Tonawanda News — North Tonawanda quarterback Chris Woodard’s desperation pass with six seconds left from the Grand Island 25 yard line fell incomplete, and the Grand Island Vikings escaped George J. Vetter Stadium with a 20-14 victory in a Class A North showdown Friday night.
Woodard had time for one last desperation heave, but the Vikings pass rush hurried his throw, and the pass was batted down.
He led his team from his own 18 to the Grand Island 25 with no timeouts and 1:18 remaining, but could not complete the comeback. Woodard’s pass with 25 seconds left to Jake Ferry in the Grand Island went in and out of his hands.
“We expected the game to come down to the end,” Grand Island head coach Dean Santorio said. “Even at 20-7, you’re one shot away from letting someone get back in the game. We feel very well about the win.”
Grand Island built a 20-7 halftime lead based on the running of of Paul Sukmanowski (25 carries, 142 yards) and Giuseppe Campanella, who completed 8-of-15 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Campanella’s main target was Ben Goc, who had six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
“He came through huge today when we needed him,” Santorio said. “Our entire offense played real well today.”
Grand Island won the field position battle in the first half. Their last two touchdown drives started from midfield and the NT 46, respectively.
“We just couldn’t get the ball out of our 10, 20 yard-line,” NT coach Tony Truilizio said. “When we flipped field position, it was a different game.”
Campanella got the start for Quinn Corrao, who was out with a high-ankle sprain. He led the Vikings to a mistake-free game, and perhaps made his biggest play of the game by recovering a Grand Island fumble at midfield, not allowing the Lumberjacks to gain momentum and prime field position.