SARANAC LAKE — With senior quarterback Trent Fitzgerald out because of an injury, his little brother has stepped in aptly.
Tristan Fitzgerald, a sophomore, threw four touchdowns passes in his second start to lead Saranac Lake past AuSable Valley 34-21 in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football Saturday.
“It’s nice to see a young quarterback coming of age,” Saranac Lake coach Eric Bennett said. “He seems pretty calm, cool and collected, and he made some big, critical plays when he needed to.”
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The Red Storm (2-2) trailed late in the second quarter, but after a big momentum swing, they took a lead into halftime. The Patriots (1-3) thought they had added to their advantage with an 82-yard touchdown by Shane Douglas, but a personal foul brought it all the way back and the drive ended with a punt.
Fitzgerald found a wide open Dustin Fischer down the left side for a 19-yard score, tying the game at 14-14 with 1:37 left in the second quarter. AuSable Valley went long on the first play of its next possession, and Ty Marmion picked off the pass and returned it to the Patriots’ 39-yard line.
Fitzgerald immediately connected with Dylan Gunther in the right corner of the end zone with 25.2 seconds on the clock, and the Red Storm led 21-14 at the half.
“And that was great for our morale and momentum going into the second half,” Bennett said.
Another turnover in the third quarter helped Saranac Lake take control for good. The Red Storm had a bad possession and had to punt, but the ball hit an AuSable Valley player and bounced to the ground, where Alex Donaldson scooped it up. Saranac Lake’s ensuing drive ended with Marmion’s 25-yard touchdown reception as the quarter ended.
Fitzgerald connected with Gunther on a 33-yard score in the middle of the fourth, putting the Red Storm ahead 34-14.