CROSS RIVER – One thought stuck with a startled Thor Adamec when John Jay stumbled in the opening minutes.
And it proved to be motivational.
“The only thing going through my mind was the fact that if we lose the game were out of the playoffs,” Adamec said. “Everyone had to step up. Nobody wanted to be done. We’re looking to go all the way.”
Harrison came looking for an upset in the Class A playoff qualifier, but momentum was quickly taken away. The Indians stormed back, posting a 31-12 win and setting up a quarterfinal showdown against Rye.
“Coming out of the gate, I don’t know, we seemed a little flat,” John Jay safety Jackson Rieger said. “They kind of caught us by surprise, running some power football. We weren’t ready for that.
“Not only were we down 12-0, it seemed like everything was going against us.”
Austin Evans ran straight up the middle for a pair of Huskies touchdowns in the first seven minutes, but the highlight reel ended there.
Jaelen Ferrebee capped an 80-yard Indians drive with a 16-yard spring into the end zone with 2:04 to go in the opening quarter. Shahe Katchadurian nosed across the goal line from the 3 with 10:21 to go in the half one play after Harrison failed to recover a bad snap.
In an instant, the Indians were in control and holding a 14-12 lead
Bryce Ford squeezed into the end zone before the intermission to extend the lead and Katchadurian bulled in again in the opening minutes of the second half.
It’s the first time John Jay’s left tackle has scored multiple touchdowns in a game.
“That helps keep things really interesting,” said Katchadurian, who plays fullback in short-yardage formations. “I like it. Ever since I was little, I was too big to be a skill guy so it’s fun to get my hands on the ball.”
Player of the game: Nobody had more of an impact on both sides of the ball than Katchadurian, a 6-foot-2 junior who is carrying 250 pounds. He scored twice and helped Adamec have a big day running the ball.
Turning point: Harrison had an opportunity to cut into a 21-12 deficit and was 15 yards from the end zone in the final minutes of the first half, but the Huskies were thrown for a loss on three straight plays and Rieger broke up a fourth-down pass.
Stat line: Adamec ran for 161 yards on 24 carries. … Evans had 80 yard on 15 carries for the Huskies. … The Indians made a dozen tackles for a loss.
Quotable: “Rye is a good team, a good program,” Rieger said. “You hear about them every year so it’ll be a hard week of practice.”