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Lombardo leads Somers past Hen Hud

Posted Sunday, October 07, 2007 by Robert Lombardo

Lombardo leads Somers past Hen Hud

(Original publication: October 6, 2007)
MONTROSE - Rob Lombardo has emerged as one of the leading rushers and best all-around football players in the Lower Hudson Valley this season.

But the Somers junior has also done some behind-the-scenes work that has proven to have given the Tuskers a big lift, too. And that was evident last night as Somers pulled away for a 28-7 League A-A win at Hen Hud.

Lombardo played the role of salesman in convincing one of the school's best athletes, classmate Joe Marasco, to play football.

"Joe would be over at my house all the time during the summer and we would all be talking about football and how much fun it was and how he should play," said Lombardo, who rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns.

After almost daily prodding, Marasco, a star in lacrosse and hockey, finally decided to join the team. Because he did not participate in preseason practices, he was not eligible to play his first game until Week 3.

Against Hen Hud (2-3, 1-3), Marasco, a cornerback/special-teams player appearing in just his third varsity game, was one of Somers' stars. His fumble recovery with 8:29 remaining in the second quarter gave the Tuskers the ball at the Hen Hud 21. Moments later, Lombardo's second touchdown - on a 4-yard run - and Colin Tullgren's point-after kick gave Somers, ranked third in The Journal News Class A poll, a 14-7 lead.

That's how the score remained until the fourth quarter when the Tuskers (4-1, 2-2) put it out of reach on a pair of 20-yard touchdown runs by Lombardo and Dylan Haas.

"I played my freshman year, but took a break last year," said Marasco, who also had a sack and a 48-yard punt return. "Rob is my neighbor and we're close, and he kept telling me I should play."

Marasco's big game last night was just the start of a busy weekend. A high-scoring attackman in lacrosse known for his blistering left-handed shot, he is making unofficial visits to both Division I national champion Johns Hopkins and Virginia.

Though his Somers football teammates know Marasco's future is in lacrosse, they're just happy to have him on their team now.

"He gives us another athlete," Haas said, "and that makes a big difference."

So too did the play of Haas, who gained 88 yards on nine carries to complement the rushing performances of Lombardo and sophomore Matt Deiana (69 yards on nine carries).

Haas also came up big on defense with a pair of potentially touchdown-saving tackles.

Early on though, Hen Hud took it right to the Somers defense. After Dan Hall returned the game's opening kickoff to his own 43, the Sailors marched right down the field in eight plays, with Tom Coogan ending the drive with a 4-yard run. Matt Desilva's point-after kick made it 7-0. But the Sailors were unable to score again the rest of the way.

"We played hard, but they just overpowered us," said Desilva, who gained 73 yards on eight carries. "They're a great team and a well-coached team."

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