SARANAC — After a shaky start against Beekmantown last week, Peru’s goal Saturday was to have a better first half.
The Indians did turn the ball over on their first drive, but they took a 14-6 lead in the first quarter and held a big advantage by halftime.
Blake Altizer threw four touchdown passes, including three to Zane Bazzano, as Peru remained undefeated with a 48-6 win over Saranac in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football.
“Definitely a better first half. We didn’t have as many mistakes as last week,” Bazzano said. “And all around, it was just a good team effort.”
John Maye’s 2-yard run put Saranac on the board late in the first quarter, and the Chiefs had a great opportunity to tie the game early in the second. After Maye found a hole and ran 52 yards down to Peru’s 9-yard line, his team was looking at first-and-goal.
Saranac attempted a run and three passes but couldn’t reach the end zone.
“That was a big goal-line stand,” Peru coach Nick Damiani said. “I just told the defense that they had to dig down — they were a little bit tired — and get a big stop so we could get the ball offensively. Good pass defense by (Anthony) Gallo. Up front we got some pressure on the quarterback as well.”
The Indians (5-0) went 92 yards on three plays, with Bazzano catching a long pass and racing down the sideline for a 73-yard touchdown. Bazzano caught a 16-yard scoring pass on Peru’s next drive, and then Gallo grabbed his first of two interceptions and Altizer connected with Rivelino Hendricks for a 6-yard score just before halftime, making it 34-6.
Altizer was 13-of-24 with 231 yards, and he threw one interception. Bazzano made four catches for 164 yards, while Gallo and Jordan Guay both had three receptions.
James Mason ran for a game-high 97 yards, all in the second half, and scored on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.
Hendricks added a touchdown from the 1 in the fourth quarter for a total of 90 yards on the ground.
Peru running back Dustin Landon missed Saturday’s game after being ejected in the win against Beekmantown, and Jozua Côté, a senior who joined the team this season, decided to move back to Longueuil, Quebec, according to Damiani. Then Parker Wyckoff got sick.
“So I really had two running backs, and it was Mackenzie (LaRocque) and Rivelino,” Damiani said. “So Rivelino had to carry the ball for us, and he did a nice job. Lot of nice runs, some good reads, breaking tackles, running hard. Which is what he’s done kind of all season, but we just haven’t had to feature him back there because we had some more depth and were able to spread it around.”
LaRocque rushed for 48 yards and scored the game’s first touchdown on a fumble return.
Saranac (2-3) gave away the ball on its first three possessions and ended with five turnovers. Maye totaled 84 yards on 17 carries, and Lance Hackett made four catches for 135 yards.
Quarterback Ethan Goslin suffered a head injury in the middle of the third quarter and was taken away in an ambulance. Coach Mark Burrell said Goslin was responsive and was taken to the hospital largely as a precaution.
Bazzano had to take the SAT Saturday morning in Plattsburgh, and he arrived at the field during introductions, pads skewed and carrying his helmet. The senior didn’t seem to be bothered by the lack of a warm-up — his first three catches were for touchdowns.
“I got a little lost; I ended up in Dannemora on the way to Saranac,” Bazzano said. “I just needed to get a quick stretch in. It was kinda weird just because I’m used to doing the same things every time before a game, but you just can’t let it faze you. You’re going to face adversity in all different ways.”
The ninth-ranked Indians were originally scheduled to play Plattsburgh High next week. Instead, they’ll meet Hackley, which is ranked 14th in Class B, in a nonconference game in Albany.
Peru 48, Saranac 6
Peru 14 20 7 7 — 48
Saranac 6 0 0 0 — 6
P- M. LaRocque 1 fumble return (Guay kick), 3:39.
P- Bazzano 49 pass from Altizer (Guay kick), 7:52.
Sar- Maye 2 run (run failed), 9:05.
P- Bazzano 73 pass from Altizer (pass failed), 2:59.
P- Bazzano 16 pass from Altizer (Guay kick), 5:09.
P- Hendricks 6 pass from Altizer (Guay kick), 11:36.
P- Hendricks 1 run (Guay kick), 9:25.
P- Mason 1 run (Guay kick), 10:18.
P- Mason 8-97, TD; Hendricks 12-90, TD; M. LaRocque 8-49; Altizer 3-2; Lovely 1-0. Totals: 32-238, 2 TD.
Sar- Maye 17-84, TD; Rascoe 4-10; Church 2-6; Bernardi 5-2; Goslin 3-(-8). Totals: 31-94, TD.
P- Altizer 13-24-1-231, 4 TD. Guay 0-3-0-0. Totals: 13-27-1-231.
Sar- Goslin 4-17-2-135; Rascoe 0-3-1-0. Totals: 4-20-3-135.
P- Bazzano 4-164, 3 TD; Guay 3-30; Gallo 3-21; Hendricks 1-6, TD; Lovely 1-5; P. LaRocque 1-5.
Sar- Hacket 4-135.
P- Gallo 2, Smith.
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