LOWVILLE — Heading into this season, Lowville coach Josh Coffman had a plan: get the running backs running more and quarterback Chad Bach running less.
Friday night’s week one 50-8 victory over Jordan-Elbridge saw that plan executed almost perfectly.
Running backs Michael Hamburg, Isaac Lyndaker, Brett Myers, Jared Beyer, Trent Nortz and Andrew Beyer combined for 328 of the Raiders’ 384 yards. Hamburg, a junior, began his varsity season with 106 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a 36-yard dash down the right sideline before halftime. He had played well on junior varsity the season before, so his success in game one didn’t come as too much of a surprise to Coffman.
“We’re blessed to have JV football still, so many teams and schools have lost JV football, Michael had an awesome season on the JV’s last year, and we knew going into it that he was a real good skilled runner and does a nice job of reading blocks,” Coffman said. “We were excited to get him, we just knew that he was going to need some work physically and he’s put in a lot of time. He had a great summer with the workouts.”
Lyndaker took seven of the carries and finished with 66 rushing yards and a touchdown. With more depth at running back compared to last year, the senior sees a ton of potential in Lowville’s run game.
“Having a lot of guys run the ball, it’s a blessing but it’s also hard because there are a lot of different rotations,” Lyndaker said. “It’s hard to get the foot work correct for everybody because everyone is a little bit different. But once we get that figured out it’s amazing, because we have many people who can do great things with the ball in their hands.”
Midway through the third quarter, Coffman elected to play some of his backup players, one of which was Andrew Beyer, or “the train” as his teammates call him. Beyer’s workload in the backfield was limited to only the second half, resulting in 13 careers for 49 yards.
While Bach’s workload as a runner was limited especially compared to last year, the senior quarterback still managed 61 rushing yards on six attempts and finished with two touchdowns. His first touchdown was from 14 yards out, and his second rushing touchdown was a 27-yard attempt.
“I didn’t get nearly as many runs as I used to get, and I’m not going to say it’s not good, I love watching other people succeed especially when it helps our team,” Bach said. “When they’re worried about three different people running the ball that’s a problem for them.”
With the running game working, Bach only attempted four passes and completed three of them. One of which was an eight-yard pass on a roll out to his right that connected with Aidan Macaulay in the corner of the end zone.
The defense kept the struggling Eagles (0-1) on their heels. The defense kept Jordan-Elbridge on its side of the field of most of the game.
“Everybody’s focus this offseason, especially on the line, was getting bigger and stronger, we have the average weight of 260-to-270 pounds on the line and it showed tonight,” Lyndaker said.
The Red Raiders (1-0) have two tough tests coming up in weeks two and three. Next Friday they’ll travel to Dexter to play rival General Brown and then travel to Holland Patent, the defending Section 3 Class C champions the week after.