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VOORHEESVILLE: Panthers ground Blackbirds

Chatham quarterback Zach Kraham picked apart Voorheesville's defense with his arm and his feet.

Kraham threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more to lead the Panthers to a 42-21 victory over the Blackbirds in Saturday's class C South Division game at Thomas Buckley Sr. Memorial Field in Voorheesville.

Kraham capped Chatham's first series with a 6-yard touchdown run. Then, he connected with Drew Doty for a 14-yard scoring pass later in the first quarter to give the Panthers (4-1) a 14-0 lead.

Kraham continued his assault on Voorheesville's defense in the second quarter with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Parker Niles, but the Blackbirds (4-1) made that the last touchdown Chatham scored in the first half. Voorheesville engineered a long scoring drive later in the second quarter, capped by Jay Conde's 4-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Murphy. Then, the Blackbirds forced a Chatham turnover with less than two minutes left, but Conde threw an interception to give the ball back to the Panthers.

Voorheesville appeared to get back in the game late in the third quarter when Pat Jones rushed for a 9-yard touchdown to make the score 21-14. But Kraham hit John Kinnicut with a 35-yard scoring strike, and Alex Kennard-Ashe intercepted Conde and returned it 30 yards for another touchdown to put Chatham in command again.

Kraham added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to complete a solid all-around performance. The reigning state class C player of the year completed 8 of 14 passes for 150 yards and rushed 16 times for 49 yards.

By comparison, Conde struggled for Voorheesville. The senior threw for 159 yards, but he completed only 11 of his 34 attempts and was intercepted three times. Jones also had a tough time against Chatham's defense, gaining 68 yards on 18 carries.

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