BY RICKY ST. CLAIR
---- — SARANAC — Ticonderoga head football coach Bob Sutphen will be the first to tell you that the 85-mile bus ride to Saranac played a role in his team’s sluggish start.
After two fumbles and an 8-6 halftime lead, the Sentinels (3-3, 1-0) exploded for 20 points in the third quarter en route to a 34-12 defeat of the Chiefs (2-4, 1-2) in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football.
Jarryn Granger opened second-half scoring with a 44-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Michael Graney to put Ticonderoga on top 16-6.
“I told the kids to throw away the first half and go out and play our style of football in the third quarter,” Sutphen said. “Everybody was mad, but we regrouped and showed some mental toughness.”
Granger continued his assault through the air with a 32-yard pass to Anthony DuShane just four minutes later, extending the differential to 16. The junior signal-caller finished the day 4-for-8 with 123 yards and three touchdowns.
“This is traditionally a run-heavy offense,” Granger said. “Coach made some adjustments at halftime that allowed us to throw the ball downfield. Our (offensive) line stepped up and gave me time in the pocket.”
Tanner Wright continued the third stanza scoring barrage with an 81-yard touchdown scamper down the far sideline. The senior fullback concluded the afternoon with a career-high 165 yards on 13 carries and a score, while providing a touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.
“(Wright) has shown tremendous leadership and I’m really proud of him for that,” Sutphen said. “He’s a fullback that’s got a gear, not just a big bruiser in the backfield. He did a good job executing the game plan.”
Following a fourth-quarter fumble, Chiefs quarterback Zach Lareau hit Lance Hackett on a 35-yard score, cutting the deficit to a two possession game.
Lareau completed eight-of-19 passes for 131 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Hackett reeled in 103 of those yards with two touchdown grabs.
Then, Granger converted his third touchdown strike to Wright at 3:50 of the fourth quarter to wrap-up scoring.
With the win, Ticonderoga remained tied with arch-rival Moriah in the Class D standings. The Sentinels travel to Plattsburgh High Saturday afternoon in Week 7, while playing host to winless AuSable Valley to conclude the regular season.
“We need to clean it up and be a little bit sharper in practice,” Sutphen said. “We can’t commit as many turnovers if we want to be successful down the stretch.”
Ticonderoga 34, Saranac 12
Ticonderoga 8 0 20 6 — 34
Saranac 0 6 0 6 — 12
TCS- Austin 40 run (Austin run), 7:51.
SCS- Hackett 33 pass from Lareau (run failed), 11:07.
TCS- Granger 44 pass from Graney (Austin run), 1:39.
TCS- DuShane 32 pass from Graney (pass failed), 5:41.
TCS- Wright 81 run (kick failed), 8:43.
SCS- Hackett 35 pass from Lareau (run failed), 3:50.
TCS- Wright 12 pass from Graney (kick failed), 7:48.
SCS- Bernardi 6-31; Humiston 17-24; Hackett 1-5; Herrera 1-4; Jordan 2-2; Lareau 5-(-13). Team totals: 32-53.
TCS- Wright 13-165, TD; Austin 13-109, TD; Bevins 3-7; Granger 2-6; Hughes 1-0; Graney 2-(-2). Team totals: 34-285, 2 TD.
SCS- Lareau 8-19-2-131, 2 TD.
TCS- Graney 4-8-0-123, 3 TD.
SCS- Hackett 6-103, 2 TD; Kneussle 1-20; Wright 1-8.
TCS- Granger 2-79, TD; DuShane 1-32, TD; Wright 1-12, TD.
TCS- Hughes, Costello.