The Voorheesville football team proved it can make the big plays in crunch time.
Matt Feller capped a 68-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 56.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Blackbirds a 10-7 victory over Mechanicville Saturday, Sept. 20, in Voorheesville.
The win brought Voorheesville (3-0) one step closer to clinching the Class C Central Division title. The Blackbirds own victories over their closest rivals, Mechanicville (2-1) and Holy Trinity (2-1), with one divisional game left.
“This is a great win, but we still have to take care of business,” said Voorheesville coach Joe Sapienza.
Mechanicville took a 7-3 lead on Chase DeLossantos’ 2-yard touchdown run with 2:23 left in the fourth quarter. But that was more than enough time for Voorheesville to mount its own scoring drive.
Voorheesville quarterback Robert Denman completed the first three passes he threw to get he Blackbirds deep in Mechanicville territory. The first pass was tipped by a Mechanicville defender to Voorheesville fullback Scott Roney, who caught it for a 24-yard gain.
“I didn’t actually see it happen. I was knocked down on the play,” said Denman. “But I guess the crowd said it all.”
Two completions from Denman to Mickey Knight placed Voorheesville at Mechanicville’s 23-yard line. From there, the Blackbirds worked the field and the clock until Feller propelled himself through a Mechanicville defender into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
“It was a total gut check,” said Sapienza. “I was impressed with the way he (Denman) called it. I put a lot of trust in him to make the right calls.”
“We go hurry-up at practice all the time. We know what to do in a situation like that,” said Denman.
Mechanicville still had a chance to drive the field after Feller’s touchdown, but Voorheesville’s defense forced a turnover in the closing seconds to seal the Blackbirds’ victory.
“The defense was very disciplined today,” said Sapienza. “(Mechanicville) had designed plays to run their quarterback because he’s a good athlete, and we did not get lulled to sleep when they kept running DeLossantos.”
Denman threw for 122 yards and added a fourth-quarter interception on defense for Voorheesville. Feller rushed for 60 yards to go along with his fourth touchdown of the season. DeLossantos gained 154 yards for Mechanicville.
Voorheesville plays its first non-divisional game of the season Saturday, Sept. 27, when it hosts its former South Division rival, Taconic Hills. The Titans are off to a 1-2 start under head coach Mike Bowman, who is making his return to the Columbia County school after a long absence.
“Taconic Hills is going to be interesting in a sense. They’re bringing back a coach that I coached against 20 years ago,” said Sapienza. “They’ll bring an unconventional offense and an unconventional defense that we have to be ready for.”