SYRACUSE, NY — New Rochelle defeated McQuaid Jesuit 28-0 in the New York State AA Championship Game on Saturday night at the Carrier Dome.
The Huguenots improbable run through the playoffs completed an unprecedented 13-0 season.
For a football team that has overcome wave after wave of obstacles, on and off the field, it came as no surprise that their perfect season would end a day earlier than expected as a nasty weather forecast calling for a Midwest blizzard to collide with with a Nor’easter in the heart of the Great White North ￼￼forced the NYSPHSAA to move the title game up from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night, setting off a last minute scramble to rearrange transportation, lodging and meals.
With over 1,000 fans on hand to support them, the 28-0 shut out in the Dome gave the New Rochelle Huguenots Football team a state championship. But what they gave back to the community was something greater. The team over came incredible adversity, divisive controversy and the sort of media scrutiny that can cause professional athletes to crack under the strain.
Players and coaches had the rug pulled out from under them on November 13th with the shocking, and many believe, unwarranted, indefinite suspension of their longtime coach, Lou DeRienzo. They responded with a display of resiliency that made history and created a legacy for themselves that will still be talked about decades from now.
Tonight was a night that will not soon be forgotten.
The first half was a defensive stand-off with the game scoreless until Jessie Parson III returned a punt 33 yards to the McQuaid 21 setting up a 5 yard touchdown run by Gary Phillips III with under 3 minutes to go.
New Rochelle opened up a 14-0 lead with 7:39 left in the third quarter when Anthony Paul Jr. scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Parson would go on to score two touchdowns in the second half, one for 49 yards, the other for 60 yards.￼ He would finish the game with 177 rush yards on 12 carries, 14.8 yards per carry.
New Rochelle has 283 rushing yards in the game with 230 of those yards coming in the second half.
New Rochelle was outstanding on defense with 5 sacks on McQuaid quarterback Joe Cairns, 4 of those sacks by ￼New Rochelle lineman Darren Kabba who also had nine unassisted tackles. Kabba was named the Most Valuable Player of the Game by the NYSPHSAA.
New Rochelle limited McQuaid to just 74 yards of total offense with a paltry 21 rushing yards on 35 attempts.