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October 28, 2012

Red Storm claim third straight Class C title

SARANAC LAKE — Saranac Lake’s three captains accepted the Section VII Class C football championship trophy and casually walked it back to the rest of their teammates.

There wasn’t a whole lot of celebration from the Red Storm, who have their eyes on further playoff success.

Still, they were proud of their third straight sectional crown.

They claimed this one with a 40-6 win over AuSable Valley at Ken Wilson Field Saturday.

“It’s a great feeling,” Saranac Lake receiver Kevin Morgan said. “Whenever you’re champion at all it’s just the best feeling in the world.”

Matt Phelan threw all six of the Red Storm’s touchdowns, including three to Morgan. Saranac Lake (9-0) will take on Ogdensburg Free Academy next Saturday in a regional game at AuSable Valley.

Phelan distributed four touchdown passes as Saranac Lake took a 27-6 halftime lead in the sectional final. After Seth Pickreign brought the ball down the field on two long carries, Phelan hit Jonathan McCabe for an 8-yard score.

Then the senior quarterback connected with Morgan, who juked and took off for the end zone and a 40-yard touchdown. On the Red Storm’s next drive, Phelan lofted a perfectly placed ball 36 yards down the right sideline for Morgan, who caught it for another score.

“Matty just knows where to throw it and when to throw,” Morgan said. “He’s good at that.”

Late in the half, Phelan found McCabe again, and the senior receiver raced to the end zone to help the Red Storm take a 27-0 lead.

“I thought our kids had a good concept of the game plan,” Saranac Lake coach Eric Bennett said. “We were able to attack where they weren’t, and we moved the ball pretty efficiently, particularly with Matt through the air.”

AuSable Valley (0-9) constructed a nice drive before the McCabe touchdown but fumbled it away about five yards from the end zone. On the Patriots’ next possession, Michael Thompson gave them a spark with a 40-yard run. They reached the 13-yard line and then were whistled for a 15-yard illegal-block penalty that looked like it might kill the drive. But Kodie Simpson threw a 28-yard scoring strike to Jonathan Luxon with four seconds left in the half.

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