Panthers come up short against Mechanicville

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HOOSICK, N.Y. — The Hoosick Falls football team gave Mechanicville every bit it could handle on Friday night, but the Red Raiders' Anthony DelBalso intercepted Hoosick quarterback Sam Richard with 1:16 left to cap a 16-12 Mechanicville victory.

After three quarters, Hoosick Falls held Mechanicville, who came in a 5-1 on the year, to three Jake LaFountain field goals, but on the first play of the fourth quarter — with Hoosick leading 12-9, Dan Motta found Keegan McHale for a 21-yard touchdown pass up the seam to take a 16-12 lead after the point after.

The teams traded punts back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, and after a Motta punt with 2:25 left put Hoosick at its 33, Panther quarterback Sam Richard hit for passes of six, 11 and 15 yards to three different receivers, the last one to Nick Giordano for a first down in Mechanicville territory.

But on first and 10 from the 35, Richard's arm was hit as he threw and the pass fell into DelBalso's arms to seal it.

Mechanicville started from the opening kick with a good drive, but were held back by the Hoosick defense and LaFountain nailed a 28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead early. The Panthers came back with a score of its own on their first drive, going 74 yards in 12 plays, capped off by a Richard 9-yard touchdown jaunt for a 6-3 lead. The first attempt at a two-pointer was good, but a penalty brought them back five yards and a second try failed, keeping the score at 6-3. Mechanicville drove down the field again on the next drive, but a Motta pass was incomplete just outside the red zone and LaFountain hit another field goal, this one from 39 yards to tie the game at 6-6 early in the second quarter.

After a Hoosick punt, Mechanicville had a third long drive, 13 plays, but yet again, the Hoosick defense held, led by Drew Hoag and Dmitri Rose, and LaFountain had to make another field goal, this one from 30 yards to give the Red Raiders a 9-6 lead at the half.

Hoosick Falls got the ball to start the second half, and Richard found Isaac Friel twice — once for 41 yards on third and 8 and then again for a 13-yard touchdown to give the Panthers the lead again at 12-9 after the conversion failed.

As the third quarter wound down, Richard was intercepted on a fourth-and-5 and Mechanicville took over. Motta drove the Red Raiders down the field, eventually finding McHale for their only touchdown of the night.

Richard completed 12-of-24 passes for 140 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Max Kipp led the way on the ground for the Panthers with 69 yards on 19 carries. Motta ran for 109 yards for the Red Raiders.

The Panthers finish the regular season at 4-3.


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