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October 13, 2013

Defensive stand lifts Red Storm over Beekmantown

PLATTSBURGH — Beekmantown was poised to tie the game or take the lead in the fourth quarter Saturday with first-and-10 at Saranac Lake’s 14-yard line.

The Red Storm stopped the Eagles short of the end zone.

But don’t ask Eric Bennett about the strategy.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know how we did it,” the Saranac Lake coach said of the crucial defensive stand.

Saranac Lake held Beekmantown scoreless throughout the fourth quarter to seal a 28-21 win in a Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football game at Plattsburgh High School.

“One thing that we’ve really worked on is team chemistry and just evolving from a young team to a team that’s got some game experience under its belt,” Bennett said. “Along that, I think we’re really reaching down and figuring what we’re made of and what we have inside. And it’s great to see that grittiness come out of our kids.

“I think (the stop) wasn’t scheme; that was kids. And it was awesome.”

The Red Storm (4-2), who lost 19 starters from last year, opened this season with a 33-7 loss to Peru and later lost to Ticonderoga by three touchdowns. But they grabbed their second straight win Saturday, and senior Dylan Gunther said they showed their potential.

“We’ve gotten a lot better since Week 1,” he said. “I think this game’s definitely a statement game of how good we actually are.”

Saranac Lake pulled ahead early in the fourth quarter when Lance Ackerson ran 14 yards up the middle and Ty Marmion kicked the extra point to make it 28-21. Beekmantown (3-3) looked like it would have a quick answer after Cameron Garceau’s 31-yard reception put them 14 yards from the end zone. But Saranac Lake took over on downs.

That drive was cut short by an interception, giving the Eagles yet another great opportunity. Carl Bevilacqua immediately picked off a Beekmantown pass, and Saranac Lake ran out the clock by converting for three first downs.

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