MIDDLETOWN >> Senior running back Andrew Meoli rushed for 222 yards with three touchdowns, and senior quarterback Joe Carbone gained 131 yards and scored two touchdowns as Xavier rolled past Amity, 42-28, Friday night at Palmer Field.
Senior Nate Gonzalez and junior Cole Thornburn each had one interception, and Mike Scherer had a fumble recovery for the Falcons, which turned four Amity turnovers into a 35-7 lead early in the third quarter.
The Spartans made some big plays to get back into the game. Senior quarterback David Ryan found sophomore Kevin Nusdeo for a 60 yard touchdown pass play, junior Tyler Burns returned an interception 77 yards for a score and David
Buono added a 15-yard TD run that cut Xavier’s lead to 42-28 with 4:28 left in the fourth quarter.
But Xavier recovered the ensuing on-sides kick and the Falcons got a pair of first down runs from Meoli to run the clock out.
“I told the kids (at halftime) we’ve got to play every possession,” said Amity coach Bert Mozealous. “If we can stop them we know we can score on them. It’s a matter of stopping and trying to work hard and doing the right things. We just didn’t have enough at the end.”
Ryan completed 15 of 28 passes for 282 yards and two touchdown passes. Junior running back Spencer Thomas gained 47 yards on seven carries, while Ben Feola and Burns each had four receptions for the Spartans (3-2).
“We were having our issues with the pass coverage,” said Xavier coach Sean Marinan. “We had a couple of mental breakdowns which resulted in big plays.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Xavier’s defense came up with three turnovers that led to three quick Falcons scores.
Carbone’s 67 yard touchdown run and Andrew Verre’s extra point kick gave Xavier a 7-0 lead.
After a Gonazelez interception, Carbone hit a leaping Gonzalez in the end zone for a 28-yard scoring strike. Scherer’s 2-point conversion rush made it 15-0.
Scherer then recovered a fumble and two plays later Meoli scored from eight yards to make it 22-0 with 7:23 left in the second quarter.
Amity answered with a 53 yard touchdown pass play from Ryan to Burns to cut it to 22-7.
“Our receivers are pretty good,” said Mozealous. “And if you double somebody we’re going to find somebody else.”
Xavier (4-1) countered with an 11-play, 48-yard scoring march. Carbone capped the drive with a 5-yard TD run and the Falcons led 29-7 at halftime.
Amity fumbled away its first possession of the second half, giving the Xavier the ball at the Amity 17-yard line and the Falcons took advantage by scoring seven plays later on a 3-yard run from Meoli that made it 35-7.
Xavier outgained Amity, 477-318.
Carbone completed 7 of 18 passes for 121 yards.
“We never really got into a rhythm or in sync on offense tonight,” said Marinan. “I’m very frustrated. We played very poorly, particularly up front, and we were making mental mistakes everywhere. It’s kind of like we were at the beginning of the year.”
Xavier 42, Amity 28
Amity 0 7 7 14 — 28
Xavier 0 29 6 7 — 42
X—Joe Carbone 67 run (Andrew Verre kick)
X—Nate Gonzalez 28 pass from Joe Carbone (Mike Scherer run)
X—Andrew Meoli 8 run (Andrew Verre kick)
A—Tyler Burns 53 pass from David Ryan (Lyle Luth kick)
X—Joe Carbone 5 run (Andrew Verre kick)
X—Andrew Meoli 3 run (Kick missed)
A—Kevin Nusdeo 60 pass from David Ryan (Lyle Luth kick)
A—Tyler Burns 77 int ret (Lyle Luth kick)
X—Andrew Meoli 56 run (Andrew Verre kick)
A—David Buono 15 run (Lyle Luth kick)
Team records: Xavier 4-1; Amity 3-2