This past Sunday, the 1st place trophy was on the line in the PAL-PYA Senior Division (6-7 grade) at Lion's Field, as the undefeated Royal Blue team, with a record of 3-0-2, played the Black "Raiders," who had a record of 3-1-1. Earlier in the season, the two teams played to a 6-6 tie in a game that featured lots of hard hitting. This time around, the Black "Raiders" prevailed 26-0 to take home the trophy.
On Black's first possession, they resolutely marched down the field, led by the inside running of Timmy Pond and Connor English. Jeff Molinari ran around the right end for a nice gain, and then Connor English, who had 3 touchdowns and an extra point on the day, broke free around the other end for the score.
After a well placed and long kickoff by Chris Martelli, the Blue team came out to try to even the score. However, Black's "Raiders" lived up to their name, forcing a punt after three downs. Throughout the game, Blacks defensive ends, Vinnie Bilms and Franco Signorini, forced the play back inside, so that the front four of Kyle Lewis, Nick Marchetti, Timmy Pond, and Joe Vanderberg, along with middle linebacker Connor English were able to make tackles. Outside linebackers Jeff Molinari and Bob Ferris, who later in the game had an interception, also helped control the outside, and rotated pass coverage with safeties Peter D'Agnes and Chris Martelli.
Once again with the ball, Black scored when Timmy Pond bounced outside, but Blue denied the point after on a fine play by John Frocarro, Nick Omeltchenko, and Frank Miscoscia. Blue quarterback John Frocarro tried to rally his team with a series of handoffs, bootlegs, and passes, but Black held firm. The half ended 12-0.
In the second half, Frocarro and D.J. Rich ran the ball, but Blue had to punt. Black again was on the march, with a series of tough runs by English, Pond, and Molinari. Blue made the "Raiders" work hard for yardage with John Duvnjak, who played a great defensive game, and Noah Todaro making stops. Black scored on a reverse from quarterback Vinnie Bilms to Molinari to English. Once again, Blue denied the point after with hard-nosed defense up the middle.
Time was clearly not in favor of the Blue team, and they started to throw the ball. Frocarro did all he could to will his team back in to the game, but Black safeties Peter D'Agnes and John Maisano covered the receivers well, leaving Frocarro to scramble. Black once again got the ball, and after runs behind the good blocking of Sean McNamara and Robert Maisano, Connor English benefited from a huge hole made by Jack Grogan and Franco Signorini, and ran 40 yards for a TD. Nick Marchetti went off tackle for the extra point.