“Friday night lights” in Amsterdam is never boring, especially when the game features plenty of scoring. The Amsterdam Rugged Rams varsity football team scored in practically every offensive aspect of the game last night in their 52-30 Class A quarterfinal win over the Gloversville Huskies at Lynch Literacy Academy field. As potent as the AHS offense was, it was the Rams defense that kept the opponent’s run game from gaining an advantage for the second time in two weeks.
“We’ve been preaching it all year long,” said AHS head coach Doug Edick. “Defense, defense, you have to stop the run. You have to tackle well against these teams.”
Amsterdam took an early 7-0 lead with nine minutes left in the first quarter on a 32 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony Isabel to Keenan Holloway. But, unlike the first half of last weeks game against Bishop Maginn and talented running back Jaushiir Weaver, the Huskies could never get much momentum thanks to a swarming Rams defense. Gloversville’s first drive stalled when Dylan Valikonis sacked Huskies quarterback Taylor McCredie on third down near midfield. A fumbled snap on a punt on fourth down didn’t help the Huskies cause and the games’ next play set the tone for the rest of the night for Gloversvillle.
Bryan Stanavich took center stage and gave an encore performance to his four touchdown night last week against Bishop Maginn. The junior running back took a hand off from Isabel on the first play from scrimmage and sprinted 79 yards for the score and a 14-0 Rams lead. Marcus Pritchard kicked the second of his seven extra points and put him over 100 extra points for his career. Pritchard later added a 21 yard field goal before half time and total 10 points for the game. Amsterdam was taking advantage of every opportunity to score and keeping Gloversville off the board.
Amsterdam led 14-0 after the first quarter. Gloversville and talented running back Quantel McGee were held to negative yards rushing by a determined Rams defensive effort for most of the first half. McGee halted the Rams next drive intercepting a pass at the AHS 14 yard line. However, the Huskies could not capitalize and turned the ball over on downs with the Rams defensive line pressuring McCredie and stopping McGee. Amsterdam’s offense then found more ways to score.
Bryan Stanavich carried the workload on the next Rams drive and pounded the ball in from 19 yards out with just over five minutes left in the half putting AHS up 21-0. Two minutes later David Crawford darted 50 yard for another Rams score to make it 28-0. The rout was on. Gloversville got on the board with just over one minute left in the first half. A pass interference penalty gave the Huskies the ball inside the AHS 20. McCredie’s short pass to Anthony Ballard turned into a 16 yard score. McCredie couldn’t connect with McGee for the two point play and the Huskies trailed 28-6. Pritchard’s field goal with five seconds left in the half was set up by a run by Dale Stanavich and a pass from Isabel to Holloway that put the ball on the Gloversville nine. The Rams led at halftime 31-6.
“Our kids came out in a business like manner and played well,” said Coach Edick. We responded and played good defense and good offense.”
Amsterdam wasted no time keeping the pressure on in the second half. Up-back David Crawford grabbed a kick off at the AHS 30 and rumbled to the Gloversville 21 helping set up the next Rams score four plays later when Bryan Stanavich bolted in from ten yards out. Crawford, who intercepted a pass in the end zone late in the fourth quarter last week against Bishop Maginn has been earning playing time.
“He’s been running plays on the scout team’s offense and doing well,” said Coach Edick. “He deserved a shot to play. He hustled. He played well in the scout offense and the coaches saw that and he deserved a chance to play. When he got in he played well.”
Crawford and his teammates continued to play well. Isabel found Swank in the end zone for an 18 yard score with two and a half minutes left in the third quarter putting the Rams up 45-6. After McGee scored on a 92 yard return for the Huskies next score, Crawford set up the Rams final touchdown with a 44 yard run to the Gloversville 16. Luigi Iorio rushed in on the next play for a 52-14 margin after three quarters of play. The Huskies scored twice in the fourth quarter on a pair of touchdown passes from McCredie. McGee caught the first for 59 yards and Anthony Bravo’s 33 yard catch was the last score of the game. Gloversville’s Aaron Henderson was injured in the second half and was taken from the field by GAVAC ambulance. He was later reported to be recovering from his injury.
“Next week we have to be better in all three phases of the game,” said Coach Edick. “When you get to the final four you have to tackle well against these teams.”
Amsterdam will face a familiar foe, the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Spartans, next Friday at Lynch Literacy Academy field. The Spartans come to town after a victory over Troy in their quarterfinal game. The winner will advance to the Section 2 Class A title game.
(Photos by Scott Mulford)