Mistakes cost AHS Rugged Rams in loss to Troy

Mistakes of all shapes and sizes plagued the Amsterdam High School varsity football team in a 25-14 loss to Troy Friday, Sept. 7, at the Lynch Literacy Academy. The Rugged Rams (1-1) committed numerous penalties and turned the ball over at a critical juncture of the third quarter to give the Flying Horses (1-1) new life after falling behind Amsterdam 14-0 in the second quarter.

“We had a good start. After that, it all went downhill,” said Amsterdam coach Doug Edick.

Cameron Chrzanowski electrified the home crowd early on when he recovered a Troy fumble and raced 72 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was good, giving Amsterdam a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

A broken play on special teams helped set up the Rugged Rams’ second touchdown. Amsterdam lined up to punt near midfield late in the first quarter. The snap was nearly too high for punter Kye Desbiens to handle, but he leaped to tip it to himself and raced 13 yards for a first down inside Troy territory. A short time later, quarterback Trey Ausfeld connected with wide receiver Nic Carbone on a 12-yard touchdown pass to put the Rugged Rams ahead 14-0 with 10:03 left in the second quarter.

Troy brought in sophomore quarterback Alex Wolfe to start its next drive after senior Mike Fazio was injured on a previous play. Wolfe promptly injected new life into the Flying Horses by completing a 42-yard pass to Makai Cruel on third down and long from Troy’s 23-yard line, and then hitting Xavier Leigh on a 32-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and seven to close the gap to 14-7.

Another misadventure on an Amsterdam punt attempt gave Troy a golden opportunity to tie the game before halftime. Desbiens bent down to catch a low snap, and his knee touched the turf, downing the ball at Amsterdam’s 25-yard line. Troy got as close as Amsterdam’s 16-yard line, but Wolfe’s fourth down pass attempt bounced off his intended receiver’s chest for an incomplete pass.

“When we made that stop in the first half, I thought the momentum swung back to us, but it didn’t,” said Edick.

A running into the kicker penalty against Amsterdam in the third quarter provided the opening Troy needed to take the momentum for good. After the five-yard penalty set Troy up on a fourth down and two near midfield, Leigh powered his way to a first down run at the Amsterdam 44. Wolfe handed the ball to Leigh on the next snap, and Leigh took off on a 44-yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt failed, though, leaving the Rugged Rams with a 14-13 lead.

Amsterdam’s offense put together its most sustained drive following Leigh’s touchdown run. Ausfeld connected on a couple of passes by rolling out and hitting his receivers on slant routes underneath Troy’s coverage. That got the Rugged Rams inside the Flying Horses’ 40-yard line late in the third quarter. However, Troy forced and recovered an Amsterdam fumble to end the series.

Leigh took off on a 32-yard run in the final 15 seconds of the third quarter to set up Troy deep in Amsterdam territory. Wolfe then connected with Hunter Redden on a 21-yard touchdown pass 1:03 into the fourth quarter to put the Flying Horses ahead 19-14. Less than four minutes later, Wolfe hit Cruel on a sideline route, and Cruel dodged and weaved through Amsterdam’s defense for a 45-yard touchdown that sealed Amsterdam’s fate.

Aside from a couple of big plays early on and the third-quarter drive cut short by a fumble, Amsterdam’s offense could not get in sync. The Rugged Rams committed numerous false starts and holding penalties that negated any gains they might have had. When they thought they had that sorted out, Troy’s pass rush got to Ausfeld, sacking him several times in the second half.

“Too many penalties put us into bad situations, and you can’t do that against a great defense like they have,” said Edick.

Amsterdam will try to shake off their loss to Troy on Friday, Sept. 14, when they travels to East Greenbush to face Columbia (2-0).

Rob Jonas

Rob Jonas writes about sports, arts, and culture for the Mohawk Valley
Compass. He has covered high school and community sports for more than 25