Moriah will have to get by without the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference’s leading rusher from 2012 — and figure out how to stop him when it faces its archrival.
But the Vikings have also added some new running backs and expect their ground game to keep rolling.
“I think that we should be able to run the ball like we have done in the past,” coach Don Tesar said. “We’ve got the left side of the line back; that’s where we ran a lot last year. So that’s a big plus.”
Cameron Wright, who ran 1,325 yards for the Vikings last year, has transferred to Ticonderoga. But Moriah picked up a running back from the Sentinels, C.J. Raymond, and also gained a promising junior, Troy Welch. Moriah begins the 2013 football season tonight at Plattsburgh High. The defending Section VII Class D champion is coming off a 5-6 season.
Raymond, a senior, rushed for 103 yards on 21 attempts at Ticonderoga last season, while Welch had a strong season on Moriah’s JV team.
“Troy was a very good runner down there,” Tesar said. “He had a good number of carries. He was a tough runner down in JV.”
Arto Nadeau took a few handoffs for the Vikings last season while dealing with an injury, and he is back and healthy this season. Newcomer Kyle Stockwell will also help shoulder the load.
An experienced offensive line will try to open holes for them. Center Tom Rancour, guard Austin McKiernan and tackle Hayden Fernandez are all returning starters.
Tesar said the whole group of linemen should be formidable.
“I think it will be, if everything meshes together,” the coach said.
Quarterback Cole Gaddor will try to take advantage of that line in front of him, and he should also benefit from being in his third season on varsity. The senior was the starter last year and also played a few games behind center in 2011. He was 39-for-94 last season while throwing for 368 yards, five touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Having a veteran quarterback could provide a boost for the offense.
“What it does, Cole can come right out, if we call plays, he knows where everybody’s going,” Tesar said. “He’s been there a couple years and gotten the system down pretty good. And we do have some kids we can split out and throw to.”
Gaddor’s receivers include seniors Tyler Pratt and Billy Petro, both returning players. Raymond will also likely lineup at wideout sometimes.
On the other side of the ball, nine players who saw minutes last season have returned. That includes linebackers Gaddor, McKiernan and Skyler Graham, plus Pratt and Jordan Greenough in the secondary. Gaddor, Greenough and Pratt accounted for all of the Vikings’ interceptions last season. Rainier Garnica is also expected to be a key player at defensive end.
Welch has joined the defensive line and has shown promise there, and Raymond will player cornerback.
Nineteen of the 28 players on the roster are seniors, and Tesar said the returning players are motivated by a season-ending 50-0 loss to Rensselaer in the 2012 NYSPHSAA regionals.
“Some of them didn’t like the way it ended last year,” Tesar said. “So they worked out pretty good. They know what’s expected and what they have to do to get back to where we were. They want to get back there and move on.”
Email Courtney Lewis:email@example.com
Coach: Don Tesar
No. Name Position Ht. Wt. Year
7 Austin Allen HB/C 5-7 150 12
8 Cole Gaddor QB/OLB 5-8 180 12
11 Jordan Greenough WR/SS 5-11 190 12
12 Tyler Pratt HB/C 5-7 145 12
13 Kyle VanBuren WR/C 6-0 165 12
20 Bill Petro WR/FS 5-9 125 12
22 Arto Nadeau TB/C 5-7 145 12
23 Kyle Stockwell HB/OLB 5-8 145 11
24 C.J. Raymond TB/C 5-7 175 12
25 Dylan Blaise HB/FS 5-10 150 12
27/58 Skyler Graham FB/MLB 5-9 175 12
37 Mike Flack TE/DE 6-3 165 12
40 Matt Heald FB/OLB 5-6 150 11
42 Troy Welch TB/DE 5-7 185 11
50 Nick Allen G/DT 5-5 185 11
52 Hayden Fernandez T/DT 5-10 245 11
54 Gage Denton T/DT 5-10 300 12
55 Austin McKiernan G/OLB 5-10 205 12
56 Tom Rancour C/DT 5-6 210 12
59 Sam Russo G/DE 5-11 180 11
60 Dylan Scozzafava G/DE 5-11 180 12
62/44 Noah Gilbo FB/G/DT 5-9 235 10
67 A.J. Childs G/DT 5-8 165 12
72 Jacob DeFelice G/DT 5-8 210 12
74 Tristan Shappy T/DT 6-2 325 12
76 Jeremy Murcray T/DT 6-1 250 11
80 Rainier Garnica TE/DE 6-0 200 12
88 Ryan Jaquish WR/C 6-0 160 11