No.10 Yorktown to Visit No.7 Somers in 1st Round Playoff Game
Mahopac, Carmel Set to Renew Putnam County’s Greatest Rivalry… Higgins Trophy on the Line
Apologies in advance for this condensed version of the Grid Notebook this week. With the righteous version nearly 99% completed – chock full of playoff tidbits – this scribe’s computer screen went black… yes, the dreaded black screen, thus sending 1,500 words into space, not to mention another 1,200 of the soccer notebook (soccer fans, I will make it up to you next week).
So, here’s a quickie; an under the gun recap, it’s all I got, gang, sorry!
10th seeded YORKTOWN (3-3) will visit 7th-seeded SOMERS (4-2) this Friday (7 pm) in the qualifying round of the sectional tournament. Yes, this is a game we’re more accustomed to seeing in the finals and/or semifinals, but nonetheless, this will commence for the right to reach the sectional quarterfinals instead after Somers defeated Greeley 33-0 behind five more touchdowns from sophomore FB Jack Kaiser. The bruising back now has 19 TDs for the season, just four behind the 23 TDs by former two-time All-Section stud Stefano Bicknese, and 11 shy of the single season school record of 30 by other-wordly RB Messiah Horne in 2016.
“I just can’t believe I’m anywhere close to Stefano Bicknese because of the fact he was one of the best players to come out of Somers and hearing about how talented he was and still is,” Kaiser said. “It all feels like a dream to me a little bit. My O-line is the reason why I’ve been having success, because they are giving me the gaps I need and all I need to do is make cuts, so they are doing their job, which makes my job so much easier. All the credit is to them.”
Kaiser scored all five touchdowns for the Tuskers and finished with 111 yards on the ground, also staging an electrifying 73-yard kick return he took to the house. Somers HB Charlie Balancia added 112 yards on the ground and had an interception for the surging Tuskers, winners of four straight.
Yorktown, the 2017 NYS runner-ups, fell to top-ranked Clarkstown South, 27-7, falling for a third-straight week. Yorktown RB Dylan Smith rushed for 95 yards on 16 carries. Ben Robinson had 12 tackles to lead the defense.
HEN HUD crushed PANAS, 33-0, to lock down the No.11 seed, which bring the Sailors to No.6 Nyack Friday (7 pm). Panas (2-4), and sister school LAKELAND, each failed to make the playoffs, which tells you there’s work to do in regards to the state of football in the Lakeland district in 2018.
Sailor QB Manny Carbone hit on 9 of 17 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also marched for 13 carries for 123 yards and a score. Sailor RB Jordan Grullon was percolating as well, going for 123 yards and two scores on 11 totes. Sailor WR Donte White and TE Michael Fasolino caught TD passes in the win.
Lakeland, which got worked by Tappan Zee, has two promising underclassmen in RB Matt Makar, who rushed 10 times for 126 yards and a touchdown and had two catches for 70 yards, and sophomore QB Tyler Santucci, who hit on 10 on 23 passes for 160 yards and a TD. OL Jason Green has been a bright spot as well.
BREWSTER (3-3) secured the 14th seeded after falling at Fox Lane, 34-7, and setting up a nightmarish qualifying round playoff date with No.3 Lourdes. After a 3-0 start the Bears have hit the skids.
MAHOPAC vs. CARMEL is upon us… nothing more need be said about Putnam County’s greatest rivalry. In this neck of the Putnam County woods it doesn’t get any better than Mahopac vs. Carmel, with the memorial Bryan Higgins Trophy on the line. Yes, the Indians (2-4) are starving for a victory after their 34-28 overtime loss at Arlington, but you can throw the proverbial records out when these two get together. Carmel has defeated Mahopac three consecutive times.
Carmel Coach Todd Cayea was neck deep in Mahopac film, hoping to figure out a way to contain Indian RB Tim Cegielski, who had 20 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Admirals. Indian QB Anthony Corrado had his best day through the air, hitting on 21 of 30 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown pass to WR Rheal Allen (13 catches for 120 yards and a score).
“Our student athletes won my heart,” Mahopac Coach Dom DeMatteo said. “Words cannot express the respect and admiration I have for them. Cegielski and Corrado’s offensive output this year, considering our schedule is nothing short of exceptional. Reahl’s numbers aren’t huge, but we get defensed differently because of him. He is one of the most impactful players in the Lower Hudson Valley this year.”
The Rams (4-2) have been stout on defense, having surrendered just 33 points this season, and they will be looking to lock down a top four seed, retain the Higgins trophy and home field advantage for the opening round of the playoffs. If the Rams can get the ground game going behind game-breaking RB Sam Duke, it could be a long night for Mahopac.
“We have been preparing for this game our whole lives, nothing is quite like this game,” said Duke, who has trucked his fair share of dudes this season and went for 129 yards rushing with three touchdowns against Ramapo. Duke added a 39-yard screen pass from QB Peyton Cayea for another touchdown and had two sacks on defense. “We are going to give it everything we got and more against Mahopac.
Duke gave his all against Ramapo, looking like the finest athlete on the field.
“I couldn’t have done it without the O-line, they are really starting to come together,” he said.
OSSINING improved to 4-2 when RB Izaiah Steen scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter, capping the come-from-behind win. The Pride get Port Chester next.
KENNEDY CATHOLIC improved to 5-0 and continued to look like the team to beat in Class A NYC League this season after a 26-6 win over visiting Nazareth on homecoming day at JFK. The cool kids lined the grassy knoll and watched RBs Myles Proctor (130 yards, 13 carries TD) and Seth Surrett (9 carries, 135 yards 2 TDs) have their way. Defensively, the Gaels have pitched two shutouts and have allowed 27 points in their five games behind the Cole Esposito-led unit. Espo continues to stick out on defense from his linebacking position, blowing up the line of scrimmage, and off the O-line, serving countless pancakes. Kennedy Catholic will head to Sarasota, Florida this week for a game against Out-of-Door Academy for what Coach Dom Tassone called a unique, team-bonding experience.