Jarvis’ keepers pace Patriots (with photo gallery)

After distributing the ball to his teammates on a bunch of key plays in Thursday night’s back-and-fo
PHOTOGRAPHER:

After distributing the ball to his teammates on a bunch of key plays in Thursday night’s back-and-forth tussle between Niskayuna and Schenectady, quarterback Kwame Jarvis kept the football twice with the game on the line.

Good decisions.

“He reacted like an athlete and made a play at the end,” Patriots coach Jim Kramer said after a 35-34 homecoming victory over the Silver Warriors at Larry Mulvaney Field. “He saw a lane and went.”

Jarvis ran six yards on fourth-and-goal for an overtime touchdown, and Halim Aldhala kicked the extra point as Schenectady rallied for a dramatic win and secured one of the four Class AA Liberty Division spots for the Section II playoffs.

“I had confidence in my team,” said Jarvis, a junior quarterback. “I knew we could do it.”

Schenectady (3-1, 3-3) led, 14-0 early and 28-21 late, before Niskay­una (1-3, 2-4) struck twice, including Nate Martin’s overtime touchdown run, to set the stage for the Patriots’ grand finish that saw the hosts twice convert on fourth down.

“The kids faced a lot of adversity,” said Kramer. “The kids continued to play hard. We talk a lot here about Patriots pride.”

Felix Rodriguez had two touchdown runs, 107 ground yards and an interception, Jarvis passed to Jallah Tarver for a touchdown, and DeShawn Kunath returned an interception for a score as part of Schenectady’s playoff-clinching performance.

“This feels great,” said Jarvis. “I feel like a thousand pounds are off my chest.”

Schenectady dealt Shaker its first division loss last week, 21-19, to move into playoff-clinching position. The Patriots set a program record with the victory over their neighboring rival Thursday, making the sectionals for the fifth consecutive year.

“Any time you get an oppor­tunity, you have to take advantage of it,” said Kramer. “When it’s time, you’ve got to do it. You can’t wait around.”

Niskayuna quarterback Rob Singleton threw three touchdown passes, two to Josh Callahan and another to Uwem Akpanikat with 24.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter. That 15-yard scoring play and Alex Helenek’s extra point tied the contest at 28.

“I thought we had a shot at putting the game away, but Niskayuna showed a lot of resiliency,” said Kramer. “We showed resiliency, too.”

Jarvis’ successful quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-two inches gave Schenectady a first down at the nine and kept its overtime hopes alive. After Rodriguez was hit for a yard loss and then ran for three, Hassan Rainey ran for a yard to set up another fourth-down sit­uation.

“I had the option to throw to Jallah if they had one-on-one [coverage] on him,” said Jarvis. “They doubled him, and when I was looking for another guy, I saw an opening and ran it in. They forgot about me.”

Jarvis passed 37 yards to Tarver, and three plays later, the duo hooked up on a 10-yard touchdown connection and then a two-pointer for a 28-21 Schenectady lead with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter.

Niskayuna answered on Singleton’s 15-yarder to Akpanikat, who he had hooked up with on a 20-yard pass and catch just before that.

Martin scored on a one-yard run four plays into Niskayuna’s overtime possession, but Helenek drilled his extra-point kick low and into his blockers, opening the door for Schenectady.

Helenek’s interception, 10-yard return and PAT early in the fourth quarter gave Niskayuna its first lead at 21-20.

Schenectady got an 11-yard touchdown run from Rodriguez and a 51-yard interception return for a score by Kunath in the first quarter. Singleton hit Callahan with a nine-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and a 20-yard TD pass in the third. Rodriguez pushed Schenectady ahead in the third on a four-yard bolt to the end zone.

Singleton added to his Section II-leading totals on 14-for-28 passing for 176 yards, to go with his three TDs and two interceptions. Niskayuna’s Nate Malerk rushed for 159 yards.

Niskayuna  0 7 7 14 6 — 34

Schenectady 14 0 6 8 7 — 35

S — Rodriguez 11 run (Aldhala kick).

S — Kunath 51 interception return (Aldhala kick).

N — Callahan 9 pass from Singleton (Hel­enek).

N — Callahan 20 pass from Singleton (Hel­enek kick).

S — Rordiguez 4 run (kick failed).

N — Helenek 10 interception return (Hel­enek kick).

S — Tarver 10 pass from Jarvis (Tarver pass from Jarvis).

N — Akpanikat 15 pass from Singleton (Helenek kick).

N — Martin 1 run (kick failed).

S — Jarvis 6 run (Aldhala kick).

Categories: High School Sports

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