By MIKE SMITH
Tuckahoe may have been idle for 14 days following its Section I title win over Haldane, but when the Tigers took the field against Roscoe on Nov. 14, they didn’t wait too long to pick up right where they left off.
With a dominant 35-21 win over the Eagles on Saturday, the Tigers now find themselves in the midst of their first winning streak of the season and just one win away from a trip to the state finals.
As expected, Tuckahoe’s speed proved to be the difference-maker from the outset. On the Tigers’ opening drive, senior running back Chris Corrado broke a 37-yard touchdown run for the game’s first score, a play that would set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
Corrado would finish with 128 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns as the Tigers scored on their first five offensive series to amass a 35-7 halftime lead that all but spelled the end for Roscoe.
“We didn’t know what to expect, but we knew their secondary was softer than most,” said Corrado, who earned the game’s MVP honors. “Really, we just hit the holes and once the holes opened up, we went right through.”
Although Roscoe was able to make the score respectable in the second half, scoring a couple of late touchdowns to turn the contest into a two-possession game, most of the Eagles’ success came against Tuckahoe’s backups, who entered the game en masse in the third quarter.
“It was probably midway through the second quarter when we started subbing guys in,” Tuckahoe coach Tom Itri said. “Later in the game it got a bit too uncomfortable, but it was good experience for our younger guys, not just for this year, but
The Tigers’ starters dominated every facet of the game, limiting the Eagles to just one first down before the half. The success of Corrado and quarterback Matt Annunziata, who rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown, stemmed from the work done up front by the Tuckahoe offensive line.
Joshua Sanz, who was tabbed the game’s top lineman, said that going against the larger Roscoe team wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for the Tigers.
“We approached it like every other game because we’re always the smaller team,” Sanz said. “We just stayed low and stayed on our blocks.”
At 3-6, the Tigers have won their last two games and seem to be finding their stride in the postseason. They need just one more win to reach the Class D state title game, but it won’t come easy. Next up for Tuckahoe is Section VII champ Ticonderoga (10-1), which is also enjoying a dominant stretch. In their last two games, the Sentinels beat Section X Tupper Lake and Section II Whitehall by a combined score of 82-0.
For the Tigers, who played against a tough Class C schedule all year, it will just be business as usual.
“We wanted to play a tough regular season schedule so we could get to this point and push through,” Sanz said. “We’ve been playing really good and we want to keep that going.”
Tuckahoe and Ticonderoga will square off on Nov. 20 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.