Friday, September 7, 2012

Saratoga Springs 21, Bethlehem 13 9/7

We've already talked about the Saratoga Springs defense, which starred in the team's 21-13 win at Bethlehem Friday night.

So let's talk about Saratoga Springs quarterback Jake Eglintine who, although his statline won't indicate it, actually had a really strong performance in the team's win.

His final stats? 10 carries for 1 yard and 1 touchdown. And 3-for-7 passing with 12 yards and a pick.

He was sacked for big losses a couple of times, which really killed his statline, but Eglintine had a 22-yard run that set up his own 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter. And those two plays were a big momentum shifts as they helped give Saratoga a 21-7 advantage over the Eagles.

Bethelehem's Mike Graves would cut the gap to 21-13 when he scored on a rushing touchdown a few minutes alter, but the Eagles missed the extra point. Regardless, Saratoga now had an 8-point advantage heading into the final quarter versus a one-point edge. That's a pretty big deal.

Though he threw an interception in the first quarter, he also picked off a Bethelehem pass. Consider that category a wash for him, but his teammates absolutely dominated that category. Five turnovers in the first half. That is huge for a team that was trying to minimize its mental mistakes.

Alex Chandler, who has quietly put together a really good season for the Blue Streaks, had another pick. Ben Place really stood out with two fumble recoveries, while Doug Dinon added one. And don't forget Calvin Millar, who recovered a muffed punt that eventually set up Saratoga's first score.

Jordan Wilcox probably had the best game out of any Blue Streak. Terry Jones had a lot to say about him after the game. Quotes from Jones, Wilcox, Eglintine and Saratoga's statistics after the jump.

STATISTICS (Through Week Two)

Passing (Attempts-Completions, Yards)
1. Jake Eglintine 11-23, 98, 1 TD, 2 INT
2. Alex Chandler 1-2, 5, 0 TD 1 INT

Rushing (Carries-Yards)
1. Dakota Harvey 20-185, 2
2. Jordan Wilcox 16-81, 1
3. Jake Eglintine 24-44, 1
4. Travis Mooney 3-5.
5. Zach Grandy 6-(-4).
6. Calvin Millar 1-(-2).

Receiving (Receptions-Yards)
1. Alex Chandler 7-44
2. Ben King 3-43, 1 TD
3. Travis Mooney 1-9.
4. Jordan Wilcox 1-6.

Postgame Reaction

Coach Terry Jones

On the win: “We grew up a lot this week. I hope it continues. You can see they’re starting to believe in themselves. I asked them at halftime to finish the game and we did. We knew it was going to be a battle. We knew they were going to give the ball to (Mike Graves). We knew they were going to come after us and they did. They took away our spread offense and they forced us to try to run the ball off-tackle. We were able to do that enough to come out of here with a victory.”

On Bethlehem running back Mike Graves: “That kid ran all over us last year. Based on what had happened last week, we knew our defense had to step up. Coach (Craig) Durant and the defensive coaches and the players that were out there, they kept that kid contained all game. We didn’t give up any big plays which, not only does it allow them to score quick, but its demoralizing. He may have gotten his yards – I don’t know how many he had – but we contained him from busting a big play and forced them to drive the field on us. We stepped up when we needed to.”

On the first-half turnovers: “Defensively, the kids were phenomenal. The coaches did a great job. The kids played outstanding. I hope as we grow and continue to grow offensively that we can turn those turnovers into more points and take some pressure off our defense.”

On running to the right side of the field, where the team enjoyed success: “Early on, we felt their end was getting up field. We were able to get the fullback underneath them and have some success there. Later on, you saw that and he took that play away from us. We tried to mix it up by getting Dakota (Harvey) outside on some sweeps. Again, we had success. When you’re pinned down deep and you have the lead, it’s tough. They’re going to come after you because they don’t expect you to throw and you really don’t want to throw because you don’t want that quick mistake and let them right back in it. You want to try to pound the ball out of there.”

On Jake Eglintine not attempting a pass in the second half: “For a while there, we were having success on the ground and we wanted to keep it there. No sense putting it up in the air if we don’t have to. Then in the fourth quarter we were pinned a couple times, one time because our defense stepped up and was able to get the ball back on a turnover on downs and we didn’t really want to throw out of there.”

On captain Jordan Wilcox, who started his first game at fullback: “Jordan played phenomenal. We couldn’t have asked for much more out of him. I’m sure he will sleep well tonight if he can handle the aches and pains that he’s going to be feeling. He’ll be sore tomorrow. Earlier in the week we told Jordan he was going to move to fullback and he wasn’t thrilled about it. We talked about it. He accepted it as the captain that he is and I asked him at halftime if he wanted to move back to tailback. He just smiled and he said ‘Absolutely not.’ We explained to him in our offense our fullback carries the ball and he carries the ball a lot. Every time I turned around (Travis) Mooney was standing there hovering over me, hoping I would put him in the game. Jordan just played phenomenally offensively, defensively. I think he just missed breaking two kickoff returns for touchdowns. He was one tackle away. He has that ability.”

Fullback Jordan Wilcox

On the win: “We were just making plays – big plays. We wanted the win. We needed the win.”

On the team’s confidence heading into game vs. Albany: “We bounced back from Niskayuna. That’s a non-divsion game. Division right here – 1-0 in the division.”

On getting 15 carries, after getting just one a week ago: “It feels fantastic. I busted my butt all week and it pays off.”

On the team’s well-rounded effort: “Me and (Jake) both scored. That was all linemen. They did all the work, we were just running.”

Quarterback Jake Eglintine

On the win: “We worked hard all week in practice and it pays off. We’re confident. We know we can do this.”

On the defense securing the turnovers: “We told our defense they have to step us for us to win this game. We stepped up. We played big. Everyone on the team played big tonight."

Until next time,


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