Week 1: Carmel, Mahopac Open with Class AA Victories
Somers, Yorktown, Panas Post Impressive Class A Wins; Put Valley, Haldane Add Triumphs
There were some things that came out of Week 1 that we already knew within the Northern Westchester/Putnam County region; like Yorktown senior RB Brett Makar is among the best players in the section, and effectively throwing the ball against reigning NYS Class A champion Somers’ pesky secondary will be a tall order.
There were also some things revealed in Week 1 that the jury was still out on; like would Carmel’s offensive line be stout enough to allow the Rams to exploit opposing defenders to a diverse offensive game-plan, and did Mahopac have enough time and reps under first-year Coach Dominick DeMatteo to constitute what would be a legitimate football outfit. The answer was a resounding “yes” on both accounts: Caution, this was just Week 1 and the opposition will grow tougher with each passing week.
CARMEL unleashed dynamic junior QB Peyton Cayea on visiting RCK last Friday and the second-year signal caller looked the part of a poised veteran, hooking up with TE Sean McCarthy on a 45-yard third-quarter scoring strike and rushing for a first-half score in the Rams’ 28-13 win. WR Jaden Pellino caught four balls for 35 yards.
“He looked pretty dynamic,” Carmel Coach Todd Cayea said of his son. “But I just said to the team that I was just so proud of the way the offensive line played tonight because we’ve been questioning them all off-season in camp. We have some good skill kids and thought we’d be able to get out on the perimeter, but Ketcham did a great job of shutting that down so we decided we had to start poking at the middle and the offensive line took over at that point.”
With four new starters and one returning lineman, Carmel’s coaching staff was as curious as anyone to see what O-Line Coach Jim Donahoe’s unit was capable of, including John Cox, Tyler Alloca, Alex Tompkins, Ryan Beauchesne and John Piccolino, plus TEs Brian McCabe and McCarthy. It produced adequate protection for Cayea (10 of 16 passing) to post 162 yards in all, 114 passing and 48 more yards on just four carries. Additionally, Rams RB Leonard Flocco picked up his blocks and returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score and rushed for a 29-yard touchdown.
“Flocco made some great plays for us last year, too, so we’re excited to have him back,” Coach Cayea said. “I know he’ll be disappointed with a couple of drops that could have been two more touchdowns, but he’s a dynamic kid in space. When he makes you miss and makes that cut, you can see he has a gear that most kids don’t. We got some good skill kids, but that line has got to keep coming.”
The Rams hope to do just that on Friday (7 p.m.) against host Horace Greeley when the Quakers play their first night game ever on their new turf.
MAHOPAC had so many questions coming in to the season, what with Coach DeMatteo not being hired until June and the Indians being six months behind the rest of the section when it came to the installation of its base offense and defense.
And it looked like an ominous sign when Ossining dropped a successful on-sides kick on Mahopac to open the game, but the Indians defense stiffened off the bat to force a three-and-out, and Mahopac QB Ryan Dugan found senior WR Reahl Allen for a 25-yard TD pass on the first play from scrimmage as the Indians rolled to a 42-8 victory in DeMatteo’s Mahopac debut.
The Indians took a 21-0 lead behind TD trots from RB Tim Cegielski (from five yards) and Alex DiCioccio 35-yard jaunt. WR Joe Dalo made in 28-8 just before the half when he took a fake field goal in from two yards out, answering a nifty 80-yard bomb by Ossining QB Isaiah Beltran to RB James Sanchez. Cegielski added his second TD of the game, from four yards out to seal the deal and RB Matt Firrincielli provided the final margin with a 15-yard TD.
In all, the Indians had some pep in their step and looked better than some had anticipated. Dugan finished 6-of-10 for 89 yards and a TD in the air, and four carries 40 yards. Allen snagged two receptions 35 yards and a score. WR Joe Dalo hauled in on 31-yard catch. The rushing attack featured four backs, including Cegielski (13 carries 98 yards and two TDs), DiCioccio (9 carries, 69 yards, TD), Sal Marchionni (6 carries 24 yards) and Firrincieli (15-yard TD).
The Indians will host Arlington, Coach DeMatteo’s home for nearly a decade, this Friday (7 p.m.). “It should be like a playoff atmosphere,” DeMatteo said. “I’m told they will travel well and I know this will be a very tough test for us. We need another strong showing from the (Mahopac) Maniacs. I liked a lot of what we saw against Ossining; the energy, the execution, but we’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”
YORKTOWN dismantled LAKELAND, 42-6, behind Makar’s monster effort. The senior captain took the opening kick 80 yards to the house, despite misplaying it initially. That was just the start of a Herculian evening that ended with him rushing 15 times for 149 yards and a score, to go with two catches for 48 yards from junior QB Tommy Weaver, who, in his first start under center, connected on 7 for 10 for 139 yards and three touchdowns.
“That was definitely a good feeling to start the game that way,” Makar said of the 80-yard jaunt to paydirt. “For sure, this is a step in the right direction, to open the season with a road win. For sure, we still have our work cut out for us in a section with so many good teams trying to compete for a championship. This was great but it’s over with and we’re back to the drawing board getting ready for the next opponent.”
That next foe is host Walter Panas – a 20-6 winner over Eastchester — this Friday (7:00 p.m.) in what should/could be a tougher test against a multi-dimensional Panther attack.
SOMERS’ 48-12 win over visiting Poughkeepsie was nothing short of total domination, the Tuskers taking a 35-0 lead into the second quarter. Somers DB Ryan Elliott notched three interceptions, two of which he turned in to pick-sixes against the overwhelmed Pioneers. Elliot is just one of a slew of ball-hawking DBs on the Tusker roster.
It was a light night of action for the first-teamers, who kicked back and watched their back-ups get some run after arduous triple- and double-sessions.
“My first team offense ran 11 total plays for 65 yards and three TD’s,” said Somers QB Kevin Olifiers, who threw a pair of first-quarter TD passes to TE Jack Gilroy while RB Cameron Pepe scored on a 9-yard jaunt. “We didn’t finish the first quarter, but we’re very excited to see Rye next week.”
Host Rye will be one of the few regular-season tests on the Tuskers’ docket this Friday (7:00 p.m.).
WALTER PANAS made a defensive statement that Coach Dan Patronick was hoping for. The Panthers got fourth-quarter interceptions from young John Young and Jacob Liebert and a fumble recovery by Joe Walsh with the game on the line. Trailing 6-0 in the first quarter, the Panthers went to work on offense. QB Brandon Hodge and RB Sean Laukaitis each went on electrifying TD jaunts of 50 and 60 yards, respectively. Liebert added a fourth-quarter TD for a 20-6 lead.
Make no mistake: Whether or not the Panthers can give Yorktown a game this Friday night will go a long way in determining whether or not Panas is a legit Class A playoff contender.
BREWSTER was the lone team from Putnam County to lose its season opener, falling 27-7 at Tappan Zee. Won’t get any easier on the road against a solid John Jay CR team, which just won the 100th game of Coach Jimmy Clark’s 15-year career and will host its Homecoming Day, this Saturday (7 p.m.).
PUTNAM VALLEY has signaled it means business this season after a 30-12 win over host Bronxville, the former class of Class C football. The strong start is significant, in that slow starts have often doomed PV from the Class B playoffs, where, still stunningly, just four of the 15 teams qualify.
Tigers QB Travis Anderson took over against the Broncos, riding them for 102 yards rushing and one score on just six totes. Both Anderson, and fellow QB Quinn Strang, each fired a TD pass while workhorse back Adam Rukaj went for 89 yards on 23 carries, moving the sticks all day long.
“It felt good to be fully back,” said Anderson, who has undergone several surgeries to repair his knees. “The O-line put in work all game long and won the trenches on every play. That was really big help to us. That allowed Adam and (John) Listwan to run the ball like animals. I expect much more of that this season. I really relied on Jay (White) and Darnel (Shillingford). They can both get up so it makes it easier for me to get them the ball all game.”
PV junior WR/LB Darnel Shillingford was a two-way force, including an interception and a pair of sacks. WR Jason White scored once. Junior LB John Listwan, with seven hard- hitting sticks tackles, and versatile DL/LB Mike Gaitan (8 tackles, 1 sack for a safety), led the defense.
Putnam Valley will hope to ride the wave of momentum into next Friday’s monster showdown with former (2015) Class B champion Westlake (7:00 p.m.) at the Tiger’s den.
HALDANE’s 20-7 win over host Rye Neck featured RB Sammy ‘The Bull” Giachinta who rushed for 152 yards and two scores on 25 carries. QB Brandon Twoguns added 57 yards on the ground and threw a touchdown to sophomore Matt Champlin, who, as speculated, provides a second dimension to the defending Section 1 Class D champions.
“The O-line did a great job of opening holes for Sam against a tough and physical Rye Neck team,” Haldane Coach Ryan McConville said. “It was a real team effort by our 18 guys who suited up on Saturday. Every one of them played with great effort and desire. It’s a very good start for us, but we now have to get ready for a very good Woodlands team next Saturday (1:30 at home).”
NWE/Putnam Examiner Grid Poll
No.1 SOMERS – There’s no indication that the Tuskers will be backing off their statewide dominance as we enter Week 2 #StrengthInNumbers
No.2 YORKTOWN – There’s no indication that the Huskers won’t be the primary threat to the Tuskers.
No.3 CARMEL – If this O-line continues to improve, the Rams should be one of the last eight teams standing for the Class AA playoffs because they’re solid at skill positions.
No.4 HEN HUD – Defense wins, which is why the Sailors find themselves at 0-1; well, that and some bonehead indiscretions (social media-related) and bigtime injuries that left them short in their season-opening loss to visiting Harrison. QB Manny Carbone ran for 48 and chucked for 154 yards before getting injured. TE Michael Fasolino grabbed three balls for 67 yards. Sailors hope Carbone can go this week in tune-up with Peekskill this Saturday at neighboring Depew Park before they get a look at the real deal next Friday at Yorktown where they hope to be back to full health and shock the section.
No.5 PANAS – If the Panthers can hang within two scores of Yorktown, it might be a moral victory to build upon.
HM Mahopac – Terrific start for the boys in blue and gold, but Arlington should travel well this Friday and the Maniacs will need to be at their best.
HM Put Valley – Great deal of growth displayed from last year to this year; look forward to witnessing it first-hand.