BIG PLAYS ABOUND FOR BIG BLUE-DEVILS TOP MARAUDERS 49-14
Jeff Pexton for MHTS
Ray Ruggiero leads the way with 255 yards on 3 TD’s
Ben Ross Football Field in New York Mills felt more like DeLutis Baseball Field in Rome this afternoon as extreme heat and humidity met the New York Mills and Dolgeville football teams for their Section III, Class D East opener. The heat may have been oppressive, but it was no match for Dolgeville’s 6′, 200 lb. senior running back Ray Ruggiero, who carried the ball nine times for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
Ruggiero was the king of the big play today as three of his scores came on runs of 76, 60 and 59 yards, helping the Blue Devils earn a key 49-14 road win.
The importance of the game was monumental for both teams, as they begin fierce competition in the newly formed Class D East along with Cooperstown, Mohawk, Oriskany, Waterville, West Canada Valley and Westmoreland.
This division may be labelled “D East” but it certainly contains the “A List” of small school football in Upstate New York over the past 30 or so years.
Blue Devils running back Jared Frederick, also a senior, also had a big impact on today’s outcome, returning the second half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown and added scoring rushes of 1 and 57 yards for Dolgeville, which improves to (1-0) on the season.
Jason Darling, who began his third season as the Dolgeville starting quarterback today, also added a 65 yard touchdown run of his own late in the fourth quarter.
New York Mills (0-1), which begins classes on Wednesday, got off to a text book start in this one as the Marauders took the opening kickoff and quickly marched down the field and scored in just 6 plays, the final nail of the drive coming on a two yard touchdown run by Fedor Avrusevich.
After the extra point failed, New York Mills found themselves holding a one touchdown advantage over the 15 time Section III Champion Blue Devils.
The Marauders defense held the Blue Devils in check for the remainder of the first quarter, but Jason Frederick’s 57 yard TD run to open the second quarter tied the game at 6-6 and breathed new life into Dolgeville, who arrived at New York Mills’ sun drenched field at 11:00 a.m. for what they (and many others) believed was a 1:00 p.m. kickoff, not the 2:00 p.m. revised start time.
Dolgeville tacked on 16 more points in the second quarter, on 60 and 76 yard runs by Ray Ruggieo. Both two point conversion runs were successful and Dolgeville took a commanding 22-6 lead.
The New York Mills offense was plagued by penalties in their remaining first half possession and went into the half time intermission trailing by 16 points.
Jared Frederick took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score to open the second half and Austin LaVeck nailed the extra point to give the visiting Blue Devils a 29-6 advantage early in the third quarter.
Facing a 23 point deficit, New York Mills head coach Anthony Ricco switched things up at quarterback putting senior Addison Wolanin under center in place of sophomore starter Zachary Griffith.
Wolanin found early success through the air, driving the Marauders to a touchdown on just 5 plays, all through the air. New York Mills pulled to within 29-12 when Wolanin hit a wide open Sean Kula in the end zone
Wolanin’s two point conversion run made it 29-14 and the Marauders were feeling a bit better knowing it was once again a two possession game midway through the 3rd quarter.
Dolgeville’s ensuing possession was the exception, not the rule today as the Blue Devils chewed up more than 6 minutes, resulting in a 1 yard touchdown run by Frederick. The extra point made it 35-14, which is the way the 4th quarter would begin.
New York Mills was unable to mount a serious threat in the final period and Dolgeville scored two more times, a 59 yard run by Ruggiero and a 65 yard run by Darling sealing the win for the Blue Devils by a final score of 49-14.
The win places Dolgeville in an early season tie for first place in the “D East” with Oriskany, Westmoreland and West Canada Valley, who also notched early division wins this weekend.
Addison Wolanin led the Marauders with 74 rushing yards and 125 passing yards on the afternoon.
New York Mills will look to rebound next Saturday when they travel to Oriskany (1-0), who went on the road and defeated Cooperstown by a score of 20-14 today.
Meanwhile, Dolgeville returns to the friendly confines of Bill Bynon Field next Saturday where they have a date with the Waterville Indians (0-1), 42-6 losers at Westmoreland this afternoon.
1 2 3 4 Final
Dolgeville 0 22 14 13 49
NY Mills 6 0 8 0 14