GLENS FALLS — For a team that until last week wasn’t sure exactly when its season was going to start, the Glens Falls Greenjackets looked sharp in their opener Saturday night.
Jonathan Hammond scored twice and a couple of ageless veterans made big plays late in a 34-12 non-league football victory over the Roc City Wolves at East Field.
“We definitely moved the ball a lot,” said Hammond, who scored on a 52-yard punt return and a 24-yard pass from Brian Owen. “Our team came together today. We got the win — on to the next one.”
“We played a very physical game,” first-year head coach Raymond Swann said. “It took us a couple of minutes to get our wheels going, but once we did, we were rolling. Our O-line played great, our defense was great. We had a couple of misfires, but most of our hiccups were false starts or offsides, and we have to tighten up on special teams.”
Hammond, the former Hudson Falls standout, put the Jackets on the board first with his punt return 2:30 into the game. Midway through the second quarter, Owen found him wide open in the right side of the end zone for a 14-6 lead.
Dion Williams added a 4-yard touchdown run just before the half, and Tony DeLoatch plowed over from the 1 in the third quarter for a 27-6 lead. DeLoatch led all rushers with 68 yards on nine carries, and Williams added 54 yards on 11 rushes.
As a team, the Jackets finished with 270 total yards, 167 on the ground, but the rushing attack managed only 24 yards after halftime.
The Jackets’ two oldest players had their moments to shine in the second half. Backup quarterback Brian Furbert, 49, came on when Owen was hurt late in the third quarter and lofted a pretty 36-yard pass to a leaping Hammond at the Roc City 2-yard line. The Jackets couldn’t convert, however, as Dan Meluziis came up short on a 31-yard field goal try.
^pIn the game’s final minute, in came Tony Green — at 52, he had been an assistant coach for the last couple of years after nearly 30 years as a player.
^pGreen tossed a short pass to Raquan Sanders, who turned it into a 43-yard gain to the 2 — and Green scored on the final play of the game for the final margin.
^p“I just decided to play on Thursday,” Green said. “Munch (Swann) asked me if I was ready, and I said, ‘I’m good.’”
The Jackets let up a 15-yard scoring pass from Justin Cotton to Johnny Miller in the first quarter, and a 32-yard punt return by Demetrius Gettys in the fourth. Glens Falls’ run defense was solid, allowing the Rochester-based Wolves a net gain of 23 yards on the ground.
“We shouldn’t have let up the scores that we did,” Hammond said. “Next week against Syracuse, we’ll definitely have to bring our A game.”
“We have to make sure everybody is at practice this week, because we’ll have to be ready for anything,” said Swann, whose Jackets play Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Syracuse Strong.
Jackets 34, Roc City 12
Roc City 6 0 0 6 — 12
Glens Falls (1-0) 7 14 6 7 — 34
GF — Hammond 52 punt return (Meluziis kick), 12:30
RC — Miller 15 pass from Cotton (run failed), 6:41
GF — Hammond 24 pass from Owen (Meluziis kick), 6:10
GF — Williams 4 run (Meluziis kick), :25
GF — DeLoatch 1 run (kick blocked), 7:31
RC — Gettys 32 punt return (pass failed), 1:30
GF — Green 2 run (Meluziis kick), :00
RUSHING — Glens Falls: DeLoatch 9-68 1TD, Williams 11-54 1TD, Owen 4-23, Velazquez 9-11, Sanders 4-9, Green 1-2 1TD.
PASSING — Glens Falls: Owen 1-5-1, 24 yards, 1TD. Furbert 1-1-0, 36 yards. Green 1-3-0, 43 yards.
RECEIVING — Glens Falls: Hammond 2-60, Sanders 1-43.