Appropriately, the game began with a moment of silence, promptly followed by the national anthem. Once the emotion wore off, focus shifted to the game. For 48 pleasant minutes, the Sawyers were able to ease our minds and remind us all what a tremendous role sports play in our society.
Coming off an emotionally draining 42-14 defeat at the hands of the Valley Central Viking (2-0), Saugerties looked to rebound and even its record at 1-1 with a victory over the Presidents. After an opening drive of 6:15 that culminated in an FDR touchdown, the Sawyers found themselves in 7-0 a hole. But that lead would be quick to evaporate.
Early in the second quarter, team captain Michael Dodig busted through with a 55-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 7-7. A few series later the Sawyers were driving again, poised to take the lead, but a Patrick Maloney interception halted their drive in the red zone with 1:08 left before halftime.
Saugerties would get another opportunity in the third quarter, and this time they capitalized on it. They were able to put the ball in the end zone and led 14-7 going into the fourth quarter, but from that point on it was all downhill. Roosevelt would score three times in the fourth quarter en route to a 28-14 victory.
Still, there were many positives to be taken on the day. The aforementioned Michael Dodig, who has had both knees operated on over the last two seasons, showed no hesitation on the field and let it all hang out.
“He is our outspoken captain,” head coach Mike Melville said of Dodig. “Mike is the heartbeat of the team right now. They look to him as their leader.”
Asked if motivation will be difficult to find after two straight losses, coach Melville simply said, “As far as we’re concerned, our season starts Thursday [against Monticello].”
In the end, consecutive losses haven’t derailed the Sawyers.
“For us, our goal is to make the playoffs,” Melville added.
That journey begins this Thursday night as the Sawyers play host to the Monticello Panthers in their first league game of the season.