Jeremiah Cheatom rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 1 Riverhead over No. 5 Newfield, 34-20, Saturday in a Suffolk II football semifinal.
"He took over the game," coach Bill Hedges said. "He was great in short yardage situations where we needed the first down to keep the drive going. He broke big runs."
Down by one point at halftime, Riverhead (9-1) came back with a vengeance in the second half. Cheatom capped off a five minute, 99-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown run up the right side of the field, giving Riverhead the 26-20 lead.
"It was the turning point in the game and it was awesome," Hedges said.
Four minutes later, Riverhead solidified the victory. "The knockout blow came with Cheatom's 79-yard run in the fourth quarter," Hedges said. "It put the nail in the coffin."
Daren Jefferson added a touchdown reception from Kenny Simco. "It was a beautiful pass and Jefferson pulled it down," Hedges said. "That kid can catch anything."
Simco completed 9 of 10 passes for 123 yards and one touchdown.
"He did a great job coming in for the backup role," Hedges said.
Middle linebacker Mike Van Bommel led the defense with 12 tackles. Defensive tackle John Lee had eight tackles.
"They stepped it up and absolutely led the defense," Hedges said.
Riverhead will play No. 3 East Islip at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the final at Stony Brook University.
"They beat us 50-36 earlier in the year," Hedges said. "We're looking forward to the rematch."
Newfield finished 5-4.