White Plains Moves to 2-0 with Win Over Yonkers Brave

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Elijah Pierre looks to elude a Yonkers Brave defender on his way to a big gain. Rob DiAntonio Photo

By Rob DiAntonio – Just minutes before halftime in its Week 2 match-up with the Yonkers Brave, White Plains faced some adversity.

The Brave’s Isaiah Bray intercepted a Ben Finkel pass at the 2-yard line and took it 98 yards for a score to cut White Plains’ lead to a touchdown.

But running back Christian Young quickly swung the momentum back in the Tigers’ favor on their ensuing possession.

He bounced outside and jetted 65 yards to the house to give White Plains a 21-7 lead heading into the half. The host Tigers put the game away in the second half and improved to 2-0 with a 41-7 victory last Friday night.

“Our kids are confident in their ability to score fairly quickly,” White Plains coach Mike Lindberg said. “The kids did a pretty good job of just shaking it off (Yonkers’ touchdown). Christian took one to the house right away. He’s so explosive that if he gets a crease, it’s very difficult for anyone to make a play on him.”

Young, who rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns, increased the lead to 27-7 when he scored from 3 yards out with 6:16 left in the third quarter.

A botched snap sailed over the head of Yonkers’ punter and Laron Morton recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown with seven minutes left in the game. Ben Sidley’s extra point extended the lead to 34-7.

Justice DeJesus closed out the scoring on a 23-yard touchdown scamper with two minutes remaining.

White Plains’ offense came out firing in the first quarter. Finkel lofted a 10-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Tim DuBois in the right corner of the end zone to make it 7-0 just over three minutes into the game.

Finkel, who was 10 of 16 on pass attempts, then threw a dart to Elijah Pierre. He made a one-handed snag and raced into the end zone on a 65-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.

 “We liked our match-ups,” Lindberg said. “We felt pretty good about spreading them out and taking advantage of the passing opportunities. We kind of felt like after last week, with Christian’s big week, that they were going to have to honor the run a little bit more. With that, we felt like Ben was going to have some opportunities for one-on-one match-ups.”

Pierre, DuBois, Josiah Harris (5 catches, 110 yards) and company comprise a big play wide receiver group that can create match-up issues for opposing defenses.

“Our receivers are pretty much a nightmare for other teams,” Lindberg said. “They’re just so dynamic that if you try to take one away, then you give us one-on-one coverage somewhere else. If you give us one-on-one, we’re going to take chances. We don’t really feel like there’s a lot of teams that are going to be comfortable out in space with our guys.”

White Plains’ offense gained 372 yards of total offense, but it was also a night where the Tigers’ defense bent but it didn’t break. Yonkers mounted a drive in the first quarter but Caleb Gillen came up with a big stop on fourth down.

“When you play against a triple-option team it’s a grind,” Lindberg said. “Three yards here and three yards there. [Yonkers] converted on a couple of fourth downs but we just kind of bent and then buckled in when we needed to. I thought overall the defense played pretty well. One of the things as a coach that I liked is the fact that we played pretty well and there’s still room for improvement with some assignment things here and there and technique can even be better.”

White Plains travels to Spring Valley in a battle of 2-0 teams at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.

“It should be a good battle,” Lindberg said. “They’re fairly athletic just like us. They play real physical, aggressive football. There’s a good chance that it could be a really exciting game.”

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