Three teams make headlines this week in Rye: RHS Field Hockey, RHS Football, and Rye Neck Football.
The Rye Neck Panthers football team won its first sectional championship (Section 1 Class C) November 2 by beating defending champ and nemesis, Woodlands, 21-7.
Photo by Melanie Cane
RHS FIELD HOCKEY
Rye Shuts Out Nyack to Meet Lakeland Once Again in Finals
By Melanie Cane
It was déjà vu all over again for the second-seeded Garnets. The team beat the No. 3, Nyack, at home in the Section I Class B semi-final November 1. In last year’s shut out, Rye scored twice. In this year’s shut out, they caged three.
The game started out with both teams looking somewhat lethargic and Rye called a time out at the 15-minute mark. The Garnets came back from the time out with more energy, hitting the side of the cage on a corner shot two minutes later. Nyack did the same, three minutes later. With the game still scoreless, Rye’s Fucine Govaert finally broke through, caging a short shot around the goalkeeper on an assist from senior captain Alex Bennett at the nine-minute mark. Then, with 2:33 left in the half, Govaert scored again on a long shot off a corner.
Rye took their 2-0 momentum into the second half, and the clearly energized team took control of the game, launching an offensive assault on Nyack’s goal. Ellie O’Callaghan tapped one in over the goalie with 21:48 on the clock. That Rye did not score more was due to the excellent skills of Nyack’s defense, not for lack of opportunity.
For the fifth consecutive year, Rye will play Lakeland in the championship game tonight. Lakeland has beat them all for times, but Garnets Coach Emily Fitzgerald told the team not to be intimidated and that they can beat Lakeland this year. “We have to believe in ourselves. We have better speed this year and if we play as a total team, we can beat anybody.” (Interestingly, the team’s top scorer, freshman Fucine Govaert, as well as a newly recruited left back, eighth grader Lo Rogaar, and her sophomore sister, Anne, the center back, are from the Netherlands.)
Livingston Sets Section 1 Record in Garnets’ Heated Victory Over Tappan Zee
By Melanie Cane
Although Tappan Zee had the first possession of the game after Rye chose to kick off, Brendan Cassano intercepted the ball on the Dutchmen’s third-down play, giving the Garnets possession on their own 41-yard line. Quarterback Andrew Livingston moved the ball nine yards on a pass to Chris Santangelo. After a series of runs by Shane O’Malley and passes to Santangelo, O’Malley ran the ball from the 4-yard line into the end zone. Drew Abate kicked the extra point, giving the Garnets a 7-0 lead.
Following Rye’s kickoff, Tappan Zee fumbled on their second down play on Rye’s 42-yard line. After a series of plays very similar to their first drive, Livingston hit Chase Pratt with a pass in the end zone. Abate once again kicked for the extra point. This was Livingston’s 28th passing TD of the season, setting a new Section 1 record.
The first quarter ended with Rye’s kick off to Tappan Zee, who received the ball at their 43-yard line. For Tappan Zee, the third time was a charm. They scored a touchdown on their third possession.
Several plays later, with 3:10 left in the half, Livingston moved the ball down the field via passes to Santangelo, Tim DeGraw, and Jay Little. The drive culminated in a 25-yard touchdown pass to DeGraw. Abate again kicked for the extra point, and the half ended with the Garnets up 21-7.
Livingston continued his magic on the kickoff return to open the second half, heaving a 75-yard touchdown pass to DeGraw, who caught it mid-stride. Rye’s lead was 28-7 after the conversion kick.
On the next play, Tappan Zee’s frustration exploded. After a successful drive to Rye’s 4-yard line, the Dutchmen received a 5-yard penalty, and attempted a 4th down pass. Garnets’ Paul Staudinger intercepted the pass and Tappan Zee erupted with fists flying. The refs ejected a player from each team. Unfortunately for the Garnets, Will Oberlander may be suspended for the sectional final. The matter is currently under review.
The dutchmen sacked Livingston on the next play, and when Rye regained possession, Coach Garr substituted Laz Chavez for O’Malley and John Patouhas for Livingston, who “took a shot to the shin” while being sacked.
Rye ran down the clock, finishing this emotionally charged game with a 28-7 victory and a ticket to the sectional final against Somers at Mahopac High School on November 9.
We’re happy to report that Livingston is fine. Afterward, he said, “In a heated game like that tempers flare. It was a very physical game. I thought we were good on offense and great on defense. It definitely started to get chippy towards the end as Tappan Zee got frustrated.”
As of now, there are two cliffhangers regarding the championship game: Will Murphy be healthy enough to play? Will Oberlander be allowed to play?
Livingston called the Somers team solid, balanced, and disciplined. “We just have to go in there expecting a 48-minute dog fight.”
May the best dog win!