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Ossining catches Somers,14-13

Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 by Robert Lombardo


(Original publication: September 16, 2007)
OSSINING - It had been a frustrating second half for Ossining, and it found itself trailing Somers by six points with less than two minutes remaining in last night's League A-A football showdown.

Ossining had not yet been able to put any points on the board after intermission and it needed to find a way to do something about that in a hurry. It didn't take long for junior quarterback Justin Kreamer to decide where to turn. His name is Jesse Drinks.

"He's got speed and elusiveness and can make great cuts in the open field," Kreamer said of Drinks.

So, on second-and-10 from deep in his own territory, Kreamer lofted a pass as his 5-foot-7, 140-pound classmate sprinted down the sideline. Drinks hauled it in at midfield - and then the rest was pretty routine for someone whom coach Dan Ricci estimates runs the 40-yard dash in close to 4.3 seconds.

Drinks followed his 71-yard touchdown reception with a dramatic game-winning extra point as Ossining, ranked No. 2 in The Journal News Class A poll, pulled out a dramatic 14-13 win over the third-ranked Tuskers.

After Somers (1-1) drove from its own 40 to the Ossining 22, Drinks preserved the win with an interception in the closing seconds.

Drinks' catch - with 1:50 left - came on a pump-and-go play.

"All I remember is just running out the route, and then the ball was in my hands," Drinks said.

That one big catch was enough to erase a second half in which the Tuskers controlled play. On Somers' first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, junior fullback Rob Lombardo broke free for a 64-yard TD run. Colin Tullgren's point-after kick tied it at 7-7. Lombardo, who had gained just 22 yards on seven carries in the first half, finished with 182 yards on 24 carries.

Somers took a 13-7 lead when Dylan Haas scored from the Ossining 3 on fourth-and-goal with 5:58 remaining.

Ossining (2-0) scored its other TD on another long touchdown run. It came with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter when 6-4, 270-pound senior defensive end Jajuan Perez blocked a 34-yard field-goal attempt by Tullgren and teammate Jeff Ward scooped up the loose ball and returned it 80 yards for a score.

"That should never have happened," Somers coach Tony DeMatteo said. "We always tell them it's a live ball."

The victory marked the second straight year Ossining pulled out a close one against the Tuskers. It won last year's meeting 19-13 in Week 5, breaking a 13-13 fourth-quarter tie thanks to a pair of tricks plays - a fake punt and a halfback option pass on fourth down. In their rematch, Ossining again was aggressive with its play calling, recovering an onside kick to start the game.

Kreamer completed 7 of 18 passes for 158 yards to balanced out a strong ground gain led by James Brundage's 154 yards on 26 carries.

"We lost 20 players from last year, but we still have a lot of different weapons," Ricci said.

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