John Jay surpasses Yorktown in the homecoming thriller, age 27-25



CROSS RIVER – It’s a homecoming night that John Jay-Cross River will remember forever, and a game Yorktown can’t wait to forget.

In a bout of the Class A title contenders in Section 1 with a large crowd watching their first home game in two years, the Wolves took the lead at 27:25 on Friday night.

“It’s really special, I’ll remember it for the rest of my life,” said John Jay Sr. Tyler Paladino. “Being here with my brothers and pulling a ‘W’ out just means the world. … I thought our team would be executed on both sides of the ball – defense, attack matters and that’s what we do on offense. You can’t stop us on the offensive. “

Tyler Paladino (14) of John Jay-Cross River with a touchdown run during their 27:25 victory over Yorktown in soccer at John Jay-Cross River High School in Cross River on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

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In a game that included a total of five leadership changes, five ball losses, five stops at fourth residue and a tie, the Wolves’ unique offense provided the most important points to keep them in the to-and-fro fight.

Although the towering Craig Galea is the team’s main passer, John Jay can put a wide variety of players under the middle and frequently switch between their athletic talents.

“There are so many problems in defense,” said John Jay junior Chris DiChiara. “I’m not sure how they line up with us. The defense won’t know if I will be with QB, Tyler, Craig – it can be anyone. We can throw out of any formation, run, and we just have so many possibilities.”

Chris DiChiara (15) of John Jay-Cross River works outside of Yorktown's Billy Fleeks (15) during their 27:25 victory over Yorktown in soccer at John Jay-Cross River High School in Cross River on Saturday September 25th 2021.

Yorktown also had its share of playmakers, with Marco McKnight and Justin Meyereles breaking free for big running games.

Both teams were even offensive and collected 363 yards each. John Jay’s defense appeared to be making a few important stops, however, and penalties and mistakes hampered the Huskers.

The Wolves had a goal-line position in the last game of the first half to maintain their 14-13 lead.

They also ended the Huskers ‘game-tying two-point conversion attempt after a McKnight touchdown reduced the Wolves’ lead to 27:25, with 8:59 remaining in the game.

“It was a war and we came a little short, but the kids played hard and gave me everything they had,” said Yorktown coach Pantelis Ypsilantis. “… (The penalties and mistakes) were tough. Sloppy play, when it matters most, is tough, but that’s up to me. I want us to have the confidence to act in these situations and just take what what’s right in front of us and don’t have these mental flaws. We just have to keep working on it. “

John Jay-Cross River defeated Yorktown on Saturday 25th.

Despite the setbacks, the Huskers had the chance to put together one last drive after the wolves had stopped. They digged deep into John Jay’s territory and converted in fourth place to keep the drive alive. However, a misdirected snap aided Yorktown and resulted in a 29 yard loss to overcome a second and 39 situation.

The wolves’ defense stood upright and held fast to win the game.

After the wolves failed in the Regional Bowl of Section 1 of Class A last season, they want to be back on the hunt for the title at the end of this fall. They will try to build on the exciting win and this could be the spark they needed to move forward.

You may have stumbled upon Lourdes on a season opener shootout, but they hope this will be their only flaw for the rest of the year.

“I think we’ll just keep rolling from here,” said Paladino. “I don’t think we’ll lose again for the rest of the season.”

Turning point

There were two notable moments in a game that had a lot of swing fluctuations.

The first was just before halftime when the Wolves filled the Huskers for a goal-line stand to maintain their 14-13 halftime lead.

The second came towards the end. After a big fourth downsack to win the ball, the Huskers drove cautiously into the field and even overcame a 2nd-and-33 situation. A bad snap, however, reduced their swing and resulted in a 2nd-and-39, and the ball was put back into their own territory. Yorktown couldn’t work its way out and John Jay was able to stop the Huskers for victory.

Player of the game

Tyler Paladino, John Jay Cross River: Of all the different players who had their turn to quarterback, Paladino seemed to be causing the Huskers the most trouble. He’s had important first down runs and groundbreaking touchdowns. He finished with 127 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries.

John Jay's Austin Zaccagnino, 20, makes a jump in the Wolves' 27:25 win over Yorktown at John Jay-Cross River High School on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

According to the numbers

John Jay Cross River (2-1) – Craig Galea went 13 of 18 for 143 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He also added 23 yards on the ground. Chris DiChiara ran for 65 yards and 17 carries. Austin Zaccagnino caught five passes for 113 yards and one touchdown.

Yorktown (1-2) – Marco McKnight amassed 221 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Justin Meyereles ran for 113 yards and a touchdown at 21 carries. He also completed 6 of 16 passes for 32 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown pass for Jack Carlin. Vincent Cappelli shot a pass from John Jay on the defensive. The Huskers had 14 penalties for 110 yards.


“We just stayed calm,” said Paladino. “At half-time we talked a lot about the fact that the last stop on the goal line before half-time was huge. That was the game-winning stop. From then on we just really played.”


John Jay will meet Mahopac on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Yorktown will receive rival Somers on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

Follow Eugene Rapay on Twitter at @ erapay5 and on Instagram at @byeugenerapay.


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