Spackenkill football rallies back to stun O'Neill

Spackenkill football rallies back to stun O'Neill


Spackenkill football rallies back to stun O'Neill


Spackenkill's Camron Abalos jumps over O'Neill's James Matautia during Saturday's game at Spackenkill.

Spackenkill’s Camron Abalos jumps over O’Neill’s James Matautia during Saturday’s game at Spackenkill.


ron Abalos threw to Joe Arcuri in the right corner of the end zone and the receiver made a leaping catch with 1:41 remaining as the Spackenkill football team rallied to stun James I. O’Neill High School, 42-41, on Saturday.

O’Neill drove the field as time dwindled and scored a touchdown as time expired. But the Raiders eschewed the tying point-after try and attempted a two-point conversion. The run, a sweep to the left side, was stopped short and pandemonium ensued at Spackenkill High School.

The Spartans (4-1) exacted some revenge on O’Neill, the team it lost to last season in the Section 9 Class B semifinals. O’Neill also was the team that beat Marlboro earlier this season and appeared, perhaps to be the new powerhouse in the section.

Wait a minute…

Abalos found Kyiev Bennermon on a post route for a 9-yard touchdown that tied the score at 28 with 5:20 left in the third quarter. That play was preceded by Abalos’ toss to Bennermon, the big slot receiver, for a 36-yard gain over the middle.

O’Neill tied it on a 45-yard touchdown run, but Spackenkill came back again. Abalos connected with Kabongo Barry on a short curl and the receiver slipped out of a tackle then raced up the sideline, beating a safety who seemed to have an angle on him, then diving into the end zone for a 55-yard score that tied it at 35 with 2:03 left in the third.

Abalos opened the third quarter with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Joe Arcuri, which pulled Spackenkill within 21-14. Arcuri got behind the defense on a go route up the right sideline and Abalos slung it to him, in stride, for a quick touchdown.

But O’Neill answered immediately, as Tiquan Scott burst up the right sideline for a 51-yard touchdown to make it 28-14 with 9:14 left in the third quarter. It was Scott’s third such long scoring scamper, which gave Spackenkill fits. But the Spartans, again, came back and Arcuri scored from 57 yards on a go route.

James Matautia’s 3-yard touchdown plunge gave O’Neill a 21-7 lead 28 seconds into the second quarter. That drive, which began at the 40, followed a botched kick return that allowed the Raiders possession immediately after they had gone ahead with a long touchdown.

Scott shot up the middle, angled to the left and high-stepped out of two attempted ankle tackles as he outran the Spackenkill defense for an 80-yard touchdown. His score put O’Neill ahead, 14-7.

Scott’s 43-yard touchdown had put the Raiders on the board in the first quarter, before Abalos answered with a 33-yard TD to Kabongo Barry.

Stephen Haynes:, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4

Spackenkill's Marlon Brooks attempts to shake off O'Neill's Tully Boylan during Saturday's game at Spackenkill.

Spackenkill’s Marlon Brooks attempts to shake off O’Neill’s Tully Boylan during Saturday’s game at Spackenkill.

On the Web

To see a video and photo gallery from the Spackenkill-O’Neill game and to read about the rest of the weekend’s football action, visit


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