FREEDOM PLAINS – It goes something like this: “Swing first, keep swinging and make sure we swing last.”
Arlington has taken on that mantra this season, comparing its football games to drag-out brawls. The goal, essentially, is to be the aggressor and never relent until the fight is over.
Three games in, the Admirals have proven to have some punch, and on Friday they staggered John Jay High School with a flurry, topping their rivals, 17-7, at home.
“Usually against John Jay, those turnovers and big plays don’t go in our favor,” Arlington coach Mike Morano said. “This time, it was different.”
Arlington (3-0) recovered a fumble at the 15, then capped that short drive with Alex Maier’s 19-yard field goal to get on the board with 8:37 left in the second quarter. Seconds later, there was a fumble on the kick return, which the Admirals dived on at the 5. And just four seconds later, Ricardo Yolas was celebrating in the end zone after skipping in untouched.
That quick combination would’ve made Rocky Balboa proud.
Speaking of underdogs…
This win, before its raucous home crowd, snapped an eight-game losing streak to archrival John Jay. That included losses in the 2014 Section 1 Class AA final, and last year in the sectional quarterfinals.
The Patriots (2-1) certainly wouldn’t be knocked out by 10-point deficit, of course. And Danny Diedrich pulled them within three in the fourth quarter. The tailback broke a 48-yard run, around left tackle, setting up his 4-yard touchdown run with 5:27 remaining.
But Yolas, a late-game hero in Arlington’s first two contests, ripped consecutive runs of 45 and 16, preceding Paul Serino’s 3-yard touchdown that sealed the game with 1:09 left. That proved to be the uppercut.
Yolas totaled 149 yards. Arlington’s defense – and special teams – smothered the Patriots, aided by three fumble recoveries.
Admirals lineman Jordan Valerius said it was imperative that his squad have the confidence to believe it was the better team — recent history be damned.
Stephen Haynes: email@example.com, 845-437-4847, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4
On the Web
Visit PoughkeepsieJournal.com for coverage of all of Friday’s football action — there were 10 games on the schedule — and photos and videos from the clash between Arlington and John Jay. Follow sports staffers Stephen Haynes (@StephenHaynes4), A.J. Martelli (@AJM_PoJoSports) and Phil Strum (@PJStrum) on Twitter throughout the weekend for scores and updates.
Saturday football schedule
Bronxville at Haldane, 1 p.m.
Spackenkill at Dover, 1:30 p.m.
Port Chester at Ketcham, 1:30 p.m.