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Ludden hammers Alex Bay in playoff opener

An extra round of the Section III Class C playoffs only gave the Bishop Ludden football team another chance to showcase all of its gifts at the expense of an overmatched opponent.

Even with a bit of a slow start, the Gaelic Knights entered the newly-expanded 16-team Class C tournament bracket with force on Friday night, blanking Alexandria Bay by a score of 59-0.

Ludden had gone 6-0 in the regular season, while the visiting Purple Ghosts were 1-5 - but that single win had put them into the post-season, though it wouldn't be for long.

The rout didn't happen right away. Ludden patiently worked its way to a single touchdown in the first quarter, John Rooney finishing off the drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to E.J. Beauford.

All the niceties ended in the second period, though, when Ludden posted 25 points and ended any possible suspense about the outcome.

Omar Osbourne found his higher gear, scoring on runs of 15 and 45 yards on his way to a night where he would post 185 yards on the ground, passing 1,000 yards for the season.

Rooney, who completed five of his eight passes for 106 yards, hit on two more TD passes, first going 54 yards to Mark DeAngelis, then hitting Beauford on an 18-yard strike.

If the 32-0 halftime margin wasn't convincing enough, Osbourne offered another gem when he returned the second-half kickoff 82 yards for his third TD of the night.

That started a 27-point outburst in the third quarter where Osbourne scored his 16th TD of the season on a 43-yard run and two other backs broke big scoring runs - Malik Merrit for 69 yards, then Myles Montgomery for 34 yards.

In its seven wins, Ludden have dominated, outscoring its opponents 352-68.

But the Gaelic Knights should get a good test in Friday's C North/West semifinal against the Adirondack Wildcats (6-1), who blanked Hannibal 46-0 in its opening-round game. The winner here gets General Brown or Tully in the division final next weekend.

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