Many nights one can find Noah Bodden delivering food around his hometown of Valley Stream to earn extra money. On Saturday morning the Christ the King quarterback was delivering the Royals to victory against host St. Anthony’s.
Bodden, a 6-4, 220-pound senior, spied Khalil Harris streaking down the left sideline with about five minutes left in the game and delivered a pass right on his chest for a 40-yard touchdown. It was the key play as the Royals scored the final 10 points for a 35-29 CHSFL 7-on-7 triumph over the young Friars in the teams’ featured game.
Christ the King also won the second varsity game, 31-26.
"He’s a talented quarterback who can throw the ball to all parts of the field and takes advantage of the smallest opening," St. Anthony’s defensive back Dante Antoine said. "I know this is 7-on-7 and we’re learning this for when we play [11-on-11 in March], but losing these games definitely feels like losing and winning these games definitely feels like winning."
Bodden attended Valley Stream Memorial for middle school and decided to enroll at Christ the King in Queens because friends from his youth program were doing so. He developed into a Division I prospect who recently opted to attend Grambling State – an HBCU – despite offers from higher-profile Arizona State, Tennessee and Kentucky.
"I didn’t get the recruiting experience a lot of other quarterbacks did because of coronavirus," Bodden said. "The other schools had all brought in quarterbacks who had visited campus and I felt like they might be [prioritized]. Grambling State has all this history and I liked the idea of being at an HBCU."
It didn’t hurt that CK offensive coordinator Bruce Eugene was a record-setting quarterback for the Tigers in the mid-2000s.
"He has a quick release and a great mental capacity for the game," Eugene said. "I played and I have put all I know into him. I am sure he is capable of playing at the highest level."
He’s not the only Long Islander on the Royals getting serious looks. Hempstead’s Sean Wilson is a 6-5 junior wideout who already has a dozen scholarship offers but described Pittsburgh and Miami as his most passionate suitors thus far. Wilson takes the LIRR, two subways and a bus to and from Christ the King and said "it’s worth it."
Bodden was 12-for-21 passing for 178 yards and four touchdowns. Harris caught two touchdown passes, Stanley Oxford caught a touchdown pass and two two-point conversions and Wilson caught a touchdown pass for CK (2-0)
Connor McCreery and Dante Torres each threw two touchdown passes for St. Anthony’s. Kenyon Miles caught touchdowns of 30 and 20 yards and Rich Hosein and Nick Iannucci each caught TD passes for the Friars (0-2).
St. Anthony’s took a 27-25 lead with about five minutes left when Miles, a sophomore, caught his second touchdown and also made the reception on a conversion for one point. Antoine and Emmanuel Green had big pass breakups as the Friars halted CK’s next possession to go up, 29-25. The Royals sandwiched the 40-yard Bodden-to-Harris score around a pair of stops to overtake St. Anthony’s.
"Coronavirus has been the worst, but it’s given me a chance to work on my body and my skills," Bodden said. "That has paid off."