Rye Defeats Harrison in The Game,
And Then Does It Again in the Playoffs
By Mitch Silver
It was Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, who — throughout his long baseball career — was famous for grinning happily and saying, “Let’s play two!” Well, that’s exactly what the Rye and Harrison teams just did, first at Harrison High and then, a week later, at the Garnets’ place. In the end, it wasn’t close either time.
Two days after Coach Dino Garr’s Rye Garnets wore down the Harrison Huskies to win the 85th edition of The Game by 28-14, the scheduling committee decreed unbeaten and top-seeded Rye would face the 16th and lowest seed in the Section 1 playoff opener. That team just happened to be Harrison.
But when they met again Saturday morning at Nugent Stadium, it was all over on the first play of the game. Senior Santi Mascolo’s low liner of a kickoff was bobbled by the Huskies and recovered by the Garnets’ Andy Bach. Less than 90 seconds later it was 7-0, Rye. Twenty-two minutes after that, when the teams headed off to the locker rooms for halftime, it was 34-0.
In fact, it could have been worse than the final 34-6 rout. Junior quarterback T.J. Lavelle had the ball stripped by the last defender on a breakaway run in the first quarter. (Lavelle did have a touchdown toss to senior Drake Turcotte.) Later, a holding penalty called back a 70-yard Garnet TD strike.
All together, the Garnets outgained Harrison 251-46 in the first half. Harrison managed a late 20-yard scoring pass from Mike Nannariello to Jared Silber, but that was it.
Actually, the rematch was a continuation of the second half of the game (sorry, The Game) at Harrison. Once the Huskies scratched and clawed their way to a 14-14 tie at the half, Rye’s defense completely shut them down, allowing only 26 yards while the Parsons Street Boys ran roughshod in attack for two scores and the win.
That game saw junior Jamie Chabot come into his own, gaining 82 yards on 15 carries. In the replay, he ran for more than 100 yards and put three rushing touchdowns on the board. His running mate, senior workhorse Chase Pratt, had to carry the ball just once.
On the other side of the ball, Pratt & Co. forced six Harrison turnovers. Bach, Tim Hale, and Peter Chabot each had an interception, while senior Will Gladstone had two of Rye’s five sacks.
After the first game, Garr spoke highly of Gladstone’s contribution. “When Patrick Hull was injured in the Lourdes game, we asked Will to step in and go both ways on the line. You saw what he did, opening holes on offense, making important tackles when Harrison had the ball, and forcing the fumble that started our winning drive. Will deserves a lot of credit.”
The Coach enlarged on his praise for the line after the rematch. “We wanted to take off from what we had established in the second half of the first game. To the players’ credit, especially the offensive line, we did just that. It was a super job by all five linemen and our tight ends in blocking Harrison.”
Where do the 7-0 Garnets go from here? They stay at home for round two of the playoffs when they take on ninth-seed Hendrick Hudson tonight at 7 p.m.