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Starpoint’s Three-Headed Backfield Tames the Lions

The Starpoint Spartans faced off against the Lockport Lions on Friday night, under the lights, at the new turf field on Tudor Stadium at Starpoint High School. The Spartans came into the game with a 2­-0 record in Class A North, pitted against the winless, yet talented, Lockport Lions.

The Spartans started the scoring in the first quarter, with a short punch-in run from the elusive Terry Rutland. Lockport answered back with a passing touchdown on a stumbling defensive back to keep the game close early on. The Spartans went on to knock the Lions down with a safety and another score by Rutland on a kick return. In the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Aaron Chase left with an injury and was replaced by senior captain Adam Lasal, a move which seemed to spark the team. At halftime the score was 28-­20 with Starpoint holding the one score lead. However, the second half was a clinic in the running game for the 2-­0 Spartans, putting up twenty more points with three rushing touchdowns.

There were many explosive runs on the the day by Starpoint runner Tajay Ahmed, who put up three touchdowns, and the punishing runner Anthony Robinson also found his way into the end zone. Lockport’s backfield was a nightmare for Starpoint’s defense as the duo of Xavier Barber and Shota Sprunger combined for 36 carries and a pair of touchdowns.

The passing game of the Lions also pestered the Spartans all game with the Lockport receivers picking up long third downs and extending drives against the Spartan defense. Quarterback for the Lions, Luke Hausrath, had 167 yards and two touchdowns including many nice throws to wideout Tavon Chambers, who was a thorn in the Spartans’ side throughout the game. The Spartans countered this performance with key stops on fourth and short in the 4th quarter, and also a diving interception by junior Sam Mazzara sealing the victory for the Spartans with a final score of 48-­28.

The talented running backs for the Spartans created a tough matchup that set the tone for the night. The rushing attack was the highlight of the Spartans offensive gameplan with Tajay Ahmed leading the way with 145 yards, as well as Rutland and Robinson each adding 100 yards of their own to the stat line.

The trio of Anthony Robinson, Tajay Ahmed, and Terry Rutland are a diverse set of backs that carry the ball with their own style. This diversity of their strong running attack brings difficulties to opposing defenses in preparation and in­ game.

The Spartans look to take down the 3-­1 North Tonawanda Lumberjacks and fullback Joe Dotterwich, the Lumberjacks’ leading rusher, at 7:00 Friday under the lights at Starpoint for another important matchup.

Submitted By: Jonas Hauser and Steven Moskaluk (Student Contributors)

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