CROSS RIVER – There’s a certain amount of contrition in everything Rye is doing in between the lines right now.
After suffering back-to-back losses in the final weeks of the regular season, the Garnets had to make a number of corrections. Redemption is near. They broke open a tight game with a big play just before halftime and rolled to a 34-15 win over John Jay on Friday in a Class A quarterfinal.
“I think we’re back,” Rye wideout Brett Egan said. “Those back-to-back losses were pretty disappointing, but we learned from them. We’ve moved on.”
And they are going forward with a fair amount of authority.
T.J. Lavelle threw a 74-yard pass to Egan for a touchdown with 2:03 to go in the half. Michael Davitt added the PAT to give the Garnets a 10-9 lead.
One play momentarily silenced the home sideline.
“I was running a corner route and T.J. really threw a great ball there,” Egan said. “We had the safety in kind of a pickle. We had two guys running deep and he was forced to guess which of us to cover. He got to me late and I made a move. I thought somebody was going to chase me down. I thought I was slowing down, but I got in.”
The defense came on and forced a quick three-and-out, and Lavelle quickly got Rye in position for a 35-yard field goal from Davitt.
“We went to a two-minute offense,” Garnets coach Dino Garr said. “Players have to make plays there. We showed a lot of character in coming right back after they went ahead. I’m so proud of these gentlemen.”
On the first possession of the second half, Jamie Chabot went 58 yards for a touchdown, helping Rye take a 20-9 lead.
“The big plays are such a momentum swing,” Chabot said. “They get the whole team excited and we kind of roll from there. That one was just a power run to the right side, a classic, go-to play. Owen Hull pulled and took out two kids. Billy Chabot, my cousin, knocked another kid out and I was gone from there.”
Chabot scored again from 11 yards out later in the quarter to make it a more comfortable advantage.
Player of the game: Egan. He made the biggest play when Garnets needed to make something big happen. Egan finished with four catches for 101 yards. He also came up with two more interceptions.
Turning point: The Indians were leading 9-3 after Bryce Ford pushed across from the 1-yard line in the final minutes of the first half, but when Rye picked up the pace, the John Jay defense was unable to stay in step.
Stat line: Jamie Chabot finished with 183 yards on 26 carries. … Billy Chabot added a 44-yard TD run for Rye. … Dean Ford caught a 29-yard scoring pass from his brother to get John Jay with 27-15 in the opening minute of the fourth.
Quotable: “They are the monsters this year,” Garr said of Yorktown, his team’s next opponent. “They’ll be on their field and feeling like this is their year. We have to come and play.”