By Matt Diano: Playing their last game as CHSFL student-athletes, the cohort from New York City would use a 19-0 fourth quarter run to blow open a razor thin contest, earning the 47-27 victory over Long Island in the 2017 Senior Bowl. The triumph snapped host, LI’s, two-year winning streak and sent the boys from the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island out in the most fitting and cherished of ways.
Clinging to just a 28-27 lead early in the 4th, it would be Fordham Prep Ram tailback, Justin Ancetta, notching the first of the three unanswered touchdowns for NYC when he found space and took the pigskin to the house from seven yards out to increase the advantage to 34-27.
Following an interception by Cardinal Hayes’s Rob Javier, one of two posted on the afternoon (also had a pick at the onset of the second half) by New York City’s Defensive Player of the Game, the road warriors would continue to pull away when school-record breaking Archbishop Stepinac field general, Michael Nicosia, tossed his fourth and final TD pass of the game to fellow departing Crusader, running back Jamal Dallas with 7:41 remaining in regulation to make the score 40-27.
Nicosia would be a most deserving choice for his squad’s Offensive Most Valuable Player going 17-23 for 253 Yards and 4 TD’s….Putting his God-given field vision on full display, the 6’0, 175-pound, Thornwood resident would do a masterful job of spraying the ball all over the field, hitting four unique targets for his aforementioned quartet of TD yielding throws….His first touchdown hurl came with 7:00 remaining in the opening half when he hooked up with 2017 CHSFL Joe Riverso Memorial Award honoree (AAA Offensive Player of the Year), Lucas Nunez on a 12-yard strike to double the City lead to 14-0…..Having previously connected with one Cardinal living legend [Nunez], Nicosia would halt Long Island’s momentum (14-0 run to tie the game at 14 apiece) by finding another Hayes standout, Boston College bound Elijah Jones for a 67-yarder before the end of the half to send his charges into the break leading 21-14. The pitch-and-catch between the two former Triple-A rivals would mark the second 60+ yard score of the game for Jones as it was him on the backend of a 68-yard hurl from St. Joe’s by the Sea’s Matthew Vigilante that gave NYC the initial 7-0 edge in the 1st quarter….Just as it had done at the end of the 2nd quarter, the third of Nicosia’s TD darts came at an opportune time, as it broke a 21-21 tie late in the 3rd when he put the ball on the money to St. Peter’s Eagle, Frank DiMattina, to put the City up 28-21.
Hampered by an injury during the 2017 postseason, the always electric Ki’Shyne Shipmon of Iona Prep fame, would get his chance to show the Catholic football enthusiasts just how special he can be when operating at 100 percent, tacking on one final TD in his illustrious career in the last 2:00 of the game when he took off like a rocket for a 68-yard TD trek to account for NYC’s third TD of the quarter and round of the final tally on the scoreboard.
A game that was much closer than the scoreboard suggests, Long Island would have every reason to hold their chins high on Sunday afternoon, as time and time again during the first 36 minutes of play, they would find themselves in a hole, but never quit, fighting back to remain in contention.
Surrendering the first two TDs of the game on the aforementioned Vigilante and Nicosia passes, LI darn-near went into the intermission all even after two quick touchdowns within mere moments of each other squared the game at 14-14…Getting the proverbial ball rolling on the comeback effort was regular season rushing king in the Double-A division, Justin Felder, who broke across the line on a six-yard run to cut the deficit in half with 2:48 still to play in the 1st half…While it was Felder who got the spoils for being the one to punch the ball in, equal credit would be bestowed upon his fellow Queens resident, Chris Auricchio, who had a big gainer on the ground to lay the tracks for the eventual icebreaker.
Approximately 90 seconds removed from seeing his team get on the board, it was Kellenberg’s Shawn Hughes (named the Defensive Player of the Game for Long Island) living the Linebacker’s dream, when he intercepted a pass with 1:13 remaining in the half….Capitalizing on the clutch play by his high school teammate would be another member of the undefeated AA Champion Firebirds, Aidan Fitzgerald, who sprung free into the opposing secondary and provided a perfect target for Chaminade QB, Nick Jaskolski, who wrapped up the All-Marianist series of plays on both sides of the ball by throwing a perfect 18-yard pass for the game-tying touchdown.
After an exchange of turnovers to begin the third stanza, it was the Flyer, Jaskolski, delivering again when he ran in a 3-yarder for his second score of the game to again knot the contest at 21-21.
Down 28-21 at the beginning of the final quarter of his scholastic career, Felder whose two Touchdown performance earned Offensive MVP honors for his team, was the catalyst of one last rally, scoring his second TD of the game from 5-yards away for draw LI within 28-27….Long Island attempted to take their first lead of the day on a 2pt conversion, but were unsuccessful….The City would not give their foes another chance…And, much like the high school careers of the fine young men who suited up, the rest would be history!
NYCHSFL FOOTBALL December 3, 2017 NYCHSFL Senior Bowl
|New York City||7||14||7||19||47|
|1st||05:00||NYC||Elijah Jones 68yd reception from Chris Vigilante (Rory Naughton kick)||7-0|
|2nd||07:07||NYC||Lucas Nunez 10yd reception from Michael Nicosia (Rory Naughton kick)||14-0|
|2nd||02:45||Island||Justin Felder 5yd run (Jeremy Miller kick)||14-7|
|2nd||00:29||Island||Aiden Fitzgerald 18yd reception from Nick Jaskolski (Jeremy Miller kick)||14-14|
|2nd||00:12||NYC||Elijah Jones 67yd reception from Michael Nicosia (Rory Naughton kick)||21-14|
|3rd||08:19||Island||Nick Jaskolski 3yd run (Jeremy Miller kick)||21-21|
|3rd||00:01||NYC||Frank DiMattina 7yd reception from Michael Nicosia (Rory Naughton kick)||28-21|
|4th||11:29||Island||Justin Felder 4yd run (try failed)||28-27|
|4th||09:04||NYC||Justin Ancheta 16yd run (try failed)||34-27|
|4th||07:41||NYC||Jamal Dallas 16yd reception from Michael Nicosia (try failed)||40-27|
|4th||00:12||NYC||Ki”Shyne Shipmon 68yd run (Rory Naughton kick)||47-27|
|Team Totals||New York City||Long Island|
|NET YARDS RUSHING|
|Average Per Rush||11.0||6.0|
|Yards Gained Rushing||194||152|
|Yards Lost Rushing||-7||-9|
|NET YARDS PASSING|
|Completions-Attempts-Int||19 – 26 – 1||10 – 20 – 2|
|Average Per Attempt||13.1||7.4|
|Average Per Completion||17.9||14.7|
|TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS|
|Total offense plays||43||44|
|Average Gain Per Play||12.3||6.6|
New York City
|Ki”Shyne Shipmon (Iona)||2||79||0||79||1||68||39.5|
|Michael Nicosia (Stepinac)||6||51||0||51||0||17||8.5|
|Jamal Dallas (Stepinac)||4||27||0||27||0||20||6.8|
|Justin Ancheta (Fordham)||1||16||0||16||1||16||16.0|
|James Halbert (Xavier)||1||8||0||8||0||8||8.0|
|Lucas Nunez (Hayes)||3||13||(7)||6||0||10||2.0|
|Michael Nicosia (Stepinac)||23||17||0||253||4||67|
|Chris Vigilante (Sea)||3||2||1||87||1||68|
|Elijah Jones (Hayes)||6||174||2||68|
|Lucas Nunez (Hayes)||7||86||1||26|
|Frank DiMattina (Peters)||3||28||1||13|
|Ki”Shyne Shipmon (Iona)||1||19||0||19|
|Matthew Mitchell (Sea)||1||17||0||17|
|Jamal Dallas (Stepinac)||1||16||1||16|
|Nick Jaskolski (Chaminade)||4||64||0||64||1||53||16.0|
|Chris Auricchio (St. Francis)||7||54||(2)||52||0||35||7.4|
|Justin Felder (Holy Cross)||8||26||(2)||24||2||5||3.0|
|Daniel Parker (Baptist)||4||8||(4)||4||0||4||1.0|
|Marc Anthony Dolce (St. Francis)||1||0||(1)||-1||0||–||–|
|Name||Att Cmp Int||Yds||TD||Long|
|Chris Auricchio (St. Francis)||13||5||2||91||0||30|
|Nick Jaskolski (Chaminade)||7||5||0||56||1||18|
|Aiden Fitzgerald (Kellenberg)||3||59||1||28|
|Justin Holder (Holy Cross)||3||42||0||22|
|Chris Nicholas (Chaminade)||2||41||0||30|
|Tim McCabe (Xaverian)||1||6||0||6|
|Brandon Orgill (Holy Cross)||1||-1||0||–|