Sep. 20—PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh North Stars' season has gotten a whole lot better when it comes to victories.
The North Stars (3-3) ended up with not one, but two more wins on their record this weekend than they had before.
One victory came in the traditional sense after a 10-6 defeat of the Glens Falls Greenjackets (2-4) this past Saturday in Empire Football League play.
The other came virtue of a league ruling that has forced the Syracuse Smash, which captured a 28-0 win over the North Stars, Sept. 11, to forfeit that victory to Plattsburgh due to an illegal player participating in the contest for the Smash.
The forfeit victory the North Stars collected over the weekend has bumped them up to second place, which means they will host a either Glens Falls or Syracuse (2-4) in a league semifinal.
The EFL has not released official seeds for the playoffs yet, so it is unknown which opponent Plattsburgh will have at this time, but all indications point to the Watertown Red & Black holding the top seed after a 5-1 regular season followed by the North Stars and then either the Greenjackets or Smash.
"We were informed of a potential illegal player situation a few days after we played Syracuse," Plattsburgh coach Scott Aguglia said. "The league then went into an investigation and determined that was the case."
According to information sent by the EFL to the North Stars, there was one Smash player deemed illegal after it was found that he also played for the Auburn Pride of the Northeastern Football Alliance.
EFL bylaws strictly prohibit players from participating in two different leagues within the same season.
GLENS FALLS WIN
Having been informed of the illegal player investigation prior to their matchup against Glens Falls, the North Stars knew they had a bit more to play for.
Once again, the Plattsburgh defense combined with a couple big plays carried the North Stars to the win.
Tre Bucci's 80-yard kickoff return to begin the second half turned out to be the pivotal scoring play of the game.
"He got up through our main wedge and broke out to the right side," Aguglia said. "He had a nice, key block on that and then he really went untouched the rest of the way. When you don't have an angle on Tre, you are not catching him. He has great breakaway speed."
Thomas Montanaro kicked a 28-yard field goal with 58 seconds left in the second quarter to give Plattsburgh a 3-0 lead.
John Styczynski scored the Greenjackets' lone touchdown when he hauled in a 28-yard touchdown pass with 2:40 to go in the third quarter.
"There's no doubt about it that this team is built right now on defense and ball control," Aguglia said. "Over the years, we have seen teams win championships at all types of levels of football with that identity of ball control on offense and locking it down with defense."
The EFL playoffs begin Oct. 2, with the semifinal round followed by the championship, Oct. 9.
"We believe we are headed in the right direction as a team," Aguglia said. "We are excited for our next game and looking forward to continuing to improve."
Email Joey LaFranca: