Boys Varsity Football
By Matthew Valle ‘21
NEW YORK - With the Throggs Neck Bridge serving as a backdrop, it was a chilly Saturday night as Cardinal Hayes (1-2) faced off against the Christ The King Royals (1-3). With all of the pomp and circumstance of a Turkey Bowl game, I sat alongside my father to watch this hard-fought CHSAA AAA football game.
I was happy to see all of the Cardinals’ supporters, whether it be active students or students of the past, for this annual homecoming game. It was a huge turnout. (Although, I must say the gentleman in front of me was just way to loud).
Here’s one thing I can say: Defense wins championships.
The Cardinals’ defense was a focal point in the team’s success.
The first quarter saw a Hayes’ offense lead by highly recruited QB Sofian Massoud ‘20 struggle in the passing game.
The first quarter was filled with miscommunication by the Cardinals. Luckily, with the help of the Cardinals’ defense and RB Jeremye Brown ‘19 and WR Jalen Smith ‘20, the success of their efforts contributed to a rather interesting second half.
And yet, once again controversial flags held the Cardinals back.
With all the setbacks, Hayes managed to answer first with a TD run by Jeremye Brown ‘19 making it 6-0. Unfortunately, Hayes failed to convert on a PAT.
The second quarter saw Hayes score again making the score 12-0. The defense remained strong as Christ the King searched for answers against the Cardinals.
As the half started to wind down, DB Tafari Blackstock ‘20 picked off the Royals’ QB for the first time in the game.
As the second quarter concluded, Hayes led 12-0 at halftime thanks to the defense.
The turning point of the game definitely happened in the third quarter. With Christ the King finally providing much-needed offense, the super-hyper fan who sat in front of me stopped talking.
Through all the ups and downs, QB Sofian Massoud ‘20 was able to throw a TD pass to WR Angel Tamarez ‘19 making the score 18-12 in favor of Hayes.
After the Cardinals’ TD, Christ the King responded and tied the game 18-18 in the fourth.
With little time left, Massoud connected with Jalen Smith for a key touchdown that would put Hayes up 24-18. With little time left and Hayes up 24-18, the Cardinals had to rely on their defense to win the game.
The defense definitely listened including Tafari Blackstock who picked off the Royals QB with 1:34 seconds left in the fourth.
Hayes took a knee ending the game 24-18 in favor of our Cardinals
A great team effort can describe this game. With all the ups and downs, Hayes managed to come on top winning their first game of the 2018 season on a homecoming night.
Next stop, the Cardinals travel to Long Island to face St. Anthony’s.