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Tuskers toast of their town

Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 by Robert Lombardo

Tuskers toast of their town

(Original publication: September 29, 2007)
LINCOLNDALE - A short bus ride is always a perk of playing a crosstown rival on the road. Unfortunately for visiting Kennedy, host Somers was making plenty of quick trips of its own.

Taking advantage of a tremendous edge in field position, the Tuskers marched their way to three fast touchdowns in the first half and never relinquished control. Somers began with the ball in Gaels territory on all four first-half possessions and turned three into touchdowns as it rolled to a 28-0 win last night.

"We played well and we practiced hard all week," Somers coach Tony DeMatteo said. "It's a big town thing, so this was a great day because I really think Kennedy came to play."

Junior fullback Rob Lombardo scored touchdowns on his team's first two drives on runs of 7 and 9 yards as Somers (3-1), ranked No. 3 in The Journal News Class A poll, jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

"Coach always says that the kicking game is the most important part because of field position," said Lombardo, who wound up with a game-high 82 yards on 13 carries. "When you get close like that, it definitely makes the defense pay more for their mistakes."

The Tuskers failed to capitalize on excellent field position on their third possession, but added another touchdown right before the half on Matt Deiana's 4-yard run that put them up 21-0. Deiana, who was nursing ankle and knee injuries, was used sparingly, but still managed 54 yards on just five carries.

"In order to accomplish any of our goals, we're going to need (Deiana) at 100 percent," DeMatteo said.

Kennedy (1-3) didn't have the same success on offense, as leading rusher Eric Mercado was held to 32 yards on 10 carries. Ed O'Connell caught three passes for 31 yards, but it wasn't enough to keep the Class B Gaels from losing to the Tuskers for the fourth time in four tries since DeMatteo has been involved.

"It's a huge game, especially for me since I'm from Somers," O'Connell said. "They are our cross-town rival, and we were hoping to come out better than last year, but I have to take my hat off to them. They are a great team and they execute really well."

Kennedy transfer Glen Bernardi scored the game's final touchdown on a 5-yard run with seven minutes to play. Bernardi had 55 yards on 10 carries, and Dylan Haas added 83 yards total offense for Somers.

"We're definitely happy with the result," Lombardo said. "A win is a win."

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