BY RICKY ST. CLAIR
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Ticonderoga head coach Bob Sutphen could not have been any more pleased with his defense in the first half.
The Sentinels (4-3, 1-0) suffocated the Plattsburgh High offense to -13 rushing yards in the first half, while jumping out to a 27-0 lead in a 34-6 victory in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football Saturday.
“We were able to establish pressure early and it was key,” Sutphen said. “Our players did a good job preparing and making sure they knew their assignments throughout the week of practice. They were quick to recognize various formations and that allowed us to take away a lot of angles.”
Running back Miles Austin opened the game’s scoring at 5:36 of the first quarter with a 1-yard score to put the Sentinels on top 7-0.
The senior, who entered the day with 617 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the year, finished the contest with 38 yards on nine carries and a score.
“We got off the bus and played with intensity,” Austin said. “(Michael Graney) was throwing the ball downfield, which gave us good field position. It’s a credit to my teammates and our coaching staff for the performance in the first quarter.”
Jarryn Granger extended the differential to 14 when a 3-yard score following an Austin interception on the defensive ball.
Then, Graney wrapped up first quarter scoring on 1-yard plunge and showed versatility with his arm, completing 3-of-3 passes for 87 yards in the first quarter.
“When (Plattsburgh High’s) defense was sniffing out the run, we were able to take advantage of some of those mismatches in the secondary,” Sutphen said. “They made us earn it, though. We got inside their 5-yard line and it took a good four or five plays before we could get into the end zone.”
With the halfway mark in the second quarter quickly approaching, Ticonderoga elected to go with a wildcat formation that resulted in a 28-yard touchdown strike from Granger to Garrison Hughes.
Hughes, a sophomore on the squad that was called up to the varsity level in the fourth week of the season, saw time at quarterback in the second half.
“It’s nice from a coaching standpoint that players from our JV program can move up and adjust to the game speed so quickly,” Sutphen said. “(Hughes) is obviously good at making checks at the line of scrimmage and can effectively run the option. He’s a nice asset to our team as we approach playoff time.”
Jacob Crowe grabbed a scoring toss from Hughes just 4:04 into the third quarter.
The Hornets executed their lone end zone appearance of the afternoon with a Nate Leopard 26-yard touchdown reception from quarterback D’Andre Lemieux.
Plattsburgh High, who is automatically locked in a playoff spot next weekend at Peru, finished the first half with 50 yards in penalties
Ticonderoga plays host to winless AuSable Valley in a crossover game Friday night, but Sutphen knows his team can’t take the Patriots lightly.
“If you’ve watched them throughout the course of the year, you’ve seen them get significantly better,” Sutphen said. “I feel bad that we’re their last game on the (regular season) schedule because they’ve hit their peak. They’re not your standard 0-8 team, especially after (Friday’s) 14-7 loss to Beekmantown.”
Ticonderoga 34, Plattsburgh High 6
Plattsburgh High 0 0 0 6 — 6
Ticonderoga 20 7 7 0 — 34
T- Austin 1 run (Denno kick), 5:36.
T- Granger 3 run (Denno kick), 7:52.
T- Graney 1 run (kick failed), 11:27.
T- Hughes 28 pass from Granger (Denno kick), 5:16.
T- Crowe 5 pass from Hughes (Denno kick), 4:04.
P- Leopard 26 pass from Lemieux (pass failed), 10:06.
P- Miller 4-20; Bryant 12-13; Shea 7-8; Courson 3-(-14). Team totals: 26-27.
T- Austin 9-38, TD; Graney 4-25, TD; Wright 2-24; Granger 3-9, TD; Raymond 2-6; Hughes 4-6; Bevins 3-(-4). Team totals: 27-104, 3 TD.
P- Courson 6-13-2-78. Lemieux 3-3-0-72, TD. Totals: 9-16-2-150, TD.
T- Graney 3-5-0-85. Granger 1-1-0-28, TD. Hughes 2-2-0-30, TD. Totals: 6-8-0-143, 2 TD.
P- Miller 3-61; Bryant 2-47; Leopard 1-26, TD; Matthews 2-13; Shea 1-3.
T- Granger 1-37; DuShane 1-35; Hughes 1-28, TD; Raymond 1-15; Wright 1-13; Crowe 1-5, TD.
T- Austin, Costello.