It took until Aug. 20 for the Watertown Red and Black to earn its first on-field victory last year.
This years edition of the nations oldest semipro football team ensured there would be no repeat of that Saturday night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
The Red and Black offense scored touchdowns on six of its eight possessions, and Adrian Paris returned two interceptions for scores to lead Watertown to a 54-0 trouncing of Empire Football League foe Amsterdam in its final preseason game.
Watertown opens the regular season on Saturday with a game at the Monroe County Sting.
We can enjoy this one tonight, and tomorrow, were 0-0, we didnt do anything, said Watertown quarterback Brian Williams, who ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns on five carries, adding 133 yards and a score through the air. You got to go forward, you got to continue to work hard on Tuesday and Thursday to be ready for next Saturday. And thats what were going to do.
Watertown, running a no-huddle offense throughout the first half, led 40-0 at halftime.
After punting on its second possession of the game, the Red and Black scored on every drive until it ran out the clock on its final possession.
Everything that (offensive coordinator) Ammbrose Souza and the coaching staff have been working on since the winter months, the dividends are going to be well worth the time put into it, Watertown coach George Ashcraft said. It showed tonight.
The Red and Black didnt play a preseason game last year, which helped contribute to a four-game losing streak to start the season. In addition to Saturdays win, Watertown played the South Buffalo Celtics on June 23, losing 33-5.
This team is a lot different than last years team, said Red and Black running back Joe Brennan, who ran for 55 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, all in the first half. We have more talent, were more disciplined. I think were really going to be able to show some good things this season.
The Red and Black defense, led by linebacker Matt Keplers 12 tackles and Paris two scores, earned its first shutout in almost two years.
It held the Amsterdam offense to 44 yards on 19 plays in the first half, and that included a 45-yard completion from quarterback Chris Brooks to Tito Lopez.
In the second half, all three Zephyrs possessions ended with an interception. They finished with five turnovers in all and gave up six sacks.
Its a real big thing for me, Im proud. (I) cant do it without the whole defense working together though, the veteran Paris said of his first multi-touchdown game at the Fairgrounds.
Amsterdam assistant Jim Lomonto, filling in for head coach Joe Hall, said the Zephyrs saw their first game action of the year. They will open the season Saturday with a home game against defending EFL champion Albany.
Harold Taylor ran in a pair of touchdowns for the Red and Black, and George Ferguson caught a 61-yard score from Williams.
In the second quarter, Watertown receiver Lucas Meyer took screen passes on back-to-back plays for a combined 45 yards to set up a 3-yard scoring plunge by Taylor.