Tioga County Sports Report
SIDNEY — SVEC found itself in a 19-point hole early in Friday night's season opener and despite a strong rally, came up short in a 39-27 loss to Sidney.
The Warriors scored on a trio of Nick Gravel passes in the first 15 minutes of play and never trailed. Gravel connected with two-time all-state end Liam Matthews for touchdowns of 13 and 31 yards in the first and second quarters, respectively. In between, he hit Cameron Chabot from 20 yards out to build a 19-0 advantage.
The Eagles would rebound on James Sutherlin's 5-yard run midway through the second period and 5-yard pass to Kolden Foster with four seconds left in the half. Parker Sexton's PAT kicks made it 19-14 at the half.
"We got down early, but were able to come back before the half," said SVEC head coach Mike Chaffee.
Sidney regrouped with a 21-yard pass from Gravel to Peyton Mosher and Mosher PAT run with one minute left in the third period.
The duo hooked up again early in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard TD pass and Jonathan Palmatier's PAT kick gave the Warriors a 32-14 lead.
Sutherlin found Alex Morse open for an 11-yard score midway through the final stanza and Sexton's kick closed the gap to 32-21.
Sidney would extend its lead to 39-21 on Zach Harrington's 5-yard run with 55 seconds remaining in the game.
"They hit us with big plays and were able to capitalize on our mistakes," Chaffee said.
Sutherlin would score at the buzzer on a 4-yard run.
He would finish the game 14-for-21 passing for 208 yards with two TDs and an interception, and add 43 yards rushing on 12 carries with two TDs and caught a pass for two yards.
Matthew Byrne was 3-for-4 passing for 23 yards.
Morse caught four passes for 82 yards and a TD, and Foster grabbed three for 50m and a TD. Morse added 33 yards rushing on three runs.
Devin Beach, Nick Thomas, Hunter Haynes and Byrne added 141 yards combined offense.
Defensively, Marcus Rypkema led the way with 6 1/2 tackles and a sack, and Foster had six tackles, a sack and an interception.
Gravel was 21-for-27 for 313 yards with five TDs and a pick. Mosher caught eight passes for 182 yards and two TDs, and Matthews grabbed four passes for 82 yards and two scores. Harrington had 10 carries for 84 yards and a TD.
"Our guys played physical and fought to the end," Chaffee said. "Back to the drawing board."
SVEC hosts Susquehanna Valley (1-0) Friday at 7 p.m. at Candor.
IN PHOTO 1: SVEC's James Sutherlin. ... Photos courtesy of Justin A. Wilcox
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