SOMERS, N.Y. – Two losses to Somers, including a defeat in last year’s qualifying round, stayed with Yorktown’s football team throughout the offseason.
The Huskers were ready for their chance at redemption in Week 2.
Dylan Smith and Keith Boyer proved too much for Somers, combining for 487 yards of offense. Yorktown closed the game on a 17-0 run to pull off a 30-12 victory on Sept. 13.
With 2:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, the lights went out and the game was called.
“We love being the underdogs,” Smith said. “[Somers] is a great team and has great players. Their coach (Tony DeMatteo) is amazing and it was a great game. Since last year we’ve been coming for vengeance against this team. We worked all summer long since school ended. Our coaches were preparing 24/7 and were up all night after our first game preparing for Somers. Our line was amazing, our backs were amazing and our quarterback was meshing perfectly.”
Following Jack Kaiser’s 69-yard touchdown run, host Somers cut rival Yorktown’s lead to a point, 13-12, just over a minute into the third quarter. Kaiser barreled over multiple Yorktown defenders along the way.
But the Huskers answered with a 29-yard field goal from Josh Leffel to extend the lead to 16-12 with 2:09 left in the third quarter.
Smith flew for a 40-yard touchdown on third-and-inches to make it 23-12 with 10:43 left in the fourth quarter. The senior, who was banged up with injuries last season, rushed for 259 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. It often took more than one Tusker defender to take him down.
“He had a tweaked up knee last year and he was just never right,” Yorktown coach Mike Rescigno said. “He said at the beginning of this year, ‘I feel good, Coach. I just feel like a different player this year because it’s not in the back of my mind.’”
Boyer then added an insurance touchdown on the Huskers’ next possession, going 38 yards off tackle to close out the scoring.
“We’ve been talking about adversity for weeks and weeks,” Rescigno said when asked about how the team responded with a 17-0 run when Somers cut their lead to one point. “We played them last year (during the regular season) and we were up by two touchdowns. We let them back in and we ended up losing. It was a defining moment in our season last year. It was a learning moment for me and for our kids. This group of kids has bought in. I said, ‘Look, something’s going to go down that you’re going to have to overcome.’ And they did. They knew it was coming. They were talking about it on the sideline. Our kids fought today, man.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Yorktown quarterback Trevvon Johnson found Boyer on a swing pass to his left. Boyer, a lacrosse star, caught the ball one-handed then used his speed to fly along the sideline 90 yards for a touchdown. Less than a minute later, Smith scored on a 46-yard run with 8:24 left in the second quarter. The kick was wide left but Yorktown had a 13-0 lead.
Somers marched down the field and scored on a Jackson Kossow 1-yard quarterback sneak with 1:15 left in the first half. A mishandled snap sent the game into halftime with Yorktown leading 13-6.
Yorktown had a chance to take a lead midway through the first quarter, but Boyer was stripped by Kenny McGrane at the 1-yard line and Daniel Rios recovered for Somers in the end zone.
Somers struggled to move the ball at times as Yorktown’s defense bottled up their running game and limited the pass efficiently.
“We tried to mix up our fronts and keep them guessing, “ Rescigno said. “We knew their quarterback was going to be a pretty mobile guy. He looked pretty good on film. Kaiser is a special player so you’ve got to take away the inside and then their outside threat is always legitimate. The defensive game plan was awesome. I’m so proud of my staff.”
Boyer caught four passes from Johnson for 156 yards. Johnson was 6 of 12 on pass attempts for 182 yards and the one touchdown pass. He also rushed for 59 yards.
Gabe Valentin had two sacks to lead the Husker defense.
Yorktown looks to stay undefeated when it hosts Tappan Zee at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.
“We knew this game could springboard us into a different type of season,” Rescigno said of the win over Somers. “This is a rivalry that’s rich and to win this, there’s nothing that feels greater than to beat a storied program like Somers and a coach like that.”