Garnets, Panthers stay perfect

By MIKE SMITH

Both the Rye Neck Panthers and Rye Garnets remained perfect this week, winning games in

Ryan Morningstar carries the ball in the Panthers opening game against Tuckahoe. The Panthers’ run attack has been stellar this season. Photo/Bobby Begun

Ryan Morningstar carries the ball in the Panthers opening game against Tuckahoe. The Panthers’ run attack has been stellar this season. Photo/Bobby Begun

dominating fashion. On Oct. 4, the Garnets hammered Hen Hud 40-0, while the Panthers continued their winning ways against Valhalla on Oct. 5, bludgeoning the Vikings 51-0 at home.

Rye Neck ground the Vikings into submission, using nine running backs to tally 292 yards on 28 carries. Pedro M. Cueto lead the way with 101 yards and two scores, but the ability to plug different running backs in to the system has been a big reason for Rye Neck’s current 5-0 mark, said head coach Nick Ianello.

“It’s a unique situation,” Ianello said. “All of our backs are excited when the other guys get the ball.”

Running back Jakob Calvini  picked up one of Rye Neck’s rushing touchdowns and also picked up another through the air when he connected with senior quarterback Tom Pipolo. According to Ianello, while the play from his skilled position players has been tremendous over the last few weeks, the play of the line has improved dramatically from the beginning of the year.

Dom Brescia runs behind his line against Tuckahoe. According to head coach Nick Ianello, Rye Neck’s line play has improved over the course of the season. Photo/Bobby Begun

Dom Brescia runs behind his line against Tuckahoe. According to head coach Nick Ianello, Rye Neck’s line play has improved over the course of the season. Photo/Bobby Begun

“They’re playing great,” he said. “They’re really starting to mesh up front.”

Rye Neck will face a much stiffer test on Oct. 12 when they travel to Woodlands to take on the squad that knocked them out of the section playoffs in 2012.

Woodlands—the reigning Section I champion—is currently 4-1 but is coming off an impressive win against Dobbs Ferry, in which star running back Tyrone Barber rushed for 349 yards and four scores. So far this season, the Falcons’ standout has amassed 1,086 yards and 16 touchdowns.

“They’re the section champs, we know they’re going to be tough,” said Ianello. “We have to forget about what happened last year and focus on what we have to do. We’ve got to play hard every single play.”

Rye’s defense smothers a Croton-Harmon ballcarrier early in the year. On Oct. 4, the Garnet defensive unit posted a shutout over Hen Hud 4-0. Contributed photos

Rye’s defense smothers a Croton-Harmon ballcarrier early in the year. On Oct. 4, the Garnet defensive unit posted a shutout over Hen Hud 4-0. Contributed photos

Across town, quarterback Andrew Livingston led the Garnets to a win on Friday night, while the Garnet defense stuffed the Hen Hud Sailors to remain undefeated on the year. Livingston proved why he’s one of the most accurate passers in the section, completing nine of 12 passes for 101 yards and two scores before the Garnets took their foot off the gas pedal.

The Garnets will play two of their biggest games of the year in the next two weeks, as they gear up for an Oct. 11 showdown with Sleepy Hollow and take on rival Harrison a week later. This week’s game against Sleepy Hollow pits the co-owners of first place in Class A League 2 against each other and will go a long way towards determining sectional seeding.

Contact: sports@hometwn.com

Garnet quarterback Andrew Livingston throws a pass. Against Hen Hud on Friday, Livingston was 9-for-12 with 101 passing yards. Contributed photos

Garnet quarterback Andrew Livingston throws a pass. Against Hen Hud on Friday, Livingston was 9-for-12 with 101 passing yards. Contributed photos

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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.