Commodores rout Madison

Commodores rout Madison
Photo by Ken Maldonado
By Joseph Staszewski

The week began and ended with Jason Levitt shedding tears.

The Bayside football coach couldn’t help but think about his mother Anne as he prepared to face James Madison. She died at the age of 65 from scleroderma, an autoimmune that hardens blood vessels and can affect vital organs, the morning of the Commodores’ meeting with the Knights last season.

That game ended up being an excruciating one-point defeat after Bayside blew a 21-point, fourth-quarter lead. Levitt, who turned 37 last week, asked for a different outcome this time: a win for his birthday and his mom.

“He cried after we watched the film on Monday,” running back Trevon Moe said. “This game meant a lot to him.”

Levitt, who isn’t shy about showing emotion, cried again when he huddled with his team after a 37-6 home rout of Madison in PSAL Bowl Conference football Sunday afternoon. His mom was again on his mind.

“She is like my best friend,” Levitt said. “She and my dad. Losing her is ridiculous. I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.”

The players cheered his and his mom’s name. Levitt hugged his dad Mark after the victory. His father thanked the players for playing for the Levitt family in the locker room after.

The coach’s story particularly hit home with quarterback Henry McCoy. The Susan Wagner transfer is new to the team, but not new to loss. His mom died three years ago. It made it easier to connect with the story Levitt told during the week and fueled him to win.

“I felt it because I lost my mom, too,” McCoy said. “It made me feel good and it definitely made my team feel good to help a man that helps us every day.”

Bayside’s playmakers helped themselves to chunks of yards and numerous big plays. The Commodores (2-0), who were without injured captains Antonio Agro and Bert Cuza, scored 29 unanswered points after Madison (0-1) pulled within 8-6 early in the second quarter. Moe carried the ball five times for 119 yards and touchdowns of 68 and 34 yards.

McCoy completed five of eight passes for 94 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Plaza. McCoy also ran for a 2-yard score and a two-point conversion. Jeremiah Harris had the game’s first score when he took back 55 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

“This team has an abundance of playmakers,” McCoy said. “We have a lot of people who, when you get the ball in their hands, they can take it to the house.”

The victory and strong play of the defense signaled to Levitt that Bayside has a chance to be one of the league’s top teams this season. It only added good feelings to an already meaning win.

“We know this is a big one,” Levitt said. “We are not going to be satisfied with being 2-0. No way.”

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