Former New Jersey high school mates put on show in Giants’ loss

DETROIT — Friday was not a bad night for Don Bosco Prep, the Garden State and guys named Tommy everywhere.

Two players from that New Jersey high school football powerhouse made some noise for their hometown team, with quarterback Tommy DeVito and tight end Tommy Sweeney connecting on a 14-yard touchdown pitch-and-catch in the second quarter of the Giants’ 21-16 loss to the Lions in the preseason opener at Ford Field.

DeVito replaced veteran Tyrod Taylor late in the first quarter. A 25-year old rookie, DeVito spent the first five years of his college career at Syracuse before he transferred to Illinois in 2022 and won the starting job. DeVito, who is from Cedar Grove, N.J., and starred at Don Bosco in Ramsey is trying to be the local boy who made good with the Giants.

There were more than a few nice moments for DeVito. He hit Cole Beasley for 18 yards and fired over the middle twice for 15-yard pickups to Jamison Crowder.

His big moment came when Sweeney got one step on linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and DeVito placed the ball perfectly, hitting the tight end in the hands in the end zone to put the Giants ahead 13-3. DeVito was a freshman at Don Bosco when Sweeney, who is from Ramsey, N.J., was a senior.

Tom Sweeney beats Jalen Reeves-Maybin for a touchdown catch on a pass thrown by Tom DeVito, his former high school teammate at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey.

“I have it in my locker,’’ DeVito said of the football he tossed for the touchdown. “I don’t know if [Sweeney] knows I have it.’’

DeVito finished 15-for-24 for 155 yards. His one interception came on his final pass of the night, trying to make a play to win the game.

“I thought he did a nice job,’’ head coach Brian Daboll said. “He operated well, made some good decisions, used his legs when he was under some pressure, took care of the ball. Definitely a performance to work off of.’’

The Giants likely will keep just two quarterbacks on their active roster, but DeVito could make enough of an impression to stay around on the practice squad.

Third-string quarterback Tommy DeVito, who played high school football at New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco prep, had a solid outing in the Giants' 21-16 preseason loss to the Lions.
Third-string quarterback Tommy DeVito, who played high school football at New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco prep, had a solid outing in the Giants’ 21-16 preseason loss to the Lions.
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WR Collin Johnson, who missed the entire 2022 season after he ruptured his Achilles tendon last summer, was forced out of the game with a knee injury. … Crowder had a 36-yard kickoff return late in the first quarter, but it was nullified by a holding penalty on Habakkuk Baldonado.

Rookie RB Eric Gray got the first crack as the punt returner.

He fielded a 45-yard punt and absorbed a big hit by Brady Breeze to make the most out of what became a 5-yard return.

Gray did not get on track with three kickoff returns that averaged 20.7 yards.

CB Cor’Dale Flott had a strong tackle on a 48-yard punt by Jamie Gillan to keep the Lions pinned on their 10-yard line. … OL Tyre Phillips injured his leg during the joint practices with the Lions and was held out of the game.

The Giants’ second-team offensive line was LT Korey Cunningham, LG Shane Lemieux, C Jack Anderson, RG Sean Harlow and RT Wyatt Davis. That group struggled. … Rookie WR Jalin Hyatt had a quiet debut, with one reception for a 4-yard loss.

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