Whaling Gallops Over Headless Horsemen for 233 Yards in Garnet Win
By Mitch Silver
A week ago, junior Caden Whaling rolled up 179 yards on the ground and scored two touchdowns as the Garnets easily beat Pelham 43-21. Across the county, Sleepy Hollow defeated Walter Panas by an even-more-impressive score, 40-10. Rye looked to be taking on a tough adversary when they met the Horsemen at their field overlooking the Mario Cuomo Bridge Saturday afternoon.
But once the Garnet and Black stopped beating themselves with penalties — two holding infractions, an interference call, an offside, and a late hit all in the first 20 minutes — the game was no contest. From 7-all, Rye scored the next 28 points and never looked back. Whaling ran for 239 yards and three TDs on 33 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown around right end on his first touch of the game.
As they did against Pelham, junior quarterbacks Teddy Berkery and Owen Kovacs shuttled in plays on alternate snaps and kept the Garnets’ offense on the field for much of the game. Kovacs connected with Liam Lavelle in the back of the end zone from 29 yards out early in the second quarter. Tommaso Grani hit his second of five PATs on the afternoon and Rye was up 14-7.
Then, with just under two minutes before halftime, Whaling powered his way for a touchdown from the Sleepy four to make it 21-7.
One play after the kickoff, Rye’s Mason McComb intercepted at Sleepy’s 30, but the Garnets were unable to score before the half.
The third quarter was much the same. The Horsemen tried an onside kick but it went out of bounds, giving the Garnets the ball at their own 40. Kovacs hit Lavelle again for a 32-yard gain, and then Whaling did the rest, going over on first and goal from the five. Grani connected on the point after even A Sleepy Hollow lineman got a roughing the kicker penalty. Score: 28-7 at 8:32 of the third.
Another squibbed Rye kickoff was fumbled and recovered just outside the home team’s 20-yard line. Whaling took it up the middle, faking and cutting, to the Sleepy Hollow one. From there, Luke Goldszer powered across to complete the scoring with 7:45 to go in the period.
The defense would take over, allowing Sleepy Hollow only 24 yards on the ground for the whole game. Goldszer took over the running game, compiling 68 yards on 15 carries.
After the game, Head Coach Dino Garr professed surprise at how many carries Whaling had. “We kept on running him because it was working. The kids on the line know that if they hold their blocks, Caden will make something happen.”
The Garnets next host Yorktown, who topped Lakeland High School 21-7 in their opener, Saturday, April 3 at 7 p.m. The good news is that senior QB Jack Griffiths, who has been out with an injury, will be back to join Kovacs and Berkery.