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Horace Greeley Loses to John Jay, Ciero Injured

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – John Jay’s offense was on display once again and demonstrated why it is among the most diversified in Section 1 and so difficult to defend.

The Indians rolled up more than 500 yards on offense and went on to manhandle visiting Horace Greeley 42-14 in a Class A football game, Thursday night.

John Jay won its fourth consecutive game, improving to 4-1. The Indians put themselves in position to secure a top three seed in the Section 1 Class A Championships with wins over Fox Lane and Roosevelt in their final two regular-season games.

Horace Greeley (3-2) lost its second consecutive game and played the majority of the second half without star quarterback Justin Ciero, who went down with a leg injury in the third quarter and never returned.

Danny Caiola carried 21 times for a game-high 172 yards to spearhead a relentless running game. Quarterback Tyler Keech was a perfect nine of nine for 151 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 75 yards and two scores. Quarterback/wide receiver Jack Lambert ran for 74 yards and two touchdowns, went three for three for 47 yards and also caught three passes for 95 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown pass from Keech.

Keech, Lambert and Caiola gave Greeley’s defense fits.

“Our tempo was excellent tonight,” said Caiola, who had a sensational 60-yard run in the third quarter to set up a touchdown. “Coach (Jimmy Clark) just calls the plays. That gets us going and helps us win games.”

Whether it was Keech or Lambert taking the snap, both quarterbacks did an excellent job of carrying out their fakes to Caiola, resulting in big yardage. When Greeley’s defense keyed on either Lambert or Keech, Caiola pounded the ball between the tackles.

“We have excellent quarterbacks who can get things done,” Caiola said.

Caiola and Keech scored on John Jay’s first two possessions, but Ciero answered with a pair of scoring runs to even the score at 14-14. John Jay regained the lead with a 15-play, 89-yard drive in the second quarter. Lambert and Keech both directed the drive, with Lambert punching it in from the 1 yardline. Lambert ran for 36 yards and passed for 38.

“We wanted to go ahead and stay in the lead,” Lambert said. “Once we got in the end zone, we worked harder on defense to shut them down.”

Greeley was forced to punt and for the second consecutive week, John Jay came down the field in the final two minutes of the first half to score. Beginning on its’ own 18-yard-lie, John Jay needed just three plays to score its fourth touchdown. Keech connected with Tom Weingarten and Lambert on consecutive 16-yard throws, then hit Lambert, in stride, for a 50-yard touchdown pass.

“That always feels great,” said Lambert, referring to scoring before halftime. “Tyler’s pass could not have been any better. It was perfect and got me right in the bread basket.”

Ciero marched Greeley right back to the John Jay 17-yard line with 20.7 seconds on the clock, but Weingarten picked off a Ciero pass to end the threat.

“Tommy came up big,” Caiola said. “He recognized the coverage, jumped the route and made the interception.”

The game turned for the worst on the initial series of the second half when Ciero, after being tackled, was in serious pain. Even though he walked off the field under his own power, Ciero did not return.

Horace Greeley 7 7 0 0 -- 14John Jay 7 21 7 7 -- 42

John Jay -- Danny Caoila 4 run (Michael Corrado kick).Horace Greeley -- Justin Ciero 1 run (Morgan Weisman kick).John Jay -- Tyler Keech 4 run (Corrado kick).Horace Greeley -- Ciero 10 run (Weisman kick).John Jay -- Jack Lambert 1 run (kick failed).John Jay -- Lambert 50 pass from Keech (Keech run).John Jay -- Lambert 1 run (Corrado kick).John Jay -- Keech 45 run (Corrado kick).

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