BY JOE SCOTCHIE
Last week, the Roslyn High School Bulldogs easily dispatched of Great Neck South in their home opener, 39-8. On Saturday, the Bulldogs made it two in a row over teams from that village, defeating Great Neck North, 25-21. This time, however, they did it in spectacular fashion, scoring 12 points in the final 58 seconds for an amazing, come-from-behind win.
Playing on the road, Roslyn trailed Great Neck, 21-13 with only a minute remaining in regulation time. But quarterback Adam Combs, who had a monster game in the air, threw his second touchdown pass of the day, an 18-yard strike to Joe Cinque. Now trailing 21-19, the Bulldogs could not execute a two-point play that would have tied the score. But the Bulldogs still a few tricks in their hats. The expected onside kick took place and Roslyn’s Nekoda Schneider recovered at midfield. The Bulldogs weren’t done yet. First, Combs connected with Aaron Winston on a 36-yard pass that put the ball on the Great Neck five-yard line. Then, to top off the amazing afternoon, Combs threw a touchdown pass to Jackson Crush as time was running out to give Roslyn a memorable victory.
“It was pretty exciting. We needed every last second of those 40 minutes,” said head coach, Mike Cochoran. “It was a heckuva comeback.”
The key play was on the successful onside kick. Like every football squad, the Bulldogs practice this do-or-die play during the week. But as Cochoran acknowledges, the odds of actually succeeding on the play are always very steep, especially since the opposition knows that kick is coming But Jackson Krush’s dribbler was enough for Nekoda Schneider to fall on the ball, setting up Adam Combs’ last seconds heroics.
For Combs, the junior quarterback is off to a spectacular start, one that should propel him to the top ranks of Nassau County signal callers. In the Great Neck win, Combs ran for one touchdown and passed for three of them. He ran for 72 yards on 12 attempts, while connecting on 18 of 32 attempts for another 306 yards. That’s 378 total yards, numbers you are more likely to see from a Division I college star. If that wasn’t enough, Combs also had an interception on defense. Joining Combs on the defensive side was Marc Azouley who had 10 tackles and Lucas Broncato who had eight tackles and two sacks. Austin Scaladino also made it into the Great Neck backfield for another sack.
The Bulldogs battled from behind all afternoon. In the first quarter, Great Neck jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Roslyn then tied the score on a 15-yard touchdown run by Adam Combs. Another Great Neck touchdown gave the home team a 14-7 lead at halftime. Once again, Combs came through, connecting with Winston for a 75-yard bomb. The extra point was missed and that set the stage for Great Neck’s third touchdown and then the improbably finish, one that was similar to a road victory over Port Washington that gave Roslyn a division title two years ago.
This Saturday, Roslyn travels to Locust Valley for a 1:30 p.m. The Bulldogs deserve all the support they can get, so why not spend a pleasant fall afternoon in rooting on this fine group of young men?