PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh North Stars capped an 86-yard fourth-quarter drive with an Andrew Price touchdown reception in a 20-13 Empire Football League semifinal defeat of Watertown Saturday night.
First-year head coach Scott Aguglia understood the significance of the possession and utilized the opportunity to play keep away in the process.
“We mixed the play calling and (Harry Rascoe) did a great job of finding his receivers downfield,” Aguglia said. “The guys made some great catches in traffic. (Price) made a nice grab on that last touchdown near the pylon.”
Jordon Keleher opened the game’s scoring at 11:06 of the first quarter with a 41-yard touchdown strike from Rascoe to put the North Stars (9-3) on top 7-0.
However, the Red and Black (8-3) quickly responded with a 46-yard touchdown of their own following a Shawn Davis interception on the defensive side of the football.
Versatile quarterback Brian Williams scored from one yard out with time running out in the first half, making the score 7-6 at halftime.
Before two minutes could elapse in the third quarter, Williams rolled out and took his second consecutive carry for a 59-yard touchdown scamper down the near sideline for a score.
Throughout the week of practice, Aguglia emphasized the importance of keeping Williams contained in the pocket.
“Our coaching staff sat down with (the defense) and told them to keep doing what they were doing,” Aguglia said. “Before that (59-yard run) down the sideline, we had done a heck of a job all night bottling him up. We just missed a couple of tackles on that play where he went long.”
Plattsburgh answered with Price’s first of two touchdown receptions at the 12:30 mark of the third quarter before concluding scoring at 10:02 of the fourth.
Rascoe finished the night 16-for-24 with 291 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Price ended up with five catches for 68 yards and two scores.
Plattsburgh finished with 398 yards of total offense as compared to Watertown’s 206.
The North Stars play host to Monroe County, who defeated Syracuse 24-15 in the second of two semifinal matchups, next weekend at the Plattsburgh High Athletic Complex for the right to hoist the EFL championship trophy.
“The guys are extremely pumped for next weekend,” Aguglia said. “We’re glad to be home for the championship game. We’re hoping to execute, but let the chips fall where they may.”
Plattsburgh 20, Watertown 13
Watertown 0 6 7 0 — 13
Plattsburgh 7 0 6 7 — 20
P- Keleher 41 pass from Rascoe (White kick), 11:06.
W- Williams 1 run (kick blocked), 15:00.
W- Williams 59 run (Farah kick), 1:29.
P- Price 9 pass from Rascoe (kick failed), 12:30
P- Price from Rascoe (White kick), 10:02.
W- Williams, 8-96, 2 TD; Jo. Brennan, 9-39; Noel, 7-25; Taylor, 7-18; Je. Brennan, 1-7. Totals: 32-185, 2 TD.
P- Rascoe, 12-52; McCray, 3-27; Karnley, 5-13; Parks, 6-11; Nephew, 7-4. Totals: 33-107.
W- Williams, 3-8-0-19.
P- Rascoe, 16-24-2-283, 3 TD.
W- Noel, 3-21.
P- McCray, 5-102; Price, 5-68, 2 TD; Keleher, 2-63, TD; Gibson, 4-50.
W- Stevens, Davis.