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The Plattsburgh North Stars' defense swarms a member of the Watertown Red and Black during the Stars' 21-7 win Saturday. Depth continues to be key in Plattsburgh's success.

As the Plattsburgh North Stars' roster gets bigger and bigger each year under head coach Pat Keleher, good depth is inevitable.

However, one position has been pretty thin the last few years, and it's not a spot that a team can afford to struggle with.

"For the first three years, I had one quarterback," Keleher said. "Then, I had an athlete — a receiver, a running back, somebody — as a backup."

But that changed this season with the addition of first-year quarterback J.D. Moore.

Moore started two years at Wingate University, and quarterback Ken Stay returned in 2010 after calling signals for a Plattsburgh team that went to the Empire Football League Championship game a season ago.

Moore earned the starting job but was injured on the last play from scrimmage against the Vermont Ice Storm on Aug. 7.

A well prepared Stay, filling in for Moore, took the field last Saturday night against a tough Watertown defense. Stay threw three touchdowns and no interceptions to lead Plattsburgh to a 21-7 victory over the defending EFL champions.

"Obviously having two quarterbacks who have played at this level is huge, and it showed," Keleher said. "Kenny stepped in there, and if it wasn't for last year and everything he did then, he couldn't have gone in and done as well as he did."

In the EFL, depth is a luxury at quarterback, but it is imperative in most positions.

Plattsburgh boasts a seemingly bottomless defense, having capable players overflowing at each position. The team's ability to keep a constant rotation of players softens the impact fatigue and injuries can have.

"When our defensive tackles got tired, I had guys who could cycle in," Keleher said about the bruising game against the Red and Black. "Four defensive ends, all the guys in the secondary — I felt the defense stayed fresh and did a great job against a great offensive team.

The Stars hit the road Saturday to face the New York Stallions in Oneonta. Plattsburgh's victory over Watertown put the Stars in control of their playoff destiny.

If Plattsburgh win in Oneonta and defeats Vermont at home Sept. 11, it will be home for the playoffs.

"The win over Watertown was monumental," Keleher said."

Follow Nick St. Denis at

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for North Stars scoring updates

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