Army Topples Syracuse in PYO play

Syracuse opened this confrontation with Mark Kiss and Charles “Rocket” Kitsakos giving Army a taste of their one, two punch by hitting the boards first. “The Rocket” scored the first TD but Manny Torrez Ruiz of Army said no to the point after.

Photos courtesy of Robert Cavaliere
Photos courtesy of Robert Cavaliere

Ryan Assad of Army accepted the Syracuse challenge and defied its defenses, scoring a touchdown and point after to take the lead. The “Rocket” answered again with a TD but Joshua “Shot Gun” Richardson and Mohammed Dola denied the extra point. A tough trek through enemy lines produced six points for Richardson but Andrew “A-Train” Echevarria put the kibosh on the point after attempt with a text book tackle. The first half ended 13–12 Army.

Army opened the second half with a brutal fight down field with Assad, Ruiz and Richardson leading the assault. Despite meeting strong opposition from Syracuse David “No Way” Rosales, Sevastian Ortiz and Echevarria. Assad scored, breaking past the Syracuse line. “A-Train” did stop the extra point.

The “Rocket” fought a fierce battle with every play. He was tackled by Ruiz, Joseph Zrekat and Richardson. He was also sacked by Zrekat and then gang-tackled but this guy is tough as nails and kept coming back.

Persistence paid off and the “Rocket” scored. Unfortunately, Dola was on hand to prevent the extra point. Army got possession and on their first play, Assad handed off to Ruiz, who muscled his way through the Syracuse line and entered golden soil. There was no extra point because the “Rocket” would not allow it.

Syracuse put everything into their next try for glory. They fought tooth and nail for every inch of Parkville turf. Unfortunately, the Army defense was relentless. Bassab Awawdeh, “Shot Gun” Richardson, Zrekat, Dola, Ruiz and Assad put the hurt on the Syracuse advance and would not yield another inch.

Army’s last possession produced another six points by Assad. Donavan Nunez tried for the point after but the “Rocket” put an end to that dream. Syracuse gave it their best effort on their last attack. A “Hail Mary” pass was called but it was foiled by Ruiz who made a slick interception ending the game for a final score of 31 – 18 Army.

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