St. Luke's challenging rebuilding year continued on Saturday with a 28-24 loss to Riverdale (NY) Country School in a non-conference match of teams with identical 1-2 records. The Storm was without their starting QB, Alex Libman, who was sidelined for the game. Back up QB Bryan Latorraca helmed The Storm and gave a solid performance.
The Riverdale Falcons struck first in the second quarter when St. Luke's failed to contain a 4th and 4 situation on their own 21. A pass into the flat gave Riverdale new set of downs at the 16 and two plays later they scored on a dive left. A successful PAT made it 7-0. But it took The Storm only two minutes to answer when JB Boggs swept left end and rumbled 60 years for a TD breaking free on a crushing crack back block from TJ Simpson. Ben Rappaport, whose sensational kickoffs kept Riverdale penned in their own territory all day, converted on the extra point to knot the score at 7.
On the Falcon's next position Ben Lavietes intercepted an attempted Riverdale throwback at midfield and returned it down to the St. Luke's 35. Latorraca then hit Noah Daniel at the 20 who bullied his way to the 10. Boggs registered his 2nd TD of the afternoon on a nifty run off the left side giving the Storm a 14-7 advantage going into half time.
The Falcons came out passing in the second half -having failed most of the first half to breach the Storm d-line of Paul Freeman, Dolan Gregorich and Simpson backed up by linebackers Rappaport, Lavietes, Robert Wood and B.J. Buckle - but relentless pressure forced incompletions and sacks and Riverdale punted down to the St Luke's 43. A series of hard runs by Boggs (helped by a couple of Falcon penalties) got the Storm down to the 15 where the drive stalled and Rappaport connected on a field goal.
On the ensuing possession Riverdale faced at 4th and short at their own 38, successfully went for it and on the renewed set of downs, lofted a bomb down to the St. Luke's 28. Another pass got the Falcons to the 4 where they blasted in for a TD changing the math to 17-14.
St. Luke's fumbled the kickoff return giving Riverdale the ball back at the Storm 24. Three plays later, the Falcon's took the lead, 21-17. Unbelievably, St. Luke's again fumbled the kickoff return this time at the 29. A trick play involving a reverse and bomb down to the goal line was convincingly broken up by Latorraca, but the Falcons scored four play later upping their advantage to 28-17.
St. Luke's answered in the 4th quarter when Latorraca double-pumped giving Boggs a chance to complete a stop and go route to the end zone where he hauled in a 30 yard toss from Latorraca, ending St, Luke's scoring at 24. With a minute and a half left in the game, St. Luke's got the ball on their own 22, made some progress, but the game ended with a Falcon interception.
Next Saturday St. Luke's squares up against league powerhouse Kingswood-Oxford School at home.