Foxes’ Early Lead Disappears as Mamaroneck Rolls to a Win

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Fox Lane's Lucas Beni picks up yardage in Saturday's Homecoming game vs. Mamaroneck.
Fox Lanes Lucas Beni picks up yardage in Saturdays Homecoming game<br >vs Mamaroneck

By Andy Jacobs
Fox Lane’s Lucas Beni gathered in a screen pass from Will Wortmann near midfield late Saturday afternoon and suddenly it was apparent there was no one in front of him as he picked up speed along the left sideline. In an instant, the huge, overflowing Homecoming crowd rose to its feet and began to roar.
By the time Beni crossed the goal line moments later for a spectacular 60-yard touchdown on a fake punt, the hundreds of Fox fans packed into Memorial Stadium had already provided their road-weary team the lift it’s been waiting for all season. And when Luke Verrochi then connected with Lennon Jobin on another surprise pass for the two-point conversion that gave Fox Lane the lead, the volume coming from the stands was almost deafening.
“We talked about feeding off the energy of the crowd and it was great,” Fox coach Steve Quinn would say later. “I wish every week was like this.”
Unfortunately for Quinn and his Foxes, their first-quarter success didn’t last. Mamaroneck immediately answered the Fox Lane theatrics with a 13-play, 60-yard touchdown drive to take the lead for good and wound up scoring the game’s final 27 points to win 34-8, spoiling the Foxes’ Senior Day and the debut of their newly refurbished turf field.
“We knew we were in for a battle with their offense,” said Quinn about the Tigers. “I mean, that’s one of the better offenses we’ve seen all year. An outstanding running back (Marquez Jackson-Allen), so it didn’t surprise me they were able to move it.”
The Foxes, now 1-5, had begun the season with four road games and one home contest at Byram Hills while their own field was getting upgraded. According to Quinn, his players were like children at Christmas earlier this week at the prospect of finally getting to play a real home game on the new turf field.
“They were excited,” he said. “They came out on Tuesday for the first time doing snow angels on the field, and it was like little kids just with the excitement. We’ve been away all year, but they’ve never made excuses.”
Despite finally being home, the Foxes quickly found themselves in the familiar position of playing from behind as Mamaroneck took early command. The Tigers sacked Verrochi on the game’s first two plays from scrimmage and soon began a six-play, 50-yard scoring drive to grab a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.
But to the delight of the massive home crowd, the Foxes responded with their six-play, 76-yard drive that enabled them to take a one-point lead after one quarter. The drive seemed over when Wortmann came onto the field to punt on fourth-and-10 at the Fox Lane 40. Instead of punting, though, he threw the ball toward the left flat to Beni, who proceeded to scamper all the way down the sideline for the touchdown that sent the Fox faithful into a frenzy.
The Foxes had one more trick up their sleeves on the extra point when holder Verrochi stood up and threw a pass over the middle into the arms of Jobin for the two-point conversion that gave them a brief 8-7 lead.
“It was well-executed,” said Quinn about the Wortmann-to-Beni touchdown play with 1:11 left in the first quarter. “We’ve been practicing it all year, but just felt like that was the right time to run it. The guys got up, and then we were real aggressive on that two-point conversion as well. That’s something we practice.”
The 5-1 Tigers spent the rest of the afternoon keeping the Fox Lane crowd silent. They held the ball for over six minutes at the start of the second quarter with their 13-play drive that ended with Jackson-Allen, who finished with 101 yards, scoring from a yard out to give Mamaroneck a lead it never lost again.
Late in the half, the Tigers’ Dean DeLucia picked off a Verrochi pass to give Mamaroneck the ball at the Foxes’ 26-yard line. Four plays later, with just 49 seconds left, quarterback Bill Flatow connected on a 19-yard touchdown pass to Alex Parkinson. The extra-point kick was blocked, but the Tigers still had a 20-8 lead.
Beni, who wound up with 73 yards on the ground, ran 32 yards on first down when the Foxes got the ball back. He picked up another seven yards to the Tiger 31 with just 26 seconds on the clock, but the drive ended two plays later when Parkinson intercepted a Verrochi pass over the middle.
“It would have been great to have that,” said Quinn about the points his team almost scored late in the half. “It really would have, you know, to be within a score at halftime. How much that would’ve changed the outcome, I don’t know. But, yeah, it would’ve been good to pick that one up.”
Mamaroneck began the third quarter with an eight-play, 62-yard drive that lasted nearly six minutes. After a two-point conversion on a deflected pass, the Tigers’ lead stretched to 28-8. Any doubt about the outcome soon disappeared when Fox Lane running back Will Cohen was stopped short on a fourth-and-inches try at his own 44-yard line.
Jonathan Hansan did give Fox Lane fans something else to cheer about with his leaping interception with just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter. But the only other points that followed came when DeLucia intercepted his second pass, on a halfback option thrown by Hunter White, and took it eight yards for a touchdown with five minutes to go in the game.
“They kept their heads up the whole time,” said Quinn about his players. “I told them we were disappointed in the outcome, but proud of the effort. They didn’t quit at any point, and that’s what we expect from them. They played their hearts out today.”

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