JFK Football stumbles after quick start
By Andy Gross
It just was not the Knights’ night.
After jumping out to a 18-7 lead on the strong arm and quick legs of star senior quarterback Anthony Cruz, the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Knights lost focus and momentum and allowed the Flushing Red Devils to score the final 14 points of the game, notching a gritty, if sloppy, 21-18 victory.
The Knights dropped to 2-2, while the Red Devils are now 3-1.
Cruz left the field fighting back tears of disappointment Friday night.
“I’m speechless,” said JFK coach Andy Lancberg, who watched his team commit costly penalties, including one late in the fourth quarter that negated a long run by Cruz that would have put JFK in scoring position.
“I felt like the offense did not execute tonight. I knew this game was going to be a fight,” Lancberg said. “We had opportunities, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot. It just seems like we’re back on the roller coaster. We need to learn and improve.”
The crusher came late in the fourth quarter when Flushing’s small but tough senior running back DeAndre Ross-Lomax caught a screen pass, broke several tackles and dashed for 27 yards to give the Red Devils their first lead of the night.
The reversal was stunning given JFK’s quick start.
On their second drive of the game, Cruz gained 36 yards down the left sideline, setting up senior Caine Caldwell for a three-yard rushing touchdown with 4:28 left in the first quarter to give JFK a 6-0 lead.
Flushing capped off a 12-play drive in the second quarter with a quarterback sneak by Terrence Chavis from the one-yard line. Flushing made the extra point and went up 7-6.
Christian Perez, JFK’s senior tight end, who also excelled on defense, caught a 48-yard-strike from Cruz, setting up a four-yard run for another score by Caldwell that put JFK up 12-7.
JFK failed on all its two point conversion attempts and was hurt by both penalties.
Meanwhile, Perez dropped a pass in the fourth and an onside kick that was recovered by Flushing’s Francisco Ortega, giving the Red Devils momentum despite a number of penalties against them.