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Deiana powers Tuskers

Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 by Robert Lombardo

SOMERS - The Somers offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last year is mostly gone. Eight starters graduated, including the quarterback, the leading rusher and the top receiver.





But what remains may be plenty to keep the Tuskers in the thick of the Class A race. It sure appeared that way last night in their misty, wind-swept opener, a 36-6 statement-making win over visiting Lakeland.



"I thought we had a good chance to win this game tonight,"  Somers coach Tony DeMatteo said. "But I never thought we'd win that way."



Who did?



The Tuskers forced four turnovers on defense and appeared as prolific on offense as their high-scoring 2008 brethren did.



One holdover, five-year varsity player Matt Deiana, made an easy transition into the role of main ball carrier. He rushed 13 times for 96 yards and scored three first-half touchdowns. He also ran in a two-point conversion and sacked Lakeland quarterback Conor Prunty for a safety.



"I was tired, but it was awesome," Deiana said. "I've never gotten the ball that much, especially in the first half when I was racking up carries."



Somers mixed in a passing game, too, unveiling one-half of its new two-pronged quarterback attack of Matt Lancia and Anthony Lombardo, who saw limited action last night but is expected to play a bigger role in the future.



Lancia, a senior, made his first start. He completed his first varsity pass and finished 5 for 8 for 87 yards, including 40 on a deep completion to John Bello.



"I was a little nervous in the locker room, but I was more anxious than anything," Lancia said. "I wanted to show everyone I was a good quarterback. The first two short passes got my confidence up. When I had that deep pass to Bello, I felt it hung in the air forever. When it came down and he caught it, I was happier than I've ever been I think."



The mood was much more somber on the opposing sideline. Lakeland lost just five seniors from a 5-4 team and returned its quarterback, Prunty, and many of its top linemen and ball carriers. The Hornets' coaching staff expected more after losing to Somers 35-6 last year, but the result was more of the same.



"We got overpowered," Lakeland coach Rob Cappelli said. "We stressed all camp, all offseason, about power football and controlling the line of scrimmage, and they were just bench-pressing our guys all day in the backfield. It's kind of hard.



"After 10 years of being here, when you think you're getting close to getting over the hurdle and getting to that next level, I definitely didn't expect that."



The Hornets managed just two first downs in the first half, one on a 30-yard pass from Prunty to Chris Fazio. They scored in the final minute on a 5-yard run by Prunty.



Big plays were scarce for Lakeland, but fairly common for Somers.



Colin Tullgren complemented Deiana with two touchdown runs of his own and an interception

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