown pass to Lance Hackett just 2:05 into the third quarter for a 21-0 lead. Hunter Church added a measure of insurance with a 37-yard run to score with 1:57 left in the third frame. Maye again led the Chiefs with 26 carries for 136 yard rushing. Goslin completed four of 11 passes for 90 yards. AuSable was led by Dillon Savage with 141 yards on the ground. Quarterback Will Coats produced 121 yards passing on nine completions, but threw four picks. The Chiefs will face Saranac Lake for the second time in three weeks, this time for a championship. Saranac Central controlled the second half and won the last encounter 34-13.


The extra-point was the difference, but the preceding touchdown will be the legendary overtime play that capped a spectacular comeback for the Ticonderoga Sentinels in a 28-27 home win over the Beekmantown Eagles in a non-league Section VII crossover game in Week 8. Beekmantown jumped ahead 14-0 in the first quarter on quarterback Jacob Remchuck’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Dupigny and Cameron Garceau’s 50-yard fumble scoop-and-run. Ticonderoga countered in the second frame when QB Michael Graney delivered a 12-yard pass to Anthony DuShane and Cameron Wright dove to paydirt from the three-yard line to tie the game 14-14. After a scoreless, defensive struggle in the third quarter, Beekmantown gained the upper hand when Devin Fessette broke over the goalline from the three-yard line to put the Eagles back ahead 21-14. Jarryn Granger lunged into the end zone to tie the game 21-21 with just 2:44 left in regulation. In the 25-yard overtime format, Beekmantown’s Justin Stevens carried the ball from the one-yard line to score, but the two-point conversion was incomplete, 27-21. Graney then unloaded a 20-yard salvo to DuShane in the corner of the end zone. Ty Denno’s extra-point kick was the game winner. In the third quarter, Ticonderoga lost Wright’s services due to a leg injury.

Moriah Edges Saranac Lake 27-24 in Seesaw Battle

Saranac Lake’s Trent Fitzgerald (22) is gang tackled by five Moriah defenders, led by the Vikings’ Cody Stockwell (28). In a seesaw second half, the Vikings scored with just over four minutes remaining to overcome a 24-21 deficit and defeat the Storm 27-24 in a Section VII crossover.  (Casey Stephens photo)  Game Gallery  NCSN Broadcast

Saranac Lake’s Dylan Gunther (11) tries to scramble around pursuing Viking Tyler Pratt (12). Gunther turned on the jets for a 54-yard touchdown scamper early in the fourth quarter to lift the Red Storm back into the lead 24-21. However, Moriah’s Rainier Garnica scored his second TD of the game with just 4:30 remaining to give the Vikings a 27-24 win in a Section VII non-league crossover contest that proved to be another seesaw battle at Linney Field in Moriah.

Moriah’s Cole Gaddor tossed nine times for 167 yard and four touchdowns, while not just surpassing the 1,000-yard passing milestone, but 1,100 as well, as the Moriah Vikings avenged their Week 2 seesaw loss to Saranac Lake with a 27-24 seesaw victory in a non-league crossover contest. The Viking senior signal caller, who needed just 36 yards to start the game, came up empty on his first four tosses. Meanwhile, Saranac Lake came up with all sixes for four quarters, not converting on any extra points, which also proved to be the difference in the game. Lance Ackerson got the Red Storm on the scoreboard, following an opening onsides kick recovery. The Vikings were fed a relentless Ackerson diet on the first drive, capped by Lance’s 15-yard scamper to paydirt. However, in the first half, Ackerson was injured and did not play after intermission. In fact, the Red Storm quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald also sustained a short-lived injury and was out two plays in the second half. His brother Trent went down with injury for the second time this season on Linney Field. Meanwhile, Ty Marmion also did not play. The number of injuries in Section VII crossover games Friday night again refueled some post-game discussion in the longstanding issue over whether non-league crossover games in Week 8 are a good idea. However, the game provided another exciting tight contest. Moriah tied the game 6-6 in the second quarter when C.J. Raymond reeled in a 23-yard touchdown catch-and-dash up the right sideline. Dan Strack put the Red Storm in front 12-6 when Trent Fitzgerald completed a short pass over the middle and Strack dashed 37 yards to the house with 45 seconds left in the half. Fitzgerald provided Saranac Lake with the game’s biggest margin, 18-12, when he ran in from the one-yard line. Moriah’s Rainier Garnica answered with a 29-yard reception to close the margin to 18-13. Moriah pulled in front for the first time, 21-18, when Billy Petro accepted an eight-yard pass in the end zone and Garnica snared the two-point conversion. However, the lead lasted just 19 seconds. Dylan Gunther sprung free for a 53-yard touchdown scamper to put the Storm up 24-21. Garnica closed the night accepting a 23-yard TD pass.


Games of Week 7: October 18-19, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Ticonderoga wins over Plattsburgh (F)
Non League
Fonda-Fultonville 18, Ticonderoga 14



Beekmantown 55, AuSable Valley 6
Saranac Central 34, Saranac Lake 13
Peru 49, Moriah 42


The Moriah Vikings have racked up 42 points or more three weeks in a row, but have come away with only one victory against two heartbreaking losses. With the most points scored by a visiting team at the Apple Bowl since 2003, the Vikings threatened to derail Peru’s unbeaten regular season in the final week with three two-touchdown leads. However, the Indians netted two late touchdowns to cap a 35-14 second half and preserve a 49-42 win at the Apple Bowl. Moriah owned the first quarter with a 13-0 lead. Troy Welch dove in from the one-yard line and Tyler Pratt got open for a 67-yard scoring pass from Cole Gaddor to start the offensive spree. Peru countered with two touchdowns to open the second quarter when Rivelino Hendricks ran to paydirt from the 15, then quarterback Blake Altizer wired a 29-yard aerial to Zane Bazzano to take the lead 14-13. However, before the half, Moriah more than countered. Gaddor scored on a 30-yard punt return, then shot an 11-yard TD pass to Rainier Garnica. With a two-point conversion, the Vikings led 28-14 at the break. Hendricks’ 75-yard kickoff return to open the second half appeared to be a game changer. While Moriah answered three minutes later on C.J. Raymond’s one-yard touchdown for a 35-20 lead, the Vikings were in for an Indian uprising with big-play consequences. Bazzano scorched the Viking defense on a 42-yard run, then reeled in a 56-yard pass-and-run from Altizer to erase the deficit 35-35. But Moriah was not about to surrender either. Welch carried the Vikes ahead for the third time on a 16-yard run, 42-35. With under six minutes remaining, Altizer engineered two final scoring drives for the win. Pat LaRocque snared an incredible one-handed catch for a 20-yard touchdown to cut Moriah’s lead to 42-41. The two-point attempt from Altizer to Bazzano gave Peru its first lead since the first quarter. Dustin Landon collected a 26-yard touchdown pass to cap a 476-yard day for the Indians who improved to 7-0 and captured the regular-season Champlain Valley Athletic Conference title. Bazzano led the Peru yardage derby with 256 all-purpose yards. Altizer connected 13 times through the air with 209 resulting yards. Gaddor led the Vikings with nine completions for 180 yards, while Welch earned 105 hard-nosed yards on 25 carries.

The Ticonderoga Sentinels officially picked up a league win and a non-league loss for the final week of the regular season. The Sens found Fonda-Fultonville available to fill the gap in the schedule, following the earlier demise of the injury-ravaged Plattsburgh Hornets. So the Class D Ticonderoga hosted the Class C FF Braves, who also had an opening, in a match of teams who were both ranked 17th in their respective classes in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association poll. Fonda-Fultonville came away with an 18-14 victory, but not before bouncing back from an early Ticonderoga lead, then stopping the Sentinels twice on goal-line stands from the one-yard line in the final minutes for the win. Ticonderoga gained a 7-0 lead at 7:43 of the first quarter when Camron Wright carried the ball six yards to the end zone. Fonda-Fultonville answered two minutes into the second quarter when Anthony Sinicropi dashed 15 yards to score, but the extra point kick missed, allowing Ticonderoga to retain a one-point advantage. Ti quarterback Michael Graney fired off a 41-yard touchdown pass to Ty Denno that pushed the Sentinels’ lead to 14-6 with just over three minutes left in the half – enough time for the Braves to counter on Will Turner’s 27-yard pass reception from quarterback Russ Williams to close the margin to 14-12. With a defensive juggernaut in the second half, the lone score proved to be the game winner. Williams hit Turner on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 3:41 remaining to thrust the Braves into the lead. For Fonda-Fultonville (7-1 overall), the defensive shutout the rest of the way preserved the win.


Saranac Central’s Lance Hackett (white) breaks a side tackle from Saranac Lake’s Carl Bevilacqua to put the Chiefs into a first-and-goal early in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs scored on the drive, one of three unanswered touchdowns in the second half to pull away from a tight 14-13 game, and beat the Red Storm 34-13 on Senior Day at Ken Wilson Field.  (Cody Jenne photo)  Game Gallery  NCSN Broadcast

Saranac Lake’s Carl Bevilacqua (8) breaks tackle from a Saranac Central defender to pick up a 15-yard gain.

Saranac Central’s John Maye piled up four touchdowns, including two scores in the third quarter, to provide the Chiefs with their first win in recent memory at Ken Wilson Field in Saranac Lake. The Chiefs opened the scoring midway through the first quarter with a 13-play, 78-yard drive that ended when Maye carried the first score in from the three-yard line. Paul Herrera toed  the extra-point for a 7-0 Chiefs’ lead. Dylan Gunther’s razzle dazzle answered for the Red Storm when he snared a screen pass to the right from quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald, then broke free and somersaulted over a would-be tackler and into the end zone on a 20-yard play. Ty Marmion’s extra-point kick was true for a 7-7 tie. Saranac Central regained the advantage on the ensuing eight-play, 80-yard drive when John Maye broke containment off the left side and dashed 20 yards to paydirt. Herrera’s extra-point boot put the Chiefs ahead 14-7, in what proved to be for keeps. Saranac Lake scored on their second drive after intermission. Senior running back Lance Ackerson shot through the “A gap” to the left and outran the secondary for 60 yards on the first play from scrimmage to draw the Red Storm within a point. However, a bad snap on the followup kick left home team a point short, 14-13. It was the last trip to the end zone for the Storm. The Chiefs reeled off three unanswered scores with Maye carrying the mail five yards to cap a 13-play, 78-yard drive. After holding the Storm on the ensuing drive, Saranac Central handed the ball to Maye for another 39-yard score to open a 27-13 advantage. Lance Hackett, who intercepted the Storm’s next drive with a pickoff, then got the call to deliver the final dagger with a 16-yard TD score. The second-seeded Chiefs will host #3-seed AuSable Valley in the Section VII Class C semifinals next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Top-seeded Saranac Lake will get a non-league crossover tuneup on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Moriah.

Beekmantown’s five first-half touchdowns and a 35-6 halftime lead catapulted the Eagles to 55-6 win over the AuSable Valley Patriots. The Patriots provided an early challenge when Shane Douglas scored on a three-yard pass from John Goodnough to shave the Eagles’ lead to 14-6. However, surrounding Douglas’ score were three touchdown runs by Beekmantown’s Justin Stevens – carries of four and 21 yards, and a put return for 37 yards. Back-to-back Eagle scores in the final 65 seconds of the first half doomed the Patriots. Quarterback Jacob Remchuk dealt a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Dupigny, then delivered a 10-yards keeper with 10 seconds remaining to seize a sizeable halftime advantage. Beekmantown’s three scores in the second half came on a 57-yard Quenton Barber punt return, a Devin Fessett eight-yard run and Dupigny’s five-yard scamper.


Games of Week 6: October 11-12, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Moriah 47, AuSable Valley 19
Ticonderoga 28, Saranac Central 12
Peru wins over Plattsburgh (F)



Saranac Lake 28, Beekmantown 21


Ticonderoga bounced back from a 12-7 deficit early in the third quarter to score the final three touchdowns of the game, en route to a 28-12 victory over the Saranac Central Chiefs. After a scoreless first quarter, John Maye (25 carries for 120 yards) muscled into the end zone from the two-yard line to give the Chiefs the early lead 6-0. Ticonderoga’s Cameron Wright (19 carries for 74 yards) scored on a one-yard plunge with 4:15 left in the half to inch the Sentinels ahead 7-6. The Chiefs opened the second half by regaining the lead when Lance Hackett dashed 44 yards to the house. However, Ticonderoga stopped the two-point conversion attempt for the second time. Despite going 0-for-3 passing in the first half, Sentinels successfully went aerial to recapture the lead. Michael Graney lofted a pair touchdown passes to Ty Denno, covering 17 and 31 yards to push Ti back in front 21-7 through three quarters. Jarryn Granger closed the scoring with a five-yard run with 50 seconds left in the game to close the scoring. Granger posted 117 yards on 13 carries. Ticonderoga (5-1) entered the week ranked 19th in the New York State Class D Sportswriters Association poll. Saranac Central fell to 2-4.


Moriah’s Troy Welch scrambled 38 yard to the end zone, just 36 seconds into the game, part of the Vikings’ 20 points in the first quarter, setting the stage for a strong 47-19 home win over the AuSable Valley Patriots at Linney Field. After a muffed AV punt attempt, Welch (14 carries for 131 yards) added a 14-yard touchdown run just two minutes later and Skylar Graham rumbled in from the two-yard line to build a 20-0 lead in the first frame. AuSable Valley came to life just seven seconds into the second quarter when signal caller John Goodnough (102 yards and 128 yards passing) scrambled six yards on the keeper to close the gap to 20-6. But Moriah answered just over a minute later when QB Cole Gaddor (four passes for 60 yards) connected on a three-yard flare to Rainier Garnica. C.J. Raymond closed the half with a 22-yard touchdown run to produced a 34-6 halftime lead. Gaddor’s one-yard keeper accounted for the lone score of the third quarter. Austin Allen scored on a 30-yard TD pass from Sam Russo with 3:34 remaining to close the Moriah scoring. AuSable’s Dylan Savage (19 carries for 55 yards) countered with a one-yard run and Goodnough scored on a 22-yard rush as the clock expired for a 42-19 final.


Following a fourth quarter Red Storm turnover, Saranac Lake cornerback Carl Bevilacqua (8) grabs a clutch pickoff on a Jacob Remchuk pass intended for Eagles' wide receiver Cameron Garceau (1).  The turnover preserved a 28-21 Red Storm lead with just 4:32 remaining.  (Greg Ferguson photo)  Game Gallery  NCSN Broadcast

 Red Storm Win Seesaw Battle vs. Beekmantown

QB Tristin Fitzgerald (14) scores a Red Storm touchdown on a two-yard keeper to erase a one-point third-quarter deficit. An ensuing two-point conversion would stake the Storm to a 21-14 lead over the host Beekmantown Eagles. The Storm broke a 21-21 tie in the fourth quarter for a 28-21 thrilling victory.  (Ferguson photo)  Game Gallery  NCSN Broadcast

After struggling through the opening three weeks of the season with just one narrow win at Moriah, the Saranac Lake Red Storm have been growing, rebuilding and have since virtually turned their season around. And beating Beekmantown 28-21 in Week 6 was a “statement victory,” Coach Eric Bennett told North Country SportsNet, following the game. The game had a little bit of everything: crucial drives, crucial plays, big-play turnovers, defensive and goal-line stands and drama. “Our guys have responded well and done everything we asked of them,” said Bennett about his team’s resurgence. A stronger effort in the trenches by the front line, better blocking, better tackling, fewer turnovers and fewer penalties have been rewarded with a 4-2 record and the top seed in the Section VII Class C playoffs in two weeks, regardless of the outcome of next week’s encounter with Saranac Central to close the regular season. After holding Beekmantown on the game’s opening drive, Saranac Lake opened the scoring on an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trent Fitzgerald to Ty Marmion, and Marmion’s extra-point kick, just 3:51 into the contest. Beekmantown answered on the ensuing drive when Devin Fessette carried the pigskin three yards to score. After the defenses held on the next pair of drives, the Eagles claimed the only score of the second quarter when Fessette got the call again and dove low from one-yard out for the touchdown. Saranac Lake started the second half with two successful drives. Going to the air for a season-high 35 pass attempts, the Red Storm countered the bigger Beekmantown interior line by airmailing the football over it. Dylan Gunther reeled in a 12-yard catch to draw Saranac Lake within a point, 14-13. Beekmantown’s Justin Stevens put a scare in the Red Storm on the following kickoff when he broke free along the sidelines and dashed 69 yards, before a crucial rundown by James Murname who caught him from behind at the 21-yard line. Additionally, the Red Storm line defended the Red Zone and got the ball back without damage. Fitzgerald capped the ensuing drive with a two-yard keeper, Marmion caught the conversion pass and Saranac Lake surged back into the lead 21-14. Beekmantown closed the third quarter with some aerial magic of its own when quarterback Jacob Remchuk fired off a 29-yard TD strike to Justin Stevens, just as the clock expired, then kicked the extra point to tie score 21-21. The Storm’s first drive of the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner. Lance Ackerson muscled 14 yards up the middle to score, followed by Marmion’s extra-point kick for a 28-21 lead with 10:22 remaining. Beekmantown then drove down to the 14-yard line, including a 40-yard pickup by Cameron Garceau, but turned the ball over on downs. Saranac Lake moved the ball back to midfield, but a Fitzgerald floater was picked off by Cameron VanNatten, giving the Eagles another chance from the 50-yard line. Remchuk went to the air for Garceau on first down, but Carl Bevilacqua immediately intercepted with under 4:30 remaining. Beekmantown was forced to use its three timeouts to stop the clock, hoping to get the football back. However, when the Red Storm picked up a first down with less than two minutes remaining and the Eagles out of timeouts, Beekmantown (3-3) was left powerless against the kneel downs. Fitzgerald ended the day with 20 passes for 176 yards, 107 yards rushing and three touchdowns (one rushing, two passing). Remchuk tossed nine passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, but two interceptions.



Games of Week 5: October 4-5, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Ticonderoga 35, AuSable Valley 6
Beekmantown 47, Moriah 46
Saranac Lake wins over Plattsburgh (F)



Peru 48, Saranac Central 6


After a first-quarter touchdown, Peru scored 27 unanswered points in posting its fifth consecutive win. The Indians, ranked ninth in Class B in the latest New York State Sportswriters poll, improved to 5-0 by rocking the Chiefs 48-6. After Mackenzie LaRocque scored on a fumble return from the one-yard line, Peru quarterback Blake Altizer zipped a 49-yard touchdown strike to Zane Bazzano for a 14-0 lead. Saranac Central’s John Maye countered on a two-yard run to make it 14-6. Maye had another chance to tie the score in the second quarter, but was stopped at the nine-yard line after a 52-yard run. The Peru defense stopped all four straight short-yardage attempts on a goal-line stand and the Chiefs came away empty. In the second quarter, Altizer fired off three touchdowns passes – two to Zane Bazzano for 73 and 16 yards, then one to Rivolino Hendricks for six yards – to build a commanding 34-6 lead at the half. Single one-yard dives by Hendricks in the third and James Mason in the fourth quarter rounded out the scoring. Jordan Guay was successful on all six extra-point kicks. Altizer completed the day with 13 successful passes for 231 yards. Bazzano hauled in four of those passes for 164 yards. Mason produced a game-best 97 yards rushing. Saranac Central suffered from five turnovers, including on its first three possessions. Maye ended the day with 17 carries for 84 yards, while Lance Hackett had four receptions for 135 yards. In a footnote, Peru will replace next week’s originally-scheduled game with Plattsburgh with a non-conference matchup with Class B Hackley in the Albany area.

The Ticonderoga defense delivered a shutout performance until the final eight minutes, while the offensive tallied 35 points from five different scorers in the first three quarters in forging a 35-6 win at AuSable Valley. The 19th-ranked Sentinels posted a 13-0 lead in the first quarter behind Konner Bruce’s three-yard touchdown run, followed by a 75-yard interception return by Anthony DuShane. Ticonderoga continued to dominate the second quarter with its passing game. Michael Graney fired off touchdown passes of four yards to Ty Denno and a 24-yard score to Ryan Trudeau to build a 28-0 intermission advantage. Cameron Wright added a 17-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter to account for Ti’s other scoring drive. AuSable Valley’s Dylan Savage (20 carries for 57 yards), back from a one-game suspension, provided the lone touchdown for the Patriots on a four-yard finish in the fourth quarter. The Sentinel defense finished with seven sacks for AuSable quarterback John Goodnough.


The want for an extra point and two chances to get it. The Moriah Vikings scrambled back from a 13-point deficit late in the game, but missed on both chances and came up a point short in a wild, offensively-charged 47-46 engagement with the Beekmantown Eagles. The tone for the game was established from the outset when Beekmantown scored twice in the first 1:20 and the teams put up a collective six scores in the first quarter alone. Quarterback Jacob Remchuk chucked touchdown passes of 73 yards to Cameron Garceau and 41 yards to Kyle Dupigny and in a mere 80 seconds had a 13-0 lead. Moriah’s Troy Welch, running for the injured C.J. Raymond, tried to stopped the early bleeding on the next drive with a six-yard touchdown run. Welch carried 32 times for a reported 234 yards. However, Beekmantown sent an immediate response when Tyler Myers carried the kickoff return 81 yards to the house. Moriah quarterback Cole Gaddor wired a 64-yard pass to Tanner Pratt just 1:36 later. Remchuk then broke free on a 26-yard keeper to complete a 26-12 first quarter – 38 total points – only to be mirrored by a 37-point, second-quarter frenzy. With effective defenses seemingly nowhere to be found and both offenses chewing up big yardage, Moriah climbed back into the contest when Welch galloped 10 and 29 yards for back-to-back scores that produced a 28-26 Moriah lead. Just 41 ticks later, Remchuk carried nine yards to put the Eagles back on top 34-28. In lightning speed, Welch again eluded Eagles defenders and hit paydirt 31 seconds later to tie the game 34-34. Beekmantown got the upper hand before halftime when Garceau grabbed a six-yard flare to end a 75-point first half with a 41-34 halftime lead. Beekmantown kept the spree alive with a 95-second touchdown drive that ended with a 28-yard hookup from Remchuk to Garceau to open the third quarter. Then finally, the defensive bus for both teams finally arrived. The Eagles, sporting a 47-34 lead, were suddenly held scoreless over the final 22:25. The Vikings had two chances to potentially win the game. Welch carried both scores – from the 11-yard line in the final two minutes of the third quarter and from nine yards away with 2:43 remaining in the game. However, Beekmantown stopped both two-point conversion runs to preserve the win, including a critical stop by Quenton Barber right at the goal line. Moriah got one final shot, but could not score before the clock expired.

The Saranac Lake Red Storm picked up a 7-0 win by forfeit over the Plattsburgh Hornets who ended their season two weeks ago.  An important note: the Storm will return to action next weekend in a road game with Beekmantown that has been moved to Plattsburgh High School, reportedly due to maintenance reasons at Beekmantown.  The game times will remain the same with the JV contest at 10:30 a.m. and the varsity game at 1:30 p.m.


Games of Week 4: September 27-28, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Ticonderoga 24, Moriah 12
Saranac Central wins over Plattsburgh (F)



Saranac Lake 34, AuSable Valley 21
Peru 36, Beekmantown 14


The Ticonderoga Sentinels fended off a spirited Moriah Vikings comeback with a fourth-quarter touchdown to seal a 24-12 victory in a matchup Section VII Class D rivals on Friday. Sentinel quarterback Michael Graney used his legs for a one-yard keeper to open the scoring at 8:45 of the first quarter. Ty Denno added the extra-point kick for a 7-0 lead. Ticonderoga expanded its lead to 13-0 when Jarryn Granger jetted 24 yards to score early in the second quarter. But a flurry of penalties flags prevented the Sentinels from opening a big lead in the first half. Moriah capitalized with a seven-yard touchdown run by C.J. Raymond to close the gap to 13-6. On Ticonderoga’s final drive of the first half, the Sens set up first-and-goal from the 10-yard line, but the Vikings’ defense executed three stops on a goal-line stand. Denno booted a 24-yard field goal for a 16-6 Ticonderoga lead at intermission. Neither team took advantage of their defensive efforts in a scoreless third quarter, providing Moriah a chance to slip back into the contest. Viking quarterback Cole Gaddor spiraled a 58-yard pass to Tyler Pratt that put the ball on the Ti 13-yard line. Then Gaddor zeroed in on Rainier Garnica with a 13-yard TD strike to pull Moriah within four points, 16-12, with still plenty of time, 7:03 remaining. Graney, whose passing game had failed him nine straight times in the second half, got redemption when he flung a completion over the middle to Denno for a 42-yard pass-and-run touchdown that struck the final blow for the Sentinels. Graney finished the game with six completions for 160 yards, with Denno racking 119 yards on four of those passes. Cameron Wright (who transferred from Moriah this year) delivered 20 carries for 139 yards. Granger garnered 66 yards rushing. For Moriah, Gaddor completed 12 passes for 168 yards, but the Vikings’ ground game was held to just 72 yards, including 52 yards rushing by Raymond.

For nearly three quarters, host Beekmantown carried a 7-6 lead over division-leading Peru. Zane Bazzano put the Indians ahead 6-0 on an 85-yard punt return at the 3:49 mark. Justin Stevens countered on a 71-yard run for the Eagles. Jacob Remchuk’s point after was the margin of difference until the final two minutes of the third quarter. As a team, Beekmantown did a stellar job in holding the Indians to just 31 offensive yards in the first half. Both teams had dropped passes and missed chances to score. Then one key hit seemed to change it all. With just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Stevens reeled in a punt at his own 15-yard line and shot back 35 yards along the Peru sideline, where he was driven out of bounds and into a foam barrier that protects the players from aluminum bleachers. The hit touched off a swarming free-for-all, several punches and two player ejections. However, after the skirmish, the Indians’ sputtering offense appeared to have been fired up. Peru outscored Beekmantown 30-7 the rest of the way, including 155 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. In fact, the next four plays from scrimmage resulted in three touchdowns – two for Peru and one for Beekmantown. Bazzano put Peru back ahead 14-7 on a six-yard scramble. Beekmantown’s Cameron Garceau answered with a 90-yard kickoff return on the next play, then the Eagles tied the game on the point after. Peru’s next two-play drive ended 50 seconds later when Anthony Gallo (six catches for 120 yards) caught his first of three touchdown passes, all within an eight-minute span. Beekmantown, which lost Stevens to ejection, managed just 53 yards on offense over the final quarter-plus. Peru lost the services of Dustin Landon in the scuffle.

The Plattsburgh Hornets that came into the 2013 football season with low numbers, withdrew from the balance of the season, after the number of available players fell below the minimum to field a team.  Athletic Director Jim Manchester told NCSN that the number of injuries in the first three weeks and loss of two other players who opted to quit, left the team unable to continue.  The Hornets were due to host Saranac Central and Saranac Lake during the next two weeks, before closing on the road at Peru and Ticonderoga.  No word yet from the four opponents on if they will seek another non-league game or will simply take a bye at this late stage.

Saranac Lake Picks Up Key Win Over AuSable 35-22

AuSable Valley quarterback John Goodnough is sacked by Saranac Lake strong safety Dan Strack (21) on a fourth-down play, thwarting any attempt at a late comeback by the Patriots. The Red Storm took a 21-14 lead on back-to-back touchdowns in the final two minutes of the first half, en route to a 35-22 win.  Game Gallery  NCSN Broadcast

Following a Ty Marmion interception, Red Storm receiver Dylan Gunther (11) beats his defender deep and reels in a 39-yard bomb from sophomore QB Tristin Fitzgerald for a go-ahead touchdown, giving Saranac Lake a 21-14 lead late in the second quarter. (Greg Ferguson photo)  Game Gallery

Saranac Lake sophomore quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald aired out four touchdown passes, including two pivotal scores at the end of the second quarter, in guiding the Red Storm to a comeback 35-22 victory over the AuSable Valley Patriots. Tristan has gotten the starting nod for the past two weeks while his senior brother Trent has been sidelined by injury. In a matchup of potential Class C opponents in the playoffs, Saranac Lake held AuSable on three downs in the opening drive, then scored when Dustin Fischer scampered 14 yards to paydirt just 1:27 into the game. However, high snaps plagued the Red Storm in the opening half. As the Storm threatened to score a second time from the red zone, the ball floated over Fitzgerald’s head and was covered by AuSable Valley, then later cashed in for a touchdown. A second high snap was downed by the Pats on the Storm one-yard line and also converted for six points on a pass reception from Tyler Champine, giving AuSable Valley a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. But Saranac Lake got a huge momentum swing in the final two minutes on a string of key plays. The Patriots’ Shane Douglas dashed 82 yards to score, but the play was called back on a personal foul. Saranac Lake held, got the ball back and reversed its fate when Fitzgerald spotted a wide-open Dustin Fischer on a 19-yard TD strike to tie the game 14-14 with 1:37 left in the half. On the ensuing possession, AuSable Valley QB John Goodnough went deep on the first play, but under threw his receiver. Ty Marmion swiped the ball and raced back to the Patriot 39. Eleven seconds later, Fitzgerald also went deep on the first play with a floater to Dylan Gunther in the end zone and restored the Saranac Lake lead 21-14. At the end of the third quarter, Saranac Lake caught another break when a Red Storm punt hit an AuSable player and was covered by Alex Donaldson. After moving the ball to the 25-yard line, the Storm rushed a final play just before the third-quarter clock sounded. While the Patriots appeared momentarily distracted by the buzzer, Fitzgerald wisely played through. He hit Marmion with a 25-yard pass to put Saranac Lake up two scores. The Red Storm put the game away with 7:12 remaining in the game when Fitzgerald unleashed a 33-yard touchdown strike to Dylan Gunther to make it 34-14. Goodnough (62 yards rushing, 19 completions, 162 yards passing and four interceptions) issued the game’s final scoring pass, 14 yards to Champine three minutes later. AuSable’s final drive ended with Jack Martin’s second interception of the game.


Games of Week 3: September 20-21, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Peru 47, AuSable Valley 7
Beekmantown 48, Plattsburgh 0



Ticonderoga 35, Saranac Lake 13
Moriah 28, Saranac Central 22


The Moriah Vikings got their second close football game in a row, but this time against the other Saranac team, rose above the late-game deficit with a last-minute scoring drive to achieve a 28-22 triumph over the Chiefs. In front of a Homecoming Weekend crowd, Chiefs’ quarterback Ethan Goslin opened the scoring at 9:10 of the first quarter when he capped the drive with a one-yard keeper. Goslin fired off a 28-yard TD strike to Tanner Roscoe early in the second quarter to punch open a 14-0 lead. The Vikings’ first score came on a 38-yard spiral to Tyler Pratt. Quarterback Cole Gaddor also found Rainier Garnica on the two-point conversion to close the margin to 14-6. On the ensuing drive, John Maye (220 yards rushing) scampered 39 yards to the end zone and, with the conversion pass, restored a two-possession lead for the Chiefs 22-6. Moriah immediately countered, capping the ensuring drive with a one-yard run from C.J. Raymond just 85 seconds later. The conversion pass failed, leaving Moriah down 22-14. But it was the Vikings’ defense, forcing three turnovers and keeping Saranac Central out of the end zone in the second half that underlay the Moriah comeback to win. Raymond powered the ball to the endzone from the five-yard line in the third quarter to tie the game 22-22 and setting the stage for a thrilling finish. Penalties killed two promising Viking drives. However, with under a minute to play, Gaddor laid out a 47-yard catch-and-run for Garnica who reeled in the game winner. Moriah improved to 2-1 and travels for a crucial matchup with Class D rival Ticonderoga next week. The Chiefs’ dropped to 1-2, but hopes to even its record next weekend against winless Plattsburgh.

Beekmantown scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns in less than five minutes of play, tacked on two more scores in the second quarters and a final touchdown in the fourth frame, while shutting out Plattsburgh in a 48-0 romp over Plattsburgh on Friday night. Cameron Garceau caught an 18-yard pass and Devin Fessette (10 carries, 62 yards) dove in from the one-yard line to put the Eagles on top at home. Justin Stevens scamped for 15 yards and Fresette tacked on another 21-yard dash to the end zone to spread the lead to 27-0 at halftime. Stevens scooted to paydirt from the four-yard line, before Tyler Myers carried the mail home from six yards out for a 41-0 lead through three frames. Tyler Newman finished the scoring early in the fourth quarter with an eight-yard dash. Jacob Remchuk connected on six-of-seven extra-point kicks. The Eagles piled up 342 yards total offense, while holding Plattsburgh to just 27 total yards. D’Andre Lemieux led Plattsburgh with 26 yards passing.

Peru pounded AuSable Valley for 27 unanswered points in the first quarter, then added 13 in the second frame and seven more points in the third quarter of a 47-7 rout. Jozua Cote muscled into the end zone from the nine-yard line at the 1:32 point of the first quarter. Zane Bazzano hauled in a 30-yard pass from Blake Altizer less than three minutes later. Anthony Gallo added an 11-yard pass reception and Dustin Landon contributed a seven-yard TD run to thrust the Indians into a 27-0 lead. However, in the midst of the first quarter, Cote and AuSable’s top rusher Dillon Savage came to blows and were both ejected. Enter Mackenzie LaRocque to fill the void for the Indians. The young back stepped up with eight carries for 115 yards to lead the Indians, plus he carried for two rushing touchdowns of 20 and six yards, his first of the season, to account for both scores the second quarter. Landon ran to paydirt from the three-yard line to close out the Peru scoring for the night. AuSable Valley was able to avoid a shutout when Jon Goodnough plunged in from the one-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Altizer finished the game with 11 completions for 166 yards. Goodnough led the Patriots with 12 completions for 184 yards, but three interceptions.


Deep in his own endzone, Saranac Lake kicker Dan Strack (21) just manages to get a punt away, despite pressure from Ticonderoga's Jarryn Granger. Ticonderoga cashed in its first two scoring drives. The Red Storm got as close as 14-6 in the second quarter, before succumbing 35-13.  (Greg Ferguson photo)  Game Gallery  Game Broadcast

Red Storm safety Dylan Gunther (11) leaps to deflect a pass intended for Sentinel wide receiver Ty Denno as fans look on.  Ticonderoga scored two early touchdowns and beat the Storm 35-13 for their first win at Wilson Field in 26 years.

The Sentinels have not had much success traveling to Saranac Lake in the past quarter century. But this year, the return home to Ticonderoga was much sweeter after breaking a 26-year drought with a strong 35-13 win over the Red Storm. Offensively, Ticonderoga employed a triple-threat from the backfield, feeding the Storm a steady dose of rushers Jarryn Granger and Cameron Wright, sprinkled with a blend of pass-and-rush from quarterback Michael Graney. Granger and Wright repeatedly slipped tackles, chewed up big yardage and planted the first four touchdowns for the Sentinels. Graney accounted for the remaining score. While 0-2 at home this season, key momentum before halftime has come and gone for the Red Storm. Ticonderoga’s first two scoring drives were near-mirror images. After the Sens pounded the left side of Saranac Lake defensive line inside the red zone, Graney handed off to Granger for end-around sweeps for touchdowns of six yards and 12 yards, both just inside the right pylon, less than two minutes apart. After holding the Sentinels scoreless for more than a quarter, Saranac Lake gained second-quarter momentum when quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald (10 completions, 87 yards) capped a 75-yard drive with an 18-yard TD strike to Carl Bevilacqua that closed the margin to 13-6. However, similar to Week 1 against Peru, the Red Storm gave up a big-play scoring strike in the closing seconds of the half that gave the Sentinels back the momentum and separation on the scoreboard for intermission. With the ball a half-yard beyond midfield, Granger (19 carries, 203 yards) took the handoff, broke through a hole in the middle, ducked a defender and scored. Two minutes into the third quarter, Wright (19 carries, 136 yards) hauled a 31-yard touchdown score and Graney played keeper from the one-yard line six minutes later that effectively sealed the victory. Saranac Lake’s Dustin Fischer had a 10-yard rushing touchdown at the 14-second mark of the fourth quarter to close the day’s scoring.


Games of Week 2: September 13-14, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


AuSable Valley 42, Plattsburgh 6
Saranac Lake 20, Moriah 14



Peru 53, Ticonderoga 7
Beekmantown 41, Saranac Central 8


It was just before Halloween 2011 that the AuSable Valley Patriots last won a football game, edging Ogdensburg 17-14 in the Class C semifinals during the last year of the Section X-VII merger. But they broke the long bad-luck streak on Friday the 13th in September ’13, with an impressive 42-6 romp over the Plattsburgh Hornets. Rushing for a combined 239 yards, AuSable’s Dillon Savage and John Goodnough delivered the football to the end zone four times. Savage also forced a Plattsburgh fumble on the game's first play from scrimmage, then 15 seconds into the game, scooped up the ball and converted the turnover into six points. But the voodoo of Friday the 13th worked both ways, at least to start. On the ensuing kickoff, Plattsburgh’s Ryan Durocher skirted the sideline for 78 yards and scored just 16 seconds later to tie the game 6-6. It wasn’t until the second quarter that AuSable was able to blow the game open with 28 unanswered points. Jacob Ashline put the Pats ahead with a 15-yard run just 10 seconds into the quarter. Goodnough followed with a three-yard plunge at 4:27 and a 27-yard scamper at 7:58 to open a 20-6 margin. Just 45 seconds later, Savage ground out a 16-yard score, sending the Pats to intermission after their biggest quarter in nearly three years. Goodnough’s 29-yard TD run capped the only successful drive of the second half. AuSable’s Mike Bombard was credited with making the tackle that produced a safety in the fourth quarter.

The Peru Indians cleaned up the sloppy penalty and turnover count from the first week of the season and hunted down the Ticonderoga Sentinels in a 53-7 romp in Week 2. As a result, Indians racked up 496 all-purpose yards and flushed out any turnovers. Zane Bazzano turned in four touchdowns, while Jozua Cote added three scores to lead the Indians’ offense. After Cote’s short-yardage runs of four and seven yards for the first-quarter scores to open a 14-0 lead, Peru blew the game open with a pair of 36-yard touchdown passes from Blake Altizer to Bazzano. Cote (14 carries, 174 yards) then broke tackles and sprinted 75 yards to paydirt, before Bazzano reeled in another 41-yard aerial to crank up a 40-0 lead at the half. Bazzano’s fourth score came on an interception return from the Ticonderoga 35, just 65 seconds into the third quarter. He finished the day with 113 yards receiving. Ticonderoga put up its only points midway through the same frame when Jarryn Granger spoiled a potential shutout with a four-yard run. Logan Abel finished the Indians’ assault by snaring an eight-yard TD pass from Altizer who logged 10 passes for 215 yards total. Defensively, Peru contained the Sentinel offense to just 97 yards rushing.

Beekmantown QB Jake Remchuk tossed three touchdown passes and 131 yards through the air, while running back Devin Fessette rushed for another score and 132 years in guiding the Eagles to a 41-8 home triumph over Saranac Central. Quenton Barber, Cameron Garceau and Kyle Dupigny were the recipients of the TD deliveries of seven, 13 and seven yards respectively. The Eagles took command of the game with 21 points in the second quarter. Justin Stevens scrambled for a 12-yard touchdown as Beekmantown mounted a 28-0 lead by halftime. Stevens tacked on a 68-yard punt return early in the second half. Fessette capped the scoring on a five-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter. John Maye, who was held to 75 years rushing, busted into the end zone from two yards out for the lone Chiefs’ score late in the third frame.

Ackerson's Long TD RUNS Lift Red Storm Past Moriah

Saranac Lake’s Lance Ackerson (2) raced through the Moriah secondary and ran for 56 yards for his second touchdown of the second half at Moriah. The Red Storm outlasted Moriah in a seesaw defensive struggle, overcoming a 14-12 deficit late to post a 20-14 win.  (Jeffrey Pignona photo)  Game Gallery   Game Broadcast

Moriah’s C.J. Raymond runs past Saranac Lake's Ty Marmion (20) to the end zone to give the Vikings a 14-12 edge early in the fourth quarter. 

Saranac Lake’s Lance Ackerson and Moriah’s C.J. Raymond tried to put their respective teams on their back in the second half as the two running backs put on a determined rushing display in a nail-biting 20-14 victory for the visiting Red Storm Friday night at Linney Field in Mineville. After the teams traded only a touchdown each for most of three quarters, both young men broke tackles and fought for extra yardage on almost every play, proving to be hard to tackle by just a single defender. Between the two, they scored all five touchdowns in the contest. After a hard loss to Peru in Week 1 when they scored just seven points, Saranac Lake stopped Moriah on the game’s opening drive, then orchestrated an impressive first series that was capped by Trent Fitzgerald’s 30-year touchdown pass to Ackerson over the middle to create the Storm’s first lead of the season 6-0, just 4:47 into the game. Moriah’s third drive of the game reached paydirt when quarterback Cole Gaddor hit Raymond in stride on a 43-yard pass-and-run to tie the game. A pass to Tyler Pratt in the front corner of the end zone put the Vikings on top 8-6, with under three minutes remaining in the half. The Red Storm started with the football to open the second half, but immediately gave it up on an interception. Moriah was unable to capitalize. When Saranac Lake got the ball back, Ackerson sprung untouched through a hole that the offensive line had created to the right side and jetted 68 yards to give Saranac Lake back the lead 12-8. The touchdown seemed to ratchet up the intensity level on both sides of the football. On the next drive, Raymond suddenly became a nearly unstoppable force. In the 15-play scoring drive that followed, Raymond made a key reception on third-and-eight to sustain the drive. As the Vikings marched up the field, Raymond got nearly every carry, breaking tackles and chewing up yardage. The Moriah drive ended on his three-yard carry across the goal line with 9:04 remaining to gain a 14-12 edge. However, Saranac Lake pulled the “jack rabbit” (Ackerson) out of the hat again. The senior slipped a pair of inside tackles and sprinted 56 yards to the house just 47 seconds later. Tristan Fitzgerald tossed to Ty Marmion for the extra points and a 20-14 advantage. The Red Storm defense made the score hold up, thwarting two drives in the final eight minutes. Ackerson finished the night with 146 yards, despite only gaining 19 yards in the first half. Raymond rolled up 136 yards on the ground and 76 yards passing. Pratt collected 51 yards receiving and intercepted a pass.


Games of Week 1: September 6-7, 2013

 NCSN Football Scoreboard


Moriah 38, Plattsburgh 6
Ticonderoga 32, Beekmantown 21



Saranac Central 42, AuSable Valley 28
Peru 33, Saranac Lake 7


A 19-point first quarter and a 32-point half were all that Moriah needed to put away the short-staffed Plattsburgh Hornets 38-6 in their season opener. With Ticonderoga transfer C.J. Raymond now rushing for rival Moriah, the Vikings reaped immediate dividends. Raymond powered six yards on a plunge just 4:42 into the game, when following a Tyler Pratt touchdown pass from quarterback Cole Gaddor, Raymond romped 36 yards for a second score which opened a 19-0 Viking lead in just 9:31 of the opening kickoff. Gaddor’s three-yard scamper and Arto Nadeau’s 36-yard “tackle buster” to paydirt piled up a 32-0 advantage for intermission. Pratt returned the second-half kickoff 76 yards to complete the scoring for the Vikings who racked up 276 yards rushing. Quran Carroll’s fumble recovery provided six points for Plattsburgh with 7:43 left in the game.

The Ticonderoga Sentinels took the lead for good late in the second quarter of a seesaw battle, led 20-14 at the half and went on to defeat the Beekmantown Eagles 32-21 in a Section VII season opener on Friday. Beekmantown kept the game close in the third frame by matching touchdowns, but gaining with the point after to make it 26-21. The Sentinels put the game away with an insurance score in the final quarter. No details were immediately available on individual scorers.

The Chiefs’ defense turned in a strong second-half performance, enabling Saranac Central to pull away from a 20-20 halftime tie at home, en route to a 42-28 win over the AuSable Valley Patriots in Week 1 of the 2013 football season. Saranac senior John Maye ran 185 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns in the win. The Patriots rallied for 20 points in the second quarter and had gained a 12-7 lead after Dylan Savage returned a fumble 15 yards to score. Savage’s two-yard plunge late in the second quarter tied the game at 20-all. Maye carried the ball to paydirt from five yards out at 10:35 of the third quarter, ran for the extra two points, then scored again just 21 seconds into the fourth quarter for a 34-20 lead that helped secure the win. Quarterback Jon Goodnough had a six-yard keeper for the Patriots’ only score of the second half.

Peru Defense Shuts Down Saranac Lake in 33-7 Win

Saranac Lake’s Derek Thurber (11) grabs Peru’s Rivilino Hendricks (9) by the shirt tail drags him down during Saturday’s season opener. Peru scored on its first two possessions and tacked on another score as the clock expired to end the half 26-7. Peru outplayed Saranac Lake 33-7 in the season opener, allowing the Storm 34 total yards rushing. (Shonn Surber photo)

Peru's Jordan Guay boots an extra-point kick following a second touchdown in the first quarter.  The Indians squelched the Red Storm offense in a 33-7 victory. (Shonn Surber photo)  Game Gallery  NCSN Game Broadcast

The Peru Indians capitalized on a first-drive fumble by Saranac Lake on their own one-yard line and enjoyed prime field position for most of the game in capturing a 33-7 win on the road at Ken Wilson Field. Josh Cote busted into the end zone just 1:26 into the game to open the scoring. However, the Red Storm blocked the extra point. Three second-quarter touchdowns, including a stinging TD reception to end the first half, cemented the Indians’ victory. Blake Altizer zipped a 15-yard pass to Anthony Gallo just seven seconds into the second frame. Rivolino Hendricks broke containment and dashed 43 yards to score at 8:48 of the period. While Peru racked up over a dozen penalties, the Red Storm appeared to be making strides on offense. Advancing the ball into the red zone for the first time, quarterback Tristan Fitzgerald zipped a pass through a seam on the right side. Wide receiver Torin Smith slanted left in the end zone and stepped in front what appeared to be a sure Peru interception for a touchdown with 53 seconds left in the half. However, the Indians grabbed the momentum back. On the final play of the half, Altizer rolled right and as the buzzer sounded, lofted a 33-yard Hail Mary to the right side of the end zone. Gallo reached around SL cornerback Carl Bevalaqua who appeared to have an interception, then ripped the ball away from behind for a touchdown. The only score of the second half was a nine-yard TD completion from Altizer to Zane Bazzano just six seconds into the fourth quarter.