CROSS RIVER - For most of their boys lacrosse history, the John Jay Indians have been playing catch-up with Yorktown's nationally known program. Try as they might, the Indians could never quite get there.
Despite many close calls and near misses, they even endured a frustrating 0-23 drought against the Cornhuskers before finally beating them for the first time in 1999.
Imagine Charlie Brown repeatedly attempting to kick a football, only to have Lucy pull it back each time.
But yesterday, the Indians marked a dramatic new chapter in the series. John Jay - not Yorktown - is now the national power and the team in control of the rivalry.
John Jay scored goals on its first five shots of the game en route to a 12-6 win - its most one-sided ever against the 'Huskers.
It was the first time the teams have met since last year's Class A final, which John Jay won 10-9 in overtime to end Yorktown's streak of eight straight sectional titles. The Indians (11-1) also extended their winning streak against Section 1 opponents to 33 games - their last loss being another 10-9 overtime game against Yorktown, on April 12, 2005.
In their latest meeting, the Indians had a 5-1 lead by the middle of the first quarter. Six goal scorers produced a 6-3 advantage in the first period, which John Jay extended to 8-3 at the half.
"This is nice. We got an early lead and played well throughout the game," said John Jay senior Ryder Bohlander, who was a freshman in 2004 when the Indians won 7-5 at Yorktown for just their second win in 26 games against their rivals. "And this is the first time we ever beat Yorktown by as much as six goals."
The Indians, in fact, have won four of the last six meetings between the teams, including three in a row.
That means seniors such as Bohlander and Kevin Stockel won the final three matchups with the 'Huskers in their varsity careers. John Jay, having moved down to Class B, will not face Yorktown in the playoffs this year.
"I guess we kind of expect to beat them now," said the Drexel-bound Stockel, an attackman who had two goals and two assists.
Junior attackman Chris Bocklet, whose overtime goal ended Yorktown's sectional-title run last year, scored four goals yesterday.
"It's so important in big games to jump out early, and we were able to do that," he said. "That really gives you momentum and confidence."
Yorktown (5-5) was led by freshman Kevin Interlicchio's three goals. John Froats had two goals and one assist.
In another sign of how the fortunes of the teams have changed, Yorktown has lost four straight games for the first time in the program's 42-year history.
"We didn't play much defense in the first quarter," Yorktown coach Dave Marr said. "We were standing around and watching them. I don't know what it was - maybe they have nice uniforms. But after that, we played better."