PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh North Stars coach Scott Aguglia has had a few days to digest his team’s opening night victory against the Southern Vermont Storm Saturday.
The team had a number of different players in all categories make plays during the 34-19 nonleague football game, but Aguglia thought one group stood out the most.
“Having a day or two to process I definitely thought the offensive line showed that they can be dominant at times,” said Aguglia, in his first season as head coach. “That is going to be a big plus for us this season.”
The North Stars rotated six members on the offensive line in Devin Dashnaw, Todd Collins, Colby Way, John Dubuc, Josh Painter and Nick Moore that helped pave the way for 436 yards offensively, including 249 on the ground.
“It didn’t matter which five were out there, that was the group that was the most impressive in the game,” Aguglia said. “If I were to grade the positions by group they would grade out the highest.”
The running game was also a strong asset for Plattsburgh as three different running backs went over 60 yards rushing, and the North Stars scored three touchdowns on the ground.
Nick Hyde rushed for 60 yards, while newcomer Ken Karnley added 71 and a touchdown. Josh Nephew, playing fullback, added another 63 yards and a score.
With Plattsburgh leading by eight points and three minutes remaining, the running game was able to work its way down the field, knocking precious time off of the clock, and scored a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
“The offensive line and running backs work a lot in practice together,” Aguglia said. “I think that you saw very little hesitation by the backs because they knew what the guys in front of them were going to do. A good running game does a lot of things for you. You can control the clock and, when you have a lead late, you can usually salt it away. We will hope that trend continues.
“Another thing is that we played the other night without Elijah Parks at fullback. So, an already impressive group will automatically get better when he comes back next week.”
During the Storm game, Plattsburgh ran two quarterbacks on the field. Harry Rascoe took the snaps during the first half, while Ken Stay took over in the second half.
Rascoe finished with 151 yards passing and a score, and Stay added 36 yards and a touchdown.
“We will not run the two-QB combo for very much longer,” Aguglia said. “Both quarterbacks are fantastic athletes and we will find a spot on the field for them.”
Despite a strong performance on both sides of the ball and a favorable outcome, the opening game did come with a few missteps.
The North Stars turned the ball over a few times with both fumbles and interceptions, and gave up one large play on defense.
“I think we need to work on wrapping up on the defensive side of the ball,” Aguglia said. “We missed a few too many tackles. I think we were going for the big hit and that is one of the reasons we gave up that big play (the 71-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter).
“On the offensive side, it’s ball security. We turned the ball over a couple of times and whether that was a product of not playing at game speed yet, or guys taking the wrong steps. Either way, we have to solve that problem.”
The North Stars will hope to have those miscues fixed by the end of the week when they travel to Vermont to open the Empire Football League season against the Vermont Ice Storm at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at South Burlington High School.