John Jay Upsets Highly Seeded Clarkstown South in Quarterfinals Beatdown


Amby Media

Photo by Amby Media

In a battle of two of Section One’s best, the John Jay Wolves defeated the favored Clarkstown South Vikings 55-28 in the Class A quarterfinals last Friday. John Jay’s offense absolutely exploded, totaling nearly 700 yards.  

Despite the high final score, it wasn’t the offense that got things started for Jay. Clarkstown started the game off hot, driving deep into John Jay territory, but Michael Mendicino intercepted quarterback Michael Holder in the endzone. Then, John Jay capitalized two plays later when running back Christian Shapiro took a handoff 79 yards for the opening score of the game. 

And after a quick three and out for Clarkstown South, John Jay once again found the endzone, this time with Senior play caller Craig Galea finding Christian Shapiro through the air for the score. 

John Jay offensive lineman Gerard Garofolo boasted about the abilities of Shapiro saying, “Christian has been a beast in the backfield for us all year. Give him a little bit of space and he is out the gate. It makes it easy to be an offensive lineman when you have a guy like that running behind you.”

Clarkstown quickly rebounded though, as Holder connected with junior Max Freeman for six. The two teams would then go on to trade touchdowns, making the score 21 to 14 John Jay. 

Then on John Jay’s next possession, they drove right down the field, where Senior wide receiver Austin Zaccagnino made one of the best catches you’ll ever see.  This gave the Wolves a two-possession lead. 

This is a common occurrence though, as Galea states, “There is not a single receiver who is as good as Austin [in the section]. It feels like he is always open and comes down with every jump ball I throw.”

The two teams once again traded blows and going into halftime the Wolves had a 35-21 lead. 

During the break, John Jay felt confident that they were going to win the game. “I kept reminding the boys that Clarkstown couldn’t play with us,” Garofolo stated, “We knew everything was working on offense, and with a few minor adjustments on defense we were going to get stops. Coming out of halftime, we knew we going to dominate the rest of the night” 

And dominate they did. After receiving the opening kickoff, nothing was stopping John Jay. Despite a few questionable calls from the officials, John Jay persevered and completed a long drive that ended with a 47-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Chris DiChiara. 

Down three touchdowns, Clarkstown needed to answer quickly, and it looked as if that was going to be the case. They marched all the way down to the 1-yard line, where the Vikings had first and goal. But the Wolves had other plans. Sophomore Tommy Machado came flying in from corner and forced a fumble, which was then recovered by Senior Charlie Burt. 

And relying on the Big Boys up front, John Jay marched the ball 99 yards down the field, in a drive that culminated with a touchdown, and put a dagger in the hearts of Clarkstown South.  

Senior Quarterback Craig Galea went on to talk about the dominant play of the offensive line saying, “The whole year, people have doubted our O-Line, but these last few games they have really made a statement and played well.”

And after a few touchdowns with the game out of reach, and the Wolves holding the ball for 9 of the final 12 minutes, the final whistle was blown, sealing away the 55-28 victory for John Jay. 

John Jay emphasized a well-rounded attack utilizing all their offensive playmakers in the win. Craig Galea went 20 of 35 for 375 yards and 5 touchdowns. Christian Shapiro ran 30 times for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had a score through the air. Austin Zaccagnino pulled in 9 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown and Chris DiChiara added 5 receptions for 153 yards and found the endzone three times. Michael Mendicino helped with 2 picks on defense.  

The Wolves will now travel to Rye, where they will face the Garnets who have reached the section championship for each of the last four years. The Wolves look to “prove it” again and knock off this Section 1 powerhouse.