November 3, 2013

Moriah wins Class D on goal-line stand

CLINTONVILLE — After not being able to muster any offense all game, Ticonderoga was poised to steal the Section VII Class D football title from Moriah.

The top-seeded Sentinels had first-and-goal from Moriah’s 3-yard line with less than two minutes on the clock.

They ran up the middle. And tried again. Four times total.

And four times No. 2 seed Moriah kept them out of the end zone to preserve a 6-0 lead and claim the championship Saturday.

“That was nerve-racking for sure. It was crazy,” Moriah senior C.J. Raymond said. “But I’m glad to come out on top.

“I think it was a matter of heart and who wanted it. Our defense stepped up, and we played awesome.”

The Vikings (5-4) will return to AuSable Valley’s field to face Tupper Lake in an NYSPHSAA regional semifinal Friday.

The game started with the teams trading interceptions and then progressed to them trading punts. Moriah reached Ticonderoga’s 14 on its first drive, but then Ty Denno picked off a pass. Going the other way, the Sentinels got 25 yards from the end zone but were halted when Tyler Pratt grabbed an interception.

After six punts in the second quarter, plus a Ticonderoga drive that ended with a Jarrod MacDougal interception, the teams went into halftime still deadlocked at 0-0.

The Vikings changed that on their first possession of the third quarter. Raymond slipped through the middle and then sprinted to the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown.

Long runs were rare in the game.

“It felt great to see just green grass in front of me. It was awesome,” said Raymond, who transferred from Ticonderoga this year. “It was set up great by our line. Our fullback came out perfect; perfect block. Then I just found an empty space, and I ran.”

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