CROSS RIVER, N.Y. -- John Jay-Cross River and Rye are two of the hottest football teams in Section 1 at this point.
The Indians are riding a seven-game winning streak and Rye has won five consecutive games. When the teams meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at John Jay, one winning streak will be halted. John Jay, seeded first, will play third-seeded Rye in a Section 1 Class A Football Championship semifinal.
The winner advances to the Section 1 Class A title game on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m., at Mahopac High School. Either John Jay or Rye will face the winner of the Ossining-Poughkeepsie game. The losing teams in each semifinal will play in a consolation bowl game.
This will be the second meeting of the year between John Jay and Rye. The Indians went to Rye in week two of the regular season and defeated the Garnets, 14-7. The 14 points is the lowest offensive output for John Jay during its winning streak.
John Jay, making its second straight semifinal appearance, easily handled Somers, 28-7, last week. Rye went to Pearl River and defeated the Pirates, 14-7. The final score was not indicative of play as Rye was in control from the opening snap. Last year, Rye lost in the first round to Somers.
When John Jay and Rye played in early September, the Indians raced out to a 14-0 lead, on the legs of quarterback Tyler Keech, who ran for more than 100 yards. John Jays offense is difficult to defend because Keech or Jack Lambert will line up at quarterback. The junior tandem is dangerous running or throwing. Lambert is also equally effective playing wide receiver.
Rye rallied in the second half, closing to within seven points, but John Jay held the Garnets on a fourth down, inside the Indians 20-yard line, late in the fourth quarter. John Jays defense will see a semi-new look Rye offense. In the first meeting, Jake Meyerson was Ryes quarterback. Now, Meyerson lines up at halfback behind bruising fullback Joe Simolacaj and freshman Andrew Livingston is the quarterback.
Wednesday's Rye-John Jay game had originally been scheduled for Tuesday, but postponed because of the power outage in Lewisboro. Arrangements had been made to play at a neutral site if power was not restored at John Jay, but power did return late in the day on Tuesday.
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