Five Local Grid Clubs Survive, Advance to Sectional Semis

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Carmel, Somers, Mahopac, Byram Hills, Pleasantville Moving On After Decisive Wins

By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Dierctrays
Led by high-flying Colum Ranaghan (24), Mahopac storms field before crushing Clarkstown North in Class A playoff game Friday.

The amount of Examiner-area representation is strong as we enter the semifinals of the Section 1 Class AA, A and B grid tournaments this week. Five Examiner-area teams advanced to their respective Final 4’s, including Class AA Carmel, Class A’s Somers and Mahopac and Class B’s Byram Hills and Pleasantville. Four of the locals were eliminated, including Class B’s Hendrick Hudson, Class AA’s White Plains and Fox Lane and Class A Brewster, which lost — in overtime — in disastrous fashion to Pelham, 20-17.

Let’s start there, since the loss was agonizing and, perhaps, the game of the week. BREWSTER had every chance to win in the final seconds of regulation but the third-seeded Bears (5-3) were stopped on two straight quarterback sneaks from the 1-yard line before time expired in regulation. Problem was, the Bears were told by Coach Ed Mulvihill to spike the ball on third down after failing to cross the plane on second down, which would have set up a short fourth-down field goal attempt for the win at the end of regulation. Brewster QB Chris Donohue, a battler from Day 1, thought he saw a way into the end zone on third down, but the O-line wasn’t on the same page and failed to block accordingly, Mulvihill said. Donohue then came up short and time expired in regulation with the Bears on the Pelham one.

“We told the kids to try the sneak on second down, and if it doesn’t work, line up and spike the ball and we’ll kick the field goal on fourth,” Mulvihill said. “There was some miscommunication at the end of the game but we had our opportunity to win it.”

Ironically, Brewster did hit a field goal in overtime to take a short-lived lead, but Pelham’s Daniel Fredbeck scored from less than one yard out on fourth down in overtime to secure Pelham’s first playoff win since 2010.
Brewster scored two touchdowns in a 58-second span early in the fourth quarter to take a 14-6 lead when Brewster responded with a nice drive and capped it off with a 29-yd TD pass from QB Chris Donohue to Matt Dunn. Kevin Perez kicked the extra point and the Bears led 7-6. On the ensuing possession, Pelham attempted a screen pass but Brewster’s Jack Golinello intercepted it and dashed 14 yards to the one-yard line where Donohue converted the sneak and the Bears had the lead.

“It was a windy night with a threat of rain, both sides were ready for a little smash mouth football,” Mulvihill said. “Pelham came in at 6-1 and played the elite Rye team close last week. We knew they were big and physical and that we would have to match their intensity and I think we did that all game, but Pelham was able to convert some big third downs and some penalties hurt us in key spots.”

In overtime, Perez kicked a 30-yard field goal to give Brewster the 17-14 lead but a pass interference call gave Pelham 1st a goal at the 10 yard line. On third and goal from the one, Pelham attempted a QB sneak but the Bears held the line. However, on fourth and goal from the 1- foot line, Pelham made the decision and had the push to go for the win instead of the game-tying field goal.

“They were able to nudge the ball across the goal for the win,” Mulvihill said. “I was very proud of the way we battled all game. Things didn’t turn out the way we wanted but it wasn’t from lack of effort. They gave us everything they had. That’s what great players do. If they can apply this lesson to their lives they will all be very successful fathers, husbands, and community members. That’s a win for all of us.”

Somers RB Matt Kapica (10) and Derek Marcus both rushed for two scores in 35-10 Class A playoff win over Harrison Friday.

No.1/North SOMERS, ranked No.11 in NYS, advanced to the semifinals behind a 35-10 win over No.4/South (wild card) Harrison and was off and running when senior RB Derek Marcus (5 rushes, 24 yards) raced to paydirt, untouched, from seven yards out with 6:42 left in the first for a 7-0 lead when Luke Savino split uprights for the first of five PATs. It was the first of two Marcus TD trots.

Somers RB Matt Kapica extended the lead to 14-0 when he scooted off right tackle for a 31-yard TD with 10:41 left in the second. Dass set up Somers’ third score with an electrifying catch and run to the two-yard line, later capped off by Kapica’s second TD jaunt. Somers RB Savino (4 rushes, 75 yards) added another score for the Tuskers, who were set to take on No.2/South Pelham Friday with junior QB Matt Fitzsimons (10-of-10 passing, 187 yards) hitting his stride.

Tuskers Johnny Crecco (11 tackles, sack) and Dylan Faller (9 tackles, fumble recovery) led a stingy defense that fully expects to shut down Pelham while advancing Somers to its sixth Section 1 Class A title game since 2012.
“We stepped up our practices, got more focused and disciplined in order to beat Harrison,” Savino said. “The coaches worked on continuing to balance the offense with a good mix of rushing and passing. Fitz is simply amazing and continues to be a great QB for the team. Our defense played out of their minds with Crecco and Faller leading the way.”

No2. A-North MAHOPAC took a 7-0 lead when recent Con Ed award winner Anthony DeMatteo slung a 41-yard TD pass to speedster Max Gomes with 7:45 left in the second quarter en route to a 34-7 win over visiting No.3 B-South Clarkstown North last Friday. It was Gomes third TD grab of the season and DeMatteo’s 11th TD pass.
An eight-yard scoot from Indian RB Joey Koch (24 carries, 173 yards) provided a 14-0 lead with 9:13 to go in the third. South cut the deficit in half before the half, but Koch went in again from the six for a 20-7 lead (PAT blocked).

On the drive, WR Patrick McMahon snagged a crucial 45-yard grab from QB Dematteo (9 of 12 for 138 yards), who put deft touch on the pass, to set up a first-and-10 from the 12.

A 51-yard TD gallop from Koch off left end sealed the deal with 7:21 left in the fourth, giving the Indians (6-2) a 27-7 lead. Koch added his fourth TD of the day from nine yards out for a 34-7 lead, the game’s final margin and his team-best 15th TD of the season. Koch is now 157 yards shy of a 1,000-yard season.

“Joey Koch has been one of the most dynamic players in our league since Week 1,” Mahopac Coach Dominick DeMatteo said of the junior. “He has now evolved into one of the more dynamic players in all of Class A. Most importantly, his work ethic and support for his teammates reflect the qualities of a leader.”

Mahopac senior Steven Perrone had 14 tackles, eight solos, to lead the Indians, who will visit state-ranked (No.6), No.1/South seeded Rye Friday.


Carmel defenders Dylan Shields and Vinny Mazzamuto (1) converge for sack as Rams pitched their 5th shutout of season in 36-0 Class A playoff win over Fox Lane.

CARMEL got on the scoreboard first and never looked back in a methodical 36-0 win over visiting Fox Lane. The state-ranked (No.9) Rams (8-0), seeded No.1B, hit on a first-quarter drive, capped by QB Kevin Dall’s four-yard keeper with :51 left in the first for a 7-0 lead, the PAT from Nick Sodano good. Dall, incredibly efficient throughout, took a read-option run in from four yards out for a 21-0 lead with 2:11 to go before the half, which the Rams took into the break. It was Dall’s second rushing TD of the game to go with 60 rushing yards on nine carries. With 10:57 left to play Carmel FB Nick Rosaforte padded the lead with a score for a 33-0 edge. A pick by Ram DB Andrew Fiore sealed the deal on the ensuing possession. Carmel stud RB Josh Massi added 15 carries for 119 yards and a score for Carmel, which rushed for 294 yards as a team. Ram RB Dylan Shields (4 rushes, 52 yards) also rushed for a touchdown for Carmel, who will host No.2B Suffern in Friday’s semifinal (7 pm). The Rams handled Suffern in their regular-season matchup and could be headed on a collision course with No.1A New Rochelle, provided the Huguenots can survive No.3B Arlington.


HEN HUD had no answer for Byram Hills QB Jared Cohen, who hit on 15 of 21 passes for 330 yards and five touchdowns, including three to Sean Siegel in the reigning champion Bobcats’ 35-21 win over the second-seeded host Sailors, who represented their community with pride while overcoming injuries to host their first playoff game since 1999.

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