CLINTONVILLE — Beekmantown football coach Jamie Lozier might not ever receive a better birthday gift.
Lozier’s Eagles (5-4) converted four touchdowns on Peru turnovers to upset the Indians (6-2) 33-28 in the Section VII Class B championship Saturday.
The win discontinued Peru’s five-game winning streak over its archrival.
“We felt our chances were good,” Lozier said. “Peru, though, they lost the Gallo kid and they’ve had some injuries on their line. That’s very tough on their part.
“When you have two teams like this that know each other so well, turnovers make or break you. We got lucky (Saturday). It was a wet field, and we didn’t turn the ball over.”
The Indians, who entered the game ranked No. 17 in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association Class B poll, maintained a one-point lead with more than four minutes remaining in regulation.
After operating one play from scrimmage, Peru quarterback Blake Altizer mishandled the center’s snap. With the football falling to the wet turf, Beekmantown pounced on it at the Indians’ 4-yard line.
Two plays later, Beekmantown’s Justin Stevens scored the third of his three rushing touchdowns on a four-yard scamper, giving the Eagles a five-point lead with 3:19 remaining.
“We knew we had to get in,” Stevens said. “It was a sweep (to the) left. Everything just closed, so I ran back across the field and saw Zane standing there at the goal line. Thankfully, I was able to get in.”
Peru regained possession at its own 40-yard line and advanced the ball 30 yards downfield. After calling their final timeout, the Indians were presented with a fourth-and-five situation.
Zane Bazzano received a pitch toward the far sideline, but Beekmantown sent pressure off the edge, resulting in a 10-yard loss.