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Somers survives, advances

Posted Saturday, October 26, 2013 by Carolyn Fazzinga
 


Somers survives, advances

Tuskers score two TDs in 4th for 29-26 win

Written by  Dan DeFrancesco

CORTLANDT — Things didn’t look good for Somers late in its Class A sectional quarterfinal game at Panas Friday.

The reigning sectional champions trailed the Panthers by 12 points with just over 11 minutes left.

Tuskers coach Tony DeMatteo had a simple message for his team.

“I said, ‘Hey, if we lose, we lose, it’s not the end of the world, but if we’re going to lose, lets go down swinging,’ ” DeMatteo said. “They went berserk.”

The Tuskers would go on to win 29-26, scoring two fourth-quarter TDs as they began defense of their sectional title.

Somers will face Ossining in a semi next week.

Connor Vlasaty scored from 18 yards out less than two minutes after DeMatteo’s speech to make it a one-score game.

The Tuskers then forced a Panthers three-and-out by stuffing Panas’ John Brophy, who finished with 124 yards and two touchdowns on 34 rushes, twice behind the line of scrimmage.

Tim Fazzinga scored the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing drive. Vlasaty ran in the two-point conversion to give Somers a 29-26 lead.

“The crowd was going crazy; my teammates were going crazy,” said Fazzinga, who finished with 151 yards and two touchdowns on 11 rushes, of the Tuskers’ fourth-quarter comeback. “The environment picks up, and it’s just awesome.”

DeMatteo said talk of defending the sectional title never came up. Somers’ late resurgence was more about finishing the game with pride.

“If we’re going to lose, let’s lose with class,” DeMatteo said. “We’re going down swinging. Let’s get after them. I think that’s what turned it around.”

DeMatteo said the comeback win is a testament to the kind of kids he has on his team.

“They give me everything they have,” DeMatteo said. “We’re in this position because I have kids that want to be coached and four great assistant coaches that coach them.”

The game also served as a learning experience for the Tuskers.

“I think it’s important that they know,” DeMatteo said of his team’s ability to get a comeback win. “I told them each week the games are going to get harder. The teams are better. We know now that we can come back.”

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