Rye High Football
Garnets Top Nyack, But Need “Perfect Game” to Advance Past Clarkstown
By Mitch Silver
Has there been a more dominating team in recent Garnets football history than Coach Dino Garr’s 2018 edition? Consider this: In their seven victories this year, Rye High has scored an <average> of three touchdowns a game more than the opposition. They beat archrival Harrison in back-to-back contests this month, racking up 75 points in the process against the Huskies. Even in their lone defeat, the Garnet and Black put four touchdowns on the Nugent Stadium scoreboard.
Unfortunately, the team Rye played that day five weeks ago, Clarkstown South, rang up <seven>touchdowns on that same scoreboard. Even more unfortunately, the top-seeded Vikings will again take the field — their own field this time — when the Garnets travel to Rockland County for the Class A semifinals tonight. The winner will face either No. 2-seeded John Jay/Cross River, whose quarterback Bryce Ford has already set a school record by scoring 33 touchdowns, or Somers High, the No. 6 seed, a team Rye beat by 19-9 early in the season, in the Sectional finals a week from now.
The locals put themselves in this fix by thumping the fifth-seeded Nyack Indians a week ago, 32-16. The game wasn’t even that close. Rye scored on its first six possessions, taking a 20-0 lead early. They led by 32-8 before Nyack scored with three minutes left in garbage time.
Brendan Lavelle rushed for 74 yards and three touchdowns. Declan Lavelle threw for 126 yards and ran for 60 more. Matthew Tepedino grabbed passes and ran back punts for tons of yardage, and the defense, led by Jack Iuliano, recorded six sacks.
Of Tepedino, Coach Garr said, “Matt is a starter on the basketball team, so we knew what kind of multi-sport athlete he is. After we ran 7-on-7s in training, his football ability really came into focus.”
Across the Hudson, the focus on football ability came to rest this season on Clarkstown QB Drew Tallevi. The senior was a perfect 10 for 10 passing in the Vikings’ 42-13 win over Fox Lane. He threw for 208 yards and three touchdowns. When the first-team offense left the field at halftime, they held a 42-0 lead. Ouch.
So, what will it take to turn the tables on Clarkstown South? Coach Dino Garr made it perfectly clear: “Play a perfect game.”
A rare sight: Coach Dino Garr applauds the ref.
Matt Tepedino gains 45 yards on a pass from Declan Lavelle.
Ryan Lopp tries to run out of his jersey against the Indians.