After six brilliant seasons from three different brothers, Friday night was the final time a Stanavich brother took the field for the Amsterdam Rugged Rams at Lynch Literacy Academy -- at least for a few more years until the youngest boys in the family get old enough to inherit the No. 28 jersey.
And what a swan song it was.
Following in the footsteps of older brothers Brett and Bryan, Dale Stanavich had a career-best performance in the Rams' home finale Friday against Lansingburgh, putting up 211 rushing yards, 162 receiving yards and five total touchdowns as the Rams rolled to a 49-20 win in the quarterfinals of the Section II Class A playoffs.
"He's just unbelievable," Amsterdam coach Doug Edick said. "He's a complete player. Offense, defense, special teams, he gives it his all. It's a little scary for me (that he's graduating), too. I'll miss that."
It was the fifth straight blowout win for the Rugged Rams (6-2), who will travel to Averill Park for the semifinal round next week. Stanavich's video game-like numbers highlighted the night, but it was a dominant effort all-around from Amsterdam that saw the Rams outgain Lansingburgh (4-4), 555-178.
Stanavich, quarterback Adel Rosario and running backs A.J. Mercado and Jaden Fallen had plenty of room to operate courtesy of a dominant performance from an Amsterdam offensive line that rotated seven players throughout the night -- only junior center Nico Orengo stayed on the field for every snap.
"We were preparing for this all week," lineman Jesse Kellogg said. "We knew it was on the offensive and defensive line this week. We did our job and got the 'W.'"
"We're the reigning Section II champions," Orengo said. "We want to bring that back to this wonderful city."
Touchdown runs from Rosario and Stanavich staked Amsterdam to a 14-0 lead after one quarter, and the Rams put the game away before halftime. After a Lansingburgh drive stalled at the Amsterdam 34-yard line early in the second quarter, the Knights opted to punt the ball away.
David Edmonds' kick netted just six yards, and on the Rams' next play, Stanavich went 72 yards untouched off left tackle for the touchdown.
"We're looking to score. We can score fast," Stanavich said. "With our athletes and our linemen -- we don't have the biggest line, but we get out in space -- we make trouble."
Lansingburgh got a glimmer of life when a muffed punt by Stanavich gave the Knights the ball at the Amsterdam 20 and set up John Vandenburgh's 1-yard touchdown run, but the Rams quickly made up for the mistake on their next drive. A 45-yard screen pass from Rosario to Stanavich kickstared the drive, which capped off three plays later with Stanavich scoring from 10 yards out.
Then, after Anthony Aponte intercepted Vandenburgh deep in Amsterdam territory with 1:13 left in the half, the Rams put together a brilliant drive to blow the Knights away. A 37-yard Stanavich run got the train rolling, and while a halfback option pass from Stanavich to Jake Smitka was called back for an illegal man downfield penalty, the Rams went down and scored anyway at the halftime buzzer.
Facing a fourth-and-14 from the Lansingburgh 32 with 10 seconds left, Rosario hit Stanavich with a pass down the seam and the senior tailback cut his way across the field and got out of bounds at the 1-yard line with one second left. Stanavich plunged over the goal line on the next play for a 35-6 lead.
"It was unreal," Edick said. "He got out of bounds quick, then we got in there and we scored. That was big. It was a backbreaker."
A 76-yard pass from Rosario to Stanavich and a 23-yard touchdown run by Mercado -- set up by a Jio Orengo interception -- gave the Rams a 49-6 edge before Lansingburgh got a couple of late touchdowns.
Rosario finished 8-of-14 passing for 195 yards and a touchdown, and the Amsterdam offense rolled up 360 rushing yards on 38 carries. The Rams averaged 10.7 yards per play -- not including two kneeldowns to run out the clock in the fourth quarter -- with the group in the trenches plowing the road.
"I can't give coach (Tim) Holloway enough credit," Edick said. "He calls a great game. He gets our playmakers in the right spot. I've got to give him a ton of credit. You've got a third-string quarterback (Rosario) who played fullback and tailback his whole career, and you see him get better every week."
With the first-round win out of the way, the defending Section II champion Rams will make their sixth consecutive Class A semifinal appearance Friday night against Southeast Division champion Averill Park -- a matchup that's provided plenty of fireworks in recent years.
"We've got to take it week by week," Stanavich said. "I don't want to stop playing with these guys."
Contact ADAM SHINDER at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Cooper / Recorder Staff A group of Amsterdam defenders tackle Lansingburgh's Mike Zanda (3) during the Section II Class A first-round playoff game on Friday, October 21, at Lynch Literacy Academy.
Alex Cooper / Recorder Staff Amsterdam head coach Doug Edick walks back to the sidelines from a timeout huddle during the Section II Class A first-round playoff game against Lansingburgh on Friday, October 21, at Lynch Literacy Academy.
Alex Cooper / Recorder Staff Amsterdam's Jake Smitka (10) runs after catching the ball during the Section II Class A first-round playoff game against Lansingburgh on Friday, October 21, at Lynch Literacy Academy.
Alex Cooper / Recorder Staff Amsterdam's Dale Stanavich (28) throws a pass against Lansingburgh's Agapito Davila (89) during the Section II Class A first-round playoff game on Friday, October 21, at Lynch Literacy Academy.