CLINTONVILLE — Up 34-32 with 1:39 remaining, the No. 20 Moriah football team needed a goal-line stand to preserve its lead.
With No. 4 Cambridge running a counter on its two-point conversion, the Vikings (7-4) got what they were looking for, preserving a two-point defeat of the previously undefeated Indians (10-1) in the NYSPHSAA Class D quarterfinals Friday.
Moriah will advance to play either Chester of Section IX or Section I representative Tuckahoe in the state’s semifinals at Dietz Stadium in Kingston Friday.
“Well, they know how physical we are from the last time we played them,” Vikings coach Don Tesar said. “They play a lot of D schools, and we play some Cs and Bs. That gets us ready for a game like this. We had to make a great play at the end on the two-point conversion to save the game.”
Moriah was able to recover the ensuing onside kick at its own 47-yard line. After back-to-back running plays that went for a combined three yards, Cambridge coach Doug Luke called his final timeout.
With running back Troy Welch sidelined with an injury and a third-and-seven situation upcoming, senior Tyler Pratt took a handoff nine yards for the first down.
“You know, the right side of the line opened up the hole,” Pratt said. “Then, I had my buddy CJ Raymond going through the hole with the lead block. That’s all we needed to get it done. You know, it has to be one of (the biggest plays of my career).”
The Indians faced an eight-point deficit with just under seven minutes remaining.
Starting from its own 33-yard line, Cambridge marched the ball inside the Vikings’ red zone on an eight-play drive. There, 1,000-yard back Caleb Rowland was stuffed for a one-yard loss and the team turned the ball over on downs.