In one of the great games of the Dino Garr era — one filled with great games — the Rye Garnets spotted a strong Yorktown team a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter September 18 at Nugent Stadium.
By Mitch Silver
In one of the great games of the Dino Garr era — one filled with great games — the Rye Garnets spotted a strong Yorktown team a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter September 18 at Nugent Stadium. Then, with less than ten minutes left on the clock, they played like the defending Section 1 Class A champs they are and scored three unanswered touchdowns to win going away by a score 31-20.
For the second time in 12 months, Rye dashed the Cornhuskers’ hopes for an undefeated season. Last November, the Garnets beat the all-winning pretenders to the throne 35-14 in the Sectional final. This time, while the Garnets were just as dominating for most of the game, a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns had the up-county eleven thinking they could go home with the win. But it was not to be.
Right from the beginning, this was a strange game. On Rye’s second offensive play, quarterback T.J. Lavelle was bumped by his own running back as he threw a pass. The ball went straight to Yorktown’s quarterback Jose Boyer, doubling as a safety on defense. Boyer took it 20 yards to the house.
The Garnets came right back, marching down the field behind the running of Brett Egan and Chase Pratt. With 2:20 left in the quarter, alternate QB Mat Bruno launched one to the right flat that Santi Mascolo took in for the score.
After the kickoff, Yorktown faked a run to the right and threw a pass to the left end for a nearly 50-yard gain. But Rye’s defense stiffened and Drake Turcotte nailed QB Boyer for a crucial sack.
The second period began 7-7. And that’s how it looked like it would end, before Lavelle faked a pass at midfield, tucked the ball away, and ran 25 yards to get the Garnet and Black in scoring position. With five ticks left, Mascolo powered through a 42-yard field goal and the lead, 10-7.
The third quarter was a grim one for the locals. After the kickoff, Rye again marched the length of the field. But Boyer picked off his second pass of the evening and dashed the length of the field for the score and a 14-10 lead. The Huskers added a short Scott Weaver run into the end zone with 1:40 left in the quarter for a 20-10 lead and, seemingly, all the momentum.
It was time for the Garnets’ offense to redeem itself. And it did. When Bruno found Aidan Lavelle on an end-around pass for 40 yards, it set up a Chase Pratt 3-yard TD run on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
Enter Rye’s stone wall of a defense. With Rye still trailing 20-17, Bruno (who, when he wasn’t playing quarterback, had 3.5 sacks at linebacker) blocked a Yorktown punt, the second straight week he’d done so. The ball squirted to Mascolo, who took it 46 yards for the go-ahead score.
That was all she wrote for the Huskers. Boyer and running back Nick Santavicca had each gained over 200 yards the week before against John Jay. The Garnets held them both to just 80 yards rushing, an average of less than two a carry.
To put the cherry on the sundae, Brett Egan took the pigskin in on a three-yard plunge late in the game for the final 31-20 score.
Tonight, Rye travels northward to take on Walter Panas High in Cortlandt at 7.