SARANAC — The Saranac Chiefs took advantage of a turnover just before halftime Saturday and gave themselves a two-touchdown cushion, propelling them to a postseason win for just the second time ever.
Ethan Goslin threw two touchdown passes and John Maye, as usual, handled most of the work on the ground in Saranac’s 28-0 victory over AuSable Valley in a Section VII Class C football semifinal.
“It means a lot just to be a part of history,” Goslin said.
The Chiefs (4-4) will face Saranac Lake in the championship game next Saturday.
They quickly pulled in front of AuSable Valley (1-7) after a muffed punt gave them the ball 22 yards from the end zone. Maye ran in from the 1-yard line just 3:29 into the game.
The score stayed there until four seconds before halftime. After the Patriots fumbled away the ball in their own end, Goslin hit Chad Moulton to get to the five and then found him again for a touchdown.
“I think that was a definite swing,” Saranac coach Mark Burrell said. “That first drive went great, but after that we were a little bit sluggish. AuSable was doing a nice job filling some holes and stopping some of the plays we were trying to run.
“It’s definitely a different game being up by 7 or 14. That extra score definitely gave us a boost, especially considering we were getting the ball back at the half.”
The Chiefs scored on that next possession — Goslin sent a pass over the middle to Lance Hackett for a 42-yard strike — and led 21-0.
Hunter Church added a 37-yard scoring run late in the third.
Maye finished with 136 yards on 26 carries, while Goslin was 4-of-11 for 90 yards and one interception.
Hackett snagged two interceptions, and AuSable Valley totaled five turnovers. The Patriots managed 276 yards of offense but couldn’t get into the end zone. They twice made it inside the red zone, but both drives ended in interceptions.
“I was very proud of the way our defense played (Saturday),” Burrell said. “There were a few opportunities AuSable had to come up with some points, and we made some timely interceptions. The defense just did an outstanding job.”
Dillon Savage paced the Patriots with 141 rushing yards, and quarterback William Coats went 9-for-27 for 121 yards and four interceptions. Tyler Champine and John Goodnough each caught three passes.
Saranac has allowed just 13 points in its last two games. Goslin said the two straight wins — the first was against Saranac Lake — gives them momentum heading into the title game.
“Especially beating the team that we’re playing next week. So we’re pretty confident going into next week,” he said.
Saranac 28, AuSable Valley 0
Saranac 7 7 14 0 — 28
AuSable Valley 0 0 0 0 — 0
Sar- Maye 1 run (Herrera kick), 3:29.
Sar- Moulton 3 pass from Goslin (Herrera kick), 11:56.
Sar- Hackett 42 pass from Golsin (Herrera kick), 2:05.
Sar- Church 37 run (Herrera kick), 10:03.
AV- Savage 26-141; Coats 2-7; Whitney 2-6; Coolidge 2-5; Goodnough 1-(-4). Totals: 33-155.
Sar- Maye 26-136, TD; Church 2-42, TD; Bernardi 10-11; Hackett 1-3; Martin 1-3. Totals: 41-195, 2 TD.
AV- Coats 9-27-4-121.
Sar- Goslin 4-11-1-90, 2 TD.
AV- Champine 3-45; Goodnough 3-38; Sikandar 2-26; Douglas 1-12.
Sar- Moulton 2-29, TD; Hackett 1-42, TD; Kneussle 1-19.
Sar-Hackett 2, Rascoe, Earp.
Email Courtney Lewis: