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Fumbles Cost Rams Football Spot in County Finals

West Hempstead loses to a tough Roosevelt team, 45-16, in Conference IV playoff semifinal.

The Conference IV playoff semifinal game between West Hempstead and Roosevelt was a close one up until the halftime mark.

The game, which was played at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium on Saturday night, featured many running touchdowns with the Roosevelt Roughriders taking a 22-16 advantage into halftime. All the West Hempstead Rams needed to do was come out strong in the second half to take control of a team they'd already beaten once during the regular season. But that didn't happen.

On the first play of the second half, Roosevelt's Johnnie Akins ran 72 yards on the punt return to give the Roughriders a commanding 28-16 lead. After a successful two-point conversion, Roosevelt increased its lead to 30-16.

"That touchdown definitely hurt us," said West Hempstead coach Dom Carre. "We were successful bringing the ball upfield on the next drive, but fumbled in the red zone and things spiraled out of control from there."

West Hempstead got the ball back after Akins' touchdown run and the Rams looked solid with their backfield trio of Tayvon Hall, Enrique McFarlane and Bruce Gibbs slowly and steadily moving the ball upfield. West Hempstead managed to get the ball to Roosevelt's 8 yard line and they looked poised to get into the end zone. But the unthinkable happened as quarterback Michael Petrizzo and Hall flubbed a handoff and the Rams fumbled the ball deep in Roughrider territory.

Roosevelt's stellar running back, Akins, took advantage of the West Hempstead miscue and reeled off a 70-yard touchdown run on a third-and-four play on the subsequent possession.

"That was the story of the game," said Carre. "We weren't able to capitalize when we had the ball on their side of the field and we fumbled at critical times. The game wasn't the blowout it appears to be on paper."

Roosevelt will now face Valley Stream North in the Conference IV playoff finals next Saturday, Nov. 24 at Shuart Stadium.

West Hempstead's remarkable senior player Tayvon Hall amassed 1,534 yards on 168 carries this season with 20 touchdowns. Junior Enrique McFarlane had 66 carries for 734 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Loraine Magaraci November 20, 2012 at 03:23 PM
The final score of Saturday nights game, was not a reflection of the amazing season this team had! Week after week they came out and gave it their all. The energy in the stands this season was truly remarkable. There were crowds at every game, even the away games. Along with their very cute and talented cheerleaders, they really gave us all something to be proud of and the next game to look forward to. They are truly an amazing group of boys on and off the field. They are the true definition of RAM PRIDE! Not only did they work hard on the field, headed by their coach Dom Carre and his team, but they work hard off the field. When Sandy hit, and the school did the supply drive, those boys were there working right along side their coaches to help as many W. Hemp. and Island Park families as possible. So, at Hofstra Sat. night, when I saw those stands filled with our town showing up for them, I knew it wasn't just me. They have impacted all of us. And to see our athletic director Chris Mistretta look with such pride at the team and the stands I was truly touched. So, even though I will miss our seniors terribly, I CANT WAIT FOR NEXT SEASON!! GO RAMS!!

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