MECHANICVILLE — If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Mechanicville did that with time ticking away Saturday afternoon, and a big offensive play — in a game that had only a few of them — helped the hosts win for the first time in this “Fall II” season.
Alex Amoroso raced 30 yards on an end-around before Joe Sanchez went three more yards for the deciding points with 45 seconds left in a 12-8 Class C North Division victory over Granville.
“We tried it once in the first half, and we weren’t successful,” Mechanicville coach Craig Cavotta said of the end-around. “They had too much penetration. Our offensive coordinator [Sean Kennedy] called it again, and he [Amoroso] made it happen.”
Both teams scored on their first possession of the game, and Josh Oakman’s two-point conversion run had nudged Granville ahead 8-6 following the Golden Horde’s touchdown. Afterward, Mechanicville three times denied Granville near the end zone to stay within striking distance.
“You have to play 48 minutes,” Cavotta said. “They did, and they were rewarded for it.”
Mechanicville opened its season last week with a 38-0 loss to Schuylerville, which finished its 2019 season as the state Class B runner-up.
“Coming in, we thought we could keep up. That’s a heck of a team,” Sanchez, a senior fullback and defensive end, said of that setback before adding: “This feels amazing.”
Sanchez scored both touchdowns for Mechanicville, and after his second Kyle Schultz intercepted a pass to end Granville’s final drive. Schultz recovered an onside kick to begin the third quarter and batted down a pass in the fourth.
“It was everyone,” Sanchez said. “Everyone has a puzzle piece, and we put it together.”
Amoroso ran three times for 15 yards during Mechanicville’s 55-yard game-winning drive before his last scamper pushed the ball to the 3.
“When I heard my number called, I was ready,” said Amoroso, a senior who saw action at wide receiver, wingback, fullback and linebacker. “I was wide out and I cheated in a little. Our line held up, I saw a hole and went.”
Sanchez scored on the next play with a surge up the middle.
“All I was thinking was, ‘Power my way through,'” he said.
Earlier in the drive, Mechanicville quarterback Luci D’Ambro ran 14 yards for a first down at the Granville 24. A holding penalty on Mechanicville’s next play created a first-and-19 from the 33 when Amoroso got the ball.
“We knew we had momentum,” Amoroso said of the last drive that started with five minutes left. “We had the energy going.”
Mechanicville made defensive stops when Granville had a fourth-and-1 at the 10 in the third quarter, and when the Golden Horde had a fourth-and-3 at the five and a fourth and 3 at the 6 in the second quarter.
“That shows heart and soul,” Sanchez said.
In between the second-quarter stops, Mechanicville went for a first down on a fourth-and-1 from its own 13, and Sanchez was stopped for no gain.
“We had an 8-yard punt on our previous drive,” Cavotta said. “I figured we could get a yard the way we moved the ball on our first drive. Our defense came up big again.”
With its double-wing offense, Granville drove 68 yards on its first drive, which Logan Beebe finished off with a 6-yard touchdown run. Oakman, who was the game’s lead ground gainer with 54 yards, added his conversion for the Golden Horde’s last points.
“We just weren’t finishing drives. That’s all there is to it,” Granville coach Terry Wheeler said after his team dipped to 0-2 with its second narrow defeat. “You cannot win by not scoring.”
Mechanicville went 57 yards for its initial touchdown, that coming on a 1-yard run by Sanchez for a 6-0 advantage. D’Ambro was stopped on two-point conversion tries after both Mechanicville TDs.
Mechanicville 6 0 0 6 — 12
Granville 8 0 0 0 — 8
M — Sanchez 1 run (run failed)
G — Beebe 6 run (Oakman run)
M — Sanchez 3 run (run failed)