BY RICKY ST. CLAIR Press-Republican
---- — PLATTSBURGH — After back-to-back Empire Football League (EFL) wins and outscoring its opponents 113-7 in the process, the Plattsburgh North Stars will shift focus for their toughest challenge to date.
The North Stars (2-1, 2-0) take on the Syracuse Shock in a highly-anticipated matchup at the Plattsburgh High School Athletic Conference at 7 p.m. tonight.
“I would expect both teams to be very excited and pumped,” Plattsburgh coach Scott Aguglia said. “Both teams realize that the other team is an extremely worthy opponent. This is a good measuring stick for the rest of the season.”
During the team’s two-game winning streak, quarterback Harry Rascoe has completed 22 of 34 pass attempts for 492 yards and 10 touchdowns, leading the North Stars in total offense.
Rascoe’s main target is Dexter Geohagan, who has grabbed eight catches for 215 yards and five touchdowns. Since returning to the team, Andrew Price has snagged five of Rascoe’s passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns.
Josh Nephew, Kenneth Karnley and Elijah Parks have all shared time in the backfield.
Nephew leads the trio in yardage at 105 with one touchdown, while Karnley and Parks have combined for 96 yards and one touchdown.
“Our offense has done a great job taking care of the football,” Aguglia said. “We’ve done a great job as an offense of sustaining drives and not turning the ball over, and we’re really wearing down our opponents.”
BJ Godfrey (16), Jason Remillard (12), Dave Staley (11) and Craig Livsey (10) have all made over 10 total tackles on the defensive side of the football.
Matt Konador and Staley are tied with a team-high two sacks, while Remillard, Brandon St. John and Jamil McCray each have one interception.
“The defense has just been phenomenal,” Aguglia said. “I expect the same (tonight). Syracuse is much more of a challenge than what they’ve faced so far, but I think they’ll do fine.”
The Shock (2-0, 2-0), who are averaging 47 points per game on offense, defeated Glens Falls 64-6 July 6 before besting the Watertown Red and Black 30-6 July 13.
Plattsburgh and Syracuse are in a two-way tie for first place in the EFL standings at 2-0, while the North East Pennsylvania Miners are a half-game back at 1-0.
“TJ Sheard is their quarterback, and he’s a guy that would rather throw than run,” Aguglia said. “He can run if necessary, and we have to put pressure on him. He has weapons in Tyler Gage and Tyron Burke. Those two have played together for awhile. They’re experienced and explosive.”
Aguglia said Syracuse is one of the quicker sideline-to-sideline teams in the EFL.
“Primarily, they give the football to Dwayne “Flash” Gordon,” Aguglia said. “He’s not huge, but very fast. If you give him the edge, he’s going to be gone. We have to make sure to contain him. It’s going to be a big game, and I hope all the fans come out and get a look at it.”