Clintonville The Ticonderoga Sentinels were faced with a 16-0 deficit and were not even out of the first quarter.
The Sentinels fought back, however, taking a 25-24 lead in the third quarter to liven up their sideline and fans.
But the Cambridge Indians responded, scoring the final 20 points of the game in capturing the regional championship with a 44-25 victory Nov. 11 at AuSable Valley.
“Our kids were not going to stop chopping wood at that point,” Sentinels head coach Bob Sutphen said about the Indians 16-0 lead with 5:07 remaining in the first 12 minutes of play. “We scored right away after that and felt like we were right back into it.”
The Indians jumped out on scoring runs of 30 and three yards by Skyler Saunders, who finished with 210 yards rushing (22 receiving) and four touchdowns.
Nate Lenhart scored on a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a three-run score in the second to cut the lead to 16-12, but Cambridge answered with a 31-yard scoring run by Aaron Mulready (12 carries-111yards, 1 TD).
The Sentinels ended the scoring in the first half when Lenhart found Ryan Borho for an eight-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 24-18 heading into halftime.
After the teams exchanged possessions to start the third period, Lenhart connected on a 67-yard scoring pass to Will Lawrie to tie the game. The ensuing extra point was good to give the Sentinels a 25-24 lead.
The Indians responded on the next drive, going 70 yards in 12 plays and taking 4:45 seconds off the clock as Saunders scored from one-yard out to give the Indians a 30-25 lead.
After forcing Ticonderoga to punt, the Indians increased their lead to 38-25 as Saunders scored from six yards out.
On their last chance drive, the Sentinels converted on a pair of fourth downs, but the third time proved not to be the charm, as Lenhart was sacked - one of 11 tackles for loss by the Indians, fumbling the ball that was picked up by Indian Bryant Gibbons and returned 24 yards for the final score.