BREWSTER, N.Y. – The fifth-seeded Yorktown football squad broke open a close game late to win 35-7 at No. 4 Brewster, in its Section 1 Class A quarterfinal contest, on Oct. 25.
The Huskers (7-1) were spurred on by their hearty student body, “The Crop.”
“It [meant] the world, pulling out a huge victory in front of all those fans from the best community,” said Yorktown senior captain Dylan Smith. “Yorktown is an amazing place. Everyone is so close, it’s just one huge family. The best part is we all love each other.”
Yorktown’s next game is a semifinal showdown at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at No. 1 John Jay (Cross River). It is the Huskers’ fifth Final Four berth in the last six years.
“Playing John Jay will be a true test to where we stand in our section,” said Yorktown senior quarterback Trevvon Johnson. “This following practice week needs to be filled with hard work and focus if we intend on fulfilling our goals.”
Smith feels the key to winning the semifinal contest will be emotion as well as toughness.
“The coaches will do what they need to do and we trust them with everything,” Smith said. “Everyone just has to do their job. Of course there will be mistakes, just like in every game, but it’s how you act from that mistake. Will you let it get to you or will you make up for it?”
Smith rushed for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns on 19 carries while catching 2 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown in an epic performance against the Bears.
“Dylan is a man amongst children as we call him. Personally I believe he’s one of the best downhill runners in our state,” Johnson said. “When he’s feeling it, he’s feeling it.”
Trailing 7-0, Johnson (5 for 7, 54 yards passing, 11 carries, 67 yards rushing), and Smith, hooked up on an electric 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth and 8, with 1:03 remaining in the opening quarter.
Smith out-jumped a Brewster defender, to catch Johnson’s pass at the 5-yard line, near the left sideline, before running it into the end zone. The first of five Josh Leffel PAT’s tied the game at 7-7.
“The 31-yard touchdown to Dylan was a play we’ve secretly been brewing up in practice,” Johnson said. “Dylan is an athlete, and I trust him one on one vs anyone. On fourth down when the play was called, I knew I could get the ball to him and he would come down with it and that’s exactly what happened.”
Smith gave Yorktown a 14-7 halftime advantage, when he went around the left corner, on a 6-yard touchdown run, with 7:44 remaining in the second quarter.
Smith put the dagger in when he broke a tackle on a 45-yard touchdown scamper on fourth and one, giving Yorktown a 21-7 lead, with 7:50 to go in the game.
“The key in that 45-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter was obviously the linemen,” Smith said. “They just did their job to the fullest and I did mine. It was a fantastic play call by the coaches. From that run, Brewster was starting to wind down and we kept pumping and repping the brand we love.”
Once again excelling at blocking against Brewster were tight end Mike Benzinger, fullback Benjamin Robinson and linemen Matteo Cermele, Jack Tinari, Johnny Bowen, Eddie Capone and Gerald Gentile.
“Yes, that is the line, the best line in the section,” Smith said.
A 1-yard touchdown run by Smith and a 68-yard scoring jaunt by Dean Patierno finished the scoring.
Highlighting Yorktown’s defensive effort was Robinson (11 tackles, 1 interception), Nicholas Mehta (8 tackles), Vincent Cappelli (6 tackles), Gabe Valentin (5 tackles), with Smith, Cermele, Alex DeBenedictis and Sean Vogel, recording 1 sack apiece.
“After the first quarter, we shut down Brewster’s offense,” Smith said. “This was all because of the coach’s game plan as well as the intensity our defense was bringing. We were flying every play and it was working to perfection.”