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Somers dominate Rye 35-10

Posted Monday, October 25, 2010 by Robert Lombardo

RYE -- Somers walked into John Nugent Stadium Friday night to play a giant of local football, one coming off an emotional victory over its archrival six days earlier, and one favored to go deep into the Section 1 Class A playoffs.

Somers quarterback Anthony Lombardo scrambles with the ball during the Tuskers' 35-14 win over Rye.

But the Tuskers felt they could beat Rye.

"I felt that we could win this game, but I didn't think we could win it this way," Somers coach Tony DeMatteo said. "If I didn't think we could win it, I wouldn't come down here."

The legendary coach wasn't alone in being surprised by the score. Somers pounded the Garnets on both the offensive and defensive lines and controlled the ball and the game in a surprising 35-14 first-round victory.

The Tuskers play the winner of today's Nyack-Horace Greeley game in next week's semifinal.

Chris Silva rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown, and caught a screen pass and disappeared for a 46-yard touchdown. Quarterback Anthony Lombardo ran for three TDs and passed for another, and D.J. Giuntini controlled the ball between the tackles.

"We knew we could do it," Lombardo said. "We just had to come out and play a complete game. We knew we could beat anybody if we did that, and it showed tonight.

"We've got to do what we did today in the next game. I know if we come and play a full game, we can do some damage in the playoffs."

This damage was already done. You couldn't have predicted the lopsided score. Silva didn't.

"To be honest, no," he said. "I thought it was going to be a good game.

"I think we can continue to do this. There's no stopping us."

On the Tuskers' first possession, Silva broke a 45-yard touchdown run. On their next, after a short Rye punt, Lombardo ran in from the 3.

But you expected the Garnets to make a move that didn't come until it was too late. One Rye drive ended when quarterback Connor Eck was drilled by Victor Prato -- the only returning Somers starter, who missed most of the season with an injury, returning last week. Eck's pass was picked off, and Eck would not play in the second half, his right wrist wrapped.

Lombardo punched in another one to finish an 82-yard drive that started with a 36-yard run by Silva and it was 21-0. And when the Garnets put together a march at the end of the half, Somers stuffed it at the 3-yard line.

Lombardo added his third touchdown in the third, and Rye finally broke through on Joe Simolacaj's 5-yard run to end a 97-yard drive early in the fourth. Silva quickly answered that, catching a Lombardo pass behind the line of scrimmage and scooting 46 yards to make it 35-7. Rye, already missing several players banged up against Harrison last week, went to backup quarterback Jake Meyerson, a junior, who threw a touchdown pass to Brian Pickup late in the fourth.

The Garnets, winners of six straight Class B titles -- including five trips to the state championship game and three state crowns -- before being upset by Poughkeepsie last year, were sent home.

And the Northern league, thought to be the weaker of the two in Class A, had its first upset.

DeMatteo hadn't had a victory like this, he said, since 2002, when his son Anthony made the winning play in an overtime win over Nanuet.

"It's been awhile," he said.


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