THIELLS Consider the floodgates open.
New Rochelle struggled to find the end zone in Weeks 1 and 2, but the Huguenots got in stride in the second half on Saturday at North Rockland and posted a 33-0 win over the Red Raiders.
“We clicking right now,” Huguenots running back Jared Baron said. “We need to click a little better.”
New Rochelle only had a 6-0 lead at the half.
There was no fiery speech during the intermission, just one simple request.
“Blow up the scoreboard,” Keelan Thomas said. “And that’s what we did.”
On fourth-and-2 in the opening minutes of the second half, Baron went up the middle for an 11-yard score. A short time later, Thomas practically stole an interception from North Rockland safety Wyatt Brooks one play before he went 14 yards for a touchdown.
Both players had their hands on the ball and were battling all the way to the ground.
“I knew the ball was going to come to me,” Thomas said. “I saw the safety coming when the ball was in the air and told myself it had to be mine. He almost made the play, but the ball came out on the way down and I just grabbed it out of the air.”
An interception by Jayson Prince gave the Huguenots another chance.
Jonathan Saddler came in at quarterback, immediately connecting with Baron for a 69-yard catch and run that gave New Rochelle a 26-0 lead with 1:15 to go in the third.
Player of the game: Baron, New Rochelle.The sophomore running back carried the ball 10 times for 101 yards and one touchdown. He also had two catches for 95 yards and one touchdown.
Turning point: Baron got the Huguenots rolling when he went 11 yards straight up the middle and into the end zone on fourth-and-2 with 3:33 into the second half.
“It was a jumbo package with all the big men in there and the line just opened up a big hole for me,” he said. “Usually, on a fourth-down play there are lots of guys in the way looking to stop me so I was happy there.”
Stat line: North Rockland only managed 51 total yards after the intermission. … Red Raiders quarterback Tyler Senatore finished with 66 yards rushing and 72 yards passing. … Thomas had four carries for 58 yards and one touchdown and two catches for 64 yards and one touchdown. … Huguenots quarterback Greg Powell competed six passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
Quotable: “When the offense is working like that it gives us confidence, it relaxes us,” New Rochelle defensive lineman Dylan Cohen said. “We don’t have to think too much on defense. It allows us to go do what we do and be the athletes we are.”