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Moriah falls in state semifinal

Moriah's hopes of a third straight trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D football championship game were dashed in semifinal play Nov. 19.

The Vikings lost to Section I champ Tuckahoe, 31-10.

While it was a disappointing finish, Moriah posted a 10-2 record on the season, won its third straight Section VII-X title and reached its third consecutive state tournament Final Four.

Tuckahoe secured the win by using Moriah's formula for success. It dominated the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage.

The Tigers, 9-1 on the season and ranked second in the state, rolled up 277 yards rushing on offensive and held Moriah to 86 yards on the ground and 108 yards total offensive. It was Moriah's lowest offensive production of the season.

The game started on a promising note for Moriah. Zack DeSimone returned the opening kick off 84 yards to set the Vikings up at the Tuckahoe 14 yard line. A few plays later Nick Gilbo crashed into the end zone from 5 yards out. Ryan Mascarenas booted the PAT and Moriah held a 7-0 lead.

The Vikings punted on their next possession, resulting in a strange play that may have been a turning point.

A short Moriah punt bounced back into a group of players. Believing a Tuckahoe player had touched the ball, Gilbo scooped it up and ran for an apparent 71-yard TD and what would have been a 14-0 Viking lead.

After huddling, officials determined Gilbo was the first to touch the punt. So, instead of a 14-0 Moriah lead, it was 7-0 and Tuckahoe had the ball at the Viking 24 yard line.

The Tigers wasted no time scoring. After a penalty pushed them back, the Tigers got on the board with a 35-yard TD run by Jarett Sommer to make it a 7-6 game.

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