Why is Dino Garr smiling? Doesn’t he know his defending Class A champs lost Section 1’s greatest passer and greatest pass receiver to graduation?
By Mitch Silver
Why is Dino Garr smiling? Doesn’t he know his defending Class A champs lost Section 1’s greatest passer and greatest pass receiver to graduation? What kind of offense will Rye High put on the field without Andrew Livingston and Tim DeGraw?
“I think we’ll be okay,” the coach confided. Then the smile broadened. “In fact, I’m pleasantly optimistic.”
Judging by the Garnets’ 21-6 opening victory over a strong Somers team September 4 and 5 — a game that took 17 hours to complete — Garr’s optimism appears well founded.
The contest started at 7 Friday evening on the Tuskers’ field. With junior Brett Egan taking the ball in from 13 yards out for a first-quarter score and up-from-the-JV quarterback T.J. Lavelle breaking off a 65-yard scamper for another, the Garnets were in front 14-6 when the lights went out in Somers (sounds like a country song, no?).
There were 40 seconds left in the third quarter when a power surge knocked out the field lights. And they stayed that way despite the best efforts of the school’s electricians. So the game was suspended, with a restart scheduled for the next morning at 11.
When the game resumed, co-captain linebacker Drake Turcotte sacked Somers QB Grant Tragni, separating him from the ball. Fellow senior Santi Mascolo recovered. Three plays later, another senior co-captain, Chase Pratt, rumbled over for the final score.
Yes, the Garnets will miss their two four-year starters in Livingston and DeGraw, their tight end Drew Abate, veteran linemen Roger Paganelli and Jimmy Timmings, and a host of other key players on both sides of the ball. But they still have Pratt, Egan, Turcotte, and Mascolo.
Returning veterans Patrick Hull and Will Gladstone return to the line, while juniors Will Hynson and Tyler Reno will help anchor the defensive backfield.
Coach Garr’s smile only broadened after the two-day victory. “Have you looked at our schedule? It’s the toughest in Westchester. That means the people who do the scheduling have us ranked number one. Somers…they were Section champs two years ago and we barely beat them, 21-19, to make it into the finals last fall. Then, after we play Sleepy Hollow, we get Yorktown, the team we did meet in the finals. Plus, there’s the Class B winners, Lourdes, who’ve moved up to Class A. And I haven’t even mentioned Harrison. That’s always a tough game.”
And the opener wasn’t all a cakewalk for the defending champs. The Garnets had four drives stall inside the Somers 25, fumbling twice and coming up short two more times on downs. Still, a win is a win, especially when it takes two days to complete. “Let’s put it this way,” Coach Garr summed up. “We’re not rebuilding, we’re retooling.”
The retooled 2015 Garnets host Sleepy Hollow September 11 before welcoming Yorktown next week. Hope the electricians have extra fuses on hand.