Category Archives: Sports

Andrew Schultz hauls in a pass on a two-point conversion against Tappan Zee. Photos/Mike Smith

Eagles maul Dutchmen

John Arcidiacono looks for some running room in a 48-0 romp over Tappan Zee. Arcidiacono and the Eagles will take on John Jay Cross River in the Class A quarterfinal round.

John Arcidiacono looks for some running room in a 48-0 romp over Tappan Zee. Arcidiacono and the Eagles will take on John Jay Cross River in the Class A quarterfinal round.

By MIKE SMITH
Eastchester’s football team has given area fans plenty to cheer about this fall, as the Eagles stormed through the regular season with a perfect 6-0 record en route to a No. 2 seed in the Class A playoffs. On Oct. 17, the Eagles continued their unbeaten streak, routing Tappan Zee 48-0 to advance to the quarterfinal round.

Michael Cesarini and John Guido paved the way for the Eastchester win, combining for 253 rushing yards on the day. Cesarini wasted little time igniting the offense, breaking a 63-yard run on Eastchester’s first play from scrimmage that set up the home team’s first score of the day. Guido put the game out of reach with three scores in the second quarter to give his squad a 34-0 lead at the half.

Eastchester coach Fred DiCarlo said that the offensive outburst against the Dutchmen was due, in part, to the Eagles’ wide array of weapons. With Tappan Zee focusing their attention on limiting the effectiveness of standout quarterback John Arcidiacono—who finished the day with 76 rushing yards and 68 passing yards—it was up to the rest of the starters to shoulder the load.

John Guido shakes off a Dutchmen tackler. Guido finished with 126 rushing yards on the afternoon.

John Guido shakes off a Dutchmen tackler. Guido finished with 126 rushing yards on the afternoon.

“If you take something away, we have the confidence that someone else is going to pick it up,” DiCarlo said. “I think Tappan Zee made a point to defend Johnny [Arcidiacono] and [wideout] Andrew Schultz, so the other guys just had to keep us moving.”

Coming into the game, the Eagles were putting their unblemished record on the line against the No. 15 Dutchmen who had a 5-1 regular season record. Throughout the week, DiCarlo said, the Eagles were intent on fine-tuning their own execution and blocking out any postseason noise.

“We came in knowing that we needed to take care of ourselves offensively and defensively and play sound football,” he said. “We didn’t take anything for granted and we just tried to come out strong from the first play.”

Eastchester now advances to the Class A quarterfinals, where they will tangle with No. 7-seeded John Jay. In the qualifying round, John Jay bested Sleepy Hollow in a wild 37-35 game, and DiCarlo is well aware that the Patriots, and their quarterback Paul Bloshuk who threw for four touchdowns last week, present a huge challenge to the surging Eagles.

Andrew Schultz hauls in a pass on a two-point conversion against Tappan Zee. Photos/Mike Smith

Andrew Schultz hauls in a pass on a two-point conversion against Tappan Zee. Photos/Mike Smith

“They’re a very dangerous offensive team; they had a high ranking in the preseason, they played a tough schedule, and they have an up-tempo offense,” DiCarlo said. “We’re going to have to come out and do the little things right.”

With a win, the Eagles would move one step closer to the section title game, but DiCarlo said that his team is squarely focused on the task at hand.

“We come into each week thinking we have to prove ourselves,” he said. “The kids hear the rumblings that we only have a good record because our schedule wasn’t as strong, so they want to prove that they belong here.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 

John Arcidiacono looks for some running room in a 48-0 romp over Tappan Zee. Arcidiacono and the Eagles will take on John Jay Cross River in the Class A quarterfinal round.

John Arcidiacono looks for some running room in a 48-0 romp over Tappan Zee. Arcidiacono and the Eagles will take on John Jay Cross River in the Class A quarterfinal round.

 
football7f

Garnets take rivalry game

Zach Evans takes down a Garnet receiver on Oct. 10. The Huskies matched Rye for much of the game, surprising many who thought the Garnets would run away with it.

Zach Evans takes down a Garnet receiver on Oct. 10. The Huskies matched Rye for much of the game, surprising many who thought the Garnets would run away with it.

By MIKE SMITH
Unlike past seasons, Harrison won’t have an entire year to think about avenging their loss to rival Rye. Instead, they’re just going to do it again this week.

On Oct. 10, the favorite Garnets bested the Huskies in the 85th installment of “The Game,” beating Harrison 28-14 in a hard-fought contest that turned out to be much closer than most pundits anticipated.

And now, the two teams will face off again on Oct. 17 in a first-round Class A playoff matchup.

The Huskies came out firing on Saturday, scoring on a Michael Nannariello pass to Jack Witte on the opening drive. The two rivals traded touchdowns in the opening stanza and headed into the half with the score knotted at 14 at McGillicuddy Stadium.

Drake Turcotte tries to catch a TJ Lavelle pass.

Drake Turcotte tries to catch a TJ Lavelle pass.

The Garnets benefitted from some Huskies turnovers in the second half, however, finding the end zone on a 31-yard run from Chase Pratt in the third quarter and putting the game out of reach on a Brett Egan score with just 8:39 left to play.

The Garnet defense clamped down in the second half, allowing just 25 yards of offense.

“At halftime, I told the team that we were hurting ourselves with mistakes, that we weren’t tackling and we weren’t adjusting to some of the things they were doing,” Rye coach Dino Garr said. “But I’m real proud of our players and the way they came out in the second half.”

Garnet quarterback TJ Lavelle said that while the atmosphere may have gotten to Rye in the early goings, the team was able to regroup and get back to basics in the second half.

“It’s a big game, but you try to downplay the pressure,” Lavelle said. “Harrison is a great team and we know that they come out to play every time they play us.”

Harrison coach Dom Zanot said that although his Huskies shined early on, they simply couldn’t overcome a few offensive miscues that gave the Garnets good field position in the second half.

Zach Evans breaks a tackle. Harrison scored two first half touchdowns but was shutout in the second half.

Zach Evans breaks a tackle. Harrison scored two first half touchdowns but was shutout in the second half.

“We came out with a sense of purpose the entire game, but against a really good team, we turned the ball over,” Zanot said. “They’re an opportunistic team and we gave their offense opportunities to score.”

For the first time since the inception of the rivalry, the two squads will play each other for a second straight week when they face off in the first round of the postseason on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m., but this time, the top-seeded Garnets will have the home-field advantage.

However, Harrison will come into the game knowing they played even with the Garnets for much of the game.

“We came into this game expecting to win,” said Zanot said. “And we’re going to come in next week expecting to win.”

For the 6-0 Garnets, it seems, the path to a second-straight Class A title will have to go through the Huskies.

“We know it’s going to be a big crowd,” Garr said. “And we know we are going to have to come to play.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

aotwfusine

Athlete of the week: Fusine Govaert

aotwfusineBy LAUREN DEMPSEY
Although she is only a junior, Fusine Govaert is already considered one of the top field hockey players in Section I and one of the best ever to come out of Rye High School. With her lightning-fast hands and superior stick skills, Govaert has been consistently putting the ball in the net with her pulverizing shot leading the Garnets to a 9–0 start.

Govaert, who plays center-midfield, scored two goals in the second half in a 3-1 win over Scarsdale on Oct. 7. She followed that up two days later against Bronxville by breaking a 1-1 tie-game in the second half with two more goals and an assist.

One of her goals against the Broncos even drew the attention of the referee.

“After the game, the ref told me Fusine’s goal was one of the prettiest goals he had ever seen,” head coach Emily Townsend Prince said. “I think all of Fusine’s goals are like that. But more important than her personal stats is the team’s win-loss stat that she works so hard to preserve.”

Teammate Abby Abate said that Govaert’s presence has been a tremendous help to the surging Garnets.

“[Fusine] is an outstanding player who makes everyone on our team better players as well,” Abate said. “She is so much fun to play with and I am lucky to be her teammate.”

Govaert is a two-time All State selection. Along with playing on various club teams, she has competed on the National Indoor Field Hockey team and will be trying out for the National Outdoor Field Hockey team soon. Originally from Holland, Govaert coaches youth field hockey and even writes a field hockey blog for a
Dutch magazine.

 

aotwizzie

Athlete of the week: Isabelle Hentschel

aotwizzieBy LIAM BRENNAN
After coming back strong from two ACL injuries early in her high school career, senior Isabelle Hentschel, co-captain of the girls soccer team, has earned Athlete of the Week honors.

Adept in her position as a defensive center midfielder, Hentschel’s strong leadership helped secure wins against two of Rye’s biggest rivals: Eastchester and Pelham.

“[Isabelle] is a tremendous person who leads by example,” head coach Rich Savage said. “Izzie is respected by all of her teammates for her wonderful attitude and outstanding ethics.”

Savage added that Hentschel’s presence has helped solidify a young Garnet team and her skill in marking the opposing team’s top scorer has been invaluable thus far.

Teammate Gabby Damascus agreed.

“Izzie is great on and off the field,” Damascus said. “She always has a smile on her face and is always the first to the ball.”

An academic achiever as well as an athlete, Hentschel is a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program, an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Dartmouth Book Award recipient. Additionally, she serves as the health section editor of the Rye High School Garnet & Black newspaper and is completing her final year in the three-year science research program where she is analyzing how illegal play in soccer may increase potential ACL tears.

Rounding out her list of talents and skills, Hentschel studies modern dance at the Rye School of Dance. She spent this past summer volunteering at the Rye Youth Soccer camp and has also completed volunteer work
in Peru.

Nigel Bailey tries to bring down a Tiger ball carrier on Sept. 11. The Huguenot defense has been the best in Section I this season. Photos/Bobby Begun

New Rochelle Roundup

Nigel Bailey tries to bring down a Tiger ball carrier on Sept. 11. The Huguenot defense has been the best in Section I this season. Photos/Bobby Begun

Nigel Bailey tries to bring down a Tiger ball carrier on Sept. 11. The Huguenot defense has been the best in Section I this season. Photos/Bobby Begun

Football Class AA qualifying round preview
10/16, 7 p.m. No. 16
Ossining (3-3) at No. 1 New Rochelle (6-0)
New Rochelle’s offense may have taken a while to find its stride this year, but there is little doubt that the Huguenots were the best regular season team in all of Section I.

The Huguenots put the finishing touches on an undefeated campaign on Oct. 9, when they walloped Mahopac 35-7 to improve to 6-0 on the year. Once again, senior quarterback Greg Powell led the way for the New Rochelle offense, rushing for 67 yards and two touchdowns and throwing for 70 yards, all during the first half.

The Huguenots’ offense has been much better as of late, as the team has topped 30 points twice in the last three weeks, but defense, as always, has been the calling card of the team. In the first six games of the year, the Huguenots defense allowed less than 7 points per game, and has not allowed double-digits since its season-opener against another Class AA favorite in John Jay.

Stevenson Dieudonne challenges a Scarsdale player for the ball during the first meeting between the two teams this fall. On Oct. 13, Dieudonne scored a goal in New Rochelle’s 5-2 loss to the Raiders.

Stevenson Dieudonne challenges a Scarsdale player for the ball during the first meeting between the two teams this fall. On Oct. 13, Dieudonne scored a goal in New Rochelle’s 5-2 loss to the Raiders.

Ossining has been wildly inconsistent this year, having earned blowout victories against teams like Mount Vernon and Horace Greely, but also losing big to Class A Harrison and Clarkstown South, who topped the Indians 38-0
on Oct. 9.

Ossining is led by a pair of jun-iors with quarterback Liam O’Connor and running back Shamar Holebrook, but it seems unlikely the duo will have much success against the punishing defense of the Huguenots.

 

Volleyball
10/13 Ursuline d. New Rochelle 3-1
The Huguenots came to play on Tuesday but couldn’t quite get over the hump as their rivals from Ursuline took a 3-1 win. After Ursuline took the opening set 25-23, New Rochelle battled back to take the second set 26-24 before dropping the final two, both by the score of 25-17.

Rebecca Caruso set the tone for Ursuline, picking up 14 kills on the day, while New Rochelle was paced by the defensive efforts of Samantha Galvin, who tallied a whopping 40 digs.

Romeo Holden carries the ball against Mamaroneck on Sept. 11. This week, the Huguenots will take on Ossining in the qualifying round of the Class AA playoffs.

Romeo Holden carries the ball against Mamaroneck on Sept. 11. This week, the Huguenots will take on Ossining in the qualifying round of the Class AA playoffs.

 

Boys Soccer
10/13 Scarsdale d.New Rochelle 5-2
In a late season matchup between league rivals, it was Scarsdale who came out on top, scoring three unanswered goals to best the Huguenots at home.

Fazi Shaikh scored twice for Scarsdale, getting his team on the board in the opening minutes and helping them take the lead again after New Ro’s Stevenson Dieudonne tied the game, but it was consecutive goals from Luca Novaes, Mike Spiro and Paul Bernard, all coming in the final 20 minutes, that gave the Raiders their fifth straight win.

 

Julianne Zarcone gets set to serve during an early season contest against Harrison. On Oct. 13, New Rochelle fell to rival Ursuline, 3-1.

Julianne Zarcone gets set to serve during an early season contest against Harrison. On Oct. 13, New Rochelle fell to rival Ursuline, 3-1.

Erin McClave controls the ball against Ursuline on Oct. 8. Mamaroneck topped the Koalas 3-0.

Mamaroneck Roundup

 

 

 

Bill Flatow carries the ball against Mahopac on Sept. 4. Although he has been injured this year, Flatow is hoping to lead the Tigers to a playoff victory on Oct. 16 against Carmel. Photo/Mike Smith

Bill Flatow carries the ball against Mahopac on Sept. 4. Although he has been injured this year, Flatow is hoping to lead the Tigers to a playoff victory on Oct. 16 against Carmel. Photo/Mike Smith

Class AA Football qualifying round preview
10/16, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Mamaroneck (0-6) at No. 5 Carmel (5-10)
If one were to simply take the teams’ regular seasons record into account, it would seem as though the Tigers have wouldn’t have much of a of a chance in Friday’s playoff game against the Rams. But for a winless team, Mamaroneck has shown a ton of promise this year.

Mamaroneck, which has battled injuries to key players like quarterback Bill Flatow and two-way star Peter Matt this year, has seemed to play at its peak against the best competition that Class AA has to offer.

The Tigers finished up with a loss to No. 2-seeded John Jay on Oct. 10, falling to the Patriots 29-15, despite a strong effort from Flatow who threw for both Tiger scores. Earlier in the season, Mamaroneck took top-seeded New Rochelle down to the wire, falling to the Huguenots 14-6 after being stripped of the ball on the New Rochelle 5-yard line late in the game.

Katarina Barone looks to make a play against the Koalas. Photos/Bobby Begun

Katarina Barone looks to make a play against the Koalas. Photos/Bobby Begun

In contrast, the Rams have played just one game against a team ranked in the top 10, falling to No. 4 Scarsdale on Oct. 3. Last week, Carmel won its regular season finale, topping No. 14 seeded Fox Lane 27-13.

In their loss to the Raiders, the Rams had trouble containing speedy quarterback Michael Rolfe who ran for 89 yards and three scores while completing three passes for 60 yards. Although Flatow is more of a pure pocket passer than Rolfe, if he is able to find success through the air early on, he could open things up for the Tigers’ running game.

Girls Soccer
10/12 Horace Greeley d. Mamaroneck 2-0
Against the Quakers on Tuesday, Mamaroneck simply could not find the net, as Horace Greeley cruised to a shutout win. Emma Andizzone scored both goals for Greeley, which was able to keep the pressure on the Mamaroneck defense for much of the afternoon. Mamaroneck defender Alyson McClave, pressed into service in net, had 17 saves in the loss.

The loss to Greeley puts the Tigers at 8-6 on the season, but head coach Ron Blain is confident that his team has the ability to beat Scarsdale and New Rochelle to head into the playoffs on a positive
note. With starting keeper Lily Epstein set to return from injury against Scarsdale on Oct. 14, after press time, Blain said the team is peaking at the right time.

“The goal is having everyone healthy for the playoffs,” Blain said. “We know we’re playing quality soccer even with having players on the bench, so we’re hoping to get that first playoff game at home.”

Erin McClave controls the ball against Ursuline on Oct. 8. Mamaroneck topped the Koalas 3-0.

Erin McClave controls the ball against Ursuline on Oct. 8. Mamaroneck topped the Koalas 3-0.

Field Hockey
10/7 Mamaroneck d. Ursuline 3-0
Taking on the Koalas on Wednesday, Mamaroneck’s field hockey team stayed perfect with a 3-0 win. Sophie Miller, Sophie Brill and Lizzie Clarke all had goals for the Tigers, and Megan Mullaney had two assists.

10/10 Lakeland d. Mamaroneck 3-0
The Tigers dropped their first game of the season in a hotly-anticipated contest with Lakeland, falling 3-0 to the undefeated Hornets. The matchup pitted the two premier programs in Section I against each other.

Lakeland exploded for three goals in the second half after the two teams played to a scoreless tie in the first stanza.

Ellie Walsh controls the ball against North Rockland. Walsh had an assist in Bronxville’s ninth win of the season. Photos/Mike Smith

Broncos gear up for postseason

Hannah Weirens collects a rebound against North Rockland.

Hannah Weirens collects a rebound against North Rockland.

By MIKE SMITH
As Bronxville gets ready to play out the final stretch of the regular season, they appear to be firing on all cylinders. After a convincing 4-2 win over Class A North Rockland on Oct. 10, the Broncos are hitting their stride as the Class C playoffs loom.

Lilly Grass and Mia Bettino both scored twice against the Red Raiders, and Bronxville’s defense only allowed three shots on goal as the Broncos knocked off yet another big school. Jenna Fox and Kerri Gutenberger rounded out the scoring for the Red Raiders.

According to head coach Jackie Frawley, getting the chance to take on a school like North Rockland should prove invaluable with the postseason so close at hand.

Caroline DePaul tries to beat a North Rockland defender on Oct. 10.

Caroline DePaul tries to beat a North Rockland defender on Oct. 10.

“We always look for these opportunities,” Frawley said. “We didn’t know much about North Rockland coming in; we’d never seen them, and we are going to face a lot of unknowns once the playoffs start.”

With the win, Bronxville improved to 9-3-1 on the year. The team’s only three losses came at the hands of larger schools like Scarsdale and Rye. Even in defeat, Frawley said, the team has demonstrated that they’re ready for postseason play.

“We don’t want to be one of those teams that’s just very successful in the regular season,” she said. “Those teams all have great coaches and players that play all year round, so when we have to fill in our schedule, we look to add games against teams like that.”

The Broncos will be back in action on Oct. 14, after press time, when they travel to Edgemont, before closing out the regular season with showdowns against Sleepy Hollow and Horace Greeley later in the week. Both Edgemont and Sleepy Hollow are league opponents, but Bronxville’s strong play already helped them clinch the league title.

“I think we’re starting to play more as a unit, from our goalie all the way up to our forwards,” Frawley said. “I think we’re starting to peak, and we just have to keep on playing well.”

Ellie Walsh controls the ball against North Rockland. Walsh had an assist in Bronxville’s ninth win of the season. Photos/Mike Smith

Ellie Walsh controls the ball against North Rockland. Walsh had an assist in Bronxville’s ninth win of the season. Photos/Mike Smith

The field hockey seeding meeting will take place on Oct. 19 or 20, and although the Broncos will likely be positioned near the top of the Class C rankings, Frawley admitted that the coaching staff hasn’t begun to worry about Bronxville’s playoff position.

“I think it’s going to be very close in terms of the standings in Class C,” she said. “With the bonus points that they award, I think it could be very tight.”

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

 

 

Lilly Grass takes the ball upfield against North Rockland. Grass had two goals in Bronxville’s 4-2 win over the Red Raiders.

Lilly Grass takes the ball upfield against North Rockland. Grass had two goals in Bronxville’s 4-2 win over the Red Raiders.

 
Bronxville’s Jeff Sargeant dives with the ball. Photo/Bobby Begun

Section I football playoff preview

Brian DePaul pulls the ball down and looks to run against Yonkers Montessori on Oct. 3. DePaul and the Broncos will take on Valhalla in the Class B qualifying round on Oct. 17. Photo/Bobby Begun

Brian DePaul pulls the ball down and looks to run against Yonkers Montessori on Oct. 3. DePaul and the Broncos will take on Valhalla in the Class B qualifying round on Oct. 17. Photo/Bobby Begun

Class B qualifying round
Oct. 17, 2:30 p.m.
No. 11 Valhalla (6-0) at No. 6 Bronxville (3-3)
As a result of the new seeding format, the undefeated Vikings will have to travel to Bronxville on Saturday to take on the .500 Broncos in the opening round of the Class B playoffs. Although the game should be a competitive one, it remains one of the most visible examples in Section I of a team’s postseason seeding being affected by its pre-season ranking.
Valhalla has bounced back nicely from its 2-7 season in 2014, running the regular season table and finishing with a perfect record. The Vikings have managed to win a few laughers, but they have been tested quite a few times on the season, earning tight wins over No. 12-seed Croton Harmon and No. 5 Putnam Valley.

The Vikings have a number of talented athletes in the backfield and have put together some impressive days, including a 438-yard rushing performance against Hastings on Oct. 3. It remains to be seen, however, if they can be just as effective against a bigger, more physical, Bronxville line.

Bronxville’s Jeff Sargeant dives with the ball. Photo/Bobby Begun

Bronxville’s Jeff Sargeant dives with the ball. Photo/Bobby Begun

Unlike Valhalla, Bronxville is entering the postseason off a loss, a 14-10 defeat at the hands of No. 2 Ardsley. Despite the loss, it was a game in which the Broncos proved they can hang with the top teams in Class B. Look for Anthony Napolitano to do a little bit of everything out there as the Broncos try to hang the first loss of the season on the Vikings.

 

Class A qualifying round
Oct. 17, 2 p.m.
No. 15 Tappan Zee (5-1) at No. 2 Eastchester (6-0)
The undefeated Eagles wo-n’t have a cake-walk in the opening round of the playoffs, as they drew a 5-1 Dutchmen team that hopes to make its mark in the playoffs with a signature win.

Antonio Rogliano brings down a Sleepy Hollow ballcarrier on Sept. 26. Rogliano has been the anchor of Eastchester’s defensive unit this year. Photo/Mike Smith

Antonio Rogliano brings down a Sleepy Hollow ballcarrier on Sept. 26. Rogliano has been the anchor of Eastchester’s defensive unit this year. Photo/Mike Smith

But while Tappan Zee seems to be riding high coming into Saturday’s playoff game, a quick glance at the strength of schedule for both teams shows that the Eagles most likely have the upper hand. The Dutchmen’s only loss of the season came on Oct. 3 when they fell 28-19 to Hendrick Hudson, a team the Eagles outscored by 42 points last week.

The Dutchmen have a solid quarterback in Liam Donohue, who has thrown for six scores without tossing an interception this year while also leading the team in rushing; but the Eagles have an electric player under center as well in John Arcidiacono. In just one half against Hen Hud, Arcidiacono rushed for 173 yards, threw for 130 and accounted for five touchdowns.

Arcidiacono also has a number of weapons at his disposal, including his big wideout Andrew Schultz, who creates matchup problems for most teams on the outside

John Arcidiacono carries the ball against the Horsemen. Arcidiacono is hoping to lead the Eagles to postseason glory. Photo/Mike Smith

John Arcidiacono carries the ball against the Horsemen. Arcidiacono is hoping to lead the Eagles to postseason glory. Photo/Mike Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Arcidiacono carries the ball against the Horsemen. Arcidiacono is hoping to lead the Eagles to postseason glory. Photo/Mike Smith

John Arcidiacono carries the ball against the Horsemen. Arcidiacono is hoping to lead the Eagles to postseason glory. Photo/Mike Smith

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Game1

Game at a glance

Chase Pratt drags a Somers defender into the end zone for a score. Pratt has been a force on both sides of the ball this year.

Chase Pratt drags a Somers defender into the end zone for a score. Pratt has been a force on both sides of the ball this year.

Offense
Coming into the season, many people wondered how the Garnets’

offense would fare after losing a heap of key seniors to graduation. And through five games, they’ve proven that they are still one of the most explosive teams in the section. The Garnets have gotten good play from both TJ Lavelle and Mat Bruno under center, and feature a versatile group of backs and receivers led by the likes of Chase Pratt, Santi Mascolo and Brett Egan. In their first four contests, the Garnets have averaged 33 points per game, but their Oct. 2 showdown with Lourdes proved a different beast entirely.

In a rain-soaked game, the Garnets used Pratt as a workhorse as they grinded their way to a 13-7 win. Pratt finished with 27 carries on the evening, amassing 128 yards.

TJ Lavelle throws a pass in the Garnets’ season opener on Sept. 5. Photos/Mike Smith

TJ Lavelle throws a pass in the Garnets’ season opener on Sept. 5. Photos/Mike Smith

 

 

Harrison, on the other hand, seems to finally be hitting its stride on the offensive end. After being shut down in the second half of a Week 1 loss to Eastchester, the Huskies have hung big numbers on the scoreboard, culminating in a 47-7 win over Pelham on Oct. 2. Michael Nannariello has emerged as a solid quarterback this year and Zach Evans, who had a touchdown grab against the Pelicans, has become one of his favorite targets. Jack Witte has proved that he has the ability to break big plays as well.

 

Antonio Correia fights off a tackler on Sept. 4. Photos/Bobby Begun

Antonio Correia fights off a tackler on Sept. 4. Photos/Bobby Begun

Defense
For as good as Rye’s offense has been, the Garnets have made their bones this year as a defensively-minded team. They’ve gotten good play from a line anchored by Patrick Hull, and have no shortage of defensive playmakers, including Bruno and Pratt. Rye’s best game perhaps was against Yorktown, in which they held standout running back Nick Santavicca to just 44 yards. Twice this season, the Garnet defense has held the opposition to single-digits in points and they will look to do it again on Oct. 10.

Harrison’s defense has found itself in some shootouts this season, so they should be well tested for the pressure that comes with “The Game.” After seeing a late lead evaporate against Pearl River in Week 3, the Huskies bounced back on Oct. 2 when they held Pelham to just 7 points. Although Rye may not throw the ball as much as it has in years past, the Huskies should be prepared to cover receivers downfield. They have had some experience with elite receivers this year and did a solid job holding Eastchester wideout Andrew Schultz in check in their season opener. Zach Evans, who matched up with the big receiver for much of the game, only allowed Schultz to make two catches on the day.

Michael Nannariello eludes a tackler against Eastchester early in the season. Nannariello is hoping to lead Harrison to victory against the Garnets.

Michael Nannariello eludes a tackler against Eastchester early in the season. Nannariello is hoping to lead Harrison to victory against the Garnets.

On Oct. 10, the Harrison Huskies and the Rye Garnets will square off in their annual rivalry game. Sports Editor Mike Smith believes that when it comes to handicapping the game, all bets are off. Photo/Bobby Begun

No use in predictions

On Oct. 10, the Harrison Huskies and the Rye Garnets will square off in their annual rivalry game. Sports Editor Mike Smith believes that when it comes to handicapping the game, all bets are off. Photo/Bobby Begun

On Oct. 10, the Harrison Huskies and the Rye Garnets will square off in their annual rivalry game. Sports Editor Mike Smith believes that when it comes to handicapping the game, all bets are off. Photo/Bobby Begun

By MIKE SMITH
There’s an old adage in sports that says when it comes to rivalry games, you can throw a team’s record right out of the window. While it might not always ring true, there is a certain wisdom to it.

On Oct. 10, the Harrison Huskies head into their annual showdown with Rye, hoping that recent history won’t account for much as they look to hand the Garnets their first loss of the 2015 season.

It’s been something of an up-and-down season so far for the 3-2 Huskies. They’ve shown flashes of brilliance, including a 47-7 win over Pelham on Oct. 3, but they’ve also been dealt some hard-luck losses, like an overtime defeat at the hands of Pearl River.

If they can topple the Garnets on Saturday, however, it would be difficult to qualify this season as anything other than a success.

When I started on the job in 2007, I remember speaking to Rye standout Kyle Ramalho, who put the Harrison-Rye game—long thought of as the premier rivalry game in New York—into perspective.

The hard-running Ramalho told me that when graduates came back to visit Rye High School, it didn’t matter if the current group of Garnets had won a state title; the only thing anyone cared about was if they’d beaten Harrison.

Obviously, one game doesn’t make or break the season for the select few who take to the gridiron each weekend. But when you see how invested each town is in the game’s outcome, it’s readily apparent that this game means more than just a simple mark in the win column.

The pomp, the pageantry and the community pride on display during “The Game” far surpasses anything else in local athletics. Even if both squads were 0-5 heading into this week’s matchup, there would still be thousands of fans eager to descend upon McGillicuddy Stadium to cheer on their respective teams.

With so much emotion in the air, it’s no surprise that both teams routinely raise their games when they line up across the field from each other. It’s a true big game atmosphere, something that these players—even if they play at the next level—are unlikely to ever experience again.

Will Rye recapture their offensive mojo and roll over their hosts on Saturday? Have the Huskies found their stride after pummeling the Pelicans last week?

That’s the great thing about “The Game,” you really never know.

The only prediction I feel comfortable enough to make is that it’s going to be one heck of a turnout.

 

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