Troy clinches playoff spot with last-second victory over Athens on Friday

TROY — A crosstown clash set the stage as two bitter rivals both looked to use the regular-season finale to snap a significant streak.

Troy High came out victorious, topping Troy Athens 20-19 with a thrilling finish Oct. 20 on the road. After failing to notch a first down once in the entire second half, the Colts put together a final possession that moved the chains three times.

Senior Givon Cinque capped off the comeback, pulling down an 11-yard touchdown catch with 24.2 seconds remaining. An extra point provided the necessary margin of victory.

"We just had to get it done," Cinque said amidst a raucous on-field celebration. "The last play, I saw the ball and knew I had to catch it. It was mine to go up and get."

The win handed the Colts (6-3, 4-3 OAA White) a sixth victory on the season, securing a spot in the playoffs — a perk Troy has not enjoyed since 2009.

"To be honest, this is the greatest feeling I've ever had," Cinque continued. "Since my freshman year I've dreamed about this. This means a lot to the program. We're on the map now."

The Colts utilized a strong defensive effort, forcing six turnovers. First-year coach Chris Frasier praised both sides of the ball, taking pride in a never-say-die attitude.

"I told the kids at the beginning of this week, this could be our last game, so we have to play with no holds barred," Frasier said. "We had to put it all out on the field. We just stuck it out, and at the end when we needed, it we went down and scored a touchdown."