When I wrote a preseason article about Hoosic Valley football a couple of weeks back I remarked that running backs Tom Madigan and Isaac Sanchez were arguably the best running back tandem in the area. After Saturday’s game in Granville that argument gained strength. The two backs combined for 291 yards and six touchdowns as the Valley posted a 43-12 victory of Granville.
Both backs have the speed to run by, elusiveness to run around, and the power to run over defenders. They parlay those skills with the luxury of running behind an O-line that on Saturday time and again opened sizable holes to run through. Madigan scored on runs of 5, 11, 32, 52, and 71 yards gaining 244 yards on the afternoon, while Sanchez added 147 yards including a 55 yard touchdown run.
Teammate Ryan Rifenburg added 64 yards on eight carries to the Valley running attack that gained nearly 500 yards in the contest.
That being said this game, especially early was competitive with the Golden Horde striking first.
The Horde was held to a three and out on the game’s opening possession, but a muffed punt gave the ball back to Granville on their own 49 and they capitalized.
Granville drove the ball behind the strong running of Josh Fiske and the passing combination of Trace Bourn to Morgan Williams, their last connection a 7-yard touchdown at the 3:56 mark of the first, giving Granville a 6-0 lead.
On the first play of the second period, Madigan took it in from four yards out, and when the point after failed the game was tied at 6-6.
After the Horde went three and out, the Valley used the trio of Rifenburg, Sanchez, and Madigan to drive 78 yards with the latter scoring on an 11-yard run, and Sanchez added the two point conversion giving the Indians the 14-6 advantage with 5:47 remaining in the half.
On Granville’s next series they moved the ball inside the Valley’s 35 but a high snap for a loss of 14 forced the Horde to punt and the Valley had 2:43 to work with. It proved to be just enough time, as Madigan rung the bell from 32 yards out with a :11 remaining, and the Sanchez two point conversion sent the squads to halftime with the Indians in font 22-6.
Granville got back in this one early in the third when they forced a Hoosic Valley fumble and recovered near midfield. On the next play Fiske took it 47 yards for the score and after the missed PAT the Horde trailed by 10 at 22-12.
Thirty seconds later Madigan scored his third TD of the game, this of the 52 yard variety and with the conversion the Valley led 30-12.
On the ensuing series Granville drove to the Valley nine yard line and were set up with a first and goal. But on fourth down the Horde was flagged with an illegal forward pass penalty negating a touchdown throw from Bourn to Williams, and the ball went back to the Indians.
With :30 left in the third, Madigan went on a 71 yard romp for six, extending the lead to 36-12, putting this one in the win column for the visitors from Schaghticoke.
Granville showed some signs Saturday afternoon and they’ll add to that win column multiple times this season as well.
As for the Valley they’ll continue to line up, run the ball, and see if anyone can stop them. The Horde couldn’t yesterday. We’ll see over the next eight weeks if anybody can.