W hitehall’s Josh Hoagland played a pivotal role in leading his team to a dramatic comeback in the Section II Exceptional Seniors game last Thursday played at Steuerwald Stadium at Shenedehowa High School.
With his side trailing 21-0 halfway through the third quarter, Hoagland scored on a 22-yard touchdown run to spark a 28-0 run and lead the North to a 28-21 victory over the South.
Hoagland was the game’s second-leading rusher as he tallied 58 yards on eight carries.
Schenectady’s Kwame Harris hooked up with Shenedehowa’s Kyle Buss on a 40-yard pass for the decisive touchdown with just over three minutes left in the game.
Hoagland set up the go-ahead touchdown pass with four straight runs for 13 yards before Harris rolled to his left and hit Buss for the go-ahead score.
The South had scored on three touchdown passes in the second quarter to take a 21-0 lead at the half, but the North defense stiffened in the second half, holding the South to a single first down and 15 total yards in the game’s final two quarters.
Shenedehowa’s Corey Acker scored on a 10-yard run with less than a minute left in the third quarter to cut the lead to a single touchdown and Stillwater’s Liam Kane added the game-tying score on an eight-yard run halfway through the fourth quarter.
The North compiled nearly 200 yards of total offense in the second half.
The game, which has been held annually for the last 25 years, showcases the best senior players from Section II. Hoagland was Whitehall’s only representative this year and one of only three players from Class D North.