Clinton outlasts JFK in classic confrontation
By Raphael Sugarman
The DeWitt Clinton Governors edged their eternal rival, the John F. Kennedy Knights, 24-21, on Saturday at Clinton.
From the opening kickoff until the game’s final play, the two teams traded points, lengthy runs and bruising hits, to the thrill of the students, alumni and cheerleaders from both schools who filled the stands.
“It was not a bad day,” said Clinton coach Howard Langley, who said his team showed, “some growth, some maturity.”
The defending Bronx champions were 1-5 entering the game, but had played 4 of the 6 games on the road, many against highly ranked opponents.
A vastly improved Kennedy team entered the matchup at 4-2, having won its last 2 games.
The Knights received the opening kickoff and made a statement by marching downfield.
Starting at its own 30-yard-line, Kennedy mixed rushing and passing — as well as 3 penalties to the Governors — to move the sticks.
The drive included scrambles from quarterback Anthony Cruz, passes from Cruz to Timothy Jones and Johnathan King, and rushing by Mathew Evora. Cruz scored the touchdown from just outside the Clinton 2. The conversion made it 7-0.
The celebration did not last long, however, as the Governors came right back to score. Keiron Clarke started the home team off with a strong kickoff return and then running back Haleem Livingston took over, with a TD scamper from the Clinton 40. Livingston converted the play for his team as well to give Clinton an 8-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Knights struck first in the second quarter on a 48-yard touchdown run by Evora. The failed conversion left the score at 13-8, Knights.
But just as they had in the first quarter, the Governors answered with a touchdown, again led by the rushing of Livingston, who ultimately scored both the touchdown and the conversion.
It was 16-13 Governors at halftime.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, leaving the game up for grabs entering the fourth.
Keywordsraphael sugarman, dewitt clinton, john f. kennedy, high school, governors, knights, football, psal