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DeMatteo wins 300th as Somers advances

Posted Friday, October 26, 2012 by Robert Lombardo

Tony DeMatteo became the first football coach in Section 1 history to reach 300 career wins, and Somers High's Tuskers advanced to the Section 1 Class A semifinals with a 34-7 win over Hendrick Hudson Thursday night.

Somers will go to Harrison to play the Huskies in a battle of two 8-0 teams in a Class A semifinal Tuesday afternoon. Harrison hung on to beat Poughkeepsie in the quarterfinals Thursday.

"It means a lot," said DeMatteo, who was flocked postgame by hundreds of former players and assistant coaches. "I told these kids this preseason that the way they played and practiced, that I wanted to do it with them.

"But this is about going on in the section, into the second round. But it's a number I can't ignore. I'm really proud of the team and I'm looking forward to (the semifinal)."

DeMatteo became only the fourth coach in New York state to gain 300 football wins. According to the website roadtosyracuse.com, the others are the late Howie Vogts of Bethpage (Section 8) with 364, Vin O'Connor of St. Francis Prep with 331 (the active leader), and the retired Brent Steuerwald of Shenendehowa (Section 2) with 318.

The next four on the Section 1 list are Dino Garr of Rye (still active at 257) and the retired Joe Casarella of North Rockland (256), Skip Violante of Dobbs Ferry (227) and Rich Conklin of Nanuet (218). Brian Walsh, formerly of Brewster and now at Our Lady of Lourdes, is third among active Section 1 coaches at 217 heading into Friday's B semifinal against Croton.

The Tuskers built a 20-0 halftime lead. Quarterback John Decker lofted a perfect lead pass to Joe Festo in stride for a 23-yard touchdown on Somers' first possession.

Hen Hud had a great chance when a bad snap on a Somers punt resulted in a Sailors first-and-goal at the Somers 8, but the Tuskers held and Hen Hud's Carson Cole attempted a 26-yard field goal. The kick was low into the Somers line, but for some reason one of the officials had blown the play dead, so the Sailors had a do-over ... only for Cole to again kick it into the line.

Somers took over and Timothy Cousin rolled left and hit Stefano Bicknese cutting across the middle for a 68-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

Somers then went 84 yards behind the running of Bicknese and Joe Lombardo, and Bicknese punched it in from the 2 for a 20-0 lead. Festo caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Decker early in the third, and Bicknese tacked on a 3-yard TD.

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