PLATTSBURGH — Miscues, penalties, fumbles and missed tackles are pretty much par for the course for a team’s first game of the season, especially when that team has a new head coach.
The Plattsburgh North Stars, though, showed that despite some early mistakes they could be a force to be reckoned with once the Empire Football League season begins next weekend.
Plattsburgh looked strong on the ground and through the air as it captured a 34-19 nonleague victory against the Southern Vermont Storm Saturday at Plattsburgh High School.
“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” North Stars coach Scott Aguglia said. “We had some hiccups early with the penalties, and we had some turnovers that we will need to take care of. But I was pretty happy with the overall effort.
“It feels good to get my first Stars win. I was pretty nervous, but the guys took care of that for me and so far I’m 1-0.”
Plattsburgh quarterback Harry Rascoe had a strong first half.
Rascoe opened the game with seven straight completions, including a three-yard touchdown pass to Nick O’Meara, which put the North Stars up 20-7. Rascoe opened the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run on Plattsburgh’s second possession, while Ken Karnley scored on his own two-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter.
“We did well,” Rascoe said. “We had a lot of mistakes, but it is definitely something we can build off of.
“We got in a rhythm, and the offensive line really gelled well. We had some dumb fumbles, but we will get those cleaned up before next week.”
Plattsburgh took a 20-7 lead into the half, with the lone blemish coming on a 71-yard scoring strike from Mike Stephens to Marcus Anderson. Anderson made the catch over the middle, and with a few moves was able to get to the left sideline to go the distance.
Ken Stay took over at quarterback in the second half for the North Stars. On his very first snap, Stay dropped back and unleashed a pass that bounced off of a diving Storm player and into the waiting arms of Kevin Gibson for a 27-yard touchdown pass and a 27-0 lead for Plattsburgh.
Southern Vermont, however, would not go quietly.
J.C. Labarron, who took over in the second half at quarterback for Stephens, led the Storm on two long drives, both capped by touchdown passes — one a nine-yard score to Geoff Silver, the
other a two-yard pass to Mike Dunham.
Plattsburgh, though, would milk two of the final three minutes away on the ground, which ended on a 35-yard touchdown scamper by Josh Nephew to close out the scoring.
“We’re pretty experienced up front,” Aguglia said. “We just have some different parts in different places. They did exactly what I thought they’d do. We really have confidence running behind them.
“I knew what we had in (Kris) Hyde, but Ken (Karnley) is a rookie and he was very impressive as well. The running backs did a heck of a job reading the blocks. They showed good vision.”
The ground attack finished with 249 yards and three touchdowns on the game. Karnley finished with 71 yards on 10 carries, while Nephew added 63 yards and Hyde, 60.
Rascoe finished 7-for-9 through the air for 151 yards and a score. Stay added 36 yards passing and a touchdown.
Stephens finished with 80 yards passing on three completions for the Storm, 71 of those coming on the touchdown run by Anderson. Labarron added 68 yards passing on eight completions and two scores.
Southern Vermont couldn’t get much going on the ground, finishing with just 59 yards rushing for the game. Dan O’Meara and Garrett Shepler each were credited with a sack as they were able to get to Stephens during the first half.
“The defense was more of a challenge, but I feel they got things straightened out as the game went on,” Aguglia said. “I think we’ll be okay. We were missing some guys due to injury and we’ll be in even better shape when they return.
“I did think the secondary was pretty good. This team threw the majority of the time, and we only gave up that one big play. I was very pleased.”
The North Stars travel to South Burlington High School Saturday, July 7 to take on the Vermont Ice Storm for a 7:30 p.m. contest to open their EFL schedule.
The Ice Storm defeated Southern Vermont, 24-17, on June 16.
Plattsburgh 34, Southern Vermont 19
Southern Vermont 7 0 6 6 — 19
Plattsburgh 13 7 7 7 — 34
P- Rascoe 2 run (White kick), 6:50.
SV- Anderson 71 pass from Stephens (Dunham kick), 7:28.
P- Karnley 2 run (kick failed), 13:02.
P- N. O’Meara 3 pass from Rascoe (White kick), 5:36.
P- Gibson 27 pass from Stay (White kick), 3:07.
SV- Silver 9 pass from Labbaron (kick failed), 5:40.
SV- Dunham 2 pass from Labbaron (kick failed), 11:49.
P- Nephew 35 run (White kick), 13:41.
SV- Gore, 6-22; Woodson, 7-41; Stephens, 1-(-1); Labbaron, 2-(-3). Totals: 16-59.
P- Hyde, 13-60; Rascoe, 5-31, TD; Karnley, 10-71, TD; Nephew, 5-63, TD; Gibson, 1-8; Stay, 1-16. Totals: 35-249, 3 TD.
SV- Stephens, 3-9-1-80, TD; Labarron, 8-14-0-68, 2 TD. Totals: 11-23-1-148, 3 TD.
P- Rascoe, 7-9-0-151, TD; Stay, 3-7-2-36, TD. Totals: 10-16-2-187, 2 TD.
SV- Anderson, 2-84, TD; Silver, 4-39, TD; Gore, 1-5; Woodson, 2-19; Bennett, 1-7.
P- McCray, 3-87; Gibson, 2-53, TD; N. O’Meara, 2-34, TD; Hyde, 2-6; Wood, 1-10.
SV- Silver, Sawyer.
P- D. O’Meara, Shepler.