Rye High senior Nikko Ricci stirred the crowd with the National Anthem.
Rye High Football
Garnets Clobber Pelicans, 55-12
By Mitch Silver
After they let a big lead over Somers slip away a week ago, Head Coach Dino Garr knew his football-playing Garnets needed a confidence booster, a game that would help them regain their title-seeking mojo. The team from Pelham High School was just what the doctor ordered.
A veteran observer who terms himself The Old Garnet put it this way in a pre-game column: “The football fortunes of the Pelham Pelicans ebbed dramatically over the past decade and a half. Victims of 19 straight crash landings against Rye, the Blue and White plan to ruffle Rye’s feathers, but having won only five times in sixty-six years, it’s time to call Peltown Taxi for a pick-up. Pelicans flap, Garnets zap.”
And zap the visitors they did, almost as soon as Rye High senior Nikko Ricci played the final stirring notes of the national anthem on his electric guitar. Senior quarterback Declan Lavelle hit his new favorite receiver, tight end and classmate James Mackle, for a six-yard score by the home team. Freddie Clarke’s PAT was good.
Then it was the turn of the Garnet defense to get on the board. Junior defensive back Lucas Perez-Segnini picked off an errant pass and took it 55 yards, all the way to the house. Rye 14-0.
When Pelham clawed their way back to make it 14-6 at the end of the quarter, the spectators sitting in the far stands were hoping it was an omen of more to come. More did come, but it was all from Rye. The Garnets would score 20 unanswered points before halftime, capped by a Lavelle pass to senior Quinn Kelly that made it 28-6 and another scoring strike to Mackle that pushed things to 34-6 at the break.
You like a nice ground game? In the third quarter, sophomore two-sport star Caden Whaling took the pigskin up the middle to widen the margin to 40-6. (Whaling would average a healthy 13 yards a carry on the evening.) And when a penalty was called against the Pelicans on the ensuing point after, Lavelle connected for a two-point conversion.
In all, Rye’s mad bomber completed 14 of 22 pass attempts for a stunning 273 yards and three scores against the now 1-3 Pelham defense. He ran in another to make it a 4-TD day. Kelly had 77 yards on four grabs, with Mackle garnering 73 on his two scores.
Afterwards, Coach Garr was asked if this was the highest-scoring game in Rye history. He answered, “It’s the most points I can remember.”
So much for easy games. A strong Clarkstown South team rolls into Nugent Stadium this Friday at 7 p.m. With starters Brendan Lavelle and Presto Greto still out with injuries, it should be a real test for the Garnet and Black.