MAHOPAC, N.Y.— As he went out on the field to warm up before the Section 1 Class A football championship game against defending state champion Somers, Yorktown senior captain Brett Makar simply uttered the words, “We have been waiting for this all year.”
The wait was well worth it for Makar and everyone else in the Yorktown football family.
Makar, who was named the game’s most outstanding back, ran for 213 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries in leading the top-seeded Huskers to a 21-7 triumph against No. 6 Somers in front of a standing-room-only crowd on Nov. 3 at Mahopac High School.
The win gave Yorktown its first sectional crown since 1998 and sweet revenge after Somers beat the Huskers 42-6 in the championship game a year ago.
“I have so many emotions right now. I can’t even describe it,” said Makar, who will play lacrosse at 2017 national champion University of Maryland. “Every time I think about it, it just gets more and more surreal. I have been dreaming about this since I was a little kid, since third grade. Football is my first love. Obviously, I’m playing lacrosse in college but I started playing football and that is the first thing I ever fell in love with. For everything to come full circle with this group to now, senior year, to win a section championship is very satisfying but we are not done yet. We want to keep going.”
Yorktown, which won state titles in 1993 and 1994, will keep going as it now will face Cornwall, winners of seven straight Section 9 titles, at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at Dietz Stadium in Kingston in a state quarterfinal.
Makar ignited the Huskers with a 51-yard touchdown run with 3:54 remaining in the third quarter, cutting Somers’ lead to 7-6. The extra point was blocked by Somers’ Antonio Vieira.
“After Brett got that long touchdown run, we just rode behind him,” Yorktown senior captain Brandon Meyreles said. “We got the momentum going and defensively we played great. Coach (Mike Rescigno) had a great game plan going in and to put 21 points on the board in the second half was great to see.”
Yorktown pulled ahead 14-7 with 9:26 left in the fourth quarter, as quarterback Tommy Weaver converted on a fourth-and-3 with Meyreles for a 26-yard touchdown pass. Weaver then hit Naim Sinanaj on the 2-point conversion.
“It felt very good to complete that pass to Brandon,” Weaver said. “The first half we were struggling a lot. We didn’t have much of a passing game and that really opened it up for us.”
Weaver added that winning the title was an amazing feeling.
“It’s been so long since we’ve gotten one,” Weaver said. “After the work that we put in, in the offseason, all during the regular season, it feels phenomenal.”
Weaver and Meyreles hooked up because Yorktown perfectly executed the run-pass option.
“We were killing them with the run all game so we eventually hit them with a [run-pass option],” Meyreles said. “I had a little quick hitter. I caught it and just walked into the end zone.”
Alex Ujkaj, who always seems to make a big play, did it again when he blocked a punt deep in Somers’ territory and recovered it for a touchdown.
“Thank God I got my hand on it and I was able to recover it,” Ujkaj said. “It was just amazing.”
Chris Perrino’s extra point put Yorktown up 21-7 with 7:31 left in the contest with Benjamin Robinson’s interception with 2:53 remaining sealing the title.
“I am so happy for my coaching staff and all the kids that came so close and to go all the way,” Rescigno said. “It’s just a beautiful thing.”
It was a championship as much for the players in the past as the current Huskers (10-0).
“It’s for Scotty Weaver, Tyler Makar, Joe Blume, Joey Costello, Timmy Forbes, Mike Dedvukaj, Nicky Santavicca and so many other great players, that had been knocking on the door,” Makar said. “They set the tone for this program and for us to finish it is really special.”