STATE CHAMPS!

0:00 Garnets Defeat Maine-Endwell 28-7 to Take Class B Title The Rye Garnets beat Maine-Endwell at the Dome in Syracuse on Sunday to win their […]

Published December 3, 2023 11:37 PM
2 min read

0:00

Garnets Defeat Maine-Endwell 28-7 to Take
Class B Title

The Rye Garnets beat Maine-Endwell at the Dome in Syracuse on Sunday to win their first state championship since 2008.

Maine-Endwell, a Class B powerhouse on a 34-game win streak, had won the title the previous two years.

Nothing about the Garnets’ championship season was simple. They experienced early season losses, injuries to key players, and a flood at Rye High School. But the Garnets will forever remember their journey to becoming champions while overcoming so many challenges along the way.

“From 2-2 to here, everything came together,” quarterback A.J. Miller said after the game. “The offense, the D, the line, special teams, even the freshman, it’s all love. It hasn’t hit me yet honestly. But this group has been so good together.”

Garnets celebrate victory

The Dome was electric throughout the game, as the Rye fans who made the trip exploded when the Garnets made key plays that shifted the momentum in their favor.

The Garnets shut down a potent Spartan offense, which coming into this game hadn’t scored fewer than 28 points in a matchup. The Spartans had opened the playoffs with a 69-21 win against Owego Free Academy. But the Garnets held Maine-Endwell to just seven points, the Spartans’ lowest total since 2021.

During their first possession of the game, the Garnets kept control of the ball for more than eight minutes  and scored on a Chris Iuliano rushing touchdown and two-point conversion, which gave Rye an 8-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

On the Spartans’ next possession, Charlie Saurack took over. He had a sack on third down and then blocked the Spartans punt, and Senior Koen Turloew scooped up the ball in the endzone for the Garnets second score of the game.

The Spartans faced an uphill battle as they tried to come back, despite multiple Garnet turnovers. The Rye defense continued to keep Maine-Endwell out of the redzone, and forced turnovers of their own, putting pressure on the Spartans offense.

Ameer White forced a fumble, and Andrew Wilmarth and Carson Miller each had interceptions in the second half, and the Garnets mounted two more scoring drives to push the lead to 21. The Garnets outgained Maine-Endwell in total yardage by more than 140 yards.

It’s rare to see Coach Garr smile, even after a win, but he was jubilant after the championship victory.

“We wanted to be the best, you played the best, and now, we are the best!” Garr told his team after the win. It was Garr’s fourth state championship ring.

This was the second state championship for the Garnets this fall, following a girls soccer state title a few weeks ago.

– Photos by Alison Rodilosso

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