ANDERSON TOWNSHIP – After not playing for a string of years, McNicholas High School has the edge on the latest version of a neighborhood football rivalry by beating Anderson the last two seasons.
This year’s affair was spread over two days with the rain and lightning issues of Sept. 4, so the Rockets had to come back to Penn Station Stadium on a Saturday to defeat Anderson 24-21.
Prior to the inclement weather, Anderson had taken an early lead on the Rockets with an 80-yard first quarter drive on Friday. Senior Patrick Johnson found the end zone from six-yard out to put Anderson up 7-0.
Later with :45 left in the first quarter, thunder and lightning was sighted and the game was postponed like many in the Tri-State.
Related: McNick schedule, stats
Upon returning to the field Saturday, the Rockets had the ball on the Anderson 15 on fourth down and junior Cole Carmosino kicked a 32-yard field goal to get McNicholas on the board at 7-3.
After an Anderson missed field goal in the second quarter, the Rockets began to grind behind senior running back Adam Hisch who scored from four yards out to give McNicholas a 10-7 lead.
Anderson then answered as senior quarterback Dylan Smith had a 38-yard run and eventually a one-yard score to put Anderson up 14-10. As the half expired, McNick’s Cole Carmosino kicked a 27-yard field goal to make it 14-13 at the break.
In the third, the Rockets kept the momentum up with another Carmosino field goal from 42-yards out for a 16-14 lead. Then, at the 3:43 mark of the third quarter, Anderson sophomore lineman Stanley Howard went down with a head injury. For precautionary measures, he was kept stable on the field and an ambulance was called to transport him for further evaluation.
Related: Anderson schedule, stats
When play resumed, Anderson re-took momentum with a 64-yard touchdown run by Smith putting the Redskins up 21-16.
At 10:26 of the fourth, junior quarterback Cam Haynes found Carmosino down the middle from 50 yards away and the Rockets took the lead again at 24-21. McNicholas was able to stifle the Anderson offense from there and hold on for the three-point victory to go to 1-1.
The Rockets host Wyoming Sept. 11 back at Penn Station Stadium. Anderson drops to 0-2 and travels to Harrison Sept. 11.
Play of the game: After missing a couple of earlier opportunities downfield, McNicholas capitalized when Cam Haynes hooked up with Cole Carmosino from 50-yards out at 10:26 of the fourth quarter. The Rockets took the lead and the game on that play.
Player of the game: Junior Cole Carmosino accounted for 16 of the Rockets’ points with three field goals and the touchdown catch, plus an extra point.
View from the sideline: “It was a really interesting with the stoppage last night and the stoppage for the (Anderson) kid that got injured,” McNicholas coach Mike Orlando said of the two-day victory. “Sometimes you have to find a way to win ugly and that’s what we did.”
Stat leaders for the Rockets were quarterback Cam Haynes 17-27 for 202 yards and a score; receiver Cole Burdick five catches for 67 yards; and running back Adam Hisch who bruised his way to 115 yards and a touchdown.
“In that situation, we’re going to give the ball to the senior and put him over top of the senior tackle and guard,” Orlando said of Hisch’s ability to chew the clock and gain yards.
The Rockets schedule is no easier with Wyoming coming in next. McNicholas defeated the Cowboys 27-16 last season.
“We better play better or it will be a long night for us,” Orlando said. “1-1 is much better than 0-2 and we just need to keep grinding through it.”
McNicholas – 3 10 3 8
Anderson – 7 7 7 0
A: Johnson 12 yard run (Mathews kick)
M: Carmosino 25 yard FG
M: Hisch 4 yd run (Carmosino kick)
A: Smith 1 yd run (Mathews kick)
M: Carmosino 27 yd FG
M: Carmosino 42 yd FG
A: Smith 64 yd run (Mathews kick)
M: Haynes 50 yd pass to Carmosino (Haynes to Harpring pass)