SCHENECTADY — A broken play went Holy Trinity's way at the tail end of the second quarter, and so did the rest of Saturday's Class B Reinfurt Division football game against Cobleskill-Richmondville.
Joey Tortello's 2-yard touchdown run pushed the Pride ahead and capped a back-and-forth first half, and a series of turnovers and points followed as the hosts pulled away for a 55-24 win against last season's Section II Class B runner-up at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School.
"It takes one play for us," said Tortello, Holy Trinity's senior quarterback. "An interception, a screen pass to Nacier [Hundley] that he takes to the house, and that flips the script."
Saturday it was Tortello's heads-up touchdown run with 2.7 seconds left in the opening half that set the wheels in motion for another statement win by Holy Trinity. The Class B newcomer knocked off Hudson last week 42-7.
"This is like my sophomore year when we kept building momentum," Tortello said, in reference to Holy Trinity's run to the state Class C title game in 2017. "We've got to keep going."
Tortello got going when there was no running back there to give the ball to on a first-and-goal from the 2 late in the second quarter. Holy Trinity had called its final time out of the half with 7.9 seconds left, and had planned to feed running back Rodney Parker the ball.
"Rodney went the wrong way. It was great on his [Tortello] part to read the situation," Holy Trinity coach John Barber said. "Huge play."
Tortello created the fifth lead change with his TD run — his second in as many games — and Raion Barrett's PAT made it 28-24.
"It was a broken play," Tortello said. "I turned it up and found a hole."
Cobleskill-Richmondville (1-1) had taken a 24-21 lead with 25.9 seconds left in the half when Landen Moore threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Camden Oliver and Hunter Edwards followed with a 2-point run.
"One of the key points in a game is closing out the half," Cobleskill-Richmondville coach Ed Hantho said. "You've got to close out the half. If we make that tackle [on Tortello], we're ahead going into the lockerroom."
Tortello threw the last of his three touchdown passes to Hundley four plays into the third quarter covering 41 yards, and Holy Trinity never looked back after going up 34-24.
"I told the kids, 'It's our ball coming out, and let's go down and score and set the tone for the second half,'" Barber said.
Interceptions by Noah Foster and Tanner Kiser and a fumble recovery by Kiser ended Cobleskill-Richmondville's first three drives of the second half, and Holy Trinity turned each of those turnovers into points.
"Until we're in the victory [formation], we are going to keep pushing," Hundley, a senior receiver and safety, said after catching four passes for 175 yards.
Todd Williamson, who had set up Tortello's TD run with a 51-yard reception, scored in the third quarter on a 52-yard catch. Parker also scored in the third frame on a 90-yard run, and Anthony Farina scored in the fourth on a 9-yard run.
"I like the way we controlled them up front," Barber said after Parker led Holy Trinity's ground effort with 157 yards on 10 carries. "We were stronger than them and quicker than them."
Tortello was 8-for-8 passing for 295 yards, which included 50- and 74-yard scoring strikes in the first half to Hundley. Foster also went 85 yards on a kickoff return.
"Every time they scored, we came back," Barber said. "You like to see that."
Moore ran 30 yards for a first-half touchdown for Cobleskill and threw the first of his two TD passes to Sal Liardo covering 26 yards. Greg Hotaling had opened the scoring earlier on with a 26-yard field goal. Edwards played a key role in all of the Bulldogs' scoring with 158 rushing yards on 29 carries.
C-R 3 21 0 0 — 24
Holy Trinity 7 21 20 7 — 55
CR — Hotaling 26 FG
HT — Hundley 50 pass from Tortello (Barrett kick)
CR — Moore 30 run (kick failed)
HT — Foster 85 kickoff return (Barrett kick)
HT — Hundley 74 pass from Tortello (Barrett kick)
CR — Oliver 22 pass from Moore (Edwards run)
HT — Tortello 2 run (Barrett kick)
HT — Hundley 41 pass from Tortello (kick failed)
HT — Williamson 52 pass from Tortello (Barrett kick)
HT — Parker 90 run (Barrett kick)
HT — Farina 9 run (Barber kick)