Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
Emotions were at an all-time high when the Jericho Jayhawks seniors took their home field for the last time on Saturday, Oct. 22. One by one each senior, including Seth Fried, Niko Alvarez, Jacob Albinder, Jordan Shenker, Jordan Brett, Maxx Marcus, Gary Gill, Alex Romanelli, Sameep Dhawan, Justin Platz and Matt Klang were congratulated for all their hard work for the Jericho football program.
Jericho received the ball first when Albinder returned the kickoff for a 16- yard return. The Jayhawks started on the 31-yard line, where Jordan Brett started right where he left off last week, lowering his head and shoulders to grind out first downs. Unsuccessful on their first drive, Jericho was forced to punt. Jericho’s defense came out a little soft after the Elmont Spartans marched down the field only to be stopped at the one yard line where Noah White stripped the ball from the Spartans running back and Ian Green dove on the loose ball to regain possession.
With Chandler Kirby behind center he took a one step drop and a quick dump pass to White, who bolted for the end zone for the Jayhawks first score. Jericho elected to go for two extra points and was unsuccessful, leaving the score 8-6.
Alvarez, who had an incredible first year playing football for Jericho, came up big with his fourth interception on the year. Kirby, later that series, burst through a hole on a fourth down to move the chains. With 1:26 in the half Elmont was marching down the field as they attempted a screen pass, intercepted by Gill. With time running out in the half, Jericho looked to put whatever points they could on the board as they called in kicker Jake Zorfas to attempt a 45-yard field goal, which fell just short. After the first half, Jericho was down 14-6 to the 4-2 Elmont Spartans.
On the first play from scrimmage during the second half, Elmont came out of the locker room with all cylinders firing and banged out a 64-yard run for a touchdown and converted on their two-point conversion to make the score Elmont 22, Jericho 6.
Elmont attempted an onside kick where Jason White stood strong and recovered the ball as Jericho took over first and 10 from their own 41-yard line. Elmont was then called for a pass interference penalty which brought the ball to the 20-yard line. Chandler ignited a spark and fought his way into the end zone for another Jericho score. The Spartans clogged up the middle to deny Jericho the two- point conversion. With 4:50 left in the third quarter Jericho was trailing 30-12 with the momentum shifting in Jericho’s direction. Kirby and Brett played well when the offense line was opening holes for multiple first downs. Coach Martinez was forced to go for it on fourth down, converting an outstanding pass to wide open Josh Harris for an 18-yard strike for six points. Kirby ran the two-point conversion in to make the score 30-20 with Jericho trailing halfway through the fourth quarter.
Zorfas cracked a great onside kick that tumbled right into the Elmont players hands. With Elmont in the lead, the QB surprisingly dropped back and launched a high wobbly pass, which Niko Alvarez sprung high in the air to generate his fifth interception this season. Not only did he pick it off, he sprinted down the sideline for a 40-yard return.
Jericho’s offense took the field after 46 minutes of fighting and crawling back could not convert one last first down. At that point Jericho was forced to try another field goal, 38 yards, which was just out of range for Zorfas.
Jericho’s last home game for this season proved to be similar to the others. They may have fell short on the score board, however their integrity, honor, determination, and character was way more than what the scores have portrayed. However, the season-ending game on a surprisingly snowy Oct. 29 was a different story altogether.
What a way to end a season: snow, sleet, rain, wind and cold. The Jayhawks took the field for the last time this season to play Great Neck South, in what could have been the worst conditions high school football has ever seen. The heavy rain and snow made for wicked conditions; the field was muddy to begin with and only deteriorated further as the game went on. From the first tackle, players would get wet and then full of mud, and temperatures in the 30s felt like the 20s due to the wind chill factor.
Jericho came out on top with a win 18-6 in a game none of these young men, coaches and families will never forget. Congratulations go out to the players, staff and parents who came out to support the Jayhawks all season. Their hard work this season resulted with a record of 3-5. For those returning next year, the Jayhawks are looking forward to what is in store for the Jericho Varsity football program.