Varsity football survives in final seconds


photo by Noah Kemper

Running back Ethan Lopez runs through defenders in the first quarter of the preseason football game versus East River. Lopez scored two touchdowns to help the team win 24-23.

Only 13 seconds left, the game on the line 24-23. The only thing that stood in the way of a varsity football victory was two yards. As the ball was snapped, the defense stood tall and stopped East River at the one-yard line, winning the first game of the season 24-23.

On Friday, Aug. 16, the varsity football team traveled to East River to play their first preseason game with head coach Wes Allen. 

In the first quarter, the team drove down the field early. After a punt by East River, running back Ethan Lopez ran through the defense scoring a rushing touchdown making it 7-0. After the touchdown, the varsity team made another defensive stop to set up a 30-yard field goal with two minutes left in the first quarter.

After the first, the varsity team continued their success by moving the ball down the field. Soon after, Lopez broke a tackle to find the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the game, extending the lead 17-3 going into halftime.

“It honestly felt really good to score in the game. It was a wake up call to me,” Lopez said

After halftime, East River drove down the field scoring a quick rushing touchdown, cutting the lead down to seven. On the next series for Hagerty, kicker Kyle Whitner had his punt blocked and returned for an East River touchdown, tying the score at 17.

During the fourth, quarterback JJ Baird connected with wide out Shomaree Blake for his first passing touchdown of the season, giving varsity the lead 24-17. Late in the fourth quarter, with only 13 seconds left, East River threw a 52 yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to come within one. After the touchdown, East River went for two to win the game, but defender Ethan Sweat and the varsity defense overpowered the offensive line making a stop at the one-yard line, winning the game 24-23.

“The team played tough and came up clutch in the end,” kicker Brandon Adams said.