Things just didn’t go right from the start for the Amsterdam Rugged Rams varsity football team in their game with Queensbury on Friday night. Patrick Conway rushed for three touchdowns leading a potent Spartans ground game that totaled nearly 400 yards of offense as the Spartans shutout their Class A rival 34-0 at Lynch Literacy Academy Field.
The Rams had the ball first to start the game, but that was brief. From the first play of scrimmage, a high snap turned into a fumble that was recovered by the Spartans at the Rams 22 yard line. Three plays later Conway scored his first touchdown on a three yard plunge with less than two minutes gone by in the first quarter. The two point try was good and the Spartans went ahead 8-0. The bad snap however was only an omen of things to come.
“It was a bad snap on my part,” Amsterdam senior lineman Nico Orengo said, “I’ll take full blame for that.”
Queensbury used a talented backfield that included Conway, Brendan Scott, Dominic Nassivera, Nico Mattia, and Liam O’Mara to churn out yardage and run the clock keeping the AHS offense off the field. When the Rams did try to run their offense, the Queensbury defensive line was effective in forcing Amsterdam to go three plays and out several times, putting the ball back in the hands of quarterback Nathan Angell and the Spartans talented back field.
“They took us behind the shed and beat us,” Amsterdam head coach Doug Edick said. “They dominated the line of scrimmage from the beginning.”
Conway picked up his second touchdown with 1:27 left in the opening period. Ian Doin’s point after kick increased the lead to 15-0 leaving Amsterdam with the need to respond.
Mikey Gomez gave Amsterdam a boost of adrenaline with a run during the next kickoff all the way to the Queensbury 42 yard line. AHS quarterback Trey Holloway’s pass to Cam Chryzanowski put AHS on the Spartans 22 as the first quarter ended, but the momentum came to sudden halt.
The first play of the second quarter did not go Amsterdam’s way either. Holloway was intercepted by O’Mara at the Spartans five yard line effectively ending the drive. Three plays later, Brendan Scott broke loose from near midfield and galloped 54 yards to the end zone giving Queensbury a 21-0 lead. The Rams next drive stalled. Holloway completed a pass to Jose Merced for a first down at the Spartans 44 yard line, but a pair of false start penalties followed by a quarterback sack on third down by Liam Smith left the Rams with nothing to show for the effort. Queensbury was ready to take advantage.
The Spartans took possession with 5:57 to play in the half and continued to pound the ball on the ground even on a third and nine play that succeeded with O’Mara achieving the line to gain. O’Mara followed that with the Spartans only pass reception of the game from Angell, a 22 yard touchdown catch sending the Spartans into the locker room with a 27-0 lead.
“Our athletes played really well,” Queensbury head coach Matt Crossman said. “We don’t throw the ball that often so we put a lot on our running game.”
The Spartans continued to keep the ball on the ground and put one more score on the board with Conway’s third touchdown, a one yard jaunt with 4:31 left in the game. Amsterdam’s offense saw little daylight with two more drives ending with quarterback sacks. The AHS defense kept working hard and pitched a shutout in the third quarter hoping to build from that momentum, but the Queensbury defense was stronger on Friday night.
“We played better in the second half,” Coach Edick said. “And dug a lot deeper. We have to block better up front. Queensbury was very good on defense.”
Amsterdam will have a chance to get back in the win column on Saturday when they host Gloversville in the homecoming game.
“We’ve got to get back to basics and realize what we did wrong,” said Orengo, a recent Scholar Athlete of the Week award winner. “We took a step back, and now have to take a step forward.”
Before Friday’s game the senior class marching band members and majorettes were introduced with their parents to a capacity crowd.
Kickoff for the homecoming game is scheduled for September 23, 12 noon at Lynch Literacy Academy Field.