GLENS FALLS — Tony DeLoatch was begging for the football.
With time running out on the Glens Falls Greenjackets’ playoff hopes Saturday night, DeLoatch was frustrated by a failed drive on the previous possession against Plattsburgh’s tough defense.
So when the Jackets’ burly tailback got the ball midway through the fourth quarter, he was taking it to the house, no matter what.
“There was no denying me — I was in my zone,” DeLoatch said of his third touchdown run, a 25-yard ramble through the left side with 5:32 left in regulation. “The line did a great job blocking. I trusted my family on this team to make the blocks, and they did.”
Then, the smallest player on the field — Jackets placekicker Anthony Willette — booted the extra point to put Glens Falls ahead for good, 33-32, in an Empire Football League victory over the North Stars at East Field.
The Jackets — who had rallied from a 32-20 third-quarter deficit — still had to sweat out two final possessions by Plattsburgh. The first ended with an interception by Jon Hammond, the Jackets’ fifth of the night.
The North Stars’ last gasp ended at midfield with a minute to play, as quarterback Harry Rascoe was hit by Dom Rivers and his fumble was recovered by Glens Falls’ Orrin Logan.
The win gave the Jackets a 4-5 record — two wins are forfeits over Seaway Valley, which didn’t field a team this season — and dropped Plattsburgh to 5-4. Glens Falls needs a win at Mohawk Valley in the regular-season finale on Saturday to ensure a playoff spot.
You have free articles remaining.
“It was a great team effort — they didn’t give up, they were down but they stuck together, and they came through with a big win,” Jackets head coach Raymond Swann said. “Now we have to secure the next one.”
DeLoatch finished with 61 yards on 12 rushes, adding touchdown runs of 11 and 3 yards. Quentin Austin added 48 yards and another touchdown on 13 carries before leaving with a leg injury.
On a night when the Greenjackets mixed things up — Tyler Brown made his first start at quarterback, with Hammond switching to cornerback and DeLoatch working out of a wildcat formation at times — Glens Falls found itself in another shootout with Plattsburgh. The North Stars had beaten the Jackets 28-27 back on Aug. 3.
Winston Jackson put the Jackets on the board first with a 45-yard punt return. However, in a back-and-forth game, Plattsburgh kept the pressure on, getting three scoring passes from Rascoe and slashing runs from Zachary Raymond.
The Jackets took a 20-19 halftime lead on Quentin Austin’s 20-yard run up the gut and Willette’s PAT with 3:29 left in the second quarter.
However, Plattsburgh pulled ahead in the third as Rascoe found Hunter Nunez-Wales down the sideline for a 62-yard touchdown strike, then added a 1-yard sneak for another score. DeLoatch’s score early in the fourth quarter pulled the Jackets within 32-26.
The Jackets’ defense came up big when needed. They got two interceptions from Akil Anthony, as well as picks by Jackson and Rivers, and a huge sack by Tony Green on Plattsburgh's final possession. Rivers’ interception set up DeLoatch’s go-ahead touchdown run.
“We just adjusted and overcame adversity,” Jackets linebacker Jake Gregory said. “When it came down to the fourth quarter, we showed everyone what we’ve worked for. Our D-line stepped up in the fourth.”
Follow Pete Tobey on Twitter @PTobeyPSVarsity.