CHESHIRE -- The Hoosac Valley Hurricanes and Taconic Braves struggled to find momentum and intensity for much of the first half.
Both teams had their opening drives stall on downs and both quarterbacks threw early interceptions.
Hoosac's Tyler Mach had already made one interception and stole the momentum for the Hurricanes with another midway through the second quarter, setting up a 33-8 rout of the Braves on Saturday.
He picked off Taconic's Drew Scace at his own 45-yard line and allowed the Hurricanes' offense to stay on the sideline by returning the ball for six points, giving his team a two score lead and all the momentum heading into the second half.
"I think that was one of the biggest plays of the day," Hoosac's Ian Hill said. "I think it was 6-0 at that point and it got us up, we needed to get more and he gave it to us. That was a huge momentum swing."
Mach was able to come up the interceptions on both plays in open space. He turned the second one into six points by out running all of the Braves and then cutting to the opposite side of the field to beat Scace for the touchdown.
"We really felt like we could run the ball against these guys, we have most of our guys back and healthy and we felt like we could run it," Hoosac coach Dayne Poirot said. "We just didn't have any spark and we really play off of emotion. Tyler made a great play to give it to us."
The Hurricanes played like a different
Hoosac never allowed the Braves to snatch the momentum back, winning the turnover battle 4-2. Taconic was also able to muster just six first downs throughout the game, being held to 173 yards.
"We all stepped up and made some big plays in the second," Mach said. "We just weren't intense or ready to play I think. We knew we were a better team than how we played in the first half. The big thing with out team is intensity and once we got it we all stepped up."
Hoosac was missing tailback Matt Braman for the game due to an illness, but the running game wasn't slowed. The Hurricanes continued to rotate different backs in giving four runners seven or more carries.
Junior Ian Hill had the big gains for the Hurricanes, covering 132 yards on only eight carries. He had three rushes of 25 or more yards and scored two touchdowns. Seniors Blake Gaylord and Colby Gage accounted for the other two scores. Gage had a team-high 10 carries and ran for 64 yards, while Gaylord covered 59 yards. Mach accounted for 61 yards.
"It's good to have that, we have to mix it up with all of our different backs," Gage said. "We all have different abilities, some are fast, some have good vision, some are power runners. It helps us a lot."