Category Archives: Sports

Huguenots win Class AA title

by MIKE SMITH

If any early-season questions lingered about New Rochelle’s offensive prowess, the Huguenots answered them last weekend. On Saturday, Nov. 7, New Rochelle claimed the Class AA title with a 44-25 victory over John Jay, in a game that showed just how scary the Huguenots can be when they are clicking.

The Huguenots celebrate their 44-25 section title win over John Jay. The victory marks New Rochelle’s first title since 2012.

The Huguenots celebrate their 44-25 section title win over John Jay. The victory marks New Rochelle’s first title since 2012.

Keelan Thomas led the way for the Huguenots, rushing for 113 yards and two touchdowns and returning a kickoff 82 yards for a score in the New Rochelle win.

“It felt great,” Thomas said. “Before the game, I told our players we hadn’t won a section championship in three years so we had to come out hard to win today.”

But even though Thomas’ performance earned him Most Valuable Player honors on the day, he was hardly the only Huguenot who shined on the offensive end. Sophomore Jared Baron added his own rushing touchdown and quarterback Greg Powell ran for 73 yards and a score while going 6-for-11 in the air for 86 yards.
New Rochelle’s lone passing touchdown came when Powell left the game due to an injury, however. In the third quarter, with Powell out, backup Jonathan Saddler launched a 56-yard touchdown pass to Rashon McNeil.

“It’s what we preach in practice: if a backup comes in the game, he’s got to be treated like a starter,” Powell said. “It’s next man up, and we’re only as strong as that last guy.”

Rashon McNeil hauls in a touchdown pass against John Jay. Photos/Mike Smith

Rashon McNeil hauls in a touchdown pass against John Jay. Photos/Mike Smith

Defensively, the Huguenots had their hands full with John Jay quarterback Ryan Schumacher, who threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more. But New Rochelle managed to respond to each Patriot touchdown with a score of their own. The result was a much more one-sided game than the last time the two teams met.

On Sept. 3, New Rochelle edged John Jay 18-16 in the opening game of the year thanks to a last-minute Hail Mary from Powell to McNeill.

“That first game, we weren’t together as a team,” Thomas said. “As the weeks went by, we came together and this game, we all contributed together.”

Lloyd King lays a hit on John Jay quarterback Ryan Schumacher on Nov. 7. Schumacher accounted for all four Patriots’ touchdowns, but the Huguenots made enough stops to preserve a 44-25 win.

Lloyd King lays a hit on John Jay quarterback Ryan Schumacher on Nov. 7. Schumacher accounted for all four Patriots’ touchdowns, but the Huguenots made enough stops to preserve a 44-25 win.

After the first two weeks of the season, when the Huguenots were unable to break the 20-point mark, the offense has shown a marked improvement. Over its last eight contests, New Rochelle has averaged 35.2 points per game.

Despite the uptick in production, however, Powell believes his team is capable of more.
“We’re pretty good, but I don’t think we’ve hit our ceiling yet,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

The Huguenots will be back in action on Nov. 14, when they take on Section IX Newburgh in the state regional finals at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. The Goldbacks beat Monroe-Woodbury 23-0 on Nov. 7 to advance to the state playoffs, and currently sit at 9-2 on the season.

Keelan Thomas rushes around the end during New Rochelle’s Class AA championship game against John Jay. Thomas rushed for two scores and returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.

Keelan Thomas rushes around the end during New Rochelle’s Class AA championship game against John Jay. Thomas rushed for two scores and returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.

But as the Huguenots prepare for their next test, Powell said, they will be sure to spend some time to let last Saturday’s win sink in.

“This feels great,” he said. “Since I was a freshman, we haven’t been here, so to get to this point and to win, it’s just hard to describe.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

round1

Mamaroneck Roundup

 

round3

A Mamaroneck player rushes past a White Plains defender on Sept. 1. The Tigers are one win away from the Class AA title game.

Football
10/24 Woodlands d. Rye Neck 14-6
Despite a much-improved performance against a Woodlands team that earned a double-digit victory over the Panthers last time, Rye Neck fell to the Falcons in the Class C semifinals in a truly defensive struggle.

Woodlands quarterback Amiri Bilal accounted for both touchdowns, rushing for 175 yards and a score and throwing for another in the win. Rye Neck’s points came on a pass from Frank Capparelli to Chris Colangelo.

With the win, Woodlands advances to the Class C finals, where it will take on No. 1 seed Dobbs Ferry on Oct. 31.

 

round2

A Tiger player looks upfield during a late-season contest against Scarsdale. On Oct. 28, Mamaroneck will begin its postseason campaign against Arlington. Photo/Mike Smith

Field Hockey
10/22 Edgemont d. Rye Neck 2-1
In the first round of the Class C playoffs, No. 8 seed Edgemont toppled No. 9 Rye Neck in a hard-fought contest between closely-matched teams. Victoria McGee’s two goals proved to be the difference-maker as the home team topped the Panthers by a goal.

Unfortunately for Edgemont, the playoff run would end two days later in the Class C quarterfinals, when it fell to top-seeded Pawling 3-1.

 

10/28 Mamaroneck
vs. Arlington
The top-seeded Class A Tigers will make their first foray into the postseason this year, after press time, on Oct. 28, when they take on the No. 9-seeded Admirals. Arlington advanced to the second round with a 2-1 shootout win over John Jay on Oct. 25.

The Admirals and Patriots entered the shootout tied at 1-1, but goals from Audrey Teanor and Erin Roberts pushed Arlington over the top to force a matchup with the Tigers.

 

round1

Gabriel Ajram carries the ball on Oct. 17 against Tuckahoe. On Oct. 24, Rye Neck lost 14-6 to Woodlands in the Class C semifinals. Photos/Bobby Begun

Boys Soccer

10/26 Rye Neck d. Bronxville 2-0

Last season’s Class B champions proved just how dangerous they are on Monday, as the No. 7 Panthers knocked off No. 2 Bronxville with a masterful shutout performance.

Donovan Dunning and Kol Lewis both found the net for Rye Neck to set up a semifinal showdown with No. 3 Edgemont on Oct. 28, after press time. Edgemont won its quarterfinal game against Briarcliff when Drew Simon broke a 1-1 tie with 13 minutes to play.

 

10/26 Mamaroneck
d. Horace Greeley 2-1 (OT)

They may have needed extra time to stop the Quakers, but the Tigers are flying high as they head into the Class AA semifinal round. Connor LeBlanc scored Mamaroneck’s first goal of the game, but it was Jack Spiradellis who notched the game-winner in overtime, finding the net on a free kick from Cameron Richards.

Mamaroneck will take on top-seeded Arlington, which won its quarterfinal game over Suffern 4-0, on Oct. 28, after press time.

Erin Nelson heads the ball. Harrison’s lone goal came off a Nelson corner kick in the second half.

Huskies on to semis

Kayla Hymowitz controls the ball on Oct. 27 against Ursuline. Harrison beat the Koalas 1-0 in the Class A quarterfinal round.

Kayla Hymowitz controls the ball on Oct. 27 against Ursuline. Harrison beat the Koalas 1-0 in the Class A quarterfinal round.

By MIKE SMITH
If Harrison’s postseason has been something of an adventure so far, it seems to be one that the Huskies are well prepared for. On Oct. 27, Harrison won its second straight nailbiter, topping Ursuline 1-0 to advance to the Class A semifinals. 

Karina Brachlow netted the game-winner 10 minutes into the second half, scoring on a corner kick from Erin Nelson to put the Huskies up by one. But although Brachlow accounted for the Huskies’ only points on the day, it wasn’t for lack of chances.

Harrison managed 19 shots on goal against Ursuline keeper Jena Pelinkovic, but until the second half, couldn’t break through.

“Their keeper did a phenomenal job in net and we had a lot of really good chances,” Harrison coach Jon-Erik Zappala said. “She played a high line, took some chances and it worked out for them.”

In the end though, Harrison’s onslaught proved too much as the Huskies escaped with their second one-goal win of the postseason. On Oct. 24, the No. 4-seeded Huskies beat league foe Pelham 2-1 in overtime to keep the season alive.

According to Zappala, the two tight wins have the team buzzing as the semifinals loom.

Maya Samad battles for the ball in a postseason game against Ursuline.

Maya Samad battles for the ball in a postseason game against Ursuline.

“They’re fired up and they’ve been playing so well,” Zappala said. “We have that intensity from every single member of the team from the sidelines to the field.”

Harrison will need to keep that intensity heading into the next round however, as they get set to take on top-seeded Somers on Oct. 29, after press time. Somers had little trouble in the quarterfinal round, blowing out Lakeland 8-0 to advance.

The Tuskers had three players notch at least two goals in the win, and have not yet given up a goal in the postseason. Although Somers and Harrison did not meet in the regular season, they did scrimmage in August.

“We scheduled them as the first scrimmage of the year,” Zappala said. “And since then, we’ve been keeping tabs on them, seeing who they’ve beaten and who’s been scoring for them.”

Erin Nelson heads the ball. Harrison’s lone goal came off a Nelson corner kick in the second half.

Erin Nelson heads the ball. Harrison’s lone goal came off a Nelson corner kick in the second half.

With just one day to prepare, Zappala said that he and assistant coach Lindsey Reilly have no time to waste coming up with a strategy for unseating the Class A favorites.

“Every game, we reflect on what we need to work on,” he said. “So we’re going to break it down, start thinking about formations and write up a practice plan.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com 

 

 

 

 

 

Shannon Nelson chases down the ball against Ursuline. Harrison will take on No. 1 seed Somers in the Class A semifinals. Photos/Bobby Begun

Shannon Nelson chases down the ball against Ursuline. Harrison will take on No. 1 seed Somers in the Class A semifinals. Photos/Bobby Begun

 
Taylor Fabiani blows past a Pelican defender. Photos/Mike Smith

Harrison hangs on

Taylor Kelly defends a Pelham player on Oct. 27. Harrison topped the Pelicans 2-1 in a Class B first round playoff game.

Taylor Kelly defends a Pelham player on Oct. 27. Harrison topped the Pelicans 2-1 in a Class B first round playoff game.

Taylor Fabiani blows past a Pelican defender. Photos/Mike Smith

Taylor Fabiani blows past a Pelican defender. Photos/Mike Smith

Elisa Arcara controls the ball near midfield in a playoff contest against Pelham. Arcara’s performance at the center midfield position helped the Huskies come away with the win.

Elisa Arcara controls the ball near midfield in a playoff contest against Pelham. Arcara’s performance at the center midfield position helped the Huskies come away with the win.

Christine Cardascia looks for an open teammate.

Christine Cardascia looks for an open teammate.

By MIKE SMITH
Harrison’s field hockey squad got off to a quick postseason start on Oct. 27, scoring early and hanging on to top Pelham 2-1 in a Class B first round game. But as the No. 5 Huskies prepare for a long playoff run, they know they’ll have to hold off more than a few charges in the coming week.

Tasha Garayo notched Harrison’s first goal of the afternoon and teammate Julie Robertson followed shortly after to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game on Monday. They held onto the two goal lead throughout the first half, moving the ball well and putting constant pressure on the Pelham defense.

“We had a great first half and I think our intensity was there,” Harrison coach Caitlin Rooney said. “But sometimes I think we get stuck being comfortable and we can drop off a bit.”

That’s exactly what happened, as Pelham roared back in the second half, cutting the lead to one about halfway through the final stanza.

“Pelham just wanted it more than we did in the second half and I think it showed,” the Harrison coach said. “They played with more intensity.”

The Huskies regained their footing after the Pelicans’ goal, and were able to keep Pelham out of the goal as they held onto the one-score lead. Pelham’s final chance came on a penalty corner with just under three minutes to play, but the Huskies were able to turn the ball away.

“We’ve got a good defense and a strong midfield,” Rooney said. “And we were able to hold our own at the end of the game.”

According to the head coach, Pelham’s second half surge should be something of an eye opener for a fairly young Harrison team.

“Sectionals [are] a whole other game, and sometimes it’s going to come down to who wants it more,” she said. “So I think this was kind of a learning experience for us in that second half.”

With the win, Harrison advances to the quarterfinals where it will take on No. 4-seeded Byram Hills. The Bobcats are coming off a convincing 3-0 win over Sleepy Hollow in which three different players registered goals for the higher seed.

“We know they’ve got two strong players in the center that have great hits, so we will work on giving them more depth,” Rooney said. “But we have a lot of good players, so if we go at [full] speed and do the things we’re good at, we can be successful.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Rye’s Leo Gomes tries to control the ball.

Eastchester upsets Garnets

Eastchester and Rye players battle for possession on Oct. 23. Eastchester topped the Garnets 1-0 in overtime.

Eastchester and Rye players battle for possession on Oct. 23. Eastchester topped the Garnets 1-0 in overtime.

Rye’s Leo Gomes tries to control the ball.

Rye’s Leo Gomes tries to control the ball.

Will Colwell traps the ball against Eastchester. Photos/Mike Smith

Will Colwell traps the ball against Eastchester. Photos/Mike Smith

Eastchester’s Lucas Barbieri makes a save against Rye. Barbieri had 10 saves in Eastchester’s shutout win.

Eastchester’s Lucas Barbieri makes a save against Rye. Barbieri had 10 saves in Eastchester’s shutout win.

By MIKE SMITH
Sometimes a game can come down to one unlucky break. The Rye Garnets found that out firsthand on Oct. 23 when they saw a stellar 2015 campaign end with an overtime loss to Eastchester in the Class A first round. 

The No. 12 seed Eagles broke a scoreless tie in overtime, when a Brad Pantel throw-in bounced off the head of a Garnet defender and trickled past keeper Owen Moore into the net.

According to Garnet head coach Sal Curella, that one bounce took away the momentum the Garnets had been gathering since the start of the overtime period.

“We opened up overtime the way we did the last time we played Eastchester,” Curella said. “We put full pressure on them, and I think they only had the ball in our half for about
20 seconds.”

Unfortunately for the Garnets, 20 seconds was all the Eagles needed.

“It just had this weird spin and dribbled into the back of the net,” Curella said. “Everyone just kind of froze.”

The No. 5-seeded Garnets held off an early Eastchester charge to start the game and seemed firmly in control of the action for much of the second half. But Eagles’ keeper Lucas Barbieri was up to the task, making 10 saves in the game to keep Rye off the stat sheet. It was the third meeting between the two league foes this year, and the first time the Eagles came out on top. All three games were decided in overtime.

“It’s hard enough to beat someone twice,” Curella said. “But we believed we were going to win coming into that overtime. It was a tough loss to take emotionally.”

With the win, the 7-8-1 Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals on Oct. 26, where they topped No. 4 Lakeland 1-0 in overtime on a Luca Fava goal.

Rye’s loss ends the Garnets’ season, but Curella admits that he is still impressed by the team’s play in his first year at the helm of the program. Rye finished with a 12-5 record, and with a number of underclassmen returning next year, the head coach believes the future is promising.

“The number one thing I told them is that the season isn’t defined by one game,” the head coach said. “We have so much to be proud of as we move on and look to build a culture of winning soccer.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Gia Mancini controls a ball during an early-season contest against Eastchester. With a 10-5-1 record, Mancini and the Huskies have earned the No. 4 seed in the Class A playoffs. Photo/Mike Smith

Huskies nab No. 4 seed

 

 

Gia Mancini controls a ball during an early-season contest against Eastchester. With a 10-5-1 record, Mancini and the Huskies have earned the No. 4 seed in the Class A playoffs. Photo/Mike Smith

Gia Mancini controls a ball during an early-season contest against Eastchester. With a 10-5-1 record, Mancini and the Huskies have earned the No. 4 seed in the Class A playoffs. Photo/Mike Smith

By MIKE SMITH
With a 3-0 win over Port Chester on Oct. 19, the Harrison Huskies appear to be hitting their stride with the postseason on the horizon. With a 10-5-1 record and having secured one of the top seeds in the Class A playoffs, Harrison will now turn its attention to making a run toward the section title. 

Against the Rams, Emma Hochman, Gina DiRusso and Gia Mancini all tallied a goal and an assist, something that head coach Jon-Erik Zappala believes highlighted the style of play that has carried the Huskies all year long.

“Compared to last year, we had more assists, more people scoring goals,” Zappala said. “Once we started to communicate out there, we really started to play much more cohesively.”

After a few tough losses early in the year, Harrison began to turn the corner after a mid-season win over a top-ranked Byram Hills squad. From that point on, Zappala said, the team began to gel both on and off the field.

“Our improvement was a gradual process, but when we beat Byram, you could see that their confidence rose,” he said. “We saw just how well we came together and how well we played to beat a top team.”

Harrison’s play throughout the regular season has earned the team a No. 4 seed in the Class A postseason, which begins its outbracket round on Oct. 22, after press time. Harrison will be in action on Oct. 24 when it hosts Pelham in the first round.

“I had a lot of confidence in this team all year,” Zappala said. “Coming into the meeting we weren’t exactly sure where we’d be but I figured we would be around fourth or fifth.”

In Pelham, the Huskies will face a familiar foe.

The Huskies and Pelicans have met twice already this season, with each team winning a game. Like Harrison, Pelham won its regular season finale in one-sided fashion, topping Lincoln 5-0 on Oct. 19.

“It’s always an interesting dynamic when you play a team for the third time,” Zappala said. “We know they’ve got a really good keeper, and it should be a very good game.”

As for strategy, Zappala said, all he can ask is that his girls go out and stick to what made them successful this year; communication and unselfish play.

“We’ve got to play with everything we’ve got to get the job done,” he said. “So far, this year, they’ve been getting the
job done.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 
Justin Walker lays a hit on Rye Neck quarterback Frank Capparelli. Photo/Bobby Begun

Eastchester Football Roundup

Jeff Sargeant tries to shed a Valhalla tackler in Bronxville’s Class B qualifying game against the Vikings. Photo/Mike Smith

Jeff Sargeant tries to shed a Valhalla tackler in Bronxville’s Class B qualifying game against the Vikings. Photo/Mike Smith

10/17 Rye Neck d. Tuckahoe 25-6

Rye Neck earned its second win of the season in its final tune-up before the playoffs, topping Class D Tuckahoe at home on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Gio Maffei put together his best game of the season for the Black Hats, carrying the ball 24 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Prior to the game against Tuckahoe, Maffei had topped the 50-yard rushing mark just once in the team’s season opener against Warrensburg.

“Gio had a great week of practice,” Rye Neck assistant coach Mark Poniros said. “Whenever you have a great week of practice, that carries over into the game.”

Rye Neck’s defense also came up big, forcing four turnovers on the day. Maffei, Jack Evans and Nick D’Errico all had interceptions, while Dan Garofolo picked up a Tigers fumble.

Justin Walker lays a hit on Rye Neck quarterback Frank Capparelli. Photo/Bobby Begun

Justin Walker lays a hit on Rye Neck quarterback Frank Capparelli. Photo/Bobby Begun

“That was a huge momentum swing for us,” Poniros said. “It gave us the chance to take over the ball four extra times.”

Tuckahoe will travel upstate on Oct. 23 to take on the Section IX powerhouse Chester. The Hambletonians, who defeated the Tigers last year in the state tournament, are currently 5-2 on the year.

At 2-4, the Class C Panthers are looking forward to their Oct. 24 playoff meeting with Woodlands. Woodlands hosted Rye Neck on Oct. 10, beating the Panthers 44-18. Last season, the two teams met in the Class C championship game, which Woodlands won 28-20.

10/17 Bronxville d. Valhalla 27-8

Bronxville rose to the occasion on Saturday, topping unbeaten Valhalla in the qualifying round of the Class B playoffs. Valhalla drew first blood, finding the end zone midway through the second quarter, but the Broncos battled back, scoring 27 unanswered points to advance to the quarterfinals.

Quarterback Brian DePaul led the way for Bronxville, rushing for 232 yards and two scores and finding Sam Connors for 132 yards and a touchdown through the air. Anthony Napolitano got the lion’s share of the carries, rushing 20 times for 204 yards on the afternoon.

Sam Connors lays out for a catch against Valhalla on Oct. 17. Connors had 131 receiving yards and a touchdown in Bronxville’s 27-8 win. Photo/Mike Smith

Sam Connors lays out for a catch against Valhalla on Oct. 17. Connors had 131 receiving yards and a touchdown in Bronxville’s 27-8 win. Photo/Mike Smith

With the win, Bronxville earned the right to take on No. 3 seed Westlake on Oct. 24. The Panthers had little trouble in their qualifying round game, topping Briarcliff/Hamilton 52-6. Westlake is currently 5-2 on the season, but its two losses came against opponents it has in common with the Broncos. The Panthers fell 12-0 to a Nanuet team that beat Bronxville 40-6 and also dropped a 20-6 game to Pleasantville, which beat the Broncos 20-6.

 

 

 

 

Chris Corrado looks for an open lane against Rye Neck on Oct. 17. Rye Neck topped the Tigers 25-6.  Photo/Bobby Begun

Chris Corrado looks for an open lane against Rye Neck on Oct. 17. Rye Neck topped the Tigers 25-6.
Photo/Bobby Begun

Grace Fitzgerald carries the ball upfield against Scarsdale on Oct. 16. Fitzgerald had a goal in the Tigers’ 2-0 win over Scarsdale.
Photo/Mike Smith

Mamaroneck Roundup

Chris Colangelo fights off a Tuckahoe tackler on Oct. 17. Rye Neck topped the Tigers 25-6 in their final game of the regular season.  Photo/Bobby Begun

Chris Colangelo fights off a Tuckahoe tackler on Oct. 17. Rye Neck topped the Tigers 25-6 in their final game of the regular season.
Photo/Bobby Begun

Football

10/17 Rye Neck d.

Tuckahoe 25-6

Rye Neck earned its second win of the season in its final tune-up before the playoffs, topping Class D Tuckahoe at home on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Gio Maffei put together his best game of the season for the Black Hats, carrying the ball 24 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Prior to the game against Tuckahoe, Maffei had topped the 50-yard rushing mark just once, in the team’s season opener against Warrensburg.

“Gio had a great week of practice,” Rye Neck assistant coach Mark Poniros said. “Whenever you have a great week of practice, that carries over into the game.”

Jack Evans picks off a Tuckahoe pass. The Panthers tallied three interceptions on the day. Photo/Bobby Begun

Jack Evans picks off a Tuckahoe pass. The Panthers tallied three interceptions on the day. Photo/Bobby Begun

Rye Neck’s defense also came up big, forcing four turnovers on the day. Maffei, Jack Evans and Nick D’Errico all had interceptions, while Dan Garofolo scooped up a Tigers fumble.

Tuckahoe will travel upstate on Oct. 23 to take on the Section IX powerhouse Chester. The Hambletonians, who defeated the Tigers last year in the state tournament, are currently 5-2 on the year.

At 2-4, the Class C Panthers are looking forward to their Oct. 24 playoff meeting with Woodlands. Woodlands hosted Rye Neck on Oct. 10, beating the Panthers 44-18. Last season, the two teams met in the Class C championship game, which Woodlands won 28-20.

“The kids are a little more seasoned now after playing a few more games,” Poniros said. “After watching film, they’re going to work on correcting some of the mistakes from last week, and hopefully we come out and play hard.”

A Tiger player looks for an open teammate on Oct. 16. Mamaroneck grabbed the No. 1 seed in the Class A playoffs after losing just one game this season. Photo/Mike Smith

A Tiger player looks for an open teammate on Oct. 16. Mamaroneck grabbed the No. 1 seed in the Class A playoffs after losing just one game this season. Photo/Mike Smith

 

Field Hockey

10/16 Mamaroneck d.

Scarsdale 2-0

In the penultimate game of the regular season, Mamaroneck downed rival Scarsdale 2-0 to clinch a league title. Grace Fitzgerald and Lizzie Clarke both scored for the Tigers in the final nine minutes of regulation to preserve the win.

The game, aside from deciding the league champions, was also Mamaroneck’s “Pink Game,” which raises money and awareness for breast cancer research. For the past several years, the Tigers have designated one home game annually to the cause.

10/18 Mamaroneck

tie Rye 0-0

In the final test of the regular season, the Tigers headed to Rye to take on the No. 2 team in Class B. The game turned out to be a test of wills, with neither side able to crack the other’s stout defense. Rye’s Ali Howard and Mamaroneck’s Charlotte Mackie only faced a combined seven shots on the afternoon, a credit to the defensive effort of both clubs.

The Tigers, whose only loss on the year came to top Class B team Lakeland, earned a No. 1 seed in the Class A postseason. Although with the playoffs being on Oct. 26, Mamaroneck will receive a first-round bye. Scarsdale, the Tigers’ chief league rival, came away with the No. 3 seed and will also receive a bye.

Grace Fitzgerald carries the ball upfield against Scarsdale on Oct. 16. Fitzgerald had a goal in the Tigers’ 2-0 win over Scarsdale. Photo/Mike Smith

Grace Fitzgerald carries the ball upfield against Scarsdale on Oct. 16. Fitzgerald had a goal in the Tigers’ 2-0 win over Scarsdale.
Photo/Mike Smith

Senior Emerson Genovese hauls in a pass against Carmel on Oct. 16. Genovese finished the day with 186 receiving yards and a 70-yard interception return on defense.

Tigers get big win over Rams

Senior Emerson Genovese hauls in a pass against Carmel on Oct. 16. Genovese finished the day with 186 receiving yards and a 70-yard interception return on defense.

Senior Emerson Genovese hauls in a pass against Carmel on Oct. 16. Genovese finished the day with 186 receiving yards and a 70-yard interception return on defense.

By MIKE SMITH
During the first six weeks of the regular season, Mamaroneck’s football team didn’t have much to show for itself. Wracked by injuries to key players, the Tigers found themselves heading into their Oct. 16 Class AA qualifying game without a win to their name. 

But the No. 13 seed Mamaroneck squad headed up north on Friday to take on 5-1 Carmel brimming with confidence, nonetheless. And after the final whistle blew, it was evident why the Tigers had such high hopes, as they came away with a 42-28 win to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Quarterback Bill Flatow, who missed several games with a sprained shoulder, said the Tigers came into the postseason without any regard for their 0-6 record. At various points this year, Mamaroneck was without the services of Flatow, two-way star Peter Matt and other important contributors to the team. Against the Rams, however,
the Tigers were able to turn a season of frustration into a playoff victory.

“We knew that we were finally healthy,” Flatow said. “So we came into this game thinking of it like a second season, trying to go out and go 1-0.”

Jason Valastro dives towards the goal line against Carmel.  Photos/Bobby Begun

Jason Valastro dives towards the goal line against Carmel.
Photos/Bobby Begun

Mamaroneck built up a 14-0 lead at the half, finding the end zone on a run by Daniel O’Rourke and 12-yard pass from Flatow to Jason Valastro.

The Tigers would increase their lead to 20 points in the second half. The Rams, however, battled back to cut the lead to 27-21 after quarterback Joe Rodriguez began to find his stride. Rodriguez threw for three scores in the second half on a night that saw him eclipse the 300-yard mark in the air.

But with 4:30 left to play, Rodriguez tossed a pass down the right sideline that was picked off by senior Keiffer Barchetti, who took the ball back 86 yards for a Mamaroneck score. On the ensuing drive, classmate Emerson Genovese did the same, putting the game out of reach for good with his own pick-six.

“He was just kind of putting the ball up there and they were running the same couple of routes,” Barchetti said. “So I just sat on it and jumped it, but I didn’t think I was going to take it all the way back.”

Daniel O’Rourke fights off a tackle in the Class AA qualifying round game against Carmel. O’Rourke found the end zone twice in Mamaroneck’s 42-28 win.

Daniel O’Rourke fights off a tackle in the Class AA qualifying round game against Carmel. O’Rourke found the end zone twice in Mamaroneck’s 42-28 win.

For Mamaroneck coach Anthony Vitti, Friday’s win was especially gratifying given the Tigers’ regular season struggles.

“I felt so good for these guys, especially the way they battled all year,” Vitti said. “They battled their tails off. They’ve had so many circumstances going against them, but they stood in there today and did everything we asked of them.”

With the win, the Tigers advance to the Class AA quarterfinals, where they will play unbeaten top seed New Rochelle. The two teams met on Sept. 11, and the Tigers were able to take the Huguenots down to the wire, even without the services of Flatow, who said the team is eager for another shot at the Class
AA favorites.

“Everyone learns from their failures and we definitely learned from ours,” he said. “We’re just excited to go down to their place and beat them.”

Senior Emerson Genovese hauls in a pass against Carmel on Oct. 16. Genovese finished the day with 186 receiving yards and a 70-yard interception return on defense.

Senior Emerson Genovese hauls in a pass against Carmel on Oct. 16. Genovese finished the day with 186 receiving yards and a 70-yard interception return on defense.

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Rye quarterback TJ Lavelle sheds a tackle against Harrison.

Garnets trounce Huskies

 

Rye quarterback TJ Lavelle sheds a tackle against Harrison.

Rye quarterback TJ Lavelle sheds a tackle against Harrison.

By MIKE SMITH
On Oct. 17, just one week after Harrison and Rye met in the final game of the regular season, the longtime rivals squared off against each other again, this time in the qualifying round of the Class A playoffs. But although the first showdown between the teams this year proved to be a tense affair, Rye’s 34-6 win on Saturday was simply validation that the undefeated Garnets were worthy of their top seed. 

On Oct. 10, it took a terrific second half effort from the Garnets to pull away from Harrison for a 28-14 win in a game that was tied at the half. Last Saturday, however, head coach Dino Garr’s team started much faster, outscoring the Huskies 34-0 before the end of the first half.

“We wanted to start strong and we wanted our momentum to carry over from last week’s second half,” Garr said. “We especially wanted to play well on the defensive side.”

Chase Bekkerus sacks Harrison’s Michael Nannariello on Oct. 17. The Harrison offense struggled much of the day, mustering only six points.

Chase Bekkerus sacks Harrison’s Michael Nannariello on Oct. 17. The Harrison offense struggled much of the day, mustering only six points.

It took the Garnets just 78 seconds to draw first blood, as Rye recovered an onside kick to start the game and found the end zone a few plays later on a 31-yard run from Brett Egan. Jamie Chabot proved to be the Garnets’ workhorse in the first half, however, rushing for 106 yards and three touchdowns to put the game out of reach.

“I think Jamie’s been a terrific player for us this year on both sides of the ball,” Garr said. “We have a lot of talented backs, but we just played the hot hand and went with him.”

Quarterback TJ Lavelle found Drake Turcotte for an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to round out the scoring for Rye, while Harrison scored its only points in the second half on a 20-yard pass from Mike Nannariello to Jared Silber.

The Garnet defense tallied five sacks and three interceptions on the day.

Brett Egan breaks a touchdown run in the first quarter against Harrison. Photos/Mike Smith

Brett Egan breaks a touchdown run in the first quarter against Harrison. Photos/Mike Smith

Harrison’s loss eliminates the Huskies from playoff contention and the team will take on Tappan Zee, which lost to No. 2-seeded Eastchester 48-0 on Oct. 16.

Rye, on the other hand, earned passage into the Class A quarterfinals.

According to Garr, the back-to-back games against Harrison should serve the Garnets well as they hope to continue their run toward a second-straight Section I title.

“I think with Harrison, there is always a lot of emotion that you kind of have to control, and in the playoffs, that’s always the case,” he said. “You’ve got the best players on the best teams, so you have to stay disciplined and control that emotion.”

Rye will be back in action on Oct. 23 when they host No. 8-seeded Hendrick Hudson at 7 p.m. The Sailors are coming off a qualifying round win over Nyack, downing the Indians 23-20 in overtime.

Rye tacklers converge on Jack Witte on Oct. 17. The Garnets defense led the way in a 34-6 Rye win.

Rye tacklers converge on Jack Witte on Oct. 17. The Garnets defense led the way in a 34-6 Rye win.

“They just beat a good Nyack team, they’ve got a couple of good running backs and they have the kind of offense where you have to prepare for a lot of different things,” Garr said. “They have multiple areas that we have to focus on and we have to be prepared to take away some of the wrinkles they will throw at us.”

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