MALONE — Keegan McArdle — on both sides of the ball — had turned in a near perfect performance for Franklin Academy football as the game clock ticked below nine minutes remaining against St. Lawrence.
The junior and his defense — leading 34-22, the final tally they’d win by — had just stuffed a red zone rush attempt by the Larries’ Tommy Storrin to turn the Huskies’ opponent over, on no gain.
Huskies head coach Cory West said, although it was punched in the mouth more than once on Saturday, he was pleased with how his team held its momentum over St. Lawrence.
McArdle on the Huskies’ first play after stopping Storrin in the red zone, fumbled the ball three steps after the hand off. The Larries recovered in the same spot it had left off.
Though, the Huskies on the next play took the wind out of St. Lawrence’s sails for good, forcing a fumble by way of Jason Hastings, Jr.
“We gave up some things, but when we needed to, our guys made some big stops and big plays and they did what they needed to do in the fourth quarter to seal the game,” West said.
Franklin Academy held St. Lawrence scoreless for the remainder of the quarter, en route to the victory.
The Larries as a team were held to 80 passing yards, while rushing for 187 yards. The Huskies, in the offensive battle on the ground, ran for 194 yards.
Franklin Academy sophomore quarterback Logan Peck helped his team to an advantage in the air, slinging for 93 yards on 11 attempts. Peck also snapped off a Husky-leading 88 rushing yards for the game, with McArdle going for 82 yards across the grass.
“I like the sweeps a lot more. You take less hits,” Peck said. “They’re (St. Lawrence is) very aggressive. We figured out late in the game that the counter, for me, was working. But at that time, we already had a two score lead ... their pass coverage wasn’t very strong.”
With the victory, the Huskies improved to 2-3 on an afternoon when they honored seniors Jerry Scharf, Eli Race, Seth Lockwood, Jeremy Lamitie, Jr., Jarett Andrews, Kyran Mosher, Jack Monette, Brody Fountain, Dominic St. Hilaire, Skyler Lamere and Nolan Wood.
The Larries fall to 0-6.
Between Peck, McArdle and tight end/back Cayden Carter, West acknowledged the vast offensive options that have emerged for the Huskies over the course of the season.
“It’s nice to have that. If Keegan needs a (break), we know Cayden can do the job. If they (the defense) try to take them away, we’ve got Logan’s legs. He’s been throwing the ball better. Our line did a good job opening up the holes. That last drive, that was a lot of the line.”
McArdle, who finished with two touchdowns on the day, threw the final successful punch at St. Lawrence, via a 7-yard scoring rush to put the game at its deciding tally.
McArdle’s second touchdown of the game was in response to a rushing touchdown from Storrin. The Larries’ quarterback, after burying a 20-yard pass into the hands of Michael Newtown to set his team up in the red, cashed in on the chance with a two-yard rush before the end of the third quarter. This brought the Larries to within four points, and the Husky lead to 26-22. Though, it was the last time St. Lawrence found the endzone.
Behind three touchdowns from Peck, one through the air on an 18-yard dime to Race, and two on keepers through the Larries’ defense, the Huskies never trailed.
West said his sophomore quarterback has consistently improved since his start against Gouverneur in place of the injured Scharf.
“(Peck) he came in (and) we weren’t planning on using him at quarterback, we had Jerry Scharf,” West said. “Logan’s so athletic that we had planned on using him as wing back and receiver ... since then, we’ve just worked with him and he’s getting a grasp of the offense.”