While it was the season-opener last night in Mechanicville the Red Raiders at times looked to be in midseason form. The Raiders eased out to 19-0 halftime advantage, extended that cushion to 26 -0 midway through the third period and posted a convincing 43-19 decision over the Braves from Fonda.
Fonda took the opening kickoff, and despite having a long touchdown run called back in the series, drove the football inside the Mechanicville 10 yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
The Raiders first possession also included a touchdown that was called back, but after converting on two fourth down plays in the series, junior quarterback Dan Motta put six points on the board that would stay with a 10-yard scamper. Keegan McHale powered in for the two-point conversion and the Raiders took an 8-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter after another quality drive, junior running back Evan Chapman took it in from the two, and after another McHale conversion Mechanicville held a 16-0 cushion.
With :07 remaining in the half sophomore kicker Jacob LaFountain ripped a 30-yarder through the uprights with plenty to spare and the Mechanicville squad took a 19-0 lead into the half.
Four minutes into the third the Raiders took complete control of the proceedings. After moving the football inside the Braves 10 yard line, Motta under heavy pressure moved to his left and fired a strike to the back of the end zone finding Ryan Robbins for the six, and with the point after a commanding 26-0 advantage.
Fonda, who at times had moved the ball well, finally put points on the board at the 4:35 mark of the period when sophomore quarterback John Mancini connected with Luke Neff who avoided a tackle at the fifteen and ran in for the 20-yard score.
Late in the third after a Mechanicville drive stalled in Fonda territory, LaFountain trotted onto the field and this time was money from 40 yards and the lead was 29-7.
Two minutes into the final stanza Fonda running back Massimo DiCaprio took an inside handoff at his own 40 yard line, bolted through the middle and went the distance for the 60 yard touchdown.
Over the final minutes touchdown runs by DiCaprio and Motta closed out the scoring and Raider Nation celebrated the week one “W”.
Fonda showed signs in this one that they won’t be an easy out in 2017. Mancini exhibits poise beyond his years and possess a strong, accurate arm connecting on six straight to open the contest. DiCaprio is a quality back who ran for 153 yards and two scores on the night.
For Mechanicville Motta finished a fine all around game with 81 rushing yards, 139 through the air, and four touchdowns while Chapman ran for 154 yards on 25 carries and a score. The two juniors along with the powerful McHale are an impressive trio of skill players for first year head coach Craig Cavotta.
Add to that the strong leg of LaFoutain, four touchbacks on the night, and the capable Raider defense and you’ve got the makings of a quality fall season in Mechanicville.