MINEVILLE — There was hardly any defense to be found Friday night in a shootout between Moriah and Beekmantown.
But the Eagles came up with some at the right moment. Quenton Barber stopped Troy Welch just short of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt, leaving the Vikings trailing by one with 2:43 left.
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“That was huge because they win (if they get in),” Beekmantown coach Jamie Lozier said. “We knew what the play was going to be, and we just made the play. (Barber) stepped up; he recognized it. He did a great job there.”
Moriah got a final shot at the end zone — a place both teams had frequented all night — but couldn’t get there, and Beekmantown held on for the 47-46 Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football victory at Linney Field. Both teams had to use their benches. The Eagles (3-2) were missing running back Justin Stevens, who got ejected from last week’s game. Tyler Newman was slated to fill in, but after he got hurt, Dylan Peryea had to take over. Lozier said a number of players who don’t usually play much contributed.
“I think that was a big turning point for us,” Lozier said, noting that his team was coming off an emotional loss to Peru. “We came together as a team, and kids stepped up to help us out.”
With leading rusher C.J. Raymond out with an injury, the Vikings called upon Welch. He had 187 yards and four touchdowns. In the first half. The junior tailback, who had run for 170 yards and no scores coming into the game, finished with six touchdowns and 254 yards on 32 carries.
The game was played at a harried pace most of the night. There were six touchdowns in the first quarter and 699 yards of offense by halftime.
Beekmantown took a 41-34 lead into the third and added to it in just 1:25, when Jacob Remchuk connected with Cameron Garceau for a 28-yard touchdown on fourth down. The extra-point attempt slipped wide, making it 47-34.
Welch put the Vikings (2-3) closer with touchdown No. 5, an 11-yard run with 1:24 left in the quarter. After Beekmantown turned it over on downs, Moriah marched 82 yards. An exhausted Welch had to go out during the drive after getting banged up, and Austin Allen got the Vikings to the Eagles’ 9-yard line.
Then Welch came back in to motor nine yards to the end zone. Moriah called timeout and then handed the ball back to Welch, but he met Barber around the 1. Coach Don Tesar said the Vikings’ kicking game has been inconsistent, and he felt going for the win was the best option.
Moriah again came up with a stop on fourth down and got the ball back with 1:29 to play and no timeouts. Cole Gaddor completed three passes to get to the Eagles’ 40, and then he spotted Billy Petro open way down the left sideline. Petro stretched out his arms but couldn’t hang on.
“Oh man, I was shaking on the sideline,” Remchuk said of watching the near-touchdown. “I just wanted to get this win coming off last week’s loss. It was a big loss, emotionally and physically.”
After three more plays, Moriah had fourth down from the 32 with 16.8 seconds left. Gaddor’s pass hit a well-covered Rainier Garnica and bounced away.
Remchuk completed 8-of-18 passes for 204 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran for 88 yards and two scores. Garceau caught six balls for 163 yards and three touchdowns.
Beekmantown started the game like it was on its way to an easy win, with Garceau grabbing a 73-yard touchdown pass on the Eagles’ first play and Kyle Dupigny catching a 41-yard pass for a score on their second play.
There were nine more touchdowns in the first half.
Welch sprinted 29 yards to score 3:17 before halftime to give Moriah its only lead of the game, 28-26, and he tied it at 34-34 with 2:01 left. But Remchuk and Garceau connected just before the break to put Beekmantown back in front.
“They were down by 13 two minutes into the game, down by 14 in the early part of the third quarter, and they battled back,” Tesar said of his players. “They knew that that two-point conversion was going to be the ball game, and we ended up just a bit short.”
Moriah totaled 325 rushing yards, including 33 by Allen. Gaddor went 11-for-24 for 182 yards and a 64-yard touchdown to Tyler Pratt. Pratt totaled 81 receiving yards before getting hurt in the second quarter, and Petro made five catches for 75 yards. Garnica had three receptions.
Beekmantown 47, Moriah 46
Beekmantown 26 17 6 0 — 47
Moriah 12 22 6 6 — 46
Beek- Garceau 73 pass from Remchuk (Remchuk kick), 1:05.
Beek- Dupigny 41 pass from Remchuk (kick missed), 1:20.
Mor- Welch 6 run (pass failed), 5:42
Beek- Myers 81 kick return (run failed), 5:59.
Mor- Pratt 64 pass from Gaddor (run failed), 7:35.
Beek- Remchuck 26 run (Remchuk kick), 9:33.
Mor- Welch 10 run (Allen pass from Gaddor), 1:19.
Mor- Welch 29 run (Welch run), 8:43,
Beek- Remchuk 9 run (Dupigny pass from Remchuk), 9:24.
Mor- Welch 9 run (pass failed), 9:59.
Beek- Garceau 6 pass from Remchuk (Remchuk kick), 11:26.
Beek- Garceau 28 pass from Remchuk (kick missed), 1:35.
Mor- Wlech 11 run (run failed), 10:36.
Mor- Welch 9 run (run failed), 9:17.
Beek- Fessette 17-110; Remchuk 9-88, 2 TD; Myers 1-32; Peryea 1-15; Newman 2-11. Totals: 30-246, 2 TD,
Mor- Welch 32-254, 6 TD; Allen 6-33; Gaddor 3-24; Stockwell 2-9; Graham 2-5. Totals: 45-325, 6 TD.
Beek- Remchuck 8-18-0-204, 4 TD.
Mor- Gaddor 11-24-0-182, TD.
Beek- Garceau 6-163, 3 TD; Dupigny 1-41, TD; Barber 1-0.
Mor- Petro 5-75; Garnica 3-34; Pratt 2-81, TD; Greenough 1-13.
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