CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – John Jay broke out new black, purple and gold uniforms in a 48-6 homecoming win over Beacon on Saturday, Oct. 12.
“You look good, you feel good, you play good,” Coach Jimmy Clark said, tongue in cheek, about his team’s sleek new look.
In reviewing his team’s top performers, Clark focused on Ian Gallagher, who hauled in 4 receptions for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns.
“Ian’s made some big plays this year, but hasn’t gotten into the end zone,” Clark said.
Gallagher went over the middle both times and stood tall on the Luke Mercer darts. The first touchdown was set up by a 45-yard screen to Chris DiChiara on John Jay’s first play from scrimmage. The second grab had Gallagher pulling in a one-handed, 36-yard reception, giving the Indians a 20-0 lead at 1:31 in the first quarter.
Gallagher also notched an assist in between those two scores when Mercer’s pass bounced off the senior’s hand and Bobby Chang pulled in the popup in for a 13-0 lead.
The dangers of going over the middle are not lost on Gallagher, whose mind is more at ease with Mercer throwing strikes.
“It’s a little scary and you have to know where the safety is, but I have 100 percent confidence that Luke will put the ball where it needs to go,” Gallagher said.
The two-way player didn’t wait for his next chance on offense to get his hands on the ball either. Gallagher pulled in Jason Komisar’s sideline pass on first down and, following the change of possession, Nick Giardina was on the receiving end of Mercer’s fourth touchdown pass.
After throwing for 206 yards and leading John Jay to a 27-0 first-quarter lead, Mercer’s night was over. Giardina made the most of his reps by engineering three more long drives. On the ground and through the air, the backup accumulated 46 yards passing and 41 yards rushing with two touchdown runs.
“Nick was hurt for three games,” Clark said. “But he’s back now, has played several different roles and showed that he can run the offense.”
The depth should certainly help now that the Indians have secured the top seed in the Section 1 Class A tournament.
“We can only play who’s on the schedule,” Clark said. “We don’t look ahead and take it one game at a time.”
John Jay’s first playoff opponent is a familiar one. Beacon (2-4) returns to Cross River this weekend.