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July 22, 2013

Stallions cruise to sixth straight win

The Daily Star

---- — Staff Report

Zach Blocker and Noble Champen combined for five rushing touchdowns Saturday, leading the Oneonta City Stallions to a 55-6 Northeastern Football Alliance rout of visiting Watertown at Hartwick College’s Wright Stadium.

“It’s a nice change to be on the right side of 55-6,” said Stallions co-owner Tom Terry, whose team set a franchise record with its sixth victory of the season. “This guarantees us a winning season, which was our first goal. Our second goal was to get to the playoffs. Then, who knows?”

Oneonta City moved to 6-1 atop the East A Division in the NFA to maintain a one-game lead over second-place Troy (5-2), which fell twice to the Stallions earlier this season. Glove Cities stands third at 4-3 and Utica rounds out the four-team division at 3-4.

The Stallions will play their regular-season home finale against Utica at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday back at Wright Stadium. Terry said Oneonta City can clinch the franchise’s first playoff berth by avenging its 14-7 season-opening loss to the Yard Dawgs.

“We have three games left, and if we win two of three, we win the division,” he said. “It’s a good feeling, but now it gets a little tougher. We are positioned very, very well (to win the division).”

Champen opened the scoring this past Saturday with a 7-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Jimmy Kazalski followed with the first of his seven extra points.

Blocker then scored back-to-back touchdowns in the second quarter — on runs from 3 and 2 yards out, respectively — before Champen hit Mike Tandle with a 10-yard TD pass en route to a 28-0 halftime lead.

The Stallions extended their lead to 34-0 when Champen scored on a 59-yard run in the third quarter.

Watertown answered with a touchdown in the period, but Oneonta City went on to score three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Blocker started the spurt with a 7-yard TD run. Kareem Leaver followed with a 4-yard TD, and Reggie Leaver capped the scoring with a 57-yard interception return for a TD.

Reggie Leaver finished with three interceptions and Kevin Gregory had three sacks — bringing his season total to eight — to pace the Stallions’ defense.

Champen amassed 139 rushing yards and went 7-for-14 for 113 passing yards. Blocker contributed 95 rushing yards for the Stallions, who drew “a couple hundred fans,” Terry said.