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: email@example.com, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4
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 http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com