It was homecoming Friday night in Mechanicville with all senior cheerleaders and players recognized in a nice pregame ceremony. A homecoming “W” is how all schools hope to finish the evening and the Red Raiders wrapped the festive Friday night in style posting a 23-22 come-from-behind victory over the Braves from Fonda.
In a fast paced first quarter it was the visitors who scored first after an interception by Brady Miles set up the Braves at the Mechanicville 30 yard line.
On the first play of the drive Fonda QB John Mancini found Massimo DiCaprio on the left flank and DiCaprio took it down the sideline to the Raider five. Two plays later it was Mancini, on a rise and fire to Jackson Atty for the 3-yard touchdown and with the point after a 7-0 Fonda lead.
The Raiders answered on the ensuing drive putting together a sustained series with a mixture of run and pass including back to back Luciano D’Ambro to Kyle Scott connections to move the ball to the Fonda 15 yard line. Two plays later D’Ambro flushed out of the pocket moved left and found Ryan Robbins at the Braves four, and on the next snap senior running back Dan Motta took it in and with the Jacob LaFountain point after, the teams were knotted at 7-7.
Late in the half Fonda took over on their own 31 and put together a 4:00 drive that ended with points.
Mancini alternated runs and throws in the series, finding Garrett Neff twice on the drive, the second completion down to the Mechanicville five, and three plays later DiCaprio plowed in from the one and Fonda took a 14-7 into the break.
Fonda received the second half kickoff and after Neff returned it to the Braves 33, Mancini wasted little time putting points on the board hitting Atty in stride on a go route up the left sideline for a 67-yard touchdown and with a DiCaprio two-point conversion Fonda extended their lead to 22-7.
The next points of the game came with 7:20 remaining in the third and more importantly with those points Uncle Mo jumped on the back of the Raiders.
After Fonda had stopped Mechanicville on a fourth down run inside the Braves 5 yard line, Mancini on first down was dropped by Jacob Gonzalez for a safety, trimming the Fonda lead to 22-9 and giving the Raiders life.
After Motta returned the ensuing Fonda punt to the Braves 27, the senior back had his number called on three straight carries, the third being the charm from two yards out and Mechanicville drew closer at 22-16 at the 5:54 mark of the third.
Midway through the fourth Mechanicville took over on downs at their own 12 yard line and put together the game winning drive.
Riding the senior back Motta who ran it right, left and right down the middle the Raiders cashed the check when Motta took it in from the one and with the LaFountain point after Mechanicville had come all the way back at 23-22.
The Mechanicville defense, who shut down Fonda over the final 23:00, allowed just one first down on the Braves final series to close things out as the partisan Raider crowd celebrated the schools first win on the new turf field.
On a night where the seniors were recognized, none stood out more than Motta who carried the ball 38 times for 233 yards and three scores, and Gonzalez who’s safety shifted momentum, paving the way to the homecoming victory.
With the win Mechanicville improves to 3-4 on the year and will compete next weekend in a crossover contest.