MINEVILLE -- No doubt the Ticonderoga, Moriah, Peru and Beekmantown football coaches have a sense of history and have spent time this week bringing their charges up to speed on what happened a year ago. As if the principle players back from the 2007 campaign needed a refresher.

Peru went overtime to defeat Beekmantown 20-17 while Ticonderoga, trailing 7-6, rallied to beat Moriah 14-7 with a 99-yard scoring drive that followed a Sentinel goal-line stand.

The four teams will create some history of their own tonight when they go at again in the Northern Football Conference championships. Moriah will host Ticonderoga at Mineville's Linney Field in the Class D championship with Peru and Beekmantown tangling at Plattsburgh High School for the Class B crown. The Class C title will be decided in Ogdensburg this evening with the Saranac Lake Red Storm looking for revenge. All three games will get under way at 7 p.m.

Ticonderoga and Moriah have had quite a history in football, dating back to 1964 when Mineville and Port Henry merged to become Moriah. The rivalry has remained intense, even through the lean years.

Tonight's tussle is arguably the biggest in the series. It is the first time the rivals have met with both ranked in the top 10 in the state. Moriah (9-0) is fifth in Class D while Ticonderoga (8-2) is eighth.

This year's Vikings are the first team in school history to go through a season unbeaten and untied and a victory tonight would make them the first Moriah team to win 10 games.

The Sentinels have won five in a row since their loss to the Vikings on Sept. 26 and outscored their opponents 195-6 during that stretch. And, history students, don't forget Ticonderoga made it to the Carrier Dome and the state finals in 2007. There are still several players around who made the trip to Syracuse and are eager to get there again this year.

Carlson leads Vikings

Moriah's Jim Carlson (176-1,183, 21 Tds) will merit serious consideration for NFC Player of the Year honors at season's end. His TD catch with 18 seconds to play enabled the Vikings to win in Ticonderoga, 22-14, and ultimately secure home-field advantage for the playoffs. That September meeting was headed to overtime when Brennan Thierry picked off a Sentinel pass to set up Moriah's game-winning score.

The Vikings rely heavily on their ground game, which has churned out more than 2,000 yards this season. Ron Schofield (49-316, 4 Tds), Tyler Blaise (26-162), Nick Gilbo (26-130) and Tyson Fernandez (24-150) also bear watching.

Moriah's defense has rung up five shutouts, but did give up 18 points to Tupper Lake and 20 to Saranac, in addition to the 14 to Ticonderoga.

Blaise has thrown 49 times, completing 22 for 395 yards and five touchdowns. He has been intercepted five times.

Ticonderoga has gone to the air more, but also is a ground-based football team. Bryant Austin (66-518, 9 Tds) leads the attack while Steven Lenhart (55-361, 6 Tds), Matt Bussey (55-275, 5 Tds) and Josh Huestis (41-186, 1 Td) have helped carry the load. Lenhart ran for 97 yards and a score against Moriah this season while Huestis scored the winning touchdown in last year's Class D final on a 14-yard run with 2:46 left.

Jake Taylor, who had a big 51-yard catch in the winning drive last year, has 16 receptions for 270 yards and 4 Tds this season. Moriah also will have to keep an eye on Evan Glading (10-96, Td).

Anthony Barnao, who suffered an injury that sidelined him for most of last season, has come back strong, completing 39 of 91 for 562 yards and 6 touchdowns. He has been intercepted six times.

B'town top seed

This has not been a typical year for Peru football. The Indians (5-4) rarely lose four games in a season and have a losing record (2-3) at home. Two of those losses were shutouts.

Beekmantown (7-2) lost two of its first three games, but starting with the 17-7 victory over Peru on Sept. 27, has won six in a row.

The Eagles' defense, led by standout linebacker Jonathan Manor (108 tackes), limited Peru to negative yardage on the ground while Patrick Manor and Matt Durocher both went 100 yards rushing for the day.

The lone bright spot for Peru was the passing of junior quarterback Rob Duquette, who was 17 for 22 for 191 yards and a touchdown.

Durocher (97-639, 8 Tds) and Patrick Manor (95-602, 9 Tds) lead the Beekmantown ground game while freshman Carter Frechette has connected on 29 of 60 passes for 562 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has been picked off twice. Andrew Price (12-363, 6 Tds) and Patrick Manor (13-139, 2 Tds) are his primary targets.

Peru, hit hard by graduation in June, has suffered through the transition. The Indians have not been able to put together back-to-back wins this season.

Peru has had to rely on its passing game much more than Coach Larry Ewald would like, but the ground game did produce 207 yards and three touchdowns in last week's 27-6 win over Saranac. David Raggone (105-520, 5 Tds) has done most of the legwork, although Kevin Kilkeary (42-205, Td) did run for 112 last week.

Duquette, who passed for a conference-best 275 yards at Canton, has been on the mark with 87 of 154 pass attempts for 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns. Ben Whitney (27-189, 2 Tds), Conner Keleher (23-323, 1 Td), Raggone (14-320, 3 Tds) and Mark Garrand (12-193, 1 Td) will keep the Beekmantown secondary busy tonight.

Keleher also leads the conference in interceptions with 10.

Storm signals

Saranac Lake (8-1) is still smarting from the 22-0 loss to Ogdensburg a month ago. The Red Storm were victimized by two big plays (a 75-yard punt return for a score and a 75-yard TD pass).

Saranac Lake did produce more yards total offense -- 212 to Ogdensburg's 191 -- but was shut out for the first time in recent memory.

Jon Barge (126-643, 10 Tds) and Steve Burpoe (45-327, 3 Tds) are Saranac Lake's top running backs while quarterback Brandon Patraw (50-138, 2 Tds) can take off if conditions dictate. He is 44 for 86 passing for 729 yards and 13 touchdowns. Burpoe (26-506, 10 Tds) is one of the top receivers in the league and David Snyder (14-190, 2 Tds) needs watching.

Saranac Lake will need to contain Tylor Stevenson (81-858, 12 Tds) and the versatile Jared Morrow, who has run for 472 yards and nine touchdowns and passed for 840 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has completed 60 of 121 with only three interceptions.

Stevenson (21-276, 2 Tds) is also a threat as a receiver, along with Zach Giglio (18-380, 7 Tds). Both were in on the big plays that did in Saranac Lake during the season.

Ogdensburg won its first six games before meeting up with Class A megapower Indian River. The Devils were crushed 53-25, but took out their wrath on Tupper Lake the following week in a 62-12 win. They beat AuSable Valley 41-6 last week.



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