CLINTONVILLE — Following a scoreless first half and a dismal 74 yards of total offense, Beekmantown head coach Jamie Lozier searched for a leader inside the Eagles locker room at the break.
In stepped first-year quarterback Zachary Myers.
The senior orchestrated a 70-yard, game-winning drive with 1:43 remaining in the game, which resulted in a touchdown strike to Haydin Fountain in an improbable 14-7 Champlain Valley Athletic Conference victory over AuSable Valley Friday.
During the five-play series, Myers completed 3-of-4 passes for 64 yards, nearly one-half of his game total.
“(Myers) took command of the offense and drove us down the field when we needed him most,” Lozier said. “He’s a veteran player on the team and he’s comfortable coordinating a drive in crunch time.”
The Eagles could only muster 38 rushing yards through the first 24 minutes of play, and Lozier attributed the sluggish start to the frigid temperatures and a coaching misjudgment.
“We got off the bus and played with no emotion,” Lozier said. “It was their Senior Night and we were anticipating more time for pre-game warm-ups than what we got. I take full responsibility for the mistimed start. It kind of messed with our psyche.”
Beekmantown opened scoring midway through the third quarter with a 27-yard touchdown reception from Justin Stevens to put the Eagles up 7-0.
However, the lead was short lived.
Patriots back Dillon Savage, who ranks third in the CVAC for total rushing yards, scored from two yards out to tie the score at seven apiece.
“We made some adjustments with our defense in an effort to slow Savage from getting to the outside, but he continued to hurt us in the second half,” Lozier said. “Those off-tackle runs proved to be the difference-maker for them. He and their quarterback (Kodie Simpson) were big-play threats throughout the entire course of the game.”