Tigers Beat Admirals, 17-14, for First Win of 2012 Season

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The White Plains High School Football team’s win over Arlington High School 17-14, on Friday, Oct.12, may not have been as dramatic as the New York Yankees Raul Ibanez slamming a ninth-inning homerun and then a twelve-inning walk-off homer to win Game Four of the American League Division Series.

Photo 1- White Plains senior defensive linemen [r-l], Elijah Young, Juan Velez and Robby Lorden played tough defense in helping the Tigers defeat Arlington High School, 17-14, to secure their first win of 2012. Photo by Billy Becerra
Neither was the Tigers win over the Admirals at White Plains High School, on Friday, as meaningful as Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia’s  complete game four-hitter that earned the Bronx Bombers their third American League Championship Series appearance in four years.

In contrast, the Tigers and Admirals were not battling at Loucks Field on Friday night to advance to a Championship series. These two Section 1 AA opponents were fighting for which team would not be in last place when the whistle blew to end the game.

With both teams’ records at 0-5, coming into the game, the Tigers held a slight advantage over the Admirals being ranked number 14, while their opponent was ranked last in 15th place in Section 1 AA.

Nonetheless, when two consecutive Tigers sacks on Admirals quarterback Kyle Dingman ended the game, the Tigers’ and their fans’ in attendance exuberance may have been perceived, as if they indeed had won a championship.

The Tigers’ first victory of 2012 meant as much to them and their fans as any team winning any game in the Major League Baseball postseason. “It is a monkey off our backs for sure. I think we worked so hard. This coaching staff and team work extremely hard every single day,” stated Tigers Head Coach Skip Stevens.

Tigers’ senior running-back and kick-return specialist Brandon Williams, who battled cramps all game, gained 150 yards and scored one touchdown returning kicks.

After Dingman hit Admirals junior wide receiver Matt Strutt with a 23-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, Williams ran back the Arlington kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7. “I just saw the field and saw my blocks and ran down the field and touchdown,” depicted Williams.

Williams also set up the Tigers second touchdown of the game by returning a punt 54 yards to the Admirals’ three-yard line at 10:15 in the fourth quarter. On the very next play, Tigers quarterback Cameron Crabbe handed the ball to running-back Chris Jordan, who scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown.

Despite playing through cramps, Williams was all over the field making plays on offense, defense and Special Teams. With 1:34 remaining in the game and White Plains winning 17-14, Tigers kicker Murilo Rosendo punted the ball inside the five-yard line of Arlington, which was fielded by Admirals Frank Cenname.

But when Cenname looked up with the ball, Williams on punt coverage was right there to tackle him on the Admirals’ two yard line. “Right before the game I told my team that we have tried so hard and that tonight is not the night to take a loss. I could not take an ‘L’ tonight,” revealed Williams.

Crabbe suffered a turf-toe injury on Thursday and played through the injury in the game. “The win means a heck of a lot! I mean Brandon played great today. He told us before the game that we were not leaving the field without a win and he proved it to us today,” commented the Tigers junior quarterback.

Arlington had no timeouts left on their last possession of the game and the Tigers could taste their first victory of the 2012 season. Nonetheless, Dingman was fighting vigorously to get the Admirals into field goal position to tie the game.

Consequentially, after Dingman hit Cenname with a 12-yard pass on the Arlington 32-yard line for a first down, he was sacked in the backfield by Tigers lineman Juan Valencia with 15 seconds left in the game.

The Tigers defense played stellar all four quarters and made the final statement of the game. Tigers’ senior defensive end Ceasar Cantori sacked Dingman again on the very next play to end the game.

“I felt great,” commented Tigers Head Coach Stevens. “Because what we said in our huddle before Arlington started their drive was that the d-line could pass rush, linebackers stay home for the screen or draw and the secondary play loose,” explained Stevens.

Senior kicker Rosendo scored five points in the game for the Tigers. Rosendo kicked two extra points and booted a 25-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter, which was the difference in the game.

“I mean it really came down to the defense, our defense did a tremendous job and our offense was right on point,” acknowledged the Tigers kicker. “I just come in on Special Teams one play at a time and do my job and it always matters,” stated Rosendo, who is also the WPHS Student President.

“This win just means a lot to all of us right now,” said senior lineman and Team Captain Elijah Young. “We worked really, really hard in the practices and this is a great win. It feels really good to win something,” declared Young.

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