What a difference a week makes for the Roosevelt passing game. A week after it didn't complete any passes in its win over Valley Stream North, the Rough Riders made the play of the game through the air in their Nassau IV title game win over Seaford Thursday night.
Quarterback Justin Terry's 35-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Denzel Barnes on third-and-9 with 9:34 left in the third quarter was the difference in Roosevelt's 6-3 victory at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
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"It was all up to my line," said Terry, who completed both his pass attempts for 46 yards. "If I didn't have them perfecting their blocks, I wouldn't have gotten the ball off."
Not only did the Rough Riders' O-line play a role in making the completion happen, but Terry called Barnes' speed the main reason it all worked out.
"I was concentrating the whole time, following it all the way through," said Barnes, who caught the ball in tight coverage in the end zone. "It was a good throw. Without [Terry], I wouldn't have caught it. Thank God for that. This feels great. I'm happy."
Barnes' touchdown was the game-changer and his interception in the final minute sealed it. On third-and-1 at the Roosevelt 43-yard line with the scoreboard still showing Roosevelt 6, Seaford 3, Barnes picked off a pass at his own 17 and returned it 63 yards to the Vikings' 20 with 18 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
"I concentrated on that one too, no difference," Barnes said. "I saw it coming my way and said that's it. It's over. I feel I'm one of the best corners in Conference IV."
Barnes also turned out to be a pretty good wide receiver in this one. Just ask Terry.
"I had trust in him," Terry said. "I'm glad we were able to get that one."