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Silva,Lombardo lead Somers past Rye

Posted Monday, October 25, 2010 by Robert Lombardo
RYE, NY –  In Week 6, Somers scored 37 second-half points to defeat Lakeland and clinch the final spot in the Section 1 Class A playoffs. Following the victory, Tuskers quarterback Anthony Lombardo made a premonition.

“If we put together a full game, we could do some damage in the playoffs,” the senior gunslinger said.

He was right. 

Lombardo rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another score in a 35-14 upset victory over No. 1-seeded Rye in the Section 1 Class A quarterfinals at Nugent Stadium on Friday night. Somers will face either Nyack or Horace Greeley in the semifinals.

The Tuskers jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead en route to the win.

“I can’t tell you. I don’t know the answer,” Lombardo said of the blazing start. “I don’t know why we come out slow in some games and then in playoffs come out strong."

While Somers head coach Tony DeMatteo believed in his team, even he didn't forecast such a lopsided outcome. 

“I felt we could win this game,” DeMatteo said. “But I didn’t think we could win like this.“

Somers (5-2) scored on the fifth play of the game when Chris Silva ran for a 45-yard touchdown on a counter criss-cross. Silva (12 carries, 165 yards) surged through the middle, found room to the outside and won a footrace to the pylon. 

Lombardo scored Somers' next two touchdowns, barreling into the end zone on keepers inside the 5-yard line. 

Needless to say, the shocking 21-0 lead created quite the scene in the Tuskers' locker room at halftime.

“We were bouncing off the walls in the locker room and going nuts,” Lombardo said. “We didn’t want halftime. We just wanted to keep playing.”

Rye (5-2) had five first-half possessions, failing to convert on any of them. The Garnets came up short down near the goal line right before half, turning the ball over on downs. 

“We were a little flat, we got behind and we couldn’t catch up,” Rye head coach Dino Garr said. “Somers came to play.”

A week after a dramatic comeback victory over rival Harrison, injuries finally caught up to Rye. Star quarterback Connor Eck, who was playing through a badly injured thumb and shoulder, exited the game three plays into the second half. The Garnets were also without key contributors Kevin Turco, Matt McReddie and Jack O’Callaghan due to a rash of assorted injuries.

“We won’t use that excuse,” Garr said. “You have to come to play. You can’t rely on what you did the week before. They were much better than us today.”

In relief of Eck, backup quarterback Jake Meyerson led two scoring drives in the second half. Joe Simolacaj ran for a 5-yard touchdown and Meyerson threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brian Pickup.

Somers scored on its first two possessions of the second half. Lombardo capped off a nine-play, five-minute drive with a 1-yard plunged for a 28-0 lead.

“Every week (Lombardo) gets better and better,” said DeMatteo. “He has complete control of the offense, running and throwing the ball.”

Somers sealed the victory with a 44-yard screen pass from Lombardo to Silva, who darted through Rye's defense for the score.

“I was thinking Chris needed to turn quick or I was going to be hit hard,” Lombardo said. “We had the blocks in place for the screen and he took it all the way.”

After putting together a complete performance, Lombardo said there is more damage to be done.

“Rye is one of the best teams,” he said. "We know we can beat anyone now.”

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