Friday Sports: Watertown baseball, football wrap regular seasons this weekend

Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 11:02 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The Watertown Rapids had their final home game of the season Friday night and the Watertown Red & Black have their regular season finale Saturday night.

The Watertown Red and Black close out their 2023 Gridiron Developmental Football League regular season schedule Saturday night as they host the Upstate Predators at George Ashcraft Field.

”What we know about the Predators is that they’re a very good team. They’re solid, they’re big, they’re strong, they’ve got some speed behind them. I just know that if our team comes in, practices tonight and Thursday like they did last week, we get our game plan put together, guys just show up and play football, don’t leave it up to the referees to try to dictate the game, I think we’re gonna be fine,” said Coach George Ashcraft.

The Red and Black are coming off a big 41-7 win over Troy last Saturday in a game that new quarterback Shawn Johnson took over the Red and Black offense and threw 4 touchdown passes in leading the team to their 5th win in the league and 6th overall.

”He came in last Thursday night and practiced really well, was sharp, was confident and seemed to get a good grasp of what we wanted to do in the game. He showed up at the game ready to play, very focused, and made some unbelievable throws,” said Offensive Coordinator Jerry Levine.

Levine says part of the offense’s success putting points on the board last Saturday is the way the Red and Black’s offensive line held up against the Troy pressure throughout the game.

”A lot of the credit for that has to go to our offensive line, too. They gave him enough time in his first start to be able to look over the field a little bit and we owe an awful lot to our offensive line the way they played the other night protecting him,” said Levine.

On the defensive side of the football, Cory Smith showed why he is one of the up and coming stars for the Red and Black with 2 interceptions for touchdowns.

”What Cory Smith did the other night, we expected that of him. He’s a hell of an athlete, he’s a practice guy, he believes in what we’re saying,” said Ashcraft.

The Red and Black and the Upstate Predator play at 7 p.m. Saturday night.

The Watertown Rapids closed out their 2023 home schedule Friday night at Toyota Field, hosting the Utica Blue Sox.

At the top of the 1st, Utica gets on the board when Kyuss Gargett doubles to left field and Peter Adams scores from 2nd: 1-0 Blue Sox.

At the Bottom of the 1st, the Rapids answer as Gaetan Grandelli singles to center. Terence Moynihan checks in, knotting the score at 1.

Still in the 1st, the Rapids take the lead as Quinten Perilli singles through the hole into right field and Bryce Phelps crosses: 2-1 Watertown.

At the top of the 2nd, Utica ties it when Wyatt Jensen’s chopper gets through for a base hit and Alejandro Rodriguez scores.

Utica beats the Rapids 12-2.