YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Spurred on by an inspiring pregame ceremony honoring Yorktown’s first responders and veterans, the fifth-seeded Yorktown football squad jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and rolled to a 40-6 victory against visiting Hendrick Hudson (No. 12) in the qualifying round of the Section 1 Class A Tournament on Oct. 18.
“If you are wondering why our town is so special, you saw it first-hand this evening,” said Yorktown coach Mike Rescigno. “Hats off to our first responders and veterans. Our football program and school community were humbled by your presence this evening.”
As for the game, the win earned the Huskers a quarterfinal contest at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at No. 4 Brewster.
The teams last met in 2015, also a quarterfinal contest held at Brewster. Yorktown won that game, 35-7, behind Nick Santavicca’s 22 carries, 239 yards and 3 touchdowns.
“The key to winning the next game is to keep last year’s season in the back of our heads,” said Yorktown’s Dylan Smith, referring to last year’s 4-5 campaign. “Last year was the worst season Yorktown football had in a while and it shouldn’t have been like that. We can’t let this program go downhill. This program is an honor to play in and I think everyone knows that. We have the best coaches, working day and night, a team that is completely dedicated, as well as demanding success, and the best community anyone can ask for.”
Smith said that what enabled Yorktown to jump out to a 21-0 halftime lead against Hen Hud was its emotion.
“Emotions took over that game, along with a phenomenal game plan the coaches put together,” Smith said.
Smith (10 carries, 104 yards) increased the lead to 27-0 with a long touchdown run with 4:13 remaining in the third quarter, a play that developed from the excellent blocking of tight end Mike Benzinger; linemen Matteo Cermele, Jack Tinari, Johnny Bowen, Eddie Capone and Gerald Gentile; and fullback Benjamin Robinson.
“It felt amazing scoring that touchdown, because most teams tend to settle down after halftime, especially when they’re up a lot of points, but our team kept playing like every play was our last,” Smith said. “The linemen were doing their jobs, especially on that play, and that’s all that we have to do. Every person just has to do their job. We’ve been doing amazing so far and we tend to keep it that way moving forward.”
Trevvon Johnson (7 carries, 80 yards, 1 TD), Sean Vogel (1 carry, 70 yards, 1 TD), Keith Boyer (3 carries, 74 yards, 2 TD) and Anthony Cicinelli (1 carry, 15 yards) also produced on the ground for the Huskers.
Robinson (2 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD), Benzinger (3 receptions, 37 yards), and Vogel (1 reception, 10 yards) did the job receiving-wise.
Defensively, Yorktown was led by Gabe Valentin (6 tackles), Anthony DeBenedictis (3 sacks) and Ryan O’Connor (1 interception).
Husker placekicker Josh Leffel converted on 5 of 7 PAT attempts while teammate Daniel O’Brien had seven kickoffs, including a long of 50 yards.
Yorktown’s playoff run continues at 7 p.m. Friday, when the Huskers travel to Brewster.