Lourdes Defeats Somers 19-13 in Overtime
A Look Back at 2017 Thriller
The last two Section One, Division A Champions faced off at Somers High School on Saturday, and the back and forth game soared as high as the unseasonal temperature. But when Kyle Strack came down with an overtime interception in the end zone, it was Lourdes that finally rose to the top with a 19-13 vicotry.
“It was pretty exciting when I realized I won the game for my team,” said the RB/DB.
Both teams kept conservative to start, and Lourdes stuck with the ground game that’s yielded success thus far. This had the teams trading early three and outs until Somers let Kevin Olifiers open it up at Quarterback. A rollout right to Jack Gilroy went for 14, and then Olifiers converted a third and 13 to Cameron Pepe to put the Tuskers on the Lourdes 40.
Unfortunately, a holding penalty forced Somers to settle for a 34 yard Pepe field goal. Plenty of distance, Pepe also stepped up to strong arm Lourdes from answering back in the early second.
Jaheim Jones had only Pepe’s right arm and the end zone in front of him. But the kicker held tight to 13’s jersey, and Lourdes could not capitalize from midfield.
They did start to flash the pass, though, and the next possession had Lourdes showing that they could do more than ground teams to a halt. QB Max Kras hit Jones cutting over the middle and then dropped one into Strack for a first down at the Somers 26. One play later, Kras went down the middle again and hit Chris Salotto for a 23 yard score with 3:09 left in the half.
Kras certainly had no objection to the change in itinerary. “It was a great feeling that they let me open it up today,” he said. “But either way, we play to our strength.”
Coach Brian Walsh obviously knew in advance. “They’re pretty tough against the run, and we can definitely pass so you have to make adjustments,” he said.
Everything now up in the air, Somers could not answer back and Strack took the punt back to the Somers 20. But the Tusker defense held, and Pepe kept the Tuskers from being hemmed in with a return to the 40.
A late hit got Somers across midfield, and the home team played clock management. Olifiers ran sideline twice, and RB Antonio Vieira put the Tuskers in position to spike the ball at the 26 yard line. Time for one play, Vieira came open in the left corner and made a two handed grab to steal the momentum away.
Up 10-7, Somers won the third period by taking the field position game. A Tyler Carr sack at the Lourdes three would put Somers at the Lourdes 23 yard line. But once again, a holding penalty put Pepe on the tee with 50 seconds remaining in the third, and he sailed the pigskin 40 yards for three more.
Somers could not add on, and the Warriors let them know by airmail that six points was not enough. Kras connected with Strack on the left sideline at the Somers 48, and then the duo played misdirection to blindside the Somers crowd. Kras rolled left and threw back across the field for a 36 yard touchdown pass.
The missed extra point still had Somers in a haze, and they were soon punting. But a reprieve seemed imminent as Kras stumbled on a rollout left. However, he eluded the sack and found Malik Wright over the middle.
Smelling victory, Lourdes went old dog with the their tricks. Three straight runs by Jones thrashed through the wearing Somers defense and gave the Warriors first and goal at the seven. But Lourdes changed it up. Kras snuck right, and fumbled at the one with less than a minute remaining.
Coach Walsh saw no reason to second guess himself afterwards. “He’s a heck of a runner too,” said Walsh.
The overtime period certainly made the hiccup much easier to stomach. After an illegal procedure penalty and a delay of game, Kras stepped back and found Strack again.
Unfortunately for Somers, Olifiers found him too and the game ending interception had Lourdes a leaping. “Our kids came to play,” said Walsh. “I told they would need heart today, and that’s what they showed.”
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