Moriah's hopes of a third straight trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class D football championship game were dashed in semifinal play Nov. 19.
The Vikings lost to Section I champ Tuckahoe, 31-10.
While it was a disappointing finish, Moriah posted a 10-2 record on the season, won its third straight Section VII-X title and reached its third consecutive state tournament Final Four.
Tuckahoe secured the win by using Moriah's formula for success. It dominated the offensive and defensive lines of scrimmage.
The Tigers, 9-1 on the season and ranked second in the state, rolled up 277 yards rushing on offensive and held Moriah to 86 yards on the ground and 108 yards total offensive. It was Moriah's lowest offensive production of the season.
The game started on a promising note for Moriah. Zack DeSimone returned the opening kick off 84 yards to set the Vikings up at the Tuckahoe 14 yard line. A few plays later Nick Gilbo crashed into the end zone from 5 yards out. Ryan Mascarenas booted the PAT and Moriah held a 7-0 lead.
The Vikings punted on their next possession, resulting in a strange play that may have been a turning point.
A short Moriah punt bounced back into a group of players. Believing a Tuckahoe player had touched the ball, Gilbo scooped it up and ran for an apparent 71-yard TD and what would have been a 14-0 Viking lead.
After huddling, officials determined Gilbo was the first to touch the punt. So, instead of a 14-0 Moriah lead, it was 7-0 and Tuckahoe had the ball at the Viking 24 yard line.
The Tigers wasted no time scoring. After a penalty pushed them back, the Tigers got on the board with a 35-yard TD run by Jarett Sommer to make it a 7-6 game.
Another short punt and a penalty set up Tuckahoe at the Moriah 28 yard line on its next possession. Sommer broke free for a 25-yard scoring run to make ti 12-6.
Moriah was unable to move on its next possession and Tuckahoe again found itself with a great field position. This time the Tigers capitalized with a 1-yard TD plunge by Gary Jennings. They added the PAT and held a 19-7 edge
The Vikings showed some signs of life late in the first half, driving into Tuckahoe territory. Mascarenas booted a 30-yard field goal and Moriah trailed at the intermission, 19-10.
Any Moriah comeback hopes were dashed almost immediately in the third quarter. On the third play of the second half Sommer raced 50 yards for a touchdown to make it a 25-10 game.
Tuckahoe added another TD, this one on a 15-yard run by Kevin Garabitos.
Gilbo, who named Moriah's offensive player of the game, ran for 64 yards on 19 carries. Tom Ida added 26 yards on 10 runs.
Conner Rodriguez was named Moriah's defensive player of the game.