By ALAIN St. PIERRE
CANTON - The St. Lawrence Central varsity football team broke into the win column in a big way on Saturday against Canton Central.
Weve been competitive all year and weve said all along that if the players could stay focused for all four quarters, wed see a big improvement with the final result, said coach Bill Scharf after the Larries methodically churned out a 44-0 NAC decision over the Golden Bears in a late-season matchup of winless teams.
This group has worked really hard all year and they deserved to get a win. We needed this one. It gives the kids something to show for all their efforts, Scharf added. Were not done yet. We still have at least a couple of games left so hopefully this will give us some momentum for the rest of the season.
Leading the way against the Bears on Saturday was the senior duo of running back Jesse Greer and quarterback Devon Euto. Greer bulled his way for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries while Euto raced for another 123 yards on 12 rushes, including a 55-yard touchdown bolt on the second play from scrimmage that set the tone for the convincing win. Euto also completed four of seven passes for 90 yards, including a back-breaking 26-yard touchdown pass into a stiff early autumn wind to classmate Todd Ramsdell when the Larries faked a 40-yard field goal attempt on a fourth-down and 19 play.
Thats a play that we put into our offense this week. Its one of those in case of emergency kind of plays and we figured it was as good a time as any to try it, noted Scharf. More than anything we ran it to see what would happen in a game situation. Having that play worked out the way it did really gave us a huge boost in momentum.
Greer would later run the ball in from 16 yards out for his second touchdown of the day as the Larries built a commanding 28-0 halftime lead.
We knew we were capable of getting a win and we all brought it today, said Greer. It was that Larries spirit. Weve kept pushing each other and telling each other that we can do it, we can do it. We stayed focused and played hard all four quarters. It just feels great to get a win.
Euto added to the SLC lead midway through the third quarter, completing a five-play, 44-yard drive with an 11-yard sweep around the right into the endzone. Greer added the two-point run to make it 36-0 with 6:41 left in the quarter.
Junior David Plante highlighted an outstanding all-around performance that included two fumble recoveries and half a sack, by scoring the final SLC points of the game in the fourth quarter starting when he scooped up a short punt near the left sideline at the Canton 25, avoiding an initial tackle then darted into the endzone with 3:49 remaining. He then raced around the right side of the line for the two-point conversion to seal the win.
The Bears, who have struggled with low numbers since the start of the season suffered another discouraging loss to their lineup midway through the first quarter when sophomore Peyton VanBibber, who had gone for 26 yards on just two carries, sustained a serious injury to his left arm after an eight-yard gain on his second run from scrimmage. The Canton offense was further hampered when senior Jay Proulx reaggravated an injured left ankle early in the first half and spent the rest of the game on the sideline. Sophomore Hunter Yerdon finished as the leading rusher of the day for the Bears with 32 yards on 12 carries followed by senior fullback Nate Miller with 22 yards on 10 runs. Making his first start of the season at quarterback, Jack Elberty completed two of 12 passes for 22 yards, including a 17-yard toss to Cody Peters.
The Larries will look to maintain the momentum of their first win into next Saturdays regular season finale at home against Tupper Lake while Canton is slated to travel to Massena next Friday night.
Malone 53 - Massena 21 - The host Huskies delghted a homecoming crowd in climbing to 5-1 for next Saturdays game at 5-1 Gouverneur for the Class B regular season title. The Wildcats lost their first game Friday night 38-6. Malone again showed their ability with to score quickly as six of their scoring drives took five plays or less to go along with another kickoff return for a touchdown.
Senior quarterback Mitch Gallagher continued his ultra productivity completing 11 of 19 passes for 249 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
The longest Huskie drive came on the first possession of the game as they went 65 yards on 15 plays with Gallagher scoring from the four yard line.
A 65 yard kickoff return by JP Reagan gave the Red Raiders great field position but they were unable to score as a 27 yard field goal attempt was no good. Four plays later, Gallagher found a wide open John Paul King over the middle for a 69 yard touchdown.
Massena scored first in the second period as Reagan, who rushed for 142 yards, had a 51 yard run to bring the ball down to the Huskies eight and scored two plays later on a six yard run. Seconds later, Gallagher scored on a 65 yard run.
Before the end of the half Gallagher threw a 36 yard TD pass to Jordan Yando and a three yard TD pass to Harvey Smith
Smith again showed his speed with a 63 yard run and then kicked the extra point to make the lead 40-7 in the third quarter. play a 52 yard run by Gallagher followed with a 52-yard bolt to paydirt and. Picaro took a pass from Gallagher and did some elusive running for a 20 yard touchdown.
Massena (2-4) scored the next two touchdowns, a five yard run by Jeremy Malone and a 29 yard run by Reagan. Smith scored the last touchdown of the game on a 79 yard kickoff return.