By Robert Cole
It has often been said that experience is a great teacher. If that is true, the underclassmen of Christ the King’s varsity football team learned a great deal from its 42-0 loss to Iona Prep Saturday afternoon in New Rochelle.
With only three seniors on this year’s roster, the Knights have been playing with a very young team, which has proved to be challenging in their first year back in the top division of the CHSAA.
Christ the King started freshman quarterback Noah Bodden — playing in his very first varsity game — after junior quarterback Nathaniel Prophete was ruled out with an ankle injury.
“We’re just undermanned,” head coach Jason Brown said. “We have a 33-man roster with a lot of sophomores in many key positions. We had a freshman quarterback playing today, and it showed.”
Iona scored its first touchdown with 5:36 left on the clock in the first quarter on a one-yard run around the right end by Malkelm Morrison. Armed with a 7-0 lead, Iona scored again later in the quarter to take a 14-0 advantage into the second.
The Knights had their best opportunity to score late in the second quarter, advancing the ball to Iona Prep’s three-yard line. Unfortunately, the Knights’ inexperience would be revealed as Bodden’s attempted slant pass was intercepted by Iona’s Johnryan Freeman, who returned the ball to the Christ the King 46-yard line.
The interception led to Iona’s fourth touchdown of the half when Michael De Grasperis hauled in a five-yard pass from quarterback, Derek Robertson with 27 seconds left in the half, giving Iona a 28-0 lead.
The Knights continued to fail to take advantage of their opportunities. The defense forced two turnovers, only to have the offense turn the ball back over to Iona Prep, with two interceptions. Both turnovers led to Iona touchdowns, boosting Iona’s lead to 42-0.
“It is difficult right now,” Brown said. “Kids have to wrap up and execute on offense. Guys are getting winded, so we have to put them in spots to make plays.”
Bayside 55, Stuyvesant 12: The Commodores used a 35-point first half to coast to victory over Stuyvesant. While the defense surrendered six points in both the third and fourth quarters, Bayside exploded for 20 points in the fourth to secure the 55-12 victory.
Quarterback Tequan Evans hit on 9 of 10 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown and added 65 more yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Jordy Chen and Robert Williams each had rushing scores, with Chen totaling 101 yards. Williams also had a receiving touchdown. The Commodores improved to 4-0 on the season with the win.
Long Island City 20, Adlai Stevenson Campus 14: The Bulldogs used a strong first half and a clutch fourth quarter to defeat the Ambassadors and improve to 2-1 on the season. LIC scored 14 first-half points and took a 14-6 lead into the half, but Adlai Stevenson rallied to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter. A Christophe Miraba touchdown pass and a dominant defensive showing clinched the game for the Bulldogs. Miraba completed 10 of 15 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns to lead Long Island City. Austin Campbell, Jarius Jones and Naseem Henderson each caught a touchdown in the victory.
Springfield Gardens 20, Beach Channel Education Campus 0: The Golden Eagles rode a strong defensive showing to victory, blanking the Dolphins 20-0. Quarterback Christian Judge completed 4 of 9 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown, while nine players totaled 189 rushing yards.
Holy Cross 21, Holy Trinity 14: The Knights improved to 3-1 on the season after dispatching the Titans. Senior running back Justin Felder rushed for 2019 yards and two touchdowns to help lead Holy Cross to victory.
Petrides 16, Jamaica 14: