By John Tolis
During the preseason there was a battle for the starting quarterback job at Holy Cross between Paul Yodice and Akini Primis.
Yodice won the job and it looks like the Knights are in good hands after two wins. He was a hero in Cross’ thrilling 12–6 win over host Mount St. Michael in CHSFL football play Saturday afternoon.
He rolled out and tossed a 57-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to Brandon Jackson, who did some extra work over the final 20 yards to get the ball in the end zone, with only 20 seconds remaining in the contest. Yodice was just trying to make a play.
“My offensive line stayed with me and I don’t know. I blacked out and threw it to my man Jackson,” Yodice said. “Touchdown.”
The Knights had barely used the long ball in the game, but Yodice has done well with his opportunities. He is 8-for-17 for 195 yards and three touchdowns in two games.
“He’s making the most of his time,” Holy Cross Coach Tom Pugh said.
The Knights (2-0, 1-0) ran the ball mostly, but the Mount St. Michael defense did a tremendous job of holding them at bay. Holy Cross got help from its vaunted defense early. It forced a fumble on the Mountaineers’ first snap of the game and senior Jordan Francklin recovered the ball. He later ran the ball in from 10 yards out to give his team an early 6-0 lead.
The Mountaineers (0-2, 0-1) came right back on the possession after and got through the tough Knight defense. Quarterback Kasim Thomas handed off to junior running back Albert Sutton. He ran it in the end zone from 9 yards out and tied the score 6-6. It was not until the last points of the game that Jackson found the end zone in the final minute.
“It’s a war,” Pugh said. “Every time we play Mount we have these kind of games, physical games … very physical.”
Pugh understands that his defense is top notch, but still thinks his offense needs a little work.
“The offense hasn’t caught up to our defense yet,” he said.
Yodice agrees with his coach.
“Offense definitely needs something to work on, thank God our defense stayed in the game,” he said.
Still, Yodice showed late in the game that he can remain poised in the big moment. His late touchdown showed promise for the future with his ability in the pocket and his throwing arm.
“He made a great play,” Pugh said. “He hit the fastest guy in our school down the sideline.”