John Jay football coach Jimmy Clark said he was under no illusion: There was no way his team would be able to run the ball against Yorktown as it had in its Week 1, pounding of Pearl River.
“It won’t be a game like that — no stretch of the imagination,” he said.
Well, the coach was wrong — for him, happily wrong.
The Indians ran for five touchdowns — including one of 69 yards and another of 50 yards — en route to a 37-20 win over the host Huskers Sunday.
Yorktown was missing star running back Eric Meyreles, out with a broken right foot suffered during Yorktown’s opening-week win over Panas.
But Yorktown was also missing an answer to stopping Hunter Keech and Ryan Lee.
Lee set the tone early, running 22 yards for a score. After Yorktown knotted the game at 6-6 with Nicky Bonitatibus going in from 2 yards out, Keech scored on a 3-yard run off left tackle.
Steve Muoio, who converted three point-after kicks, nailed an 18-yard field goal to give the Indians a 16-6 halftime lead.
That left Yorktown, which amassed only 35 yards running and 54 passing in the first half, within striking range. But the second half was all Indians.
Nick Kells, who earlier had a 68-yard punt return, took a first-down handoff with a little over five minutes left in the third quarter and ran 69 yards for a touchdown.
After the Huskers’ Ryan Baker scored on a 12-yard run, set up by a 21-yard Baker-to-a-diving-Ricky Corrado pass, Keech followed his own 43-yard run with a 1-yard plunge to make it a 30-13 game.
The icing came when, with little more than five minutes left, Lee ran 50 yards for a score off a fake punt. That play summed up much of the game as Lee appeared boxed in twice before breaking free.
“I saw an opening and made a couple of cuts. I wasn’t really expecting a touchdown,” said Lee, who noted he had the option to punt or run.
Nick Santavicca scored Yorktown’s final touchdown from 1 yard with 1:21 left.
Saying he wouldn’t blame the loss on any one thing, Yorktown coach Mike Rescigno pointed to missed tackles, missed assignments and multiple penalties, especially on offense.
“The team suffers when you have individual breakdowns. We were less disciplined than I would have liked,” he said.