By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
State-ranked Class AA (No.12) CARMEL and Class A (No12) SOMERS clinched their respective league titles last weekend and both remain on the fast track for their respective sectional title tilts on November 12/13 on the swank campus of Arlington High School.
CARMEL handled Suffern easily, 31-7, and improved to 6-0 behind another stout defensive effort and a methodical offensive game plan that featured plenty of grind and a blend of chicanery. Ram QB Kevin Dall hit on 8 of 14 for 149 yards and a TD pass to Andrew Fiore (3 catches, 67 yards, TD) before the duo switched places on an end-around, reverse throwback with Fiore jetting off the end to take a hand-off before finding Dall alone in the end zone. It was a thing of beauty. Carmel RB Dylan Shields was a workhorse, carrying 21 times for 115 yards while FB Nick Rosaforte had nine totes for 64 yards and a score.
“We were very sloppy on offense,” Rams Coach Todd Cayea said. “Penalties, bad snaps, miscommunication… we need to clean that stuff up. That TD run against us was 79 yards, so other than that they had 30 yards total offense. Our D played well. We get (Josh) Massi back this week, and that’s big on both sides of the ball.”
The Rams, winners of the League I-B title, will close out the regular season at home against North Rockland (3-3) Friday and expect to have pivotal senior RB/LB Josh Massi back from a three-week injury layoff.
SOMERS wasted little effort in its 49-0 whitewashing of visiting John Jay last Friday. The state-ranked (No.12) Tuskers (6-0) remained undefeated and scored all 49 points before the half, sharing the wealth with six different TD scorers, including junior QB Matt Fitzsimons, who three a pair of TD passes and rushed for another. RB’s Matt Kapica (5 rushes, 105 yards) and Luke Savino (6 for 88) both rushed for a pair of scores while Trey Mancuso and TJ Olifers each snared a TD strike from Big Fitz of 53 and 52 yards, respectively. Savino went 7 for 7 on PAT’s. In all, 21 players had at least one tackle (11 for loss of yards and 3 sacks) to contribute to the shutout of the state-ranked (No.27) Wolves (4-2).
Like-minded, tone-setting and purposeful, Somers will play out the string this week in a regular-season finale at one-win LAKELAND, a 14-0 loser to BREWSTER (4-2).
“Our coaches put in so much work with the game plan, and they get us so ready to play so that we’re a machine once Friday comes,” said 6’3” 285-pound D-I prospect Jake Polito, who was flying up and down the field throwing blocks and making tackles. “One of my lessons (former) Coach (Tony) DeMatteo taught me is once you flip that switch, you’re not in the business of taking bodies, you’re in the business of taking souls. That quote is the best way I’d describe our mentality. We don’t wanna injure anyone, but we wanna make them hurt. Once we set the tone and they realize how long of a night it’s gonna be, that’s when we get started.”
And that’s when it’s over for Section 1 foes.
MAHOPAC RB Joey Koch hadn’t pointed skyward toward his grandmother three times in a game since his career varsity began in the spring of 2021, but the shifty junior got three nods of approval from grandma Koch after Joey K dropped a career-high three TD’s and 188 yards on 27 carries the host Indians’ 28-17 victory over YORKTOWN Friday night on Homecoming Weekend. Indian QB Anthony DeMatteo hit on 5 of 8 passes for 115 yards and fired a game-sealing TD strike to a streaking Michael Callahan (2 grabs, 94 yards), who took the seam to paydirt before getting air-lifted by OL Adam Montalvo.
Mahopac DL Anthony Porco had a sack and an INT and David Ortiz forced a fumble to lead the Indians’ defense. Sophomore Justin Price had a ‘Pick 6’ that gave Yorktown a 17-14 lead and had the Mahopac Maniacs in a brief tizzy before shouting down Yorktown’s Crop in the end.
BREWSTER escaped LAKELAND with a crucial 14-0 win that kept the Bears (4-2) alive in the playoff picture entering the final week of the regular season. Brewster QB Chris Donohue returned from a three-week layoff due to injury to run one score in from seven yards out before firing a perfectly thrown ball to the corner of the endzone where WR Nick Sayegh made a great catch.
“Lakeland came in hungry and really played a gritty game,” Bears Coach Ed Mulvihill said. “We have a lot of respect for their coach Mike Meadows and his staff, so we knew they’d come in with a solid plan. We told our kids we would need some of them to step up their games and make big plays.”
Donohoe, the third-year signal caller, did just that, connecting on 12 of 15 for 127 yards. He also hit on some big pass plays to move the chains. Brewster RB’s Will Martinez (7 for 48) and Joey Anfuso (8 for 31 rushing, 2 for 32 receiving) gave the Bears (4-2) a boost out of the backfield. Defensively, Bears Jack Golinello (9 sticks, sack) and Wille Martinez (fumble recovery, INT) led the charge for the Bears, who will finish the regular season with a critical game against a scornful John Jay squad.
“We’ll have our hands full,” Mulvihill said, “but I like the direction we took this week.”
Lakeland QB Steven Dedvukaj hit on 7 of 14 for 71 yards and Stephen Carroll led the defense with 15 tackles for a Lakeland club that dipped to 1-5, out of the playoff picture.
HALDANE had its biggest win of the season, a 28-27 win over visiting, state-ranked (No.11) VALHALLA, in which Blue Devil QB Ryan Van Tassel did a little bit of everything, including three TD passes and 195 yards. He also rushed for the game-clinching, third-quarter score. Blue Devils Thomas Tucker, Evan Giachinta and Ryan Irwin all hauled in a TD pass.
“The guys are making plays all over the field,” Haldane Coach Ryan McConville said. “We compete each day in practice and the kids are buying in. This was a great team win!
“Ryan has done a great job to lead the offense and make some big tome throws with his arm,” the coach added. “The playmakers, Irwin, Tucker, Giachinta, Carone and Forcello are doing exactly that, making big plays.The pass protection has been good, but we have to do a better job running the ball. Defensively, we’re playing very tough. We are forcing a lot of turnovers and our LB Mason and Stubblefield are making lots of tackles. We are doing a good job with pass coverage but have to clean a few things up. Overall, the guys are playing well and today they figured out how to win.”
A win of this nature should vault the Blue Devils into the state rankings and provide every reason to believe they can challenge state-ranked (No.9) Tuckahoe for Class D supremacy.