NYC ends Empire Challenge slide against L.I.
By: Tony Bellissimo
It took a record-setting performance from quarterback Sharif Harris-Legree for New York City to snap a five-game losing streak against Long Island in the 21st annual UnitedHealthcare Empire Challenge all-star football game on Tuesday night.
One snap away from defeat, Harris-Legree, of Grand Street Campus, connected with Jordan Hannah (Lincoln) in the corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown on fourth-and-9 with 22 seconds remaining to lift New York City to a thrilling 39-34 victory before a crowd of 7,145 at Hofstra. It was the third passing score for Harris-Legree, who completed 24 of 33 passes for an Empire Challenge record 371 yards and added a rushing touchdown on the way to MVP honors.
“The coaches believed in me and put the ball in my hands to do damage, and we got the win,” Harris-Legree said. “The winning play was just a wonderful catch.”
One of Harris-Legree’s counterparts, Carey’s Mike Catanese, also stood out and had Long Island in position to continue its recent dominance after hooking up with Infinite Tucker (Huntington) for a 12-yard touchdown with 1:46 to go. Plainedge’s Dylan Burns booted the extra point for a 34-33 lead, but plenty of time remained for Harris-Legree’s finishing touch.
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