Tioga Shuts Out Moriah to Claim 2021 NYS Class D Title
Thanks to a strong 4th quarter, Tioga downed Section 7 Champion Moriah 27-0 to win the 2021 New York State Class D Crown, the second State Championship in program history.
The Tigers led just 7-0 heading into the fourth with their lone score coming from a Caden Bellis 75 yard touchdown rush in the first quarter. Then in the fourth Bellis found Gavin Godfrey for a 51 yard touchdown pass and Emmett Wood put the game away with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Evan Sickler secured 2 interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.
Tioga Head Coach Nick Aiello says their strong showing in the 4th quarter that led to their title triumph was a result of their players hard work all season.
“Finding some plays we thought were there and we were able to bust them,” says Aiello. “Some big plays by some kids and we just hung in there. It was only 7-0 and we got kind of lucky busting that long run. We knew it’d be that kind of game. We also knew we’d have to score points to win but we knew our defense would be our strength. It was all season and it showed up today for sure.”
As for the seniors of this team that suffered heartbreak back in 2019, this was a long time coming.
“We’ve been working for 2 years since we lost to CSP 27-28 in the 4th quarter of the state semi-finals in 2019,” says Senior Lineman Josh Snell. “It feels like all of our hard work over the past 2 years has paid off.”
“It’s just crazy because you think about all of the minutes we’ve put in together,” says Senior running back Gavin Godfrey. “Like the seniors we’ve put in so much time together over the last 2 years and it feels like it really paid off, it feels so good.”