Saratoga falls to Shaker

The Blue Streaks couldn’t match the Bison’s talent, losing 48-28

SARATOGA SPRINGS —The undefeated Saratoga Blue Streaks played at home Friday night against another unbeaten team in Shaker. After only allowing sixteen points in the first two games, Saratoga was helpless to stop Shaker’s dynamic offense in a 48-28 loss.

Shaker shot out of a cannon in the early going. On their opening drive, sophomore running back Jovani Wiggs burst through the wide open seam for an eighty yard touchdown. Then to close out the first quarter, Wiggs flashed another run of over thirty yards, putting Shaker in the red zone for the second quarter. Senior back Ravion Burt powered the ball in after the break for another Bison score. Shaker managed to put seven more points on the board in the first half. These came when junior receiver Riese Nistant was found open in the middle of the field and worked his way to the end zone.

Saratoga’s offense struggled in the first half. In their first two drives they were forced to punt both times. This was followed by Saratoga turning the ball over on downs for two straight possessions. During this stretch the Blue Streaks only converted once on third down plays.

Saratoga was finally able to get on the board in the last minute of the half. After a strong ground attack spear-headed by Chris Klimek and James Capone, the Blue Streaks found themselves on the goal line. The quarterback, Jake Williams ran a keeper and got into the end zone. Unfortunately the PAT was missed and the teams went into the locker rooms with the score 21-6.

Things heated up from the beginning of the second half. Logan Souza received the opening kickoff for the Bison and took it all the way home for a touchdown, a total of eighty-five yards.

Souza said, “I knew he (Jovani Diggs) was behind me because we were both going for the ball. So I slowed up and he went in front of me and made that great kick out block. Then I saw the lane and just took it.”

Saratoga responded with a red zone touchdown of their own. Jake Williams found Saratoga’s senior back, Carter Steingraber in the back of the end zone for his first score of the night. After another successful ground attack, Chris Klimek finally hit pay dirt as well. This put Saratoga down eight with four minutes left in the third quarter.

But Logan Souza didn’t let the game stay close for long. On the ensuing kickoff, Souza took another house call for eighty-five yards, giving him over one hundred fifty all purpose yards on the game.

Shaker’s quarterback, Connor McHugh’s passing was inconsistent at best Friday, with him under throwing most of his targets. This finally came back to bite him early in the fourth quarter when Saratoga’s Dion Williams intercepted his pass and got it back to their own five yard line. Backed up in their own territory, Jake Williams was able to find Carter Steingraber to his right who broke multiple tackles and got to the end zone for a ninety yard touchdown, his second of the game.

Ravion Burt pushed his way into the end zone on the next drive to bring Shaker to a fourteen point lead. With the game on the line, Saratoga played their hearts out but couldn’t break through the advancing defensive line. They turned the ball over on downs which allowed Jovani Wiggs to score for Shaker, effectively ending the game.

Shaker moves to 3-0 on the season, with a big game against Shenendehowa next Friday night.

 “We need to work even harder in practice,” Jovani Wiggs said after the game. “We’ve got to make sure that our plays are locked up and that the defense is solid.”

As for Saratoga, they will have to bounce back and get a win next week in Bethlehem.

LJ LaFiura

LJ LaFiura is a general assignment sports reporter at the upstate Courier. A Fort Edward native, he attends Saratoga Central Catholic High School.

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