Rye Neck Football
Black Hats Drop Bowl Game to Blind Brook, 48-14
By Mitch Silver
First, the good news. The Rye Neck Football team finished the season with a winning record, going five up and four down. Now the bad: The Black Hats lost their final game, a Saturday matchup with rival Blind Brook in the league’s first Independence Bowl, 48-14. To rub salt in their wounds, this was the season’s second loss to the Trojans. Two months ago, they dropped a 34-12 encounter.
One thing you can say about Head Coach Nick Ianello’s Panthers: whatever they did this year, they did it in a big way. They gave up 32 points opening day against Croton-Harmon and still won the game by scoring 34. They ran up 40 points in three straight games against Hastings, Irvington, and Briarcliff, winning only two of the three when the Bears scored 43. They fell to .500 when they lost to a good Haldane team, 42-16, but made amends by outlasting Tuckahoe 54-44, a game in which QB Evan Falco threw for five touchdowns. The locals gained the bowl berth in an all-Panther matchup a week ago Monday, beating Edgemont 22-14, before yielding to Blind Brook.
So, despite giving up an average of more than 32 points a game, the Black Hats had a glass-half-full season, thanks to the right arm of sophomore Falco, the legs of senior Tyler Simons, and the hands of a bevy of talented receivers. In nine games, Falco threw for a Section 1–best of 2,373 yards and 23 touchdowns in the air, plus another five on the ground.
Simon ran for 746 yards, an incredible 9.2 yards a carry. And while he would gain another 473 yards catching the ball, he was only third-best on the Panthers. Senior Ryan Ramos grabbed 46 balls for almost 800 yards and eight TDs, and lanky junior Matt Quartararo had 40 receptions for 546 yards and another seven scores.
If Coach Ianello can mold his returning players into a defense, things should be looking up in 2019.
Mike Colasanti makes the stop against Blind Brook.