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Varsity loses to Nyack in defensive slugfest 9 - 0 .

Posted Thursday, October 26, 2006 by .

Journal News Review - See second article below

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It was hard to believe that with only 7 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter and Nyack holding onto a 3-0 lead that Somers would not get off that one special play to take them over the top and the walk away with a victory. You could feel the Somers parents and student body almost willing the team to give it that one last push but Nyack's defense had just enough in reserve to keep the Somers attack at bay.

This was an epic defensive battle between two well coached, well disciplined teams who would not wilt under the pressure . Punch and counter punches were thrown all night long as the battle went back and forth between these two Class A powerhouses.

Kudos to the Somers defense for several goal line stances which I think made Nyack think twice if they had what it takes to win this game. Kudos to Nyack running back Alonzo Powell who somehow found a way to beat the Somers D on 3rd and long situations with I'm sure frustrated the Somers D . At times it would look like Powell was stopped 2-3 yards in the backfield but then stayed on his feet , found an extra gear and turned it into positive yards. You could see Nyack was grinding away slowly but surely both the clock and keeping the ball out of the explosive hands of the Tuskers offense. Everyone knew the ball was going to Powell 80% of the time but we somehow just could not stop him when we really needed to. Once again , Somers would be so close to winning (as with every game they have lost ) but somehow are missing that special "X factor" like they had last year which would push them past their foes. This team could just as easily be 8-0 right now , but lady luck is just not on their side this year.......

Now that Somers is out of the championship playoffs (but still well alive in the consolation bracket ) the next couple of weeks provides another test of resiliency and resolve for the Tusker team. All the guys have worked long and hard to get to this point but now must dig even deeper to get the energy and drive to get by the dings ,dents, and bruises to complete the season with 2 convincing wins and end this football year on a well-deserved high note.

Go Tuskers ! Show the rest of Section 1 what you're made of !!!

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Nyack advances with 9-0 win over Somers
By KEVIN DEVANEY JR.
THE JOURNAL NEWS
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(Original publication: October 26, 2006)

UPPER NYACK 2 It took Alonzo Powell a little bit longer to peel himself off the grass after every carry. The Nyack fullback was taking a beating from the Somers defense and, judging by the scoreboard, had very little to show for it.

A couple of twisted ankles, a bruised thigh and a sore shoulder couldn't stop Powell from turning in one of the season's guttiest performances.

The 5-foot-11, 235-pound senior withstood four quarters of abuse from the Tuskers, rushing for 147 yards on 31 carries, and lifted the Indians to a 9-0 win in a Class A quarterfinal last night at MacCalman Field.

"I've never felt this beat up," Powell said. "I'm gonna go home and sleep until Monday."

The semifinals seem far too soon for Powell, who'll lead the No. 2B Indians (6-2) into Monday's semifinal at No. 1A Ossining. The teams met seven weeks ago with the RiverHawks (8-0) pulling off a thrilling 13-7 win.

Powell will have to heal quickly after playing against what he said was one of the most physical defenses last night.

He was the workhorse on both of Nyack's scoring drives, carrying the ball 10 times on the game's opening series. The Indians drove 87 yards in 18 plays, chewing up over 10 minutes. But they failed to get into the end zone from inside the 4-yard line three times and had to settle for a 24-yard Powell field goal.

Powell highlighted another long Nyack drive in the second half, carrying the ball eight times during a 14-play, 65-yard march that took nearly eight minutes, from late in the third and most of the fourth. As the Somers defense bore down on Powell, Terrell Burnett capped the series with a 6-yard score to seal the win.

"(Powell) was not always running where the play was designed," Somers coach Tony DeMatteo said. "We just couldn't tackle him. I think he almost singlehandedly won them the game."

The defense did its part, too.

Nyack held the Tuskers (5-3) in check and seemed to play better as the game went on. Somers went three-and-out in its first three possessions of the second half and managed just 8 yards.

"It was definitely the greatest performance by our defense," said senior safety Billy Arnhold, who had an interception. "We needed this after last week."

Nyack was coming off a brutal 49-0 loss to Harrison on Saturday, a game that was barely competitive after the first few minutes.

This week the Indians' coaches decided to make a drastic switch, removing all the complicated defensive schemes and sticking with the base set.

"We were doing too many things defensively and the kids couldn't handle it," Nyack coach John Castellano said. "We decided to just put the kids out there and let them play. Let them hit. We felt like we put too much on the kids last week and we took them out of the game."

Somers had no answer. It never crossed midfield and had only the 8 yards of offense in the second half until its final drive.

"I was surprised with how well they played defense," DeMatteo said. "In spots our defense played well but we just could not move the football."

Reach Kevin Devaney Jr. at kdevaney@lohud.com. Read his Varsity Insider blog at kickoff.lohudblogs.com.

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