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Somers Holds off Rye, Repeats as Section Football Champions

Posted Sunday, November 10, 2013 by Carolyn Fazzinga
 Posted by: Andrew Meola Posted date: November 10, 2013 In: Football, Somers, Sports

MAHOPAC, N.Y. – Not that the players needed a reminder, but with the fourth quarter about to start and the Somers High football team up 14-0 over Rye in the Section 1 Class A Championship, the Tuskers’ coaches marched up and down the sideline letting the team know the game was far from over.

“The game just started. It’s just getting started,” they told the players, who suffered a week two loss to this same Rye team after letting a fourth quarter lead slip away. But this time was different, as the Tuskers held on for a 20-7 victory and a second straight section championship.

Following the Tuskers (10-1) second touchdown, the Garnets (9-1) scored to pull within seven, and then had first and goal minutes later from the Tuskers’ 5-yard line with just over five minutes left.

With their lead shrinking and the Garnets threatening to tie the game, there was no sense of panic on the Somers sideline. Instead, the defense buckled down and kept Rye out of the end zone on first, second and third down.

“Our philosophy has been focus on the next play, and that’s what that was,” Tuskers coach Tony DeMatteo said.

Then on fourth and goal from the 5-yard line, the Garnets ran a reverse to Tim DeGraw who was hit right at the goal line by Johnny Chrysogelos and Tim Fazzinga. He fumbled the ball into the end zone, where it was recovered by Chrysogelos.

“We were looking for certain plays,” DeMatteo said. “We were making some changes for the plays we expected, and those were the plays they ran, so we were fortunate.”

After the defensive stand, the Tuskers drove 80 yards and took four minutes off the clock before Joe Spor iced the game with a 15-yard touchdown run.

“We felt like we could move the ball on the ground, so that’s what we did,” DeMatteo said. “We wanted to try and run some clock, try to keep (Rye quarterback Andrew) Livingston off the field and it worked out for us.”

The Tuskers opened the scoring on their first drive of the second half, when quarterback Tim Cousin rolled out and narrowly avoided two Garnet defenders before connecting with Josh Riger on a 60-yard run and catch.

“We thought our counter game should go better,” DeMatteo said. “They were doing some things, getting their safeties in for the counter game, so we went with that counter boot and that touchdown to Josh was a very big and important play. I think Timmy Cousin juked about three or four guys to get that ball off.”

Cousin completed 2-of-3 passes for 65 yards and he added 77 yards on the ground.

“I want to tell you, everyone talks about the other quarterbacks in this section. There’s a new sheriff in town. Timmy Cousins is as good as anybody,” DeMatteo said.

Marc Fiocco ran it in from 25 yards out for the Tuskers’ second score. Linebacker Erik Carnazza was named defensive player of the game and finished with two sacks, including one late in the half that forced Rye to settle for a 37-yard field goal that Somers blocked.

Rye’s Shane O’Malley carried the ball 36 times for over 175 yards and was named offensive player of the game. The Garnet’s lone score came on an 80 yard pass to Chris Santangelo early in the fourth quarter.

“Our defense was like bend, don’t break,” DeMatteo said. “We were committed to not giving up the home run. When you do that, then all of a sudden they can run the ball some. We just wanted to keep them from getting the home run. They got one on us, but that’s what we didn’t want to happen.”

Somers will travel to Dietz Stadium in Kingston to take on Section 9 champ Cornwall Central at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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