Fast start keys Chatham win over Canajoharie-Fort Plain

Canajoharie-Fort Plain’s Marcus Johnson (45) looks for running room against Chatcham Saturday at John G. Boshart Field at fonda-Fultonville High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

FONDA — It is not how you start; it is how you finish. Well, that is not always true in the game of football as displayed in the Chatham Panthers 39-20 defeat over Canajoharie-Fort Plain Saturday at the John G. Boshart Field at Fonda-Fultonville High School.

The Panthers jumped out on C-FP early when quarterback Casey Sitzer placed the ball where only his wideout Thomas Van Tassel could get to it for a 33-yard touchdown just one minute and 49 seconds into the game.

“That’s kind of what our season has been like so far,” said C-FP head coach Shannon Hyney. “Every day we try and begin with a great start and it is tough to establish that mentality, but it definitely has been a theme for us all year with these slow-starts out of the gate.”

On the next offensive possession for Chatham, the Panthers capped off their drive with a short seven-yard touchdown run by Quinten Kastner to go up 13-0 following a missed extra point.

However, CF-P answered on the next drive with wide receiver Mekhi Lanier taking the top off the Panthers defense where he was greeted with a beautiful deep ball from quarterback Derek Hyney for a 50-yard touchdown.

Panthers led C-FP 13-6 after one quarter of action.

From that point on, it seemed as if C-FP had awoken a sleeping giant as the Panthers scored 20 second quarter points, including a long 60-yard bomb for a touchdown from Sitzer to Jayshawn Williams.

“I believe that was our first passing touchdown on the year and it was good to see the passing game get going a little bit,” said Chatham head coach Rick Sitzer. “We know that we are a good running team but if we can’t throw the ball then we are not going to get very far.”

Casey Sitzer finished his day going five of seven passing with 129 yards through the air with two passing touchdowns.

Soon after his touchdown reception, Williams was not done with scoring, as a costly interception that was returned for a touchdown for the Panthers made C-FP’s chances of winning the game appearing bleak.

“We needed to have a big first-half, unlike last week versus Lake George where the punched us in the mouth pretty good,” said Coach Sitzer. “We stressed the getting off to a strong first half coming off the bus. With traveling so much these players did a great job with starting quick and making plays.”

With a scoreless third quarter, C-FP found life in their offense as Keegan Meyers punched in a seven-yard run with just seven minutes remaining and the score reading 33-14 in favor of Chatham.

On the ensuing kick-off, the ball took a myriad of bounces on a regular deep kick, eventually being landed on by C-FP’s own Jaxon O’Neil inside the Panthers’ 10-yard line.

From there, Hyney connected with Meyers for a seven-yard touchdown reception and bring the score to 33-20 with the clock showing just over three minutes in regulation.

Hyney finished with 9-for-24 passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. Meyers finished with two catches for 11 yards, one touchdown and 54 yards rushing on six carries and a touchdown.

“These are resilient kids who are going to battle until the end,” Coach Hyney said. “They are competitive so when they see the scoreboard, they hang their heads too quickly, which is something that is a plus and a minus.”

The potential comeback was over when the proverbial nail in the coffin was struck as Quinten Kastner pounded his was into the end zone for a nine-yard run with approximately one minute remaining.

Kastner finished second on the team in rushing with 94 yards on 15 carries behind Van Tassel’s eight carry, 103 yard night.

Chatham moves to 3-1 on the season where they will take the filed next in front of their home crowd next Friday when they take on Whitehall.

For Canajoharie-Fort Plain (1-3) , they look to bounce back on the road when they travel to take on Taconic Hills (2-1) Friday night.

Chatham 39, Canajoharie-Fort Plain 20

Chatham 13 20 0 6 — 39

Canajoharie-Fort Plain 6 0 0 14 — 20

First quarter

C — Thomas Van Tassel 33 pass from Casey Sitzer (Rippel kick), 8:11.

C — Quinten Kastner 7 run (kick missed), 3:22.

CFP — Mekhi Lanier 50 pass from Derek Hyney (run failed), 1:02.

Second quarter

C — Van Tassel 6 run (kick blocked), 5:37.

C — Jayshawn Williams 60 pas from Sitzer (run failed), 2:33.

C — Williams 40 interception return (run failed), :43.

Fourth quarter

CFP — Keegan Myers 7 run (Marcus Johnson pass from Hyney), 7:11.

CFP — Myers 7 pass from Hyney, (pass failed), 3:15.

C — Kastner 9 run (run failed), 1;11.

Amsterdam 34, Albany 6

ALBANY — Peyton Ausfeld turned in a record-setting performance as the Rams rolled past Albany Saturday afternoon at Albany High School.

Ausfeld set a new single-game school rushing record with 322 yards and finding the end zone five times in the game.

Prince Rukundo picked up two of Albany’s three interceptions in the game as Amsterdam recorded 371 yards of total offense, all on the ground.

Amsterdam (3-1 overall, 2-1 Class A Capital Conf.) will travel to play Green Tech (1-3 overall, 1-2 Capital Conf.) Friday night.

Amsterdam 34, Albany 6

Amsterdam 14 6 7 7 — 34

Albany 6 0 0 0 — 6

First quarter

Amst — Peyton Ausfeld 23 run (Andrew Welch kick),

Alb — Kquazay Dickens 71 run (pass failed)

Amst — Ausfeld 17 run (Welch kick).

Second quarter

Amst — Ausfeld, 47 run (pass failed)

Third quarter

Amst — Ausfeld 40 run (Welch kick).

Fourth quarter

Amst — Ausfeld 8 run (Welch kick).

Section III, Class D

Dolgeville 28, Waterville 0

WATERVILLE — The Blue Devils rebounded from their first loss of the season with a 28-0 shut out Saturday.

Connor Morse and Kyle Getman scored two touchdowns apiece in the victory for Dolgeville.

Morse’s touchdowns came in the first half on runs of three and two yards.

Getman’s touchdowns came on runs of three and one yard in the second half.

Jesse Dykeman caught a pass from Gregory Gonyea and Ashton Kluge ran the ball in for 2-point conversions for the Blue Devils.

Dolgeville (3-1) will travel to play Onondaga Friday night.

Dolgeville 28, Waterville 0

Dolgeville 6 8 6 8 — 28

Waterville 0 0 0 0 — 0

First quarter

D — Connor Morse, 3 run (pass failed).

Second quarter

D — Morse, 2 run (Jesse Dykeman pass from Gregory Gonyea).

Third quarter

D — Kyle Getman, 3 run (pass failed)

Fourth quarter

D — Getman, 1 run (Ashton Kluge run).

By Paul Wager

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