Quarterback C.J. Tarver throws three touchdown passes to lead Mallers
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – On a warm Saturday evening, the Albany Metro Mallers cruised to a 27-6 victory over the Amsterdam Zephyrs behind three touchdown passes from quarterback C.J. Tarver. Albany forced three first-half turnovers to take an insurmountable 19-0 halftime lead.
Tarver completed 13 passes for over 200 yards connecting on touchdowns with three different receivers.
Amsterdam scored its lone touchdown on 55 yard interception return by defensive back Dan McNamara.
In the first half, Amsterdam dominated the time of possession running 31 offensive plays compared to Albany’s 16, but costly turnovers assisted the Metro Mallers in taking the 19-0 halftime lead. A pair of C.J. Tarver touchdown passes allowed Albany the comfortable margin heading into the break.
Following a ten-play Amsterdam drive that stalled at their own 38 yard line, Albany defensive back David Lumpkin picked up a mishandled punt, crossed fields and raced down his own sideline taking the kick back 60 yards for the touchdown. A successfully converted extra-point gave Albany a 7-0 lead with 6:36 left in the first quarter.
Amsterdam seemed to regain momentum forcing a fumble after Tarver completed a 15-yard pass to Domo Henderson. The Zephyrs had the ball with great field position on the Maller’s 45 yard line. However, following a Chris Brooks completion to Chad Etherton that put Amsterdam at Albany’s 11 yard line, Brooks was picked off on the next play by Gabe Young who returned the ball to the Amsterdam 32 yard line.
On the ensuing play, Albany went deep as Tarver heaved a 43-yard pass down his own sideline connecting with Ace Barnhill who made a diving catch for the game’s first big offensive play. Three plays later Tarver found Issmal Green in the back of the Amsterdam end zone to give Albany a 13-0 lead with 8:33 to go in half.
After Brooks threw his third interception of the half Albany needed only five plays to get into the end zone just beating the halftime horn. A pair of Tarver completions and a 13-yard scamper had the Mallers at the Zephyr’s 11 yard line. With 25 seconds remaining in the half, Tarver rolled to his left and snuck a pass into Barnhill as he barely kept his feet in bounds.
Albany continued to work its passing game in the second half as Tarver hit Sean Singleton on a 40-yard fade route for the Maller’s final touchdown. Singleton caught the pass on the five yard line then utilized a well-time stiff arm to shed the defender and get in the end zone. Tarver scrambled around for a moment before finding running back John Sausville for the two-point conversion. The Mallers held a 27-0 lead late in the third quarter.
On the Mallers third possession of the half, with several of their offensive starters out of the game, McNamara picked off backup quarterback Chris Corker and used a series of moves to return the interception for the score. Amsterdam trimmed the deficit to 27-6 with 14:07 remaining in the game.
Amsterdam continued to show fight as Albany marched deep into Zephyr’s territory. On a third-and-one from the Amsterdam three yard line, the Zephyrs forced a Sylvester Cooperwood fumble which was recovered by Hector Torres, denying the Mallers of their fifth TD of the game. Amsterdam attempted to string together one final drive, but ran out of time after back-to-back first downs.
In Week Three of the EFL schedule, Amsterdam will host Glens Falls while Albany will enjoy a bye week.
OTHER WEEK TWO SCORES:
Watertown 24, Monroe County 20
Montreal 20, Vermont 13
WEEK THREE SCHEDULE:
Glens Falls at Amsterdam
Montreal at Plattsburgh
Watertown at Syracuse