For the Waterville Indians, who pushed their 2019 season farther than any other football team in school history, the end came on the final play of the game.
After a four-hour bus ride, on a Hale Transportation bus driven by Vinny Sullivan, the Indians arrived in Mahopec to take on Section One winner Tuckahoe. The Tigers had a 35-mile ride, but the fans from Waterville about equaled the Tuckahoe ones, minus their Marching Band.
Training 12-6, the Indians came 12 yards after from tying the game in the final 45 seconds. The Tigers stopped the run and three pass attempts to hold on for the win.
Waterville finished the season 7-4 after earning an at-large spot as one of eight teams playing for the state’s Class D championship. Senior Darren Johnson was awarded the Most Outstanding Back of the Game after rushing for 95 yards on 19 carries.
Waterville lost for the first time as the away team this season. Injuries to three Waterville starters by early in the second half sent those players to the bench for the remainder of the game.
Playing at Mahopec - a High School with an enrollment of 1,600 - Waterville was at least in Indians Country, as the sign said over the turf field. Tuckahoe, which came into the game 8-1, elected to receive the ball as the game started in 46 degree weather.
Sending a signal for how the game would go, Johnson registered the first two tackles of the game, both for loss and sending the Tiers to a 3rd and 17, then minus 5 yards after a Waterville penalty. Johnson had eight tackles and half a sack.
He then stopped the run on 3rd and 12, forcing the Tigers to punt. Waterville took the ball…