MIDDLETOWN — Maddox Blaise’s record-setting day has Moriah back in the Carrier Dome.
Blaise rushed for 305 yards and five touchdowns to break the Section VII single season rushing record and power Moriah to a 46-12 win over Section I’s Tuckahoe Friday in the NYSPHSAA Class D semifinals at Middletown High School.
The Vikings (8-3) will face Section VI’s Clymer/Sherman/Panama Nov. 29 for the state title, a rematch of last year’s game that saw the Wolfpack claim the crown with a 26-6 win.
“It’s amazing,” Moriah senior Braden Swan said. “This team has worked so hard. It’s been the main goal — trying to get back to the Dome — and we’re here.”
Blaise entered the game 143 yards shy of the rushing record held by Beekmantown’s Justin Stevens, and his second touchdown — a 31-yard run in the second quarter — tied him at the top.
Blaise eclipsed the record on his next carry, and his final rush of the day, a 27-yard touchdown, put him at 2,125 yards for the season.
“It’s a crazy feeling to come out here and do that,” said Blaise, who was named Moriah’s Offensive MVP for the game. “It all starts with the line – that’s a major part of it.”
The Vikings held an early 8-0 lead when they went 95 yards on six plays with Blaise’s record-tying run giving Moriah a 16-0 lead with 7:05 left in the half. Blaise accounted for 82 of the drive’s 95 yards.
“That was a tone setter for the rest of the game,” Moriah coach Don Tesar said.
On the next drive, Blaise added another 31-yard scoring run to go ahead 24-0.
“The offensive line is doing their job – they’re playing amazing,” said Swan, who added a combined 93 rushing and receiving yards and was responsible for four 2-point conversions. “Maddox is, by far, an outstanding running back. They both work together really well — and they get the job done.”
Seventh-ranked Tuckahoe (9-2) got on the board late in the first half when Justin Lee’s 3-yard quarterback sneak cut Moriah’s lead to 24-6.
Lee completed 14-of-29 passes for 219 yards with an interception and one touchdown, a 67-yard strike to Evan Rivera in the third quarter. At that point Moriah held a 32-12 lead, and the Vikings responded with a touchdown of their own on the next drive, a 13-yard run by Blaise.
“That was the best part of our defense – we had the ball, and they couldn’t stop Maddox,” Tesar said. “Our offensive line blocked extremely well.”
The Vikings attempted just four passes, rarely needing to go to the air as they totaled 413 rushing yards.
Cody Petro led Moriah’s defense with 12 tackles on his way to being named Vikings Defensive MVP.
Mason Spring added a 2-yard touchdown run for eighth-ranked Moriah, and Matt Diehl showed off his big-play ability with two runs totaling 38 yards.
Blaise added an interception on defense, coming down with his own pass deflection. In addition to the rushing record, the junior’s five touchdowns gave him 21, three short of the single season record shared by two former Moriah stars — Jim Carlson and Wally Edwards.
“It’s a good feeling – the kids worked hard,” an emotional Tesar said. “It’s something they wanted at the beginning of the year. We didn’t play our best football at the beginning of the year, and the kids kept coming in and working hard, week after week.”
Second-ranked Clymer/Sherman/Panama (10-1) overcame a 27-13 halftime deficit Friday and edged top-ranked Tioga, 28-27, for a chance to defend its title against the Vikings.
Swan, meanwhile, isn’t concerned about the 12 p.m. game potentially interfering with a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner the day before.
“Golden Corral will work,” he said.
Lee was named Tuckahoe’s Offensive MVP, and Rob Sypher, who had an interception, earned the Defensive MVP award. Moriah’s Mark Maye and Tuckahoe’s Jonathan Berger earned sportsmanship awards.
Moriah 46, Tuckahoe 12
Moriah 8 16 14 8 – 46
Tuckahoe 0 6 6 0 – 12
M- Blaise 16 run (B. Swan run), 5:18.
M- Blaise 31 run (B. Swan pass from Blaise), 7:05.
M- Blaise 31 run (B. Swan run), 2:38.
T- Lee 3 run (pass fails), 24.4.
M- Spring 2 run (Blaise run), 6:00.
T- Rivera 67 pass from Lee (run fails), 5:49.
M- Blaise 13 run (pass fails), 1:31.
M- Blaise 27 run (Diehl pass from B. Swan), 8:30.
M- Blaise 30-305, 5 TD; B. Swan 12-63; Diehl 2-38; Spring 1-2, TD; Wright 3-5. Total: 48-413, 5 TD.
T- Lee 16-61, TD; Meyers 7-16; Prorokovic 6-32; M. Annunziata 1-(-9); Team 1-2. Total: 31-102, TD.
M- Spring 1-2-1-0; Blaise 1-1-0-30. Total: 2-3-1-30.
T- Lee 14-29-1-219, TD.
M- B. Swan 1-30; Blaise 1-0. Total: 2-30.
T- Rivera 2-78, TD; Meyers 3-57; Berger 6-47; S. Annunziata 2-27; Pepperman 1-10. Total: