In christening their new turf field Friday night in Mechanicville the Red Raiders went to halftime holding the lead and were two quarters away from a victory to open the new venue. But the visitors from Canajoharie had other ideas scoring 28 unanswered after the break, to come away with the 34-15 win over the Raiders.
Mechanicville put the first points on the field’s beautiful new scoreboard when Raider quarterback Dan Motta called his own number and ran it in from 26 yards out and with the Jacob Gonzalez two-point conversion the Raiders led 8-0 with 3:54 left in the first period.
Canajoharie answered early in the second quarter when Cougar signal caller Derek Hanay found Joe Nare in the right corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown strike, trimming the Raider lead to 8-6.
Mechanicville scored a defensive touchdown late in the half when Luciano D’Ambro stepped in on a Hanay throw and took it to the house from 35 yards out and with the Jake LaFountain point after the Raiders went to the break leading 15-6.
After intermission the Cougars took control behind a ground attack that featured backs Nick Mazzarella and Sam Terwilliger.
At the 9:08 mark of the third Terwilliger took an inside handoff at the Raider 20 and powered in for the score and with a Haney to Isiah Logan two-point conversion Canajoharie pilled to within one at 15-14.
Less than three minutes later it was Terwilliger again this time exploding right down the middle and cashing the check from 41 yards out giving Canjo the advantage at 20-15.
With 2:21 left in the quarter it was Mazzerelli’s turn, breaking a tackle at midfield and showing a good burst in taking it to the end zone on a 54 yard run and with the two-point conversion the Cougars were in control at 28-15.
Midway through the final period Mechanicville took over on downs at their own 25 and still trailing by two scores needed points in a hurry. The drive held promise when Raider quarterback D’Ambro connected with Ryan Robbins up the right sideline for 28 yards to the Cougar 48, but on the next play D’Ambro rolling to his right under heavy pressure was stripped and Terwilliger recovered for the Cougars ending any thoughts of a Raider comeback.
A window dressing touchdown by Terwilliger with :25 left capped the scoring for the Cougars who improve to 2-2 with the win, as are the Raiders in the competitive Class C Central division.