YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.— Before Yorktown’s football game with visiting Peekskill on Sept. 28 even got started, the crowd was already whipped into a frenzy.
That was thanks to Yorktown student Caroline Garti’s sterling rendition of the national anthem on a night Yorktown’s student body, “The Crop,” wore pink T-shirts as money was raised in its “Pink Out” in the fight against cancer on senior night.
Yorktown then fed off that emotionally charged atmosphere, specifically sophomore Dylan Smith, who tallied team highs in both rushing yards, 81, and touchdowns, three, on seven carries in the Huskers’ 60-13 victory. The Huskers also garnered their fourth league title in the last eight years.
“It was an honor leading the team in rushing yards and touchdowns but it was because of the blocks I had and learning from all the senior backs teaching me every day how to get better,” Smith said. “It meant a lot to me because we were home, it was the first pink out and everyone from Yorktown cares about cancer more than anything. Also, senior night it was great because all the parents were there and it was the best feeling.”
The Huskers were ready to play from the start, according to senior captain Brett Makar (76 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns) and it showed, as they jumped out to a 33-0 halftime lead.
“We really came out fired up. We haven’t started a game right out of the gates in a couple of weeks and really wanted to get back to the mentality of coming out of the locker room ready to go,” Makar said. “The players and coaches in practice this week continued to preach playing a full four quarters. Especially on senior night it was an exciting game to do just that in.”
Richie Giannasca, Michael Broder and Frank Francese also scored rushing touchdowns for a Yorktown squad that ran for 322 yards on 26 carries.
“Our rushing game was so efficient last night because of our blockers and how focused we were to put Peekskill down early in the game and get the other players in as quick as possible,” Smith said.
Alex Ujkaj added a receiving touchdown for the Huskers, who were led defensively by Benjamin Robinson’s eight tackles.
“Defensively, we played as good as we did because of the game plan our coaches had prepared all week for us,” Smith said. “The No. 1 thing was to stop the quarterback from scrambling or getting a hole and that’s what we did.”
As for winning the league, Makar said it’s a nice accolade to have and it’s a great thing to have won it the last few seasons.
“But you really lose track of something like that when you are focused on trying to compete with the great teams in Section 1,” Makar said. “This team especially, always is trying to have our mind on the bigger picture, and right now that is getting ready for next week and a good football team in Lourdes.”
The game at Our Lady of Lourdes at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 will be a battle of two 5-0 squads.
“Lourdes is a great program which has already proven themselves as one of the top teams this season,” Makar said. “It is definitely one of those games you circle on the calendar that are very easy to get excited for. It’s an exciting way to end the season heading into the playoffs. There’s a lot on the line for both teams so hopefully we can have a great week of practice and get ready for another tough opponent.”