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Bicknese has big game against Nyack

Posted Sunday, September 23, 2012 by Robert Lombardo

When a tackler wrapped up Stefano Bicknese last season, a promising run would often end abruptly, a potential touchdown turned to dust after 3 or so yards. So Bicknese hit the weight room, gained 10 pounds of muscle, and now is nearly as powerful as he is fast.

The Somers senior proved as much on the first possession Friday night. He trucked a would-be Nyack tackler at the 30 and raced 73 yards for his first of three touchdowns.

Behind another dominant effort by the Tuskers' offensive line, Bicknese rolled up 177 yards on just 12 carries and added a sack and an interception to help Somers dispose of Nyack, 41-20.

"It's such a big difference," Bicknese said. "Last year, I was a little thinner, and that first hit, I couldn't break it. I packed on 10 pounds to get bigger. Now, those first hits, I can shake them off."

The Tuskers (3-0) shook off a few hits to their momentum, including one on the first play from scrimmage, when Nyack quarterback Jordan Mews hit Khalid Shabazz on a 48-yard pass into Somers territory. It was the first of five gains of 20 yards or more by the Indians (1-2) that included a fake punt on fourth-and-16; a 46-yard touchdown run by Adonis Alcide; and a 54-yard scoring pass from Mews to Trevor Gordon.

Still, the Tuskers had two big stops to escape danger, beginning on that first drive. Senior Peter Mueller recorded a sack on fourth down to stop Nyack and set the stage for Bicknese's first touchdown run. They also stopped Nyack on fourth down at the Somers 5 to take a 20-7 lead into halftime.

Somers' defense limited 205-pound fullback Derwhon Bartley to 40 yards rushing.

"When you're playing a top-tier team and you don't capitalize on an opportunity to score, that's not good," Indians coach Mike Ramponi said.

In addition to Bicknese's three scores, which all came in the first half, junior Connor Vlasaty and sophomore Matt Morgante added one apiece on the ground. Vlasaty also caught a 17-yard touchdown from quarterback John Decker, who finished 5 for 7 for 102 yards and is now 16 for 22 for 300 yards in three starts after not playing at all last season.

Nyack managed to stall Somers' offense only once. Even then, Bicknese intercepted a pass on the next play and his Tuskers scored four plays later.

"We couldn't stop them," Ramponi said. "They're so efficient and they don't make many mistakes at all, and they block so well. It's a very, very good offensive line."

Somers will now look ahead to Friday night's visit from Poughkeepsie in a matchup of unbeatens.

"Poughkeepsie has been circled since the second we got our schedule," senior captain Dan Campbell said. "We knew it would be a big game. We knew we'd both be undefeated, so we've been looking forward to that."



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