TICONDEROGA — With AuSable Valley stymieing Ticonderoga’s star tailback, the Sentinels did something they don’t do all that often — turned to their passing game.
Michael Graney threw three touchdown passes, including two to Anthony DuShane, and Ticonderoga steamrolled the Patriots 42-6 in a rare Saturday night Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football game.
“I thought AuSable Valley did a good job of committing early in the first half to shut Miles (Austin) down,” Ticonderoga coach Bob Sutphen said. “And they had some success doing that. So it’s a game of numbers at that point, and we have the advantage in the secondary, we think, so we were able to (use the passing game). And Mike executed well.”
The Sentinels’ first touchdown came in more typical fashion — courtesy of Austin’s legs. He plowed in from the 1-yard line to cap a 35-yard drive that began after Ty Denno grabbed an interception on AuSable Valley’s first possession.
Then Ticonderoga (2-3) put it in the air.
Jarryn Granger caught a 46-yard pass late in the first quarter, sparking a drive that finished with a 9-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Raymond early in the second. Dillon Savage motored for a 5-yard score to put AuSable Valley (0-5) on the board midway through the second. Savage finished with 86 yards on 20 carries.
Graney hit a wide open DuShane over the top for a 19-yard touchdown with less than a minute on the clock, and the Sentinels took a 21-6 lead into halftime.
“I thought the drive right before the half was important for us,” Sutphen said. “It could’ve been a 14-6 half. That’s a one-score half. And I know they made some penalties there and stuff like that, but we were still able to execute it and put the points up right there ... I thought that was probably the key right there, to go in with a two-score lead at the half.”
Granger started the second half by returning the kickoff 77 yards to the end zone, and later in the third quarter, Graney found DuShane over the middle again for another score.
“We read the defense well; he got open, released and caught the ball in the end zone,” Graney said. “We all came out to play. My line stepped up big, and the receivers caught the ball.”
Sutphen said Graney wasn’t sharp in practice all week, but he stayed late a couple of times to work on things. The junior quarterback finished Saturday’s game 6-for-11 for 97 yards and no interceptions.
DuShane totaled 35 receiving yards.
Despite being held to 36 rushing yards in the first half, Austin still eclipsed the century mark. A 50-yard touchdown run down the near sideline in the fourth quarter helped push his total to 105.
Denno had two interceptions on the night and was 6-for-6 in extra-point attempts.
Ticonderoga 42, AuSable Valley 6
AuSable Valley 0 6 0 0 — 6
Ticonderoga 7 14 14 7 — 42
Ti- Austin 1 run (Denno kick), 5:01.
Ti- Raymond 9 pass from Graney (Denno kick), 0:07.
AV- Savage 5 run (run failed), 5:40.
Ti- DuShane 19 pass from Graney (Denno kick), 11:13.
Ti- Granger 77 kick return (Denno kick), 0:13.
Ti- DuShane 16 pass from Graney (Denno kick), 5:38.
Ti- Austin 50 run (Denno kick), 0:11.
AV- Savage 20-86, TD; Simpson 12-28; Thompson 2-5; Sikandar 1-(-1). Totals: 35-118, TD.
Ti- Austin 15-105, 2 TD; Wright 8-18; Raymond 5-15; Bevins 3-11; Graney 1-5; Granger 1-1. Totals: 33-155, 2 TD.
AV- Simpson 4-18-3-59.
Ti- Graney 6-11-0-97, 3 TD.
AV- Thompson 2-21; Sikandar 1-27; Luxon 1-11.
Ti- Granger 2-45; DuShane 2-35, 2 TD; Raymond 1-9, TD; Costello 1-7.
Ti- Denno 2, Costello.
Email Courtney Lewis: email@example.com