August 30, 2014

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H.S. Football: Andrew Vaughn leads Black River to 5-0 start

FAIRVIEW PARK – Black River running back Andrew Vaughn had two runs that went for zero yards Friday night at Fairview. Those plays, however, are the only negative things you can say about the sophomore’s night.

Vaughn scored four times and led the Pirates in both rushing and receiving as the team remained undefeated with a 34-14 win over the Warriors in Patriot Athletic Conference play.

“I’ve never played on turf before, so it’s different,” he said. “It took me awhile to get used to it, but now I’m starting to like it.”

And when the underclassman did get the hang of it, he made Fairview (0-5) pay with another stat-stuffing night.

Vaughn went on to rush for 175 yards and pick up another 124 yards through the air, with two  touchdown tosses from quarterback Dakota Kuntz, including a 65-yarder.

“I ran a wrong route on that,” he said of the score. “I was supposed to run a seam and I ran a bubble instead and then I saw the play was broken in the back, so I just went to open space and Dakota just a threw it up, a perfect throw like he always does.”

Kuntz, who finished 5-for-10 for 163 yards, also tossed a 24-yard scoring strike to John Guilford and then a 54-yard bomb to Vaughn to account for the junior’s first three completions of the night with another Vaughn TD pass.

“(Fairview) played a zone and we really didn’t practice against a zone much, so most of the plays we had were just broken down plays,” the quarterback said.

But it was Vaughn who dashed the Warriors hopes of rallying just two minutes into the second half, after Fairview had cut the lead to 24-14 before halftime on a David Lansu pass to Jason Kish.

On a fourth-and-2 from their 49, the Pirate running back used a spin move to shake off the first of three tacklers he would lose on a 51-yard score.

“It just all starts upfront,” said Vaughn, who also had an interception. “The line is just doing what they always do, working hard and blowing holes open and I just take advantage of that.”

With Vaughn, Kuntz and running back Austin Phillips (15 carries, 71 yards), Black River chalked up 434 yards of total offense.

“Offensively we’re rolling and the kids do a great job,” Pirates coach Al Young said. “We’ve got some explosive players that can make some things happen and maybe that was part of the problem tonight, we were scoring too quick … not that I’m upset we’re scoring quick, but it seemed like we were on defense forever and I’m sure their time of possession was more than us.”

While the first 26 minutes of the game were explosive for Black River on the offensive side of the ball, the Warriors did sustain a couple of long drives into Pirates territory and forced the locals into some silly penalties.

Along with Vaughn’s interception, Austin Jones picked up a pair of sacks and Kuntz scooped a fumble in the fourth quarter to ice the victory.

But Young and Black River know that to get to Week 11, they need to tighten things up on the defensive end.

“There is a lot of teams that wish they could be 5-0 at this point and I’m glad we’re 5-0, don’t get me wrong,” the veteran coach said. “But we know we have a tough track to hoe these last five games. I mean, they’re not going to be gimmes and the kids have got to play hard and we know it.”

Contact Dan Brown at ctsports@chroniclet.com.