After enduring a prolonged hiatus due to an outbreak of coxsackievirus, the Amsterdam High School varisity football team returned to the field on Homecoming Day and prevailed over Green Tech 27-12 Saturday, September 29.
At the peak of the virus, head coach Doug Edick said several players missed practice either due to illness or preexisting injuries. It also forced the postponement of Amsterdam’s game against Broadalbin-Perth on September 21.
“We’ve been missing quite a few guys because of illness and injury, so I think we responded well today,” said Edick.
Amsterdam (2-2) looked none the worse for wear against Green Tech. The Rugged Rams scored on their first offensive series and moved the ball at will all day long against the Eagles. The only thing Edick could fault his team for doing was not finishing three drives deep in Green Tech territory with touchdowns.
“The first drive, we seemed to do well,” said Edick. “The next couple of drives, we stalled out.”
Green Tech opened the game by electing to do an onside kick, which Amsterdam recovered at its own 46-yard line. With prime field position established, the Rugged Rams marched down the field with a series of runs, capped by quarterback Trey Ausfeld’s 1-yard touchdown plunge to take a 7-0 lead.
Green Tech’s first offensive series lasted all of one play, as a fumble on a handoff was recovered by Amsterdam at the Eagles’ 44-yard line. However, the Rugged Rams were unable to do much with their ensuing offensive series, and they were forced to punt. Again, Green Tech turned the ball over quickly, as Trey Ausfeld recovered a fumble at the Eagles’ 18-yard line. And again, Amsterdam failed to capitalize as the Rugged Rams turned the ball over on downs.
Amsterdam converted on its third forced turnover of the afternoon. Antone Glionna intercepted Rashier Chandler’s long throw and returned it to Green Tech’s 35-yard line. A short time later, tailback Peyton Ausfeld scored on a 9-yard run to give the Rugged Rams a 14-0 lead with 8:27 left in the second quarter.
Amsterdam recovered its own onside kick to immediately go back on offense, but it only got as far as Green Tech’s 10-yard line before turning the ball over on downs for the second time. This time, the Eagles made the Rugged Rams pay, as Chandler capped the drive with a 48-yard touchdown strike to Jalil Ahmed with 1:11 left in the second quarter. Green Tech’s two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the Eagles with a 14-6 deficit.
Amsterdam’s problems with finishing drives continued in the third quarter, as the Rugged Rams got to Green Tech’s 10-yard line again and failed to convert. Trying to seize the momentum, Green Tech used a fake punt to keep its ensuing offensive series going. By the end of the third quarter, the Eagles had a fourth down and two at Amsterdam’s 24-yard line.
Amsterdam’s defense stopped Green Tech inches short of a first down on the first play of the fourth quarter to get the ball back. Long runs by Peyton Ausfeld and Cameron Chrzanowski quickly brought the Rugged Rams inside the Eagles’ 5-yard line. Chrzanowski plowed his way into the end zone from three yards out to help Amsterdam take a 21-6 lead.
“We still had confidence. We were making positive plays,” said Ausfeld. “After that [fourth quarter] drive, in my head I knew we had this.”
Ausfeld put the game out of reach later in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run. Chandler connected with Jaisean Crumble on a 39-yard scoring strike less than 30 seconds later to pull Green Tech within 15 points, but Amsterdam ran out the clock to preserve the victory.
Ausfeld rushed for 168 yards, and Chrzanowski added 83 yards on the ground for Amsterdam.
“It was a good team win,” said Ausfeld. “Since we had that break with that virus, coach [Edick] said take it as a break and start over fresh. We’re 1-0 now.”
Amsterdam faces undefeated Averill Park Friday, October 5.