AMSTERDAM — The homecoming theme for Amsterdam's football team was 'starting over,' and for parts of the first half in Saturday's matchup with Green Tech, that's just what it looked like.
The Rugged Rams regrouped and played more efficiently over the final two quarters in a 27-12 Class A Capital Division win that marked their first game action since Sept. 14. Their scheduled contest last week with Broadalbin-Perth was postponed after Coxsackievirus cases were confirmed within the Amsterdam football program.
"I think so," said Amsterdam coach Doug Edick when asked if the layoff had an impact on his team's play. "We had seven guys affected [by the virus], and we were dealing with a couple of guys with injuries. That's seven, eight, nine guys, and we only have 28 on the roster. It was tough to practice."
Amsterdam's first division victory was a mix of good plays, a few spectacular ones and some Edick and his staff wished they could try again.
"Guys were in and out," Amsterdam defensive coordinator Pat Liverio said of the practices leading up to Saturday's game. "There was never a consistency, and I think you saw some of that out there today."
Liverio said the situation surrounding the Amsterdam program reminded him of his senior year there in 1978, when several cases of meningitis dwindled the Rugged Rams' football roster.
"We beat CBA in our first game, but we lost some good guys," Liverio said. "We ended up going 6-2-1, but if we had everybody, I think we could have gone all the way."
Though Amsterdam cashed in only once after three defensive takeaways and an onside kick recovery in the first half Saturday, Edick was generally pleased.
"We came together and got a 27-12 win," Edick said. "We've got to get better on offense when we're in the red zone, but overall, I'm happy. We're 1 and 0."
That would be 1-0 in what Amsterdam is calling its new season. The Rugged Rams (1-2, 2-2) started with a class-crossification win over Lansingburgh and lost division games against Troy and Columbia before the non-division Broadalbin-Perth game was postponed. The Rugged Rams have division opponents Averill Park and La Salle remaining.
"I said to the guys we want to start a new season," Edick said. "We want to go 3-0."
"The goal is to win the next three games and see what happens from there," Amsterdam junior Peyton Ausfeld said after scoring two touchdowns and rushing for 169 yards on 18 carries. "We had a little break. We came into this game thinking, 'Let's start over.'"
Amsterdam scored on its first drive when Trey Ausfeld converted a 1-yard quarterback sneak, and Peyton Ausfeld ran 9 yards to the end zone early in the second quarter to extend the Rugged Rams lead. That touchdown was set up on an interception by Antone Glionna that put the ball at the Green Tech 35.
Amsterdam failed to score when it got the ball in Green Tech territory soon after on a Louis DiManno onside kick recovery, and in the first quarter following fumble recoveries by Nic Carbone and Trey Ausfeld.
"That's definitely a concern," Edick said of not turning turnovers into points. "We've got to do that, or we're not going to win games."
"Coach got on us little bit at halftime," Amsterdam junior Cameron Chrzanowski said. "We had to pick it up."
Chrzanowski ran 3 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Peyton Ausfeld scored on a 10-yard dash as Amsterdam's lead grew to 27-6. Chrzanowski's touchdown capped a six-play, 77-yard drive after the Rams stopped Green Tech's Traydon Lawrence on a fourth-and-two run.
"After that drive, it was, 'We got this,'" Peyton Ausfeld said.
Chrzanowski ran 15 times for 83 yards, including a 26-yard bolt just before his TD. Earlier in the key drive, Peyton Ausfeld broke off a 34-yard run.
"We've got a pretty good one-two punch, but credit to the offensive line, too," Edick said. "They had a few lapses, but overall, they played well."
Green Tech (0-3, 1-4) scored late in the first half on a 52-yard catch by Jalil Ahmed and late in the game on a 39-yard catch by Jaisean Crumble.
Green Tech 0 6 0 6 — 12
Amsterdam 7 7 0 13 — 27
A — T. Ausfeld 1 run (Desbiens kick)
A — P. Ausfeld 9 run (Desbiens kick)
GT — Ahmed 52 pass from Chandler (pass failed)
A — Chrzanowski 3 run (Desbiens kick)
A — P. Ausfeld 10 run (kick failed)
GT — Crumble 39 pass from Chandler (run failed)