Garnet Football Bests Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Advances to State Championship

0:00 The Rye Garnet football team knocked off undefeated Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) 24-10 on Saturday, earning a spot in the Class B state championship game next […]

Published November 26, 2023 4:30 AM
3 min read

0:00

The Rye Garnet football team knocked off undefeated Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) 24-10 on Saturday, earning a spot in the Class B state championship game next weekend.

The victory has been 15 years in the making for Garnet football, which had many promising runs throughout the 2010s that fell just short.

“Ever since eighth grade football, we’ve been thinking about this moment, we manifested it, and now it’s here,” senior lineman Ronan O’Byrne said after the game. “Our hard work and our love got us to this point.”

There are more than 100 Class B high school football programs in New York state, and at one point, the Garnets were outside of the top 30, sitting at at 2-2. They haven’t lost since.

On Saturday, it was a somewhat shaky start for the usually steady quarterback A.J. Miller, who threw two interceptions on overthrown passes in the first quarter. But Garnet football has been defined this season by the team’s ability to overcome adversity.

Miller began to find his rhythm, and led three straight offensive scoring drives. They started with a rushing touchdown from Chris Iuliano, his 21st on the year, and a pass from Miller to Charlie Stevens, giving the Garnets a 14-7 lead. Miller threw for more than 200 yards on the day, and led the offensive effort with two passing touchdowns.

RCS cut the lead to four with a field goal late in the second quarter, but Rye grabbed one of its own with a 42-yarder from sophomore Henry Shoemaker. That field goal was the first of Shoemaker’s high school career, and sent the Garnets to halftime leading 17-10.

In the second half, the Garnet defense stifled the Indians with a sack from Andrew Wilmarth and by forcing two straight false starts and keeping RCS from developing momentum.

Miller connected with wideout Tucker Hess on a 44-yard pass in the third quarter to give the Garnets a two-score lead, and the team held on in the fourth to continue what is now a nine-game win streak. In the playoffs, the Garnets have defeated teams with a combined record of 17-0 in their respective sections, and 29-5 overall.

The journey for the Rye football team has one final stop: the JML Wireless Dome, the home of the Syracuse Orange. There the Garnets will be looking to secure a state championship, and give Coach Dino Garr his fourth state title.

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