Somers Remains Unbeaten; Peekskill Making Strides; Carmel Suffers 1st Loss
By Ray Gallagher
Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
& Rob DiAntonio @RJD_Photos
Remember when it was just little over a month ago when parents/fans were not allowed to attend games in person due to COVID-19 and the abundance of caution surrounding the situation our country finds itself in? We talked collectively about doing anything and everything possible regarding the necessary changes WE would ALL make as responsible adults — even tempering attitudes — to ensure an environment that would be smart, healthy and safe for all.
Well, it didn’t take long — at some places we’ve been to recently — to forget the rules and get back to creating an oft-hostile, unmanageable environment that athletic directors fear will become even more difficult to control once the spring season hits the fan.
As we grind toward the end of the “Fall II” season, let’s remember the efforts of our coaches, administrators and referees to make this season possible for our student athletes, and let’s be on our best behavior down the stretch and into the spring.
HEN HUD 26, PLEASANTVILLE 23
In a game that featured big play after big play, Coach John Catano’s visiting Sailors (2-1) prevailed over Coach Tony Becerra’s Panthers (2-1), who had the ball and a chance to win with 2:40 left in the fourth. However, Sailor DL Corey Cothren-Seger sacked Panther QB Michael LaCapria as his desperation heave sailed into the arms of Hen Hud DB Chanse Artope to seal a Hen Hud win. LaCapria had 198 yards passing.
The Sailors worked a 20-0 first-quarter lead before the Panthers knew what hit them, getting a pair of scores from senior RB Nicholas Cepeda and another from senior RB Ryan Travis.
“We came out blasting in the first quarter and our defense did exactly what our defense does,” said Cepeda, who, in a normal year, would have challenged for a Section 1 D-II wrestling title.
Travis finished with 10 carries, 166 yds and a TD while Cepeda had seven carries, 102 yards and a TD, plus a 29-yard pick six.
Hen Hud seemed to take the pedal off the metal, allowing the Panthers to eke their way back in. Big paydirt plays from Panthers Brennan McDermott and Daniel Picart shaved the Panther deficit from 20 to three with just under three minutes to go, but the Sailors held on for dear life and Seger’s pressure and Artope’s subsequent INT sealed the deal.
Travis’ 40-yard catch set up a made-needed one yard plunge from Sailors RB Chanse Artope with just over eight minutes left. However, McDermott took the ensuing kick 95 yards to make it 26-16 with 8:14 to go. Hen Hud turned the ball over on downs before Picart took a short pass from LaCapria and raced 80 yards for the final margin with 3:56 to play.
“We put a lot of work in this off-season… rain, snow it didn’t matter what it was,” Travis said. “We deserved this win today. We put all our hearts into it and realized this wasn’t going to be a walk in the park against this team. We put our heads down and played our best football when it mattered.”
“We realized that their coverage wasn’t working so well on the crossing,” Travis added in reference to his big grab along the home sideline that set up the game-sealing TD. “We put that play in this week, and put a little wheel in it and I was wide open and there to make a play. Our D-line and O-line put in a lot of work in today, so it was all them up front.”
Hen Hud Coach John Catano liked what he saw early on but was hoping for a killer instinct from his Sailors, who are playing in Class B for the first time in many years.
“No, it wasn’t pretty,” said “Big Cat” Catano, a former All-Section Sailor in his heyday. “It’s been tough with the way the season started and 10 days to put everything in place. It was a good bounce-back from last week when we got hammered by Byram Hills. I’m proud of the guys, though, they stopped them when we had to. We did a great job in that first quarter. Defensively, I thought we played outstanding. We allowed two big plays and a kick return, which are breakdowns on our part, no excuse.”
“Ryan made one hell of a play to set up our final score, which was huge,” Catano added. “He’s a heck of a player. But our line’s gotta block for these guys. Chanse is a big, tough bull and I want to feed him, but these guys gotta do the job up front. They had a great first quarter but then we took our foot off the gas, which is the worst thing you can do against a team like this.”
Hen Hud will host Pearl River Friday (7 p.m.) while P’Ville readies for the biggest test of its season at Byram Hills Saturday (1:30 p.m).
VALHALLA 28, DOBBS FERRY 20
It was the Mahari Davis, Jr. show as the senior returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and returned an interception for a touchdown in Valhalla’s 28-20 senior day win over visiting Dobbs Ferry on Saturday afternoon.
Midway through the first quarter, Dobbs took a 6-0 lead but it didn’t take Davis and Valhalla long to answer. The senior broke a tackle and zig zagged past a few defenders on his way to a 78-yard kickoff return for a score. Sebastian Aranda’s kick split the uprights and the Vikings gained a 7-6 lead with 5:06 left in the quarter.
“It definitely was the blocking,” Davis said of the key to his success on the kickoff returns. “We’ve practiced that a lot this week. I saw the hole and just took off. I know I had one guy to beat and I did what I had to do.”
The Eagles took a 12-7 lead late in the first half but Davis had the answer yet again. He raced 77 yards untouched to the end zone, side stepping one defender along the way as the Eagles tried in vein to stop him. Aranda’s PAT gave the Vikings a 14-12 lead, which they took into halftime.
“Technically and fundamentally we have a long way to go but we have very scrappy kids and we have a couple of great athletes like him,” Valhalla coach Art Troilo, Jr. said of Davis. “He really stepped up today. He probably touched the ball 10 times and he scored three touchdowns.”
Dobbs didn’t dare kick to Davis to start the second half, squibbing a short kick which was recovered by Michael Girdauskas. The teams traded empty possessions until freshman Lorenzo Robinson got loose. He rumbled 51 yards for a score while breaking multiple tackles along the way to give Valhalla a 21-12 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“That was great. He had a great game last week too,” Davis said of Robinson. “That put more momentum on our side.”
Robinson and fellow freshman Robert Foisset then came through with a big stop on fourth-and-5 to force the Eagles into a turnover on downs. On Dobbs’ next possession, Rahsean Melvin and Jack Sullivan pressured Dobbs quarterback Harry Dann and he threw a wobbly pass right to Davis, who jetted 62 yards up the left sideline for another score with 2:10 to play.
“I knew I had to take that to the house,” Davis said. “I saw two guys there but they couldn’t stop me. I had to get that last touchdown to end the game.”
Dobbs quickly drove down and scored and converted a two-point conversion with just 2.3 seconds left. Girdauskas pounced on the onside kick to end the game.
Valhalla junior quarterback Michael Dawson suffered a broken thumb in a Week 1 loss to Bronxville. After getting surgery on his right thumb on his throwing hand, Dawson won’t be able to play quarterback again this season but could return this week and play another position. Troilo didn’t specify where.
The Vikings have rallied around Dawson, who has been very active with the team on the sidelines the past two games.
“He’s helping us and he’s helping the quarterbacks,” Davis said. “It’s like he never left, honestly. The only thing different is we’re in a Wing-T running the ball every play. But we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.”
Robinson rushed for three touchdowns in a 28-14 Week 2 win over Rye Neck on March 29. Daniel Tamarro added a touchdown run while Joe O’Neil rushed 10 times for 85 yards. Sullivan paced the defense with 10 tackles and a sack.
Valhalla (2-1) will look to win its third straight game when it travels to Haldane for a 1:30 p.m. game on Saturday, April 10.
“The kids have played hard and they deserve to feel good,” Troilo said. “I can’t remember our last day off. The kids are coming on Sunday’s and we played last Monday. This was a short week but we have a regular week next week. We have a lot of work to do. Four weeks we’ve been out here. We’ve had kids get hurt and we’ve lost kids but we have to do a much better job getting them ready to play and that’s on me.”
SOMERS 31, LOURDES 0
The good news might have outweighed the bad in the undefeated Tuskers’ win over visiting Lourdes Thursday afternoon. Yes, Coach Tony DeMatteo’s Tuskers (3-0) managed to remain atop the league standings while holding on to a potential No.1 seed in the Class A playoffs, but senior QB Jackson (aka Action Jackson) Kossow was carted off the field in the game’s second quarter. Kossow was scheduled for an MRI and was hopeful he could return at some point this season.
While Kossow (4 carries, 22 yards, 2-of-2 passing, 24 yards) was headed for observation, Tusker senior RB Jack Kaiser – who Lourdes had no answer for — plowed in from three yards out for a 7-0 lead and Alex Cabo booted a 42-yard field goal to end the half for a 10-0 Somers lead. From there, it was all Kaiser (19 carries, 127 yards, 3 TDs), who governed the opening drive of the second half before plowing in from 13 yards out for a 17-0 lead and cashed in on a Garrett Cassin INT with a three-yard plunge for a 24-0 lead: Game over!
Somers DE TJ Deagan’s sack forced a three-and-out from Lourdes, which handed over a short field on Somers’ ensuing possession at the OLL 49. Somers Nate Rosenzweig (2 carries, 36 yards, 1 catch, 18 yards) crafted a nifty run and went from the OLL 37 to the five to set up a three-yard sneak from back-up QB Julian Casciano to open the fourth and Cabo tacked on the PAT for a 31-0 lead. The Somers defense, in defiance all day, jumped all over Lourdes throughout the game to secure its second shutout of the season.
Defense has been a reliant factor for the Tuskers. DE Dan Curran (5 tackles) had two sacks, and Jake Polito (5 tackles) added another for Somers (3-0). Dylan Faller (3 tackles) was a force on the edge while Deagan, Ethan Krauss and Anthony Cheek each notched five tackles.
Somers visits winless Beacon Friday at 7 p.m. and await Monday’s MRI results on Kossow, who was inspirational even while icing his banged-up knee.
“It was definitely difficult for me, personally, to see him out since me and Jackson got really close this off-season,” said Polito, a 6’3” 290-pound sophomore and D-I prospect in the making, “so it’s hard to see something like that happen to a kid like him. Seeing him go down, and a few other things, really put a spark in us to start playing how we should have been playing since the first snap of the game.”
RYE 20, YORKTOWN 10
Huskers RB Evan Makar spotted the Huskers a 7-0 lead with 7:03 left in the first quarter with a tough two-yard plunge, and Yorktown went into the break up 10-7 when K Vicente Lyon split the uprights from 38 yards.
Reigning Section 1 Class A champion Rye took the lead for good early in the third when Garnet (3-0) RB Caden Whaling went off left tackle for a three-yard scoot for his second score of the game. Rye never relinquished. Yorktown (1-2), which saw Makar rush for 52 yards and 60 receiving from QB Justin Meyreles (97 yards passing, 39 rushing) will visit Greeley Friday at 7 p.m.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way my kids fought and brought it to a very good team,” Yorktown Coach Pantelis Ypsilantis said. “I think we made a couple of mistakes in the second half in a game where we needed to play perfect, and that was the difference in the game. While the result wasn’t what we wanted, my team left everything out on the field and gave it everything they had, and to me, that’s always enough. I can’t ask for more than that.”
Yorktown also discovered it will play the remainder of the season without two-way star Keith Boyer, who will also miss his senior lacrosse season this spring, with a torn labrum; a devastating blow to both programs.
SUFFERN 33, CARMEL 12
Nick Sodano’s 22-yard field goal on the last play of the first quarter brought Carmel within four points, at 7-3, but it was all downhill from there for the Rams (2-1). Down 13-3, Carmel WR Ryan McDonald provided the Rams with a short field after a 55-yard kickoff return, but a wild snap over RB Josh Massi’s head in a Wildcat set erased any hope of shaving points before the half when Carmel went for it on fourth-and-infinity and turned the ball over on downs.
One play later West Point-bound Clevmer Lubin, among the studliest of athletes in the state, scooted 68 yards for a game-breaking score and 20-0 halftime lead, just a portion of the senior QB’s first-half efficiency, which included 162 yards and three TDs. His second half was equally impressive, Lubin dashing 46 yards for a score and 26-3 Suffern lead at 7:19 of the third. The 6’3” 212-pound Lubin, an absolute specimen, finished with 236 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries.
“He’s a very good player and we showed our inexperience against him,” Carmel Coach Todd Cayea said of Lubin. “We didn’t line up right in the first half, and he is a bull. We failed to execute on the offensive side and made some critical errors at critical times.
“We were going in to score on the one-yard line to make it 13-10 before half and we snap one over our QB’s head,” Cayea added. “Then the big boy breaks one for a huge swing. Hey, it’s part of the process: Failure leads to learning.”
Carmel, which hosts White Plains on Saturday at 7 p.m., saw sophomore RB Nick Rosaforte score on an 18-yard run.
CLARKS SOUTH 22, BREWSTER 19
Coach Ed Mulvihill’s Bears (1-2) coughed up the lead with seven minutes remaining to lose for the second week in a row against a pair of upper echelon Class A clubs, which have combined to go 5-0, including the Vikings (2-0) and Somers (3-0).
“We jumped out to the early lead then kind of took our foot off the pedal,” Brewster boss Ed Mulvihill said. “Turnovers were costly and I give South credit. They kept coming at us and didn’t roll over.”
Bear RB Christian Rhodes began the game with an 80-yard TD trot, part of 112 yards on 16 carries. Brewster QB Chris Donohue went 12-20 for 168 yds and a TD passto go with three interceptions.
“Coming out of halftime we were up 19-7 and South was kicking off to us, so we talked at halftime about moving down the field and scoring to take a commanding lead,” Mulvihill said. “Unfortunately, for us, the kick ended up being kicked short up the sideline and our back line couldn’t get up to the ball in time and South recovered.”
Clarkstown didn’t score on the ensuing possession, but it was a big play that took some wind out of Brewster’s sails.
“I should have moved the deep guys up sooner since they were kicking into the wind, so that was on me,” Mulvihill said. “We had a chance at the end and moved the ball into striking distance with under a minute to go, but South caused a fumble and that was it.”
Brewster’s Nick Sayegh played an outstanding game on both sides of the ball with a TD reception and an interception on defense. All-Section DL Franco Milano and Dom Rienzi played great on defense, stuffing runs at the line of scrimmage.
Brewster will host Lourdes Friday (7 p.m.).
“It’s a tough loss but we will have to regroup as Our Lady of Lourdes comes in Friday as a team hungry for a win,” the coach said.
SCARSDALE 21, WHITE PLAINS 14
White Plains senior Chris McGuire led the Tigers with 170 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in a 21-14 loss to host Scarsdale last Thursday.
The Tigers gained an early lead when McGuire caught a screen pass and went 77 yards for the score. A two-point conversion had White Plains out to an 8-0 lead. Scarsdale, however, answered with two touchdowns to take a 15-8 lead into halftime.
A blocked punt set up a McGuire 14-yard touchdown run but the two-point conversion came up short as the Tigers cut the deficit to 15-14. Scarsdale responded again, capping off a nine-play drive with a touchdown to take a 21-14 lead.
A fumble in the red zone and a turnover on downs sealed White Plains’ fate as the Tigers dropped to 1-2.
“I think the team learned the importance of focus on every play and that the smallest details matter,” Tigers coach Mike Lindberg said. “Fumbles and penalties are something we can control.”
White Plains looks to rebound when it travels to Carmel for a 7 p.m. game on Saturday, April 10.
“The key to bouncing back will be like every week: a great week of practice and the team working together for a common goal,” Lindberg said.
NYACK 14, MAHOPAC 7
Mahopac senior RB Vin Bastone was the lone Indian to reach paydirt and the Indians’ special teams let them down late when a blocked punt went the other way for the game-winning score. Bastone was a workhorse, toting 28 times for 131 yards.The Indians (0-2) will host Fox Lane Wednesday (6 p.m.).
JOHN JAY 35, LAKELAND 6
The Hornets (1-2) could not match the firepower of the undefeated Wolves (3-0), who have put up 91 points and allowed just six. Lakeland QB Tyler Santucci hit on 4-of-11 passes for 78 yards while Adamo Labriola rushed six times for 32 yards for the Hornets, who played very little offense and was led defensively by Danny Libretti (11 tackles), Brendan Bown (9) and Connor McGannon (7).
Lakeland will visit winless Walter Panas Friday (7 p.m.).
HALDANE 16, WOODLANDS 2
Blue Devil RB Darrin Santos had 18 carries for 115 yards and 2 TDs, including a juicy 57-yard, game-sealing jaunt as Haldane beat Woodlands 16-2. Ryan Irwin had a pair of 2-point conversion runs for the Blue Devils (1-2). Doug Donaghy had four tackles for a loss, six in all, to lead the Blue Devils defense. Evan Giachinta had six sticks for the Blue Devils, who challenge visiting Valhalla Saturday (1:30 p.m.).
PEEKSKILL 32, RAMAPO 14
If Peekskill’s new and improved Torpey Field didn’t have lights, it did after Saturday night when Jayson Tinsley lit the place up. Luckily, Torpey comes with lights but Tinsley was still lit, going for a pair of electric touchdown runs of 69 and 61 yards. He finished with 11 carries for 212 yards. His teammates continued to build something at Peekskill under Coach Vito Debellis.
Red Devil QB Elijah Ritter (12 carries, 115 yards, TD & 4-for-7 36 passing yards, TD), Kyle Cousins (3 carries, 38 yards, TD), Gideon Anderson (2 carries, 44 yards) and Zoar Ruff (3 catches, 11 yards, TD) all put up big numbers for the Red Devils (2-1), who will visit Ossining Friday (6 p.m.). Cousins broke five tackles on his bullish TD trot, very symbolic of what Peekskill is doing this season.
OSSINING 17, MT. VERNON 8
Liam Hamilton got the Pride on the scoreboard first with a safety and RB Terrell Francis finished off the Knights with a pair of TDs and 23 carries for 145 yards.