Friday, 14 September 2012 09:15
Saturday, Sept. 8, could have been like any other opening day for Varsity football, however, reminiscent of the tornado-like winds in the area that day, the Jericho Jayhawks blew into Locust Valley and beat Friends Academy 25-8. The afternoon was filled with high winds and fumbles as the crowd was entertained by freshman Donovan Condon, who ran for 93 yards during his varsity debut.
With the wind at his back, Jericho kicker Jake Zorfas started off by booting one into the end zone for a touchback, where Friends started their first drive from the 20-yard line. The Friends’ quarterback went to pitch the ball to his running back, which was fumbled, on the first play of the game; Jericho recovered the ball. Four plays later, Ian Green handed off to Condon who ran for a 14-yard touchdown. The extra point was good, and the score was 7-0 Jericho at only three minutes into the first quarter.
Friends Academy got the ball back and ate up nine minutes on their next drive, which ended with a two-yard run and a successful two point conversion that gave Friends a 8-7 lead. Alec Stern returned the kickoff to the Jericho 31-yard line. With both teams continuing to battle 30-mile-per hour winds, Jericho fumbled and gave the ball back to Friends. Six plays later, Friends returned the favor when Jericho recovered another Friends fumble.
Condon was gaining yard after yard, and then Coach Martinez called on Josh Harris, who then gained 26 yards. Green dropped back and launched a floater into the wind to Stern for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks were unsuccessful in their two-point conversion and made the score 13-8. With time running out in the first half, Jericho’s defense stepped it up a notch when Kevin Zhao, Alex Gerome and Noah White put pressure on the Friends’ quarterback, and held the opposing team to only 8 points in the first half.
Jericho started the second half by returning the kick for a touchdown, but it was called back due to an illegal block. Senior Chandler Kirby came back after recovering from an ankle sprain on the first play of the game, racking up a 17-yard run and giving Jericho another first down as the team kept marching down the field, eating up valuable time. On fourth down, with four yards to go for a first down, Coach Martinez went to junior kicker Jake Zorfas to attempt a 37-yard field goal into the wind. The refs stood under the cross bars and watched the high floater cross over as they raised their arms, proclaiming the kick good: the score was then 16-8 Jericho.
Friends turned over the ball again and Jason White jumped all over the loose ball on the Friends’ 49-yard line with only 4:19 left in the third quarter. With Friends pushed back to the four-yard line, Jericho’s defense pressured them, causing a safety that White recovered. After the kick return, it was Jericho’s turn to fumble and turn the ball over yet again. After the turnover, Jericho held Friends on a fourth down as Spencer Shapiro made one of his seven tackles of the game.
Harris ripped off 33 more yards, totaling 103 yards for the day, when he set up Green for a five-yard touch down run. The extra point was good to make the final score 25-8, and the Jericho Jayhawks won their season opener.
Everyone is welcome to come down and support the Jericho Jayhawks at their next game this weekend on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1:30 at Cantiague Park.