TROY - Holy Trinity quarterback Joe Tortello threw four more touchdown passes in Friday night's Section II Class C championship game against Stillwater.
Nacier Hundley caught two of those balls and made a pair of key defensive stops. Dion Sexton ran for the touchdown that set off a wild celebration among the Pride and their many fans that came to Lansingburgh High School to watch history in the making.
"We've got a fourth-and-one, and Nacier Hundley makes a play," Stillwater coach Ian Godfrey said. "The have so many playmakers."
So many of them stepped forward in a game where the Pride did so much right in a 34-12 victory.
"Just everything," Tortello, a sophomore, said after boosting his postseason touchdown total to 12. "We ran the ball. We passed the ball. Our defense was amazing. We came in confident."
And the Pride (9-1), a mix of players from Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and Catholic Central, left with a title that coach John Barber thought was possible way back in August, when they first gathered for preseason practice.
"We have all the talent in the world," Barner said after Holy Trinity's eighth consecutive win. "We felt good about this team if they stayed together, worked together, listened. They did it."
It was Tortello and Sexton who ultimately did Stillwater (8-2) in in the final quarter. First it was Tortello, who ran for 12 yards on a third-and-10 from the Pride 40 to keep the clock churning. Sexton later galloped 36 yards to the end zone with 4:22 left, capping his 21-carry, 194-yard performance.
"After I got in the end zone it was a relief. We did it," Sexton, a senior, said. "There's nothing better than a Super Bowl win."
Four-year-old Holy Trinity made its first playoff appearance last year - less than 48 hours after its fieldhouse had been decimated due to an arson fire - and lost a quarterfinal game at Hoosic Valley.
Holy Trinity put up 20 second-quarter points to build a 27-6 lead, with Hundleys leaping end zone grab capping the scoring spurt. The play, on a fourth-and-23 with 15 seconds left, covered 24 yards.
"Me and Joe have a connection like no other," Hundley said. "He puts it up and I go get it."
Tortello earlier in the second quarter found Noah Foster with touchdown passes that covered 52 and 23 yards. In between them was a short Stillwater punt that the Pride took full advantage of.
"Our coach should be an NFL coach," Hundley said. "He puts in position to make plays."
Stillwater was driving after Foster's second TD, but on fourth-and-one from the Pride 31, Hundley tackled Mason Seymour for a two-yard loss.
Hundley, from his outside linebacker spot, also tackled Stillwater quarterback James Galarneau on a two-point run attempt after the Warriors scored late in the first quarter on a one-yard surge by Galarneau.
"Nacier is Nacier," Barber said. "He makes great plays."
Galarneau scored Stillwater's second touchdown on a one-yard keeper in the third quarter. Galarneau had led the Warriors to four straight wins and a No. 10 state ranking after taking over the quarterback spot following a 49-6 loss to Holy Trinity.
"Our program is trending in the right direction," Godfrey said. "We are only going to get better."
Holy Trinity's defense was solid after posting three consecutive shutouts leading up to the Super Bowl.
"We gave up 12 points," Barber said. "They're [Stillwater] freaking good."
Dan Morris ran 13 times for 103 yards to lead Stillwater, and Seymour had 87 yards on 23 carries.
Tortello was 9-for-16 passing for 135 yards, and with his four TD tosses, increased his season total to 29. His first scoring toss went 3 yards to Hundley, capping Holy Trinity's opening drive of the contest. Sexton set the tone with a 38-yard run on the Pride's first play from scrimmage.
Holy Trinity, with a No. 8 state rank, will play the Section VII (Sanarac)-Section X (Ogdensburgh Free Academy) winner next Saturday at 1 p.m. in a regional game at Schuylerville High School.
Stillwater 6 0 6 0 - 12
Holy Trinity 7 20 0 7 - 34
HT - Hundley 3 pass from Tortello (Clement kick)
S - Galarneau 1 run (run failed)
HT - Foster 52 pass from Tortello (Clement kick)
HT - Foster 23 pass from Tortello (Clement kick)
HT - Hundley 24 pass from Tortello (pass failed)
S - Galarneau 1 run (pass failed)
HT - Sexton 36 run (Clement kick)