The Friday night matchup between Mechanicville and the Pride from Holy Trinity brought together a pair of 1-0 Class C squads that had a big game feel for a week two clash, and on this night the two teams did not disappoint.
After trading haymakers over four quarters of play this one ended when Raider quarterback Daniel Motta took a knee in the victory formation as Raider Nation exhaled, and celebrated an electrifying 38-34 victory over the visitors from Holy Trinity.
Offense was the theme of the evening and the Raiders, who never trailed in the contest, drew first blood. Mechanicville took the opening kickoff and put together a 5:00 drive ending in points when senior back Keegan McHale plowed in from the 1-yardline and with the Jake LaFountain extra point, Mechanicville grabbed the early 7-0 lead.
Holy Trinity, as they did most of the night, answered quickly when sophomore quarterback Joey Tortello found Nacier Hundley in stride on a 32 yard scoring strike and the Pride pulled to within one at 7-6.
Four minutes into the second period, after a poor snap sailed over Pride punter Luke Clement, it was Motta scoring his first of three touchdowns on the night, this one, a 21 yard scamper and the Raiders led 14-6.
With just :16 remaining in the half Mechanicville increased that lead when McHale rumbled in from a yard out and Lafountain’s point after gave the Raiders a 21-6 advantage heading to the half.
But not just yet.
The Pride’s return man Nelon Priest brought the kickoff back 55 yards, and if not for LaFountain making a nice open field tackle at the Mechanicville 30, the Holy Trinity junior is gone.
Six ticks on the clock proved more than enough for the Pride when Tortello dropped back and found Hundley on a go route up the right sideline for their second touchdown connection of the half, and with the Clement point after the Mechanicville lead was trimmed to 21-8.
After the break both defensive units tightened, the Pride allowing just three points in the quarter on a Lafountain 32 yard field goal, while the Raider “D” contained the explosive Trinity attack for nearly the entire period.
But with :20 left in the third Pride running back Dion Sexton took an inside handoff, bounced it outside and sprinted to the pylon for a 17 yard scoring run and with the point after the teams headed to the final 12:00 with the Raiders holding the slim lead at 24-21.
In the final quarter offense made it’s return as the Raiders scored a pair of touchdowns and both times the Pride answered with one of their own.
Midway through the period the Raiders extended their lead to 31-21 when McHale scored his third touchdown of the game, this one coming on a three yard tote.
But Trinity took little time to respond, scoring in less than a minute, when Tortello found Hundley in the right flat and the sophomore wideout broke a tackle and outran everyone up the right sideline for a 44 yard throw and catch cutting the Raider advantage to three at 31-28 with 5:42 remaining.
Now it was the Raiders turn and they put together a 3:30 minutes drive which included a big fourth and 10 conversion where Motta found McHale up the right sideline for a 22 yard gain, and at the 2:12 mark Motta capped the drive with points on a 3-yard touchdown run giving Mechanicville a 38-28 cushion.
With 1:08 left Tortello and the Pride threw it’s last haymaker of the contest, this one a 30 yard scoring strike to Noah Foster on a fourth and 10 play call, and with the failed point after attempt the Raider lead was 38-34 with the onside kick to come.
On a night where anything seemed possible a Pride recovery wasn’t out of the question but Clement’s kick skittered out of bounds and Raiders walked off the field with the well earned “W”.
For Holy Trinity quarterback Tortello enjoyed a big night finishing with 269 yards and four touchdowns connecting on 15 of 23 attempts. Hundley led the Pride receiving corps catching six balls for 122 yards and three scores, while running back Sexton carried for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Mechanicville was led by their signal caller Motta who ran for 185 yards and a pair of scores, Evan Chapman with 93 yards on 20 carries, and McHale who gained 96 yards with three touchdowns on the night.
A great high school football night with two quality squads putting on a show, and don’t be surprised if these two schools meet again come late October.