---- — PLATTSBURGH — T. Maliniak & Sons Masonry, in a rematch of last year’s finals, repeated as champions in the North Country Flag Football League with a 10-7 victory over Rumour’s Sports Bar/Recore Enterprises.
No team had won back-to-back championships since 1998 and Maliniak’s has a 19-1 record the past two years.
Maliniak quarterback Chris Castine, the playoff Most Valuable Player, ran for over 150 yards in the game and scored on a nine-yard sweep to give Maliniak’s a 7-0 lead.
Castine also had a big 65-yard run that led to Clinton McCool’s 30-yard field goal that made it 10-0.
Mickey Castine, Justin Castine, John Maloney, Merrit Billiter, Luke Kiroy and Justin Bryant blocked well, along with tight ends Mark Hamilton and Mark Kiroy, and running back Craig Bujold.
Maliniak’s defense, led by Mark Kiroy, Jeff Kiroy, Hamilton, John Southwick and Chris Verkey helped contain Recore’s quarterback Harry Rascoe and the team’s fast-paced, no huddle offense. Mike Castine and Peter Wheatley were strong in the secondary, with Wheatley getting an interception.
Recore’s score came when Rascoe connected with Chris Fish on a fourth-and-20 and then Matt St. Clair for a touchdown pass with 2:30 left in the contest.
“The offensive and defensive lines for us were keys to controlling the game,” said Maliniak coach Gary Fessette, who celebrated his 16th flag championship.
Individual awards included: Maliniak’s Chris Castine, playoff MVP; Maliniak’s Wheatley, league MVP; Rumour’s/Recore’s St. Clair, defensive award; and Pepsi’s Chris Premore, sportsmanship award.