TICONDEROGA — The Sentinels had Friday's game marked on their calendars for a long time.
Now they can mark it in the win column.
Class D's Ticonderoga took on Class B's Beekmantown in the opening week of the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football season, and the Sentinels held off the Eagles for a 32-21 win.
"That's a huge win for us," Ticonderoga coach Bob Sutphen said. "We had this one circled from the time (last) season ended. We said, 'That's a game we gotta have to start.' "We saw they're pretty big and pretty fast and stuff like that, but our kids aren't intimidated by the picture-in-the-newspaper kind of thing.
I'm very proud of them."
Both teams were sloppy early, but when Ticonderoga scored its first two touchdowns, Beekmantown immediately answered.
After the Eagles muffed a punt return and gave the Sentinels the ball 16 yards from the end zone, Ticonderoga used six plays, including Cameron Wright's touchdown run from the 1-yard line, to take a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Ticonderoga quickly got the ball back, but Justin Stevens picked off a pass and ran it back 79 yards for a touchdown 25 seconds after the Sentinels scored. On fourth-and-inches early in the second, Anthony DuShane caught a 19-yard touchdown pass to put Ticonderoga ahead, and Stevens again came up with a big play to tie it up again. The Beekmantown junior running back sprinted 71 yards down the right sideline to score.
Late in the second, the Sentinels put together a 79-yard scoring drive punctuated when Ty Denno went up for a nice catch with 3:32 left. That gave them a 20-14 lead, and Sutphen said it was key for momentum, especially because Ticonderoga got the ball back to start the third and added another touchdown.