SCHUYLERVILLE — The Moriah Vikings had two golden opportunities to seize momentum in the second quarter after recovering fumbles and advancing deep into Rensselaer territory.
But both times the Vikings stalled, taking a 12-0 deficit into the half.
No. 5-ranked Rensselaer used the third quarter to turn what had been a close game into a blowout, scoring 25 points en route to a dominating 50-0 victory over Moriah in the NYSPHSAA Class D football regionals at Schuylerville High School Saturday.
“The first half showed how we were capable of playing. The third quarter … that was just — I don’t know really what happened in that third quarter,” Moriah coach Don Tesar said. “We just never got anything going, and that’s not typical of the way we’ve played all year.”
The Section II champion Rams (10-1) held Moriah’s vaunted rushing attack to just 38 yards on 37 carries. The Vikings were able to make that number look more respectable on the final drive with the game out of reach, gaining 47 yards on seven attempts.
Moriah was hampered early on when it lost starting quarterback Cole Gaddor to an ankle injury in the first quarter. The junior tried to return to the game — taking a few snaps — but spent a most of the game on the sideline. Tyler Pratt took over the offense but completed just two passes, both to Rensselaer players.
The Vikings finished with five first downs, but four of those came on the final drive. The only first down in meaningful time came on a pass interference call against the Rams.
Rensselaer, meanwhile, racked up 439 yards of offense — 233 on the ground and 206 through the air. The Rams could have built a larger first-half lead if not for three lost fumbles and a turnover on downs on a failed conversion of a fourth-and-one play.