SLU Football is gearing up for the upcoming season

CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) – The 2022 college football season is right around the corner as camps begin to open. In Canton, it looks like another solid season is in store for the St. Lawrence Saints coach Dan Puckhaber as the 2022 Saints report to camp on Wednesday.

The Saints come to camp on August 10 with a player report.

And for the first time since 2019, Puckhaber is experiencing a sense of normalcy that COVID took away from his program the last 2 seasons.

“We’re able to do what we wanted to do when we did it in 2019. Just from our normal kick-off picnic with all the parents. We can bring everyone together because that’s why we do what we do. Just to get the families and all the kids together and start a little fun experience. That’s what we call college football here in St. Lawrence,” coach Dan Puckhaber said.

Offensively, the Saints will be led under center by sophomore Danny Lowther, who took over the offense in Game 7 last season after Tyler Grohot went down.

Lowther threw for 893 yards and 9 touchdowns and also ran for 168 yards and a touchdown, a true dual-threat quarterback for the Saints.

“His mobility and athleticism really changes the offense and what we can do. It’s a lot different than what we did with Tyler Grohot, who was a great quarterback but was more of a pocket guy,” Puckhaber said.

Another key piece on offense for Puckhaber will be senior running back Peyton Schimt.

The Gouverneur product rushed for 624 yards and 4 touchdowns as a junior and racked up 181 receiving yards with a touchdown.

“I want to put the ball in his hands and I want to give him that cow status. It just means that if anybody wants to know who the offense is going to run through, they’re going to find out very quickly in the first quarter against Endicott,” Puckhaber said.

On defense, the Saints will be led by Brian Casazza and Reece Gillette, a defense that in 2021 ranked 2nd in the Liberty League in sacks and 3rd in interceptions.

Puckhaber says he feels the defense has a chance to be special in 2022.

“Defensive line, I think we have 6 guys that can really play, linebackers, I think we have 7 guys that are proven, ready to be college football players. Second, the same. There are about 8 guys in our program that can really play,” Puckhaber said.

The Saints finished the 2021 season 5-5, 2-3 overall in a very tough Liberty League.

Puckhaber says once again this year, the Liberty League will be one of the toughest leagues in the country.

“Just so people understand, there are 250 football schools in Division 3. We have 4 teams ranked in the top 25, so we have 4 teams in the top 10 percent in this league, so it’s one of those things. For us, I really believe we had a chance to beat 2 of those teams last year,” Puckhaber said.

The Saints open their season on Saturday, September 3, hosting Endicott College.

The Watertown Red and Black ran their record to 5-0 Saturday night at George Ashcraft Field, defeating the Plattsburgh Northstars 47-0.

The Red and Black with a balanced attack on offense, defense and special teams.

Over the past 2 weeks, the Red and Black have outscored their opponents 78-0, continuing their dominance and maintaining their stronghold on 1st place in the Empire Football League.

“You have the line, it starts at the front, the lines do their job. We have our running backs hitting the right holes and getting up the field making plays. You have your receivers who are dominant at their position, find their open areas, able to get through the 2nd level to make plays down the field. It’s just a blessing to have him,” quarterback Jason Williams said.

“We’re big, fast and physical, you know what I mean. We put in the work in the offseason and it shows here game after game,” Linebacker Derek Dalton said.

It was a special night for Red and Black head coach George Ashcraft.

Ahead of the game, Ashcraft was honored for his 50-year involvement with the Red and Black organization and was recognized for having the pitch named after him earlier in the week.

After the game, the Hall of Fame coach was presented with the game ball after earning his 250th career win.

A whirlwind week that Ashcraft will never forget.

“This is a great honor. When they name the field after me this week and then to get my 250th win that same week, it’s surreal. A lot of good people were here to make it all happen. My family, they have been a part of it every day of my life. I’ve been doing this for 50 years. I can’t say enough to all the coaches, players, the people who support us. We have a great community here and I’m glad I was a part of that tradition,” Ashcraft said.

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