Tupper Lake The Moriah Vikings are the three-time defending Section VII/Class D champions, and on Oct. 28, they proved that the only way to be the champ is to beat them.
The Vikings set up another finals clash with rival Ticonderoga as Tom Ida opened the game with an 81-yard kickoff return and Jessup Calkins had a 67-yard kickoff return and a pair of touchdowns to lead their team past the second-seeded Tupper Lake Lumberjacks, 28-20.
“I saw the hole open up and the wedge worked and we had good blocking,” Calkins said about his third quarter scamper that gave the Vikings a 21-14 lead. “It’s a new season to when you get to sectionals, and this is a great way to start the season.”
Calkins said that he was able to read the Lumberjack quarterback, Morgan Stevens, on both of his interceptions.
“I was able to read the play and I caught the ball,” he said.
“That’s a pretty good night for just about anyone,” Vikings head coach Don Tesar said after the game. “The first interception was a key play, and the second one was, too. The kickoff was the biggest of the three, because they had just tied the score at 14-14 and it gave us another spark.”
Another spark was the opening return by Ida, who also ran the ball 16 times for 111 yards and a second touchdown.
“I think that this team that we have has to get on the board first for the momentum,” Tesar said.
“When I saw the ball go under Jeff Greenough, I pickled up the ball,” Ida said. “We are told to go to the middle and when I got their the return team had crashed to the middle, so I took it out to the sideline, beat the man out there and got to the end zone.”