AMSTERDAM — Some teams introduce new uniforms for a homecoming game.
Amsterdam had a different look Saturday, but it had nothing to do with what they were wearing. Decidedly a second-half team in its first two games, the Rams played strong in the first half en route to a 35-12 win over Mohonasen in a Class A Capital Division football game at Lynch Literacy Academy.
The Rams (1-0 division, 3-0 overall) ran 12 plays covering 62 yards on their opening drive, capping it with a 6-yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Jhai Vellon.
If Amsterdam thought it might take advantage of an undermanned Mohonasen squad — the Mighty Warriors (0-1, 1-3) dressed just 20 due to illness, a band competition and injuries — it wasn’t to be. Mohonasen, as shown on its opening drive, fought gamely all day. The Warriors marched from their own 28 to Amsterdam’s 15 in 14 plays before a fourth-down pass went incomplete.
It didn’t take long for Amsterdam to strike again. Three plays later, Vellon turned a scramble into an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.
“Our wide receivers’ blocking was amazing,” Vellon said. “Roll out, take one to the house. An open field always feels great for someone as a runner. I kind of got tired at the end.”
Amsterdam made it 21-0 with 2:58 left in the first half on the first of Vellon’s three touchdown passes to Ceasar Thompson, this one going 30 yards, as Thompson caught the short pass, escaped one tackle and ran into the end zone.
The Rams’ Christopher Tilley intercepted Mohonasen to give the offense the ball back for one more second-quarter score. They made it 28-0 on a 24-yard pass to Thompson that he had to neatly catch, stay in bounds and touch the front pylon.
“I was, like, first I have to attack it hard and then wrap my head around [the situation],” Thompson said. “I had a left foot tap, and then I had to slide my right foot to touch the pylon. Those lob ones we work into practice to two-touch those. It’s just practice turns into game play, basically.”
At halftime, Vellon had 10 rushes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He also was 11 of 17 passing for 152 yards and two other scores. For the game, he finished 16 for 22 for 241 yards and three touchdowns.
“They caught amazing balls today, and some of them were my fault,” Vellon said. “But they came out and did good today.”
Mohonasen got on the scoreboard in its first drive of the third quarter, with Drahcir Carlos going 16 yards on a sweep to the right for the touchdown.
Amsterdam responded on the next drive with another Vellon-to-Thompson connection for 32 yards.
“It’s very fun,” Thompson said. “Jhai has been my only quarterback my whole life. We played White Warriors flag football together since we were, like, 5, 6 years old, so he knows where I like the ball, and I know what his time segment is, so it’s just the chemistry. We get to each other like that.”
Thompson led five receivers with catches by having seven for 151 yards and the three scores. Louie Gonzalez added eight for 78 yards.
“All our receivers you have to guard. You have to play disciplined. It’s crazy,” Thompson said.
Elias Cruz led Mohonasen with 18 carries for 116 yards, while quarterback Don Carpenter added 67 yards and a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter on 22 carries.
- Mohonasen 0 0 6 6 — 12
- Amsterdam 7 21 7 0 — 35
- A — Vellon 6 run (G. Cozzocrea kick)
- A — Vellon 80 run (G. Cozzocrea kick)
- A — Thompson 30 pass from Vellon (G. Cozzocrea kick)
- A — Thompson 24 pass from Vellon (G. Cozzocrea kick)
- M — Carlos 16 run (run failed)
- A — Thompson 32 pass from Vellon (G. Cozzocrea kick)
- M — Carpenter 3 run (run failed)