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Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019: Moriah advances with walk-off pick six

   Leading off today: The way Moriah's 28-22 win over Warrensburg/North Warren in the NYSPHSAA Class D football quarterfinals ended Saturday would not have made my list of 25 likely ways a game could end.

   And yet it happened.

   With the score tied and Warrensburg looking to pre-empt overtime with a pass on the final play of regulation, junior Matt Diehl timed his jump perfectly for the interception, dodged two potential tackles and raced down the sideline for an 85-yard, walk-off touchdown at Shenendehowa High School.

   "It's just a great finish to a great football game," Moriah coach Don Tesar said. "The play before I was a little upset -- he batted it instead of picking it, but I'll take it for the last play."

   Moriah (7-3) will play Tuckahoe in the semifinals Friday as it continues its bid for a return trip to the Carrier Dome.

   "It's amazing, but the main goal in mind is to get back to the Dome," said Braden Swan, who scored Moriah's three offensive touchdowns.

   Moriah's final possession ended with a punt backing Warrensburg to its own 15-yard line with 2:02 left. Jesse Griffin gained 40 yards on a run on the first play, and the Burghers had a second-and-4 at the Moriah 24 with :26 to play.

   Diehl batted away the first pass attempt, and the second ended up out of bounds. Diehl nabbed the third and was off to the races.

   Special efforts: Players on offense get the glory in newspaper and TV coverage (and blogs, like this one) with the occasional bone thrown to defenders. Well, a couple of special teams efforts from Saturday absolutely need to be acknowledged.

   Cornwall senior defensive lineman Noah Chaudhry blocked not one but two extra points, which provided crucial in the defending NYSPHSAA champions' 22nd straight victory, a 28-27 win over Queensbury.

   The second blocked kick prevented Queensbury from tying the game with 5:06 left.

   "I knew if we didn't block that second one, we weren't going to win," said Chaudhry, who ended Queensbury kicker Alex Roca's 71 consecutive extra-point streak in the first quarter. "That's a great offense on the other side.

   "I fit right through (the gap) and I just put my hands up and blocked it. I was scared that it was going in."

   Teammate Amin Woods finished with 26 carries for 182 yards and four touchdowns.

    • Andrew Osier picked an opportune time to kick his first career field goal. The Cicero-North Syracuse senior kicker converted a 19-yard attempt as time expired to give the Northstars a 24-22 victory over Corning in a Class AA quarterfinal.

   "All I knew was I had to make that kick to make my team go to the next round," Osier said. "I'm just very appreciative

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  • that we get to play another week. A lot of teams get to go home this week and it sucks."

       With less than three minutes remaining, QB J.J. Razmovski hit senior wide receiver Adron Pafford for 22 yards on third down to give the Northstars a first down in Hawks territory. For the remainder of the possession, C-NS handed the ball to junior Mike Washington, who pounded the ball into the red zone.

       On fourth and goal at the 2, coach Dave Kline sent Osier onto the field.

       "That might be the second field goal we've ever kicked in my career as a head coach," Kline said. "I was thinking, 'God, I hope we make this,' because it's been too much fun and I want to come back and practice on Monday. I love these guys way too much."

       McQuaid rallies: McQuaid rallied from 13 points down in the second quarter to beat Lancaster 32-28 in the Class AA quarterfinals.

       Down 28-17 late in the third quarter, the Knights drove nine plays and 51 yards to a TD on a Joe Cains keeper, then forced a Legends fumble deep in McQuaid territory. Cairns connected with Andrew Passero for a 50-yard gain, and Passero finished off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run.

       Long Island: Cold Spring Harbor senior QB Richie Striano carried the ball on all eight plays of a 61-yard drive, pulled th Seahawks even with a 1-yard sneak and then ran in the 2-point conversion for a 16-14 Nassau Conference IV semifinal win over W.T. Clarke.

       Striano carried 20 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

       Cold Spring Harbor will meet Seaford in Saturday's 4 p.m. Section 8 title game -- a rematch of the last two Nassau IV finals. CSH won the teams' regular-season meeting this fall 44-6.

       Catholic final set: Cardinal Hayes (7-4) and Canisius (6-5) will play for the CHSAA state championship next weekend.

       Hayes won the CHSFL Class AA championship over Archbishop Stepinac 25-7. Canisius downed St. Francis 27-21 in the Monsignor Martin Class A final.

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