By Mitch Silver
In what the Westchester powers-that-be have termed this spring to be the “Fall 2” season for interscholastic football, Rye High traveled to Pelham on March 20 and easily beat the Pelicans 43-21.
Junior running back Caden Whaling gained 179 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon, while young QBs Teddy Berkery and Owen Kovacs alternated at the position and kept the Garnets’ offense on the field for much of the game.
Head Coach Dino Garr saluted his kicking game for pinning the home team back by their own goal line early in the game. “We got two scores in the first quarter when we downed those kickoffs deep in Pelham’s end of the field. Kicker Grani Tommasso and the kids on our special teams did a heck of a job all afternoon.”
The Garnets were ahead 16-0 before the second quarter got underway. They upped the count to 23-0 early in the second on a Whaling carry for his first score before Pelham finally put together a 75-yard drive and point-after to make it 23-7. But when the Pelicans tried an onside kick, Rye’s Owen Myers fell on the ball.
As the teams went into the locker room at halftime, the Garnets’ lead had stretched to 29-7. Teddy Berkery had connected on six of seven passes for 75 yards and a TD while rushing for another. Owen Kovacs had three completions in five attempts for 38 yards and another score on the ground. Meanwhile, Ryan Surhoff, Jack Bartlett, and Lucas Perez-Segnini were too much for Pelham defensively.
The Pelicans narrowed the margin to 29-14 with four minutes left in the third, but Whaling scored his second touchdown minutes later and Tommasso made the PAT to restore Rye’s lead.
Coach Garr noted that Pelham “has a lot of size on their line,” and it paid off after another march ended in a touchdown with 9:25 left in the game.
In addition to Whaling’s massive haul, Kovacs accounted for another Garnet highlight when he hit receiver Liam Lavelle for a touchdown. All in all, their Head Coach was happy as the afternoon drew to a close. “We have a very young line. Only one of them is a varsity veteran, but they held their own.”
Rye next travels to Sleepy Hollow Saturday March 27 at 1:30 p.m. The Headless Horsemen defeated Walter Panas by 40-10 to open their own season. “They have an All-Section quarterback and a lot of very good skill players,” Coach Garr said. “It should be a good game.”