TICONDEROGA — Quarterback Mike Graney had gone 0-for-9 in the second half, and Ticonderoga’s 10-point lead had suddenly shrunk to four in the fourth quarter Friday.
But Graney knew the middle of the field was open, and he found Ty Denno there. Denno caught the pass, turned away from a defender and raced to the end zone to restore the Sentinels’ cushion.
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Ticonderoga held off Moriah from there for a 24-12 win in a Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football game at Sentinel Field.
“We know going into these games, momentum is always key,” Graney said. “Coach said it all week — they’re going to make big plays; good things are going to happen. It’s how we respond to things.
“And by the scoreboard, I think we responded all right.”
Ticonderoga led 16-6 at halftime, and the Vikings didn’t do anything to close the gap in the third quarter. But the Sentinels (3-1) didn’t add to their advantage either; their offense seemed to stall.
That gave the Vikings (2-2) a chance to climb back in it. Cole Gaddor connected with Tyler Pratt for a 58-yard passing play that put Moriah on Ticonderoga’s 13-yard line. Gaddor then hit Rainier Garnica in the end zone with 7:03 left in the game. The two-point conversion pass failed, making it 16-12.
“I think we didn’t execute in the start of the third quarter,” Ticonderoga coach Bob Sutphen said. “We got too conservative in the third quarter, and that’s on me.
“I think everybody in these games gets really tense. I think the biggest thing for us was to execute our game plan and go out and play loose a little bit.”
The Sentinels loosened up after Denno’s 42-yard touchdown and the ensuing conversion put them ahead 24-12, although Graney said they knew they had to stay focused and prevent big plays by Moriah.