By ALAIN St. PIERRE
BRASHER FALLS - After gradually taking control in the first half, the Potsdam Central varsity football team wasted no time putting its NAC season opening game against St. Lawrence Central out of reach in the second on Saturday at Randy Riggs Field.
We had a decent first half but Potsdam is a strong team and if you make mistakes, theyre going to capitalize. You have to be ready to play the whole four quarters but we lost our focus at times and they took advantage, said SLC coach Bill Scharf after the Sandstoners built a 21-0 halftime lead then scored twice in the first 1:33 of the third quarter en route to claiming a 41-0 decision over the Larries.
Adam Lewis led a balanced Potsdam offense that saw seven different ball-carriers rush for positive yardage, going for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 12 runs. Oden Robertson, who ran out of the Larries backfield last season, made lead contributions in his varsity debut for the Stoners, going 43 yards and scoring two touchdowns on just five carries. Robertson also provided a pivotal special teams spark when he took the opening kick-off of the second half 91 yards for the fourth Potsdam touchdown of the game.
The Larries mishandled the ensuing kick-off and the ball was recovered by Travis Hall at the SLC 32. Three plays later, Adam Lewis broke through from 25 yards out then ran the ball in for a two-point conversion to push the Potsdam lead to 35-0 with 10:27 left in the third quarter. Stephen Lewis closed out the scoring on the second play of the fourth quarter when he raced in from 16 yards out on his first carry of the game.
The Sandstoners opened the scoring on their second possession when Robertson burst through from five yards out with 3:16 left in the first quarter. The next Potsdam possession only last three plays and ended with Robertson surging into the endzone from four yards out. Adam Lewis scored the third Potsdam touchdown on an eight-yard run with 4:05 left in the half.
St. Lawrence played well in the first half and we didnt execute the way wed like to. We made some adjustments at halftime then came out and played the third quarter the way we need to play the whole game, said coach Jim Kirka.
We have some things that we have to clean up for overall, we did okay today for our first game, he added.
The game marked the return of junior Will Coleman to quarterback for Potsdam after suffering a season-ending injury last fall on the gridiron that sidelined him through basketball and baseball season as well. He ran the ball twice for 17 yards and completed his three pass attempts, all of them to classmate Shawn Clark for 46 yards.
It was definitely good to see Will back. He looked very comfortable running the offense, noted Kirka.
Jesse Greer emerged as the leading rusher of the game for the Larries with 26 yards on five tries. Senior Devon Euto started at quarterback and completed seven of 10 passes for 57 yards in the first half while carrying the ball five times for 20 yards. Junior Mike Burns took over the QB reins in the second half and connected on four of seven passes for 44 yards. David Plante finished with 30 yards on two receptions while gaining 16 yards on six runs.
We were able to give both quarterbacks a try and our runningbacks ran hard. Potsdam is very tough on the line of scrimmage but we were able to move the ball at times, said Scharf. We just made too many mistakes.
The Sandstoners head to Tupper Lake next Friday night while the Larries travel to Malone on Saturday to take on Franklin Academy.