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FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Sunday, November 7, 2021
The Hudson Valley Community College football team utilized the advantages of home cooking as they Vikings defeated the previously undefeated East Coast Prep 40-35 on Sunday afternoon at the Outdoor Athletic Complex on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College.
The 2021 home finale was filled with excitement and thrilling plays from both programs. The Vikings standout of the game was freshman receiver Omari Hopkins, who posted three touchdowns, including an 85-yard kickoff return touchdown to put the Vikings up 21-14, an instant response to the Firebirds, who just tied the game at 14-14 in the second quarter.
East Coast Prep came back with a deep 67-yard touchdown pass with 3:40 remaining in the first half to tie the Vikings up at 21-21. At the end of the first half, Frederick Callo connected on a season-best 42-yard field goal to put Hudson Valley back on top 24-21.
Hudson Valley tight end, Jeremy Clayton also had a big game, joining Hopkins as the only Vikings to score touchdowns in today's key win over the excellent preparatory program out of Barrington, Mass. Clayton scored the Vikings first touchdown of the game on an 11-yard pass from Jordan Moran, which capped an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive for Hudson Valley.
Clayton's second score came late in the third quarter to help extend Hudson Valley's lead over the Firebirds 31-21 with 3:45 remaining in the quarter. However, East Coast Prep responded quickly with a 34-yard run by Gunner White, to cut into the lead. Hudson Valley entered the fourth leading 31-28.
Starting off the fourth, Callo continued his dominate kicking, converting on a 26-yard field goal attempt and the Vikings pull ahead 34-28. Similar to how the entire game went back-and-forth between to two programs, the Firebirds looked to put a late game dagger into the Vikings with another big play score. Wadley chewed up a 47-yard touchdown run to complete the 5-play, 67-yard scoring drive in just under two minutes. Hudson Valley trailed 35-34.
On the next drive, the Vikings failed to put anything together and were forced to punt back possession back to East Coast Prep. On the very next play, Hudson Valley regained possession as safety, Michael Friedrich-Tran forced a fumble and Thomas Hicks landed on the loose ball for the key turnover. Hudson Valley took over at the Firebirds 31-yard line.
Hudson Valley did not waste any time as Moran found Hopkins once again in the end zone for a 31-yard score on the first play of the drive. The Vikings give the ball back to East Coast Prep leading 40-35, following a failed two-point conversion.
The Vikings defense starred for the next five minutes, keeping East Coast Prep off balance and helped kill time off the clock as the Firebirds 10-play drive stalled with Hudson Valley regaining possession with less than two minutes remaining. Desi Floyd and Jacob Stanko combined for back-to-back rushes, resulting in a first down, to secure the Vikings fourth win of the season.
The Vikings football team closes out the 2021 season next Saturday, Nov. 13 when they travel to take on NJCAA Region 3 rivals, Erie Katz in Buffalo. The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start.