Stepinac's Goodman stakes claim as state's best quarterback
SYRACUSE — When Tyrell Goodman heard the hype last week for the second annual Upstate-Downstate Football Classic, it centered around two other quarterbacks: Rush-Henrietta's Ashton Broyld and Christ the King's Terrel Hunt. Both players are headed to Syracuse, setting them up, naturally, as rivals with the all-star game being played on their future turf.
"They were all getting all the hype, so I guess I had to step up and show them what I'm all about," Goodman said. "I came out and did what I had to do today."
By the final tick of the game clock, the Stepinac senior had accomplished what he came to prove: That maybe he's the best quarterback in the state.
Goodman sure played like it Sunday, leading the Downstate team to points in all five series he played during a dominant 41-7 victory over the Upstate team at the Carrier Dome.
Goodman rushed for 91 yards on 11 carries and completed 4 of 6 passes for 38 yards. The performance earned Class A's co-state player of the year MVP honors in his final game before heading to Akron.
Goodman, who broke a pair of tackles to score on a 13-yard keeper late in the third quarter, was one of several CHSFL stars who fueled the Downstate team, which was coached by New Rochelle's Lou DiRienzo. Hunt threw a 52-yard touchdown pass and scored on a 1-yard keeper, and Iona Prep's Sidney Weston rushed for 34 yards on seven carries and hauled in a 23-yard pass from Goodman.
"I wouldn't expect anything less from our guys," said Weston, who will also attend Akron but will do so as a preferred walk-on. "Everyone on this team is so good. This was fun."
Somers senior tackle Victor Prato credited an up-tempo, no-huddle offense installed by John Jay coach Jimmy Clark — Downstate's offensive coordinator — for keeping the Upstate team on its heels.
Prato spent the game rotating between the right and left sides. No matter where he played, he thought the Upstate defensive front struggled to keep up, especially because it had been depleted by injuries.
"When they keep it down to such basics where it's tough to get an edge one way or the other, the no-huddle was huge," said Prato, who will attend Princeton. "They only had two defensive ends and three guys on the inside of the line, and we were running them down."
The Downstate defense was equally effective against an Upstate offense led by Broyld, the Class AA state player of the year. Broyld and company failed to score during his four possessions; Upstate scored its only points on a 74-yard pass from Williamsville South's Joe Licata to Fowler's Kelvin Amparo.
Broyld, who had 70 yards rushing on 13 carries, was twice stuffed at the goal line from inside the 1 with the score tied 7-7 in the second quarter. New Rochelle defensive back Jordan Lucas was in on both stops along with Poughkeepsie defensive end Tyre Coleman, who later had a sack.
Goodman then led the team from the half-yard line on an 11-play drive. It was capped by Wallkill kicker Pat Toole's 47-yard field goal.
From the goal-line stand on, the Downstate team never trailed.
"It was close at the time," Lucas said. "That was a really big (stop). It gave us momentum on the sideline. I think that took the heart out of them."
With Downstate on top 34-7 in the fourth quarter, the defense faced another fourth-and-one inside its own territory. New Rochelle linebacker Bubby Manns forced a fumble on a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, and the loose ball was recovered by John Jay linebacker Lucas Myer.
"We were basically dominating," Manns said. "We just wanted to get another stop there to pump our crowd up and pump our team up."