Rye Neck Football

Well-Traveled Black Hats Fall to Woodlands, Drop to 2-3 on the Season

By Mitch Silver

It’s been an up-and-down season for Coach Nick Ianello’s Panthers. Literally. Their 46-0 defeat at Woodlands High continued a lose-win-lose-win-lose pattern that leaves them with two non-league wins and three league losses.

After dropping their season opener to Haldane in the Putnam County village of Cold Spring by 20-7, the Black Hats did everything right in an easy 39-13 victory in their home curtain raiser September 9 against their Duchess County visitors from Pine Plains. Pedro Cueto ran for three touchdowns and threw for another to sophomore Matt Quartararo as the locals rolled up 451 all-purpose yards.

Their Homecoming game the following weekend saw them lose to league foe Tuckahoe 36-20 despite a 189-yard rushing and receiving day from junior Tyler Simon. But they bounced back with a stunning come-from-behind win in the Catskills against Tri-Valley High School of Sullivan County. (Putnam, Duchess, and Sullivan counties all appear on Rye Neck’s schedule this year thanks to New York State’s decision to allow small-enrollment schools to go farther afield in looking for games.)

Tri-Valley was up 22-14 at the half before the Black Hats tied things up at 22-all in the third. Senior Derick Ramirez recovered a fumble and sophomore Mike Colasanti picked off a crucial aerial and returned it 25 yards for the touchdown to sink the Bears from Neversink, despite making only five first downs on the day to 21 for their foes.

The hope before the Woodlands game — played on a Thursday afternoon due to the religious holidays — was that the defending league champion Falcons, victors over the Black Hats a year ago by a score of 32-0, might be having a down year. A loss to Chester and a blowout administered by Goshen Catholic, another school in the Catskills, had Rye Neck thinking upset.

No dice. Woodlands jumped on the visitors for an 18-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Panthers would gain only 152 yards from scrimmage all afternoon.

Rye Neck has another toughie coming up when they host 4-1 Albertus Magnus tomorrow at 3 p.m.

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