By Nick Mirto
Orange Live Sports Writer
An unfortunate series of penalties, interceptions, dropped passes and fumbles stymied Amity’s early bid to grasp control of the game in a 42-28 loss to Xavier at Palmer Field Friday night.
On the second play from scrimmage, Spartan junior running back Spencer Thomas sprinted for a 62-yard TD run called back by a personal foul on a very late flag. Two drives later, Spartan wide receiver Ben Feola dropped a pass at the Xavier 15 yard line. The ball was deflected and intercepted.
On the next Spartan drive, senior Nick Bottone dropped a pass at the Xavier 40 with nothing but open field in front of him. After a 66-yard TD run by Falcon quarterback Joe Carbone, Amity quarterback David Ryan threw an interception to senior Nathan Gonzales after trying to recover an errant snap and avoiding tacklers. Gonzales would score three plays later on a 28-yard TD catch. On the very next play from scrimmage, Amity turned the ball over on a Bottone fumble.
Falcon senior running back Andrew Meoli promptly scampered for a 32 yard gain before scoring from 8 yards out, pushing the score to 23-0 with 7:23 left in the first half. This quintet of miscues not only derailed excellent scoring chances but also gave the Falcons control of the contest.
The Spartans finally dented the scoreboard with 6:07 left to go in the half on a Ryan to Tyler Burns touchdown connection from 54 yards out. Senior Lyle Luth’s extra point cut the lead to 22-7.
Xavier junior Cole Thorburn returned the ensuing Amity kickoff 44 yards to the Amity 46. The Falcons then, as they did all night, ran a series of zone read plays. Defending on the defense’s reaction, Carbone would either keep the ball or hand off to Meoli, the running back. The Falcons ultimately scored on a 5 yard TD run by Carbone – his second — to increase the lead to 29-7 with 32 seconds left in the half. Carbone ran 20 times for 137 yards while Meoli galloped for 207 yards on 29 rushes.
After the intermission, the Falcons increased their lead to 35-7 on a Meoli 4-yard TD run with 6:26 left in the third quarter. Amity immediately answered on the next series, as Ryan found sophomore Kevin Nusdeo for a 60-yard TD strike. Ryan went 12-25 for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions each. Nusdeo hauled in two passes for 90 yards.
Amity scored again on a 66-yard interception return by Burns, his second “pick-6” in as many weeks. With 11:36 left in the game, the Spartans trailed 35-21. The Falcons answered 90 seconds later on a 56-yard Meoli TD – his third score – which all but put the game away.
Senior running back David Buono closed the scoring for the night on a 16-yard TD run with 4:28 left in the game.
Amity fell to 3-2 with the loss. The Spartans play at Notre Dame West Haven next Friday at 7 PM.