WATERVILLE — The Watertown Red and Black owes its first victory of the season to its defense and special teams.
Twice in the final half of the fourth quarter Saturday, Mohawk Valley threatened to score and both times the Watertown defense stopped the attempts, preserving a 14-7 Empire Football League victory.
The first of the two threats came with five minutes remaining in the quarter and Mohawk Valley in the red zone. Mohawk Valley’s quarterback dropped back and aimed his pass toward the near-right pylon but instead of finding his receiver, he found Red and Black defensive back Tyler Hill. Hill intercepted the pass and returned it past the 50-yard line to the Mohawk Valley 40.
“He had a great interception and it bailed us out,” Red and Black offensive coach Jerry Levine said.
Hill finished with the interception and seven tackles.
After gaining little ground following Hill’s interception return, the Red and Black pinned Mohawk Valley at its own 15-yard-line with a punt. The Nighthawks made their way to mid-field before failing to convert on a fourth-and-one that ended the game.
The Red and Black (1-3) struck early, scoring all of its points in the first quarter. Running back TJ Williams ran in the score each time, the first from 6 yards out and the second from 3. He finished with 18 rushing yards on five carries.
Watertown quarterback Jared Hendricks went 9-for-19 with 135 passing yards and one interception. Chris Furr hauled in three of those throws for 42 yards, Keegan Queior had two catches for 41 yards, Daniel Weaver had three catches for 30 yards and Joe Brennan two catches for 27 yards.
Mohawk Valley’s only score was a 10-yard run that came with 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Red and Black do not play next weekend as scheduled opponent Seaway Valley forfeited its season, meaning Watertown will claim a forfeit victory.