Role reversal: Gutsy call sparks Somers

Posted Sunday, September 28, 2014 by Carolyn Fazzinga


Role reversal: Gutsy call sparks Somers

by Kevin Devaney Jr.

Fourth down, 17 yards to go. It’s typically not the time to take a risk, especially when you’re trailing by two points with just over three minutes to play.

Somers, though, needed a spark against John Jay-Cross River. And that spark turned out to be Tyler DeVito.

“We knew we had our backs against the wall and that play would be what decided the game,” said DeVito, a senior receiver. “We’ve been practicing that play all week and we knew we had it in a big moment.”

That play was a reverse, which DeVito took and ran 60 yards untouched for the winning touchdown, propelling the two-time Section 1 Class A champs to a crucial 26-21 victory.

“There was no doubt that we were going to try something,” Tuskers coach Tony DeMatteo said. “They were moving the ball too well. Even if we (punted) and stopped them, we’d only have a minute left. It was sink or swim.”

DeMatteo, in his 45th season, said he’s had that reverse in his playbook for as long as he’s been coaching but only has used it 10-15 times in his career.

The legendary coach picked his spot wisely on Saturday.

“I was anticipating the call. But I felt we were going to go for it,” DeVito said. “We are confident in our players that we’re going to get the job done. That’s what happened today.”

The matchup of two of Section 1’s top four teams in Class A came down to the final minute with John Jay (3-1) driving to the Somers (3-1) 24-yard line with 1:24 to play.

But their comeback attempt was squashed when Matt Morgante intercepted a pass with 46 seconds left.

“I knew I needed to make a play for my team,” Morgante said. “I wanted to step it up and I did.”

Tim Fazzinga led Somers with 127 yards rushing and a touchdown on 14 carries. Joe Spor ran for 57 yards and a score and Matt Senzamici ran for a 65-yard score in the win.

Tommy Castelluccio was a force up front on both sides of the line for Somers. He had nine tackles on defense and guided an offense that ran for 385 yards, averaging 9.4 per carry.

John Jay’s vaunted offense moved the ball surprisingly-well all afternoon on Somers but failed to capitalize on several occasions.

“The key to the game is moving the ball and eating the clock,” DeMatteo said. “And keeping that ‘Star Wars offense’ off the field.”

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