Sunday, June 28, 2009

Stars win preseason test

Stars win preseason test

Staff Writer

June 28, 2009 03:23 am

Plattsburgh North Stars' running back Heath Geiser rushes against the Vermont Ravens' defense. Geiser ran for 54 yards on four carries and a touchdown before he injured himself on a 23-yard scamper in the second quarter. He was taken away in an ambulance with an apparent hip injury. North Stars won 25-7. PR Photo

PLATTSBURGH — The Vermont Ravens made their first pass completion three minutes into the third quarter and scored their first touchdown on a 27-yard strike from Sean O'Connor to Michael Ball.

And while it was a nice-looking play, it was a rare sight in the Plattsburgh North Stars' 25-7 victory over the Ravens at Plattsburgh High School Saturday night.

On the first play from scrimmage, Stars' linebacker Jamil McCray gave a glimpse of things to come with a harassing blitz that forced O'Connor into a wobbly throw.

Brandon St. John intercepted the ball on the play, and Plattsburgh went on a 19-0 first-half run.

"I was happy with the defense," Stars head coach Pat Keleher said. "Especially the secondary, I thought they played very well and are picking up the system nicely."

Donny Coolidge made a fourth-quarter interception for the Stars.

Plattsburgh quarterback Ken Stay, who graduated from PHS in 2007, made a respectable return to his high school turf, going 9-19 for 136 yards, no passing touchdowns, no interceptions and a quarterback keeper for a score.

"It was kind of a déja vù playing at my old stomping grounds," Stay said.

The first-year signal caller had one dry spell in the second quarter, throwing five-straight incomplete passes. However, Stay insisted he and his receivers are quickly developing chemistry, and it showed.

He hit Kelly Gordon on a perfect touch pass for 27 yards on the team's third offensive play.

Stay also connected on a deep 64-yard pass with Matt St. Clair in the first quarter that was taken to the end zone but negated on a holding penalty.

The two connected for a 21-yard strike on the next series, and Stay found Jordan Keleher for 23 yards on the next play.

He missed one good scoring opportunity at the beginning of the fourth quarter, underthrowing a wide open Gordon down the left sideline.

"I thought (Stay) played real well," Stars offensive coordinator and former Vermont Ice Storm offensive coordinator Scott Aguglia said. "It seems like he's starting to get pretty comfortable with the offense."

Brandon Keleher provided some offensive support by putting together a stout ground game for Plattsburgh. The Stars halfback and captain rushed for 115 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.

Heath Geiser scored a 15-yard touchdown and totaled 54 yards rushing before going down with an apparent hip injury. He was taken away in an ambulance.

Coach Keleher said his fullbacks made big contributions blocking and the play of the offensive line was "much better" than last week.

First-year kicker Mitch Ryder tallied an extra point with 38 and 26-yard boots for seven total points.

"Mitch adds a lot," Keleher said. "It's nice to have confidence in being able to make field goals, even though I wasn't real happy with being forced to take them after being stopped pretty close to the end zone."

The Stars, along with the Empire Football League, are working out schedule issues today. Plattsburgh is slated to face the Vermont Ice Storm in three weeks, but an official schedule for the upcoming weeks is to be announced.

Plattsburgh 25, Vermont 7



First quarter-

P- Stay 1-yard run (PAT no good).

P- Geiser 15-yard run (Ryder kick).

Second quarter-

P- Ryder 38-yard kick

P- Ryder 26-yard kick

Third quarter-

V- O'Connor 27-yard pass to Ball (Beaulieu)

P- Keleher 49-yard run

Individual statistics


Stars- B. Keleher, 12-115, TD; Stay, 3-(-3), TD; Parks, 1-0; Geiser, 4-54, TD; Ball, 1-7; Tromblee, 4-17. Totals: 25-190, 3 TD.

Ravens- Young, 3-0; Williams, 7-41; Beaumont, 1-0; O'Connor, 3-(-11); Ball, 2-13; Catella, 2-5; Mickel, 1-(-4). Totals: 20-44.


Stars- Stay, 9-19-0-136; J. Keleher, 0-3-0-0.

Ravens- O'Connor 2-11-2-50, TD.


Stars- Gordon, 1-27; Fish, 3-34; J. Keleher, 2-29; M. St. Clair, 3-46. Totals: 9-136.

Ravens- Beaumont, 1-23; Ball, 1-27, TD. Totals: 2-50, TD.


Stars- Coolidge, St. John.

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