Shaquez Nesbitt returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown with 28 seconds remaining to pull Poughkeepsie within a point, and Trevon Reid hit Jovan Atkinson on a fade route for the two-point conversion, lifting the Poughkeepsie High School football team over visiting New Paltz, 35-34, on Friday.
“It was a discussion among the coaches and we decided that we wanted to go for the win,” Poughkeepsie coach Jerry North said of his decision to attempt a two-point conversion in lieu of the tying extra-point kick. “The kids wanted to go for it and I trust them. We had confidence in them to get it done.”
New Paltz had scored a touchdown to take a 34-27 lead with 56 seconds remaining.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Nesbitt received key blocks as he zig-zagged and cut across the field, slipping defenders en route to the end zone. Malik Lewis intercepted a pass on New Paltz’s final drive to end the game.
Nesbitt ran for 200 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground to lead the Pioneers (4-3). New Paltz fell to 2-5.
“This team stands up and doesn’t quit,” North said of the Pioneers’ three-game win streak. “We’ve had three games come down to the end and we’ve fought to the end. Coming from a one-win season with the same kids, this turnaround is a testament to their character.”
Poughkeepsie’s offense line of Daequan Gibson, Treyvon Whitaker, Marcus Blocker, Corey Simmons and Keyshon Williams “did a great job of blocking and making things happen,” North said.
Poughkeepsie hosts Goshen at 6 p.m. Friday.
Stephen Haynes: [email protected], 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4