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Somers makes quick work of Panas in playoff opener

Posted Sunday, October 26, 2014 by Mike Dougherty, mdougher@lohud.com
http://www.lohud.com/story/sports/high-school/football/2014/10/24/somers-makes-quick-work-panas-playoff-opener/17878845/?fb_action_ids=10205373896734008&fb_action_types=og.comments

Somers makes quick work of Panas in playoff opener

Next up for the Tuskers is a rematch with Rye, which lost 20-7 in last year's championship game

Mike Dougherty, mdougher@lohud.com 11:13 p.m. EDT October 24, 2014

From the moment Nick Mignoli and Tim Fazzinga led the pregame charge onto the field, Somers had control of the momentum.

Same old story.

The defending champion Tuskers opened the playoffs Friday with a resounding 45-0 win over Walter Panas in a Section 1 Class A quarterfinal.

"We've gotten better each and every week," Somers running back Matt Morgante said after twice finding the end zone. "This week is probably the best the offense has played, and there is plenty of room for improvement, which is kind of scary."

A rematch with Rye is up next for the Tuskers, who visit Nugent Stadium next Saturday for a 7 p.m. semifinal. They beat the Garnets 20-7 a year ago in the championship game.

"They are going to want revenge," Morgante said.

After going nowhere with the opening drive, the Panthers (4-4) jumped out of the proverbial frying pan. A bad punt snap set Somers up at the Panthers 12-yard line. Three plays later, Fazzinga barreled through a hole off left tackle and into the end zone.

Eric Silvester added the PAT.

The Tuskers (7-1) were solid on defense, too, and forced another quick punt. Morgante got loose two plays after the change of possession, cutting back and going 42 yards for another score, leaving Panas in a 14-0 hole.

"We really wanted to come out dominate every second of the game," Morgante said. "Getting that first stop was big and we kept the momentum going."

Somers took advantage of a short field, scoring again in two plays when Nick Lombardo hit Tyler DeVito with a 31-yard touchdown pass with 5:23 still to go in the first quarter.

Panas got a little traction on its next possession, but Brendan Smith ended that drive when he sacked Justin Lee 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage on third down. The Tuskers got a 35-yard field goal from Eric Silvester with their next possession.

"I was missing a couple of players, so we were kind of shooting in the dark," said Panthers coach Dan Patronik, whose team has made the playoffs each of the last three seasons. That's a good team over there. I respect Tony DeMatteo and what they do here, and he came out hard and took us out early."

It was 31-0 after Joe Spor intercepted a pass and returned the ball 31 yards for a touchdown with 9:35 to go in the half. Somers played one series with the starters after the break. Morgante went 42 yards again for a touchdown before heading for the bench.

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