When I first started doing this in 2010, there’s no way 300-yard passers would be on the honorable mention list. It goes to show you just how much offense has exploded in this area.
Anyway, I tried to merge both the top performances with the biggest efforts in big games. The result is the Week 7 Game Balls:
1. Cameron Ciero, Horace Greeley: In a must-win game, the senior QB was at his sharpest. He carried the ball 27 times for 174 yards and three touchdowns and went 14 for 24 through the air for 169 yards and two touchdowns, including a 15-yarder to Ivan Corso on fourth down that gave his team a two-score lead at a key juncture of the third quarter. Just a week after losing at North Rockland with a playoff spot on the line, Greeley won 40-27 at Clarkstown North to claim the final berth in the Class AA field.
2. Gavin Heslop and Tyquan Ennis, Stepinac: In a thorough, 38-21 win at St. Anthony’s, Stepinac has more than one hero, including Malcolm Major (145 all-purpose yards) and Terry McDonald-Preston (three sacks), among others. But it was Heslop, the senior HB/CB, and Ennis, a senior HB/LB, who probably produced the biggest plays. He stepped in front of a Steven Genova pass and returned the interception 67 yards for a touchdown that gave the Crusaders a 17-10 lead. He later stretched the lead to 31-21 with a 28-yard touchdown run. Ennis had a strong all-around game as well, rushing for 79 yards (including a 57-yard TD) and recording a sack, an interception and 12 tackles.
3. Marquez Jackson-Allen, Mamaroneck: The Mamaroneck program rushing record did not last long. Jackson-Allen broke his own mark, rushing for a record 305 yards to go with three touchdowns on 19 carries in a 34-7 defeat of Suffern. He also returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown.
4. L.J. Norfleet, Nyack: As I said earlier, Norfleet is usually known for his speed. This week, the junior QB sparked the Nyack offense in a must-win game, facilitating plays with his arm. He finished 6 for 8 for 327 yards and three touchdowns as the Indians won 34-3 and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
5. Justin Lee, Panas: The first-year Panas starter continued to enjoy a strong senior season. He went 8 for 14 for 227 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another 50 as the Panthers played their way into the playoffs, beating Sleepy Hollow 25-21.
6. Jabril Kapadia, Dobbs Ferry: The junior rushed 20 times for 305 yards, including TD runs of 84, 75, 50 and 9 yards. He also returned three kickoffs for 112 yards and had a hand in 17 tackles as Dobbs beat Haldane.
7. Michael Rolfe, Scarsdale: The emerging junior was terrific as Scarsdale overcame a 24-0 deficit to beat Rye 38-36 in OT. He went 10 for 17 for 239 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for two more scores, one with six seconds left in regulation and the other in OT, and then threw the winning two-point conversion.
8. Dom Brescia, Rye Neck: The senior rushed 23 times for 312 yards and three touchdowns in a 32-14 win over Blind Brook. It was Bresica’s second 300-yard game this season. He now has 1,408 yards rushing in just six games.
9. Brandon Castro, Pleasantville: The senior earned a busy workload after an injury to fellow running back Jack Browne and he didn’t disappoint. Castro carried the ball 33 times for 183 yards and three scores as the Panthers beat Briarcliff/Hamilton 27-13.
10. Anthony Castracucco, Tuckahoe: The senior QB had a big all-around day. He rushed for 127 yards and a TD, threw for another 60, caught a 27-yard pass and had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He also brought a kickoff back for a score in a 50-28 defeat of Woodlands.
Honorable mention: Ryan Baker finished 11 for 13 for 143 yards and a TD in Yorktown’s 27-14 victory over John Jay. He went 3 for 3 on fourth down in the first half and all three completions help set up touchdowns. … Sophomore Connor Breit rumbled for 78 yards, but he also scored all four touchdowns as Nanuet won the Little Brown Jug again, beating Pearl River 28-0. … Harvey’s Michael DePass caught four balls for 139 years and three scores and also returned a kickoff 69 yards for a touchdown in a 40-7 defeat of Forman. … Lakeland’s Ryan Thomas had six sacks in a 40-10 victory over Pelham. … Louis Fiipelli threw for 320 yards and four scores as Byram downed Hen Hud 53-22. … Eric Favors recorded a team-high 12 tackles in North Rockland’s 17-0 defeat of Ketcham. … Shea Holebrook caught a 61-yad TD and had two interceptions as Ossining won its first game, 18-16 over Mount Vernon. … Ryan Walker threw for 212 yards and three scores in Hackley’s 24-0 shutout of Montclair Kimberley Academy. … Robert Madison was 24 for 42 for 319 yards and a TD in Iona Prep’s 34-7 defeat of St. Joe’s by-the-Sea.