MASSENA - The Massena Central junior varsity football team weathered a second-quarter storm by Potsdam before pulling away to a 44-14 win on Thursday.
The junior Raiders ran out to a 24-0 lead by the end of the first quarter but were outscored 14-0 by the junior Sandstoners in the second. They answered by scoring 20 unanswered points after halftime.
Ethan Marcello led a potent Massena offense going for 161 yards on just seven carries, including touchdown runs of 42 and 72 yards. He also scored a two-point conversion while Jason Zembeck ran for 105 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown scamper, and a two-point conversion on 10 tries. Patrick Manning ran the ball eight times for 84 yards, including a 13-yard jaunt to the endzone. Maddox Merry had a precise outing throwing the ball, connecting on all four of his passes for 104 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown reception by Manning. Ethan Brothers had a 27-yard completing while Bobby Todd and Zembeck both caught passes for two-point conversions.
Defensively for Massena, Todd had eight tackles, forced a fumble and had a 42-yard return on a fumble recovery. Manning notched four takedowns, a sack and two fumble recoveries, including one in the endzone for a touchdown. Jacob Grimet, who intercepted a pass in the endzone and took it out to the 15, Zach Ward and Jason Zembeck (1 sack) recorded two tackles apiece while Turner LaFrance logged a tackle and batted ball.
Now 5-0, the junior Raiders put their undefeated record on the line next Thursday on the road against Franklin Academy.