NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — New Rochelle’s defense will lead the way Saturday when the hometown Huguenots host John Jay-East Fishkill in a Section 1 Class AA semifinal game at McKenna Field at New Rochelle High School.
The Huguenots (6-1) rolled through the first six games of the regular season unbeaten behind their defense before last week’s 21-20 loss to New Jersey’s North Bergen in a game that New Rochelle let slip away in the fourth quarter after leading 20-0.
“Our team is looking great,” junior lineman/tight end Joe Clarke said. “We have been practicing hard to get ready for this game, and yes, our defense is still a big key to a win. We have the best defense in the section, and if we’re playing well, no one can beat us.”
There should be no surprises in this matchup because the two teams played a regular season game just two weeks ago, with New Rochelle pounding out a 13-0 victory. John Jay is coming off a 27-10 victory over Clarkstown South.
New Rochelle’s defense has allowed just 13 points over six Section 1 regular-season games, and John Jay could not mount any offense in the earlier loss. The offense is led by quarterback Khalil Edney, Clarke and running back Jason Ceneus, who is a big-play threat on punt and kick returns.
Clarke and Terrance Holden are twin defensive ends who make it tough on running backs to turn the corner for big games. They will key on John Jay’s lead back Ron Houghton.
The victor will face the winner of the other Class AA semifinal between North Rockland and Mamaroneck. The Huguenots lost the Class AA final to North Rockland last fall and are favored to return to the title game next week at Mahopac High School.