Amsterdam rolls past Gloversville, 34-14

AMSTERDAM – Special teams set the tone early for the Amsterdam Rams in their Class A Northwest matchup with Gloversville.

The Rams blocked two first-quarter Gloversville punts to set a pair of Jaden Fallen touchdowns in Amsterdam’s 34-34 victory Friday night at the Lynch Literacy Academy.

“We stressed it all week that special teams could determine the game and they did well,” Amsterdam coach Doug Edick said. “I was afraid of their kickoff return because I saw them against Queensbury. We covered that well then did great on the punt blocks and that set the tone.”

Amsterdam’s defense came through to force the Huskies to punt the ball on their first possession of the game and bull-rushed the kicker to block the kick and recover the ball on the Gloversville 15.

Two plays later, Fallen barreled into the end zone from 2 yards out. The point-after attempt failed leaving the score at 6-0.

Gloversville moved the ball on its next possession with Jared Malagisi taking the kickoff back 20 yards and Trevor Mee breaking free for a 21-yard gain.

The drive stopped when Anthony Ponticello’s pass over the middle was deflected by Adel Rosario and intercepted by Jake Smitka at the Amsterdam 26.

Two plays later Dale Stanavich burst up the middle for a 66-yard touchdown run. Misha Murdoch kicked the extra point for a 13-0 lead.

Amsterdam’s defense again forced the Huskies to punt on the ensuing possession and again broke through to block the punt and taking possession on the Gloversville 15.

A 13-yard pass from Rosario to Stanavich set up Fallen for his second 2-yard touchdown run of the game. Murdoch kick set the Rams up with a 20-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

The Huskies put together a drive late in the first quarter and early second quarter, with a 13-yard run from Mee and a 14-yard gain by Ponticello to take the ball to the Amsterdam 16.

The Rams defense dug in and drove Gloversville back to the 29-yard line before taking over on downs.

This time the Gloversville defense held and forced the Rams to punt.

Jackson Peck returned the punt 45 yards to the Amsterdam 23-yard line. The Huskies drove the ball inside the 5-yard line and got to the two with the help of an offsides call on the Rams, but that was as close as they got as Amsterdam’s defense held and took over on downs at their own 3-yard line.

“That was big,” Edick said. “We went to a six front and they held their own and stopped the run. When Mee is at quarterback he is a tough runner.”

They quickly got out of the shadow of the goal post when Fallen broke a 15-yard run.

Amsterdam could not capitalize on the drive and the Huskies could not find the end zone before the half, sending the game into the break with the Rams up 20-0.

“We missed opportunities in the first half,” Gloversville coach Jared Bongo said. “We were down inside the red zone twice and came away with nothing. They had two blocked punts that set them up in perfect position to get two early scores. You take those away and it is a 7-0 game. We battled but is was just lost opportunities.”

Stanavich, who left the game with an injury midway through the second quarter, returned early in the third quarter and put together runs of three and six yards before breaking a 32-yard romp into the end zone and with Murdoch’s kick staked the Rams to a 27-0 lead 93-seconds into the third quarter.

Amsterdam nearly came up with its third blocked punt of the game as punter Brent Muhlberger dropped the snap and in a scramble kicked the ball off the ground and out of bounds, leading to a penalty for an illegal kick, setting Amsterdam up on the Gloversville 32.

Penalties for a hold and ineligible receiver down field pushed the Rams back and they were forced to punt the ball away.

Gloversville’s possession did not last long as Anthony Aponte stepped in front of a pass from Ponticello that was intended for Korey Cotugno.

Amsterdam capitalized on the turnover with Fallen hitting the end zone for his third touchdown of the game, a 3-yard run and Murdoch’s kick extended Amsterdam’s advantage to 34-0 heading into the final quarter.

After recovering a fumble on Gloversville’s first play of the fourth quarter, the Rams drove to the Huskies 17 before being stopped and Murdoch’s 27-yard field goal attempt missed, giving the Huskies the ball on their own 20.

Mee broke away for a 25-yard run and Malagisi followed with a 56-yard romp before being brought down at the 1-yard line. He finished the play with a 1-yard dive into the end zone and Muhlberger kicked the point after to put the score at 34-7.

The Huskies defense came through for the final score of the game. After forcing the Rams to punt the ball, the snap sailed over the head of Fallen and he raced back in an attempt to clear the ball out of the back of the end zone, but Zach Alikhan got to the ball at the five yard line, picked it up and carried it into the end zone for a touchdown. Muhlberger’s kick closed out the scoring at 34-14.

“I want to give credit to the offensive line. They stepped up and blocked for Jaden. I thought think the offense line has come a long way,” Edick said. “It was physical for four quarters. Lots of times in high school football the game is won in the trenches and I thought our offensive and defensive lines did a heck of a job tonight.”:

Stanavich, who sat out most of the second half after the second-quarter injury, finished with 112 yards and two touchdowns on six carries. Fallen had ran for 71 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries and Jiovani Orengo added 25 rushing yards on four carries.

Mee finished with 100 yards on 19 rushing attempts, while Malagisi had 69 yards and a touchdown on seven attempts.

Amsterdam finished with 264 yards of total offense with 247 of those on the ground.

Gloversville finished with 173 rushing yards out of 178 yards of total offense.

“This was an opportunity we missed. It is frustrating and heartbreaking,” Bongo said. “The kids are frustrated and I am frustrated. But at the end of the day we now have to concentrate on South High. It is like every game is now a one-game playoff. We have to see where we are going to finish off and put ourselves in position for sectionals. That is why this game was so important. If we won, we may have gotten the second seed if we won out. Now it is back to the drawing board for South High and make sure we get guys healthy.”

Amsterdam 34, Gloversville 14

Gloversville0 0 0 14 – 14

Amsterdam20 0 14 0 – 34

First Quarter

A – Jaden Fallen 2 run (kick failed)

A – Dale Stanavich 66 run (Misha Murdoch kick)

A – Fallen 2 run (Murdoch kick)

Third Quarter

A – Stanavich 32 run (Murdoch kick)

A – Fallen 2 run (Murdoch kick)

Fourth Quarter

G – Jared Malagisi 1 run (Brent Muhlberger kick)

G – Zach Alikhan 5 fumble recovery (Muhlberger kick)

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