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Somers Wins Do or Die Game

Posted Sunday, October 23, 2011 by Robert Lombardo

LINCOLNDALE — The playoffs began Friday night, the last night of the regular season for Somers and Eastchester.

Winner in. Loser out. Yeah, there's all sorts of mathematics and formulas to still be determined, but both teams knew the deal.

And Somers, with a 28-14 victory on its home field, moved on, presumably to play John Jay of Cross River in the quarterfinal round of the Class A tournament.

"Everyone's ready for this, the seniors especially," said junior Stefano Bicknese, who scored two touchdowns, including the clincher on a 57-yard run in the fourth quarter. "They knew they had to win this game and they did everything they could. If we lost this, we're out. The seniors knew that and they played the best I've ever seen them play."

Somers coach Tony DeMatteo told those seniors that, if they won, they'd be the last seed.

"I told them, it's win or go home," DeMatteo said "This is it. We're the last seed now, so there's no more home games. I told the seniors, no matter what happens, this is your last game on this field for the rest of your life. Don't leave any regrets. I'm not talking about winning and losing — just lay it all out. If you win, you win. If you lose, it's not like a death in the family. It's a football game. But don't ever have to look back and say, 'You know what, I could have played better.' "

The Tuskers (5-2) went up early on Bicknese's 3-yard touchdown run, and added a 7-yard touchdown run by Joe Lombardo in the first quarter. In the second, Dylan McGuire — who rotates at quarterback with Kevin Cousin — threw a 13-yard scoring pass to Joseph Festo for a 21-0 lead. But Eastchester quarterback Greg DiCarlo, who had a huge game, broke an 84-yard touchdown run on the next play from scrimmage and added a 31-yard TD run in the third quarter to make it 21-14.

Bicknese then broke loose from 57 yards out to regain the two-TD lead.

"We dug ourselves too big a hole in the first half," Eagles coach Fred DiCarlo said. "We kept fighting. We couldn't just put the ball in to tie the game up. But we kept fighting and that's all I can ask. We kept working and we kept trying until the last minute.

"We knew we had to win to get in. The system is the system and we can't change it. I'm not sure I believe in the system, but that's neither here nor there. We knew we had to win and we didn't finish it up. Give credit to Somers. They made the good plays, and we wish them luck."

The Tuskers believe anything can happen.

"We're just happy we're in," DeMatteo said. "I don't care if we have to go to Alaska to play. We're in the tournament and we're all excited about it. I'm excited that we're in. The way we played against Poughkeepsie, the one loss we had, which was against Brewster and we had the ball on the 1-yard line, for these kids to not get in the playoffs would have broken my heart. I'm just happy for them that they're in the tournament because they deserve it."

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