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SOMERS VARSITY CHARGES THE LINE, DEFEATING POUGHKEESPIE 34 - 28

Posted Saturday, June 04, 2005 by Tony DeMatteo

Somers defeats Poughkeepsie 34-28
By EVAN KESTEN
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: October 10, 2004)

SOMERS ? Two inconspicuous but foretelling signs flapped gently against the chain-link fence directly behind the home bleachers at the Somers football field.

The first sign, which simply read "If it was easy, everyone would do it," was a testament to both the game of football and the character of those who play it.

The second sign, however, was a little less philosophical and a lot more indicative about how the Tuskers felt about yesterday's game against Poughkeepsie.

It said: "Not in our house."

Reading over both signs after Somers' 34-28 win almost completely summed up yesterday's League A-A game. The Pioneers put together a 22-point fourth-quarter rally that might have been enough if only they could stop Tuskers running back Ethan Tepp, who scored his fourth rushing touchdown with 5:23 left in the game.

"I'm very proud that the kids didn't quit," Somers coach Tony DeMatteo said. "Now we still have a chance to get into the playoffs. ... If we had lost today, we would have been out."

The Tuskers (3-3) took a 21-6 lead into halftime and scored again with less than two minutes to go in the third on a 16-yard run by Tepp to make it 28-6.

But with their backs against the wall, the Pioneers' passing attack finally woke up. For a few minutes shades of Somers' 40-34 defeat to Our Lady of Lourdes last week, in which the Warriors scored 27 fourth-quarter points, threatened to come back and haunt the Tuskers.

Poughkeepsie quarterback Eric Baxter threw for 229 yards in the second half, completing two touchdown passes to Matt Featherston.

"It wasn't like our coverage broke down like they did against Lourdes," DeMatteo said. "Featherston and Tyquan Stroman ? we had them covered. They made great plays. They're great football players."

After Featherston caught a 65-yard touchdown pass to bring the Pioneers within six points with 8:51 to go, senior captain Dan Agostino told his Somers teammates to rally.

"Sometimes when you're in situations like that, our team lets down and we give up too easily," said the defensive end who had two sacks. "But that's why we say to each other: If it's easy, then everyone would do it."

One player who actually made the game look easy was Tepp. In addition to scoring four touchdowns, including what proved to be the winner, the sophomore rushed for 125 yards on 15 carries and recorded a sack.

"I think I did my part," Tepp said. "I had fantastic blocking the entire game, and I'm happy with my performance."

Fellow sophomore Evan Von Heyn added 67 yards on six carries and caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Newman for the first score.

"With this win, I think we are going to go to the playoffs," Agostino said. "We are going to beat Beacon next week. I know it. Our momentum is really strong right now."

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