SCARSDALE Although the start to the season and the game had been respectable enough, Scarsdale always faced the same lingering question: Could it stop the big play?
On Friday night in front of a huge homecoming crowd, the Raiders not only couldn’t stop them, but couldn’t overcome them either.
Scarsdale’s tight rope snapped against defending Class AA champ John Jay-East Fishkill, which didn’t allow the plucky Raiders to rally. The Patriots were the more physical team and won going away, beating Scarsdale on its own turf, 36-14.
John Jay quarterback Ryan Schumacher, one of Section 1’s top returning players, threw long touchdowns of 55 and 48 yards and rushed for two more scores. He threw the ball just four times all night, but his right arm and a bruising night at the line of scrimmage proved to be too much for Scarsdale.
The Raiders have overcome a 20-0 deficit last week against White Plains and nearly overcame a three-touchdown hole the week before at Arlington.
“We give up those big plays and then it puts us in a hole,” Scarsdale coach Andy Verboys said. “I thought we moved the ball well offensively. We just didn’t execute and we got worn down a little bit. I just don’t have their kind of numbers.”
Player of the game: Ryan Schumacher, John Jay. The senior threw just four passes, but he completed all of them for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He also gained another 133 yards on just 14 carries, two of which went for touchdowns.
Turning point: With the game tied 7-7 in the second quarter, John Jay faced a third and 16 in its own territory. Scarsdale generated a pass rush on Schumacher, but the big quarterback pulled the ball down and scrambled around a few defenders for a 19-yard gain. Three plays later Schumacher connected with a 55-yard touchdown to Jai’von Reynolds with 5:30 left in the half.
Stat line: Reynolds caught two passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. Travis Contreras had just one catch, but it covered 48 yards en route to another Schumacher touchdown. … Michael Rolfe finished 4 for 10 for 74 yards, including two for 53 yards to Robbie Keith. … Keith’s 42-yard catch set up one of Rolfe’s two rushing touchdowns. Rolfe had 16 carries for 72 yards and Stephen Nicholas added 15 carries for 64 yards on the ground.
Quotable: “Every game it’s just been big plays. Two or three plays put us in a hole,” Rolfe said. “Sometimes, we’ve been able to get out of it, like White Plains last week. We knew against John Jay we couldn’t do that. They’re too good of a team.”