Griffins finish strong, wrap up division title

Bishop Maginn was still going strong late in Saturday’s Class A Southeast Division showdown at Troy.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Bishop Maginn was still going strong late in Saturday’s Class A Southeast Division showdown at Troy.

That’s nothing new for these small-in-numbers, big-on-desire Golden Griffins.

“They are 22 of the most in-shape players I’ve seen,” Bishop Maginn coach Joe Grasso said

after his team’s division-clinching 27-20 victory. “We keep battling. We keep battling.”

Tymear Mallory and Bunduka Kargbo ran for fourth-quarter touchdowns, and the Golden Griffins made four defensive stands down the stretch to earn their first division championship since 1994 and a No. 1 sectional seed.

“We haven’t done anything like this in a long time,” said Kargbo, a senior quarterback/safety. “This is great for coach and for all the sen­iors. It’s great for all the fellas.”

Kargbo ended Troy’s last gasp on an interception with 56 seconds left, capping a superb all-around performance which included 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and a touchdown pass to James Torres.

Kargbo ran 10 yards to the end zone two plays into the fourth quarter, Mallory dashed 65 yards for a touchdown soon after, and Mitchell Dickson added the extra points as Bishop Maginn (4-0, 6-0) erased a 20-13 deficit in the matchup of state-ranked teams.

Bishop Maginn also pulled out last week’s game with Lansingburgh,

22-16, on an overtime touchdown run by Karbgo. Earlier in the season, the Golden Griffins rallied in the fourth quarter to beat both Amsterdam and Gloversville.

“It’s conditioning. We’re in good shape,” said Kargbo. “It hurts in practice, but it’s worth it out here.”

“They came up big, and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Grasso. “We battled and came back, and shut them down in the end. We put a lot of presure on them.”

Ends Josh Panasik and Torres, and linebackers Isaiah Oliver and Mitchell applied plenty as Troy (3-1,

5-1) managed only 12 passing and rushing yards on its four fourth-quarter possessions. The Flying Horses went three plays and punted on their first two drives, and their third series ended when Kargbo and Torres sacked Zach Dolan on a fourth-and-three from the Flying Horses’ 43 with 4:11 left.

Troy got the ball back with 1:17 remaining after Maginn stalled at the 30. Just before Kargbo picked off a Dolan pass to seal the contest, Dolan had hit Shatiek Lewis with a

44-yard pass that brought the ball to the Bishop Maginn 26, but it was called back on a holding penalty.

“We believe offense wins games, and defense wins championships,” said Kargbo, last season’s Class A Division I co-player of the year. “If our defense plays like that, we’ll come out on top in every game.”

Troy was on top at the half

after Fred Fitch produced all of its points, on touchdown jaunts of 20 and 10 yards, a six-yard reception and a two-point conversion run. Fitch finished with 92 rushing yards (on 22 carries), but had only 15 in the second half.

“We put 20 points up by the half, but the game is 48 minutes, not 24,” said Troy coach Jack Burger. “We had some chances on offense and didn’t capitalize [in the second half], and we gave up a couple of big plays.”

“Our kids seem to respond when we make a big play,” said Grasso. “It gets them excited. It gets them going even harder.”

Bishop Maginn marched 75 yards on 12 plays spanning the third and fourth quarters to tie the game, a drive which featured a 31-yard pass from Kargbo to Dickson, and a

19-yard scamper by Kargbo which pushed the ball to the 10. After his scoring run with 11:24 left and the first of Maginn’s fourth-quarter stops, Mallory followed a key block by Dickson and ran 65 yards for a touchdown on the Griffins’ first play from scrimmage with 9:38 to go.

“Dickson’s kickout block, that was awesome, and Tymear hit the hole,” said Grasso.

Mallory totaled 91 rushing yards on 11 carries to complement Kargbo, who also completed half of his 12 passes for 91 yards with an interception.

“Tymear is Mr. Showtime. He’s going to make something happen,” Kargbo said. “He can break one any time he touches the ball. All he needs is a little space.”

Bishop Maginn 6  7 0 14 — 27

Troy 6 14 0  0 — 20

T — Fitch 20 run (kick blocked).

BM — Torres 12 pass from Kargbo (run failed).

T — Fitch 6 pass from Dolan (run failed).

BM — Kargbo 72 run (Dickson kick).

T — Fitch 10 run (Fitch run).

BM — Kargbo 10 run (Dickson kick).

BM — Mallory 65 run (Dickson kick).

Categories: High School Sports

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