Welcome to the 15th annual Empire Challenge here at Hofstra. Adam Ronis to take you throught tonight's action as Long Island takes on New York city. The first two years pitted Suffolk against Nassau. Then in 1998, the Long Island-New York city format kicked off. Long Island leads the series, 7-5. Long Island defeated NYC last year, 31-14.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
We're about ready to start. Long Island won the coin toss and has deferred. Jesse Signa will kick off for Long Island.
NYC fumbles the opening kickoff, but recovers. They will start at the 28. The kick went 57 yards and was returned 20 yards. Malcolm Cater, usually a linebacker, is playing defensive end and he gets a tackle on the first carry. NYC is facing a third-and-6 at the 32. An offsides on LI gives NYC a third-and-1. Quarterback Frank Laino gets five yards on a sneak.
NYC has it first-and-10 at the 42. Laino hits Jeremiah Jobena and loses 1. After an incomplete pass, Laino gains two yards before a Jawara Dudley tackle. NYC punts and there is no return. The punt went 32 yards.
LI takes over at the 25 with 9:56 left in the quarter.
After an incomplete pass by Syracuse-bound John Kinder, Kinder runs for a 5-yard gain. Kinder gets a pass defelected by Jason Bromley and LI will punt after a three-and-out. NYC returns the punt five yards.
NYC has it first-and-10 at their own 32. Lyle McCombs gains 7 yards on a run. Jordan Rodriguez hits Marcus Spann for a 38-yard pass. It is first-and-10 at the 22. Alton Richardson gains 1 yards on first down. Rodriguez has sparked the offense and runs up the middle for a 12-yard gain. It is first-and-goal at the 9.
Douglas Butler gains two yards on first down. Rodriguez takes it up the middle once again and bulls his way into the end zone for a 7-yard TD with 4:39 left. NYC takes a 6-0 lead. Nick Fiorito has the kick blocked by Malcolm Cater. NYC 6, LI 0
LI returns the kick 17 yards and begins at its own 42. After no gain on first down, Anthony Brunetti gains three yards. LI faces a third-and-7 at the 45. Gavin Kretz hits Thomas DeNapoli for a first dow to the NYC 44.
Devon Lawrence gains four yards on first down. Brunetti follows with a big run to the 17 for a 23-yard gain. Lawrence gains six yards and then picks up 8 yards. LI has the ball first-and-goal from the 3. Brunetti carries for no gain and that ends the first quarter.
END OF 1st QUARTER: NYC 6, LI 0
LI begins the quarter with a second-and-goal at the 3. Davon Lawrence from Central Islip scores on a 3-yard run with 14:56 left to tie it at 6. Jesse Signa from St. Anthony's kicks the extra point and LI leads 7-6. The drive: 9 plays, 58 yards and it took 4:43. LONG ISLAND 7, NEW YORK CITY 6
NYC starts with the ball at its own 31. NYC gains six yards on first down. Jonathan Derbyshire picks up three yards and it is third-and-1. A short gain gives NYC the first down at the 42. Derbyshire hits Elijah Bratcher for a 30-yard gain down to the LI 28.
Douglas Butler gets tackled by Ryan Andersen for no gain. A huge tackle by Jawara Dudley for a loss of two. The hit of the game so far. NYC has a third-and-12. Daniel Belfiore with a sack for a loss of eight. NYC goes for it on fourth-and-22 and the pass is incomplete. LI takes over on downs as the rain begins to fall.
Long Island starts at its own 40. Kevin Allen gains 11 yards on first down. Kenny Barnett follows with a gain of 12 yards for a first to the 37. Kinder gets sacked back at the 43. Kinder gets sacked again as he tries to take off and run. He loses 1 and LI has a third-and-17 at the 44. Mario Tull intercepts a pass at the 41 and takes it to the LI 47.
NYC goes three-and-out and punts.
LI starts at its own 42. Kinder rushes for a gain of nine. After a first down, Brunetti gains five yards. LI has a third-and-4 at the NYC 39. Brunetti gains two yards and it is fourth-and-2. A quarterback sneak comes up short and LI turns it over on down.
NYC faces a third-and-6. Rodriguez runs right up the middle for a first down. It is first-and-10 at the city 48. After an incomplete pass, Anthony Cipoletti and Belfiore are in for the sack. NYC has a third-and-18 at the 41 with 28 seconds left in the half. NYC gains four yards and LI calls a timeout with 20 seconds left. The rain is coming down heavily. NYC goes for a deep pass and it is incomplete.
LI starts at the NYC 43 with 11 seconds left. Kinder throws an incomplete pass to start the drive and another on second down. That leave two seconds left. Kinder tries to run and time expires. We're at halftime.
HALFTIME: LONG ISLAND 7, NYC 6
LI starts with the ball. After the kickoff, LI has the ball at its own 37. Kenny Barnett had the first three carries and gained 12 yards. On second-and-13 from the NYC 43, Kretz gains two yards. Long Island takes a timeout. Kinder gets sacked by Belfiore and LI punts.
NYC takes over at their own 25 and loses two on the first play. A two-yard gain has NYC facing a third-and-10. The rain is coming down really hard right now. An incomplete pass forces NYC to punt. The NYC punt rolls down to the LI 24 for a 51-yard punt with no return.
A slow connection didn't save much of what I just wrote, so here's a quick summary.
LI fumbled deep in its own territory and Nick Fiorito hit a 44-yard field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, Mike Gallo returned the kick 56 yards leading to a 30-yard field goal by Jesse Signa. LONG ISLAND 10, NYC 9
The connection was slow and I couldn't get on. JeVahn Cruz had an interception for LI with 3:38 left. Then a snap went over John Kinder's head and into the end zone. Kinder got the ball and tried to throw it out of the end zone and was intercepted by Devante Wheeler and he took it to the 1. After being stopped on first down, Rodriguez scored on a 1-yard run with 1:41 left to give NYC a 15-10 lead.
LI had the ball at its own 34 and got down to the NYC 34 before turning it over on downs.
NYC wins, 15-10.