Pete Gorynski saw his team make its share of mistakes on both sides of the football, but Fordham Prep had wrestled momentum away from rival Xavier and forced overtime on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Max Kinder to Michael Seminario and the tying two-point conversion from Kinder to Peter Carlino with 3:02 left in the fourth quarter.
One stop, Gorynski surmised, and the game was over.
“I was wrong,” he said. “They deserved to win. We couldn’t stop them, we couldn’t keep them out of the end zone.”
Chris Mattina scored on an eight-yard run and then picked off Kinder on an attempted pass to Brendan McGlynn to seal Xavier’s 35-27 win in the 86th annual Turkey Bowl Thursday morning at Aviator Sports Complex.
It was the 41st straight Turkey Bowl for Gorynski, who played in this game as a Xavier student.
“This is our Army-Navy game,” Gorynski said.
But Gorynski would have preferred a different way to end the game.
“We get one or two more stops in the second half we win that football game,” he said. “It wasn’t a great effort for us on the defensive side of the ball and we made plenty of mistakes offensively, too.”
Senior running back Bruce Grant, who rushed for 288 yards and three second-half touchdowns in last year’s 41-28 victory, was limited to 97 yards on 22 carries. Kinder was 11-of-27 for 153 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Rams also struggled on the defensive line as Xavier used rugby-like schemes to get the push it needed to gain a total of 296 yards on the ground.
“I asked the officials about it. There is a rule about aiding and abetting a runner, but you have to make contact with the runner,” Gorynski said. “That was Xavier rugby on the football field. It definitely worked to their benefit. They executed and we didn’t stop them.”
Gorynski addressed his team’s 15 seniors for the final time, but he’s optimistic about the future.
“It’s a young team so the future is bright,” he said. “I think we’re going to be a good football team next year.”
Gorynski caught glimpses of the future on Thursday. Sophomore Andrew Velasquez scored an 11-yard touchdown out of the wildcat series to tie the score at 13 with 6.6 seconds left in the first half. Junior Anthony Bronzo had numerous big runs on kickoff returns and junior Michael Seminario caught a pair of touchdown passes.
“For the underclassmen, the season starts tomorrow,” Gorynski said.
“I think we’re going to be OK. We return 27 underclassmen and we had a 45-man JV so for the first time in my career at Fordham we’re going to have numbers.”