RICKY ST. CLAIR
SARANAC — Entering Week 1 of the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football season, Saranac coach Mark Burrell wasn’t expecting a high-scoring affair with AuSable Valley.
He got one Saturday.
High School Sports Magazine
The Chiefs, behind senior John Maye’s 185 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, racked up 347 yards of total offense in a 42-28 win over the Patriots.
“I could tell you, I was expecting a good game,” Burrell said. “We actually saw AuSable in a scrimmage, and I know they’ve got a tough group of kids. Any Class C game this year is really going to be up for grabs. I knew it was going to be a dogfight, (but) not necessarily (with) so many points scored.”
Maye, who totaled 201 yards after missing two games with an injury a season ago, finished with 28 carries in the ballgame.
“We were definitely going with old-school power running, but I give most of the credit to our offensive line,” Maye said. “They did very well for me (Saturday). (Fullback) Hunter Church, he did an outstanding job (Saturday) blocking.”
Facing a 7-0 deficit, AuSable Valley senior quarterback John Goodnough scored from three yards out to cut Saranac’s lead to one point at 3:16 of the second quarter.
On the Chiefs’ ensuing possession, running back and linebacker Dillon Savage scooped up a loose football at Saranac’s 15-yard line and raced to the end zone.
The Chiefs, however, responded for 13 consecutive points.
“That’s what I was extremely impressed with,” Burrell said. “What I tell our kids is, ‘I get to see who you are when things aren’t going well.’ I wanted to see how our players would respond. They kept their heads up, and they knew it was a bad play. I was very pleased with our ability to bounce back.”
Throughout the course of the week, Saranac’s coaching staff put emphasis on stopping Savage.
Savage registered 17 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown in the first half, forcing Burrell to make significant adjustments with the two teams deadlocked at 20-all.
“Early on in the first half, we definitely were giving up some big runs off tackle, and we weren’t containing very well,” Burrell said. “We changed a few containment responsibilities for the second half, and I was quite happy with the way our defense adjusted.”
Savage finished with seven yards on four carries in the final 24 minutes of play.
Maye helped the Chiefs jump out to a 34-20 lead with back-to-back touchdowns runs in the third and fourth quarter, respectively. The two end zone appearances were separated by just 1:46.
“Anytime we see something that’s working for us, we’re going to keep doing it,” Burrell said. “To me, John is a great athlete. He’s a great football player, and he worked really hard over the offseason.”
Saranac closed the game’s scoring when quarterback Dylan Goslin took a bootleg play to the end zone.
Goslin accounted for over 45 percent of the Chiefs’ total offense in the game, going 6-for-10 with 123 yards and a touchdown strike to fellow senior Lance Hackett. The signal-caller also hurt the Patriots on the ground, totaling 35 rushing yards and one touchdown.
“Yeah, I’m definitely comfortable being a dual-threat quarterback,” Goslin said. “Some of those plays weren’t designed runs, but they worked out well. Moving forward, we just want to work hard and get better everyday.”
Led by Goodnough, AuSable Valley accumulated 290 yards of total offense. The senior finished with 113 passing yards and 40 rushing yards to go along with two touchdown scores on the ground.
Saranac travels to Beekmantown Saturday. The Eagles fell to Ticonderoga Friday, 32-21.
“We’ll enjoy this win for now, but we’ve got to fix a few things in practice Monday,” Burrell said. “We need to be more disciplined and eliminate our mental mistakes. Beekmantown’s going to play hungry after its loss.”
Saranac 42AuSable Valley 28
AuSable Valley 0 20 0 8 — 28
Saranac 7 13 8 14 — 42
S- Hackett 12 pass from Goslin (Herrera kick), 10:14.
A- Goodnough 3 run (kick failed), 3:16.
A- Savage 15 fumble return (run failed), 3:32.
S- Maye 3 run (Herrera kick), 6:24.
S- Maye 2 run (kick failed), 7:47.
A- Savage 2 run (Savage run), 10:44.
S- Maye 5 run (Maye run), 10:35.
S- Maye 1 run (run failed), 0:21.
A- Goodnough 6 run (Savage run), 3:18.
S- Goslin 3 run (Maye run), 8:25.
A- Savage 21-88, TD; Pray 4-11; Goodnough 14-40, 2TD; Ashline 2-38. Totals: 41-177, 3TD.
S- Maye 28-185, 4TD; Goslin 9-35, TD; Church 3-4. Totals: 40-224, 5TD.
A- Goodnough 3-10-2-113. Ashline 0-1-0-0. Totals: 3-11-2-113.
S- Goslin 6-10-0-123, TD.
A- Champine 1-14; Ashline 1-45; Perkett 1-54.
S- Hackett 3-82, TD; Christopherson 2-33; Moulton 1-8.
S- Goslin; Hackett.