The Rivalry Through the Years

Other towns have rivalries. Other schools have pep rallies and bonfires. What makes the Rye-Harrison game The Game? Let’s start with a little history. Make that a lot of history.

Published October 10, 2011 4:33 PM
5 min read


rhthumbOther towns have rivalries. Other schools have pep rallies and bonfires. What makes the Rye-Harrison game The Game? Let’s start with a little history. Make that a lot of history.


By Steve Feeney


Other towns have rivalries. Other schools have pep rallies and bonfires. What makes the Rye-Harrison game The Game? Let’s start with a little history. Make that a lot of history.




The Early Years – (1929-50)


Intensity? This series has it. After four initial Harrison wins, Rye’s first victory in 1933 was followed by “post-game hooliganism and fighting,” including damage to the HHS goalposts amounting to $17.79 – a princely sum back then. The fracas led to a three-year suspension of the series.
At first, Harrison was simply the “Maroon and White” and Rye wore garnet and black. Team mascots that didn’t make the cut included a goat on the Harrison side and Rye’s canine mascot named “Mac”. In 1937, HHS students voted in the “Husky” over “Maroon Marauders” and “Red Raiders”, which finished second and third.


Four straight Rye wins from 1942-45 left the series nearly even, but a post-war spurt stretched the Husky advantage to 11-6-2 by 1950.


Rye’s Fabulous Fifties – (1951-62)

Beginning late in the ’51 season, Rye reeled off 33-straight victories against all comers, Harrison included. The widely-anticipated ’55 game saw both teams undefeated, and a crowd of 20,000 jammed Rye Stadium on Thanksgiving Day after weather twice postponed the contest.  Rye led 12-0, but a late Huskies’ score made it 12-6. On the game’s final snap, Harrison scored on a flea-flicker and converted the extra point, stunning the Garnets and ending the longest winning streak in Westchester history up to then.


Coach Ben Bedini’s Garnets amazingly embarked on another 33-game streak, only to face undefeated Harrison again on a cold November afternoon in 1960. This time, at Harrison’s Feeley Field, Rye’s option play on 4th and inches at the Husky 1 was stopped for no gain as tackle Jimmy Pauline knifed through a block by his Rye cousin Bobby, breaking Garnet hearts.


From 1951 to 1962, though, Rye won ten of the dozen games played and finally led the rivalry, 16-13-2.


Friedgen to Freidgen and Troilo to Troilo – (1962-82)


The pattern of the 1960s and into the ’70s was lose at home and win on the road. In the classic 1970 tussle, Rye eked out a 3-0 win on a late 29-yard field goal by placekicker Bob Marx, his only attempt of the season. The following year, HHS trapped Rye QB Mark Bockeloh for a safety, the lone score in a 2-0 victory.


Starting in 1974, the Huskies reeled off eight straight wins, taking control of the series. Just as Ralph Friedgen Jr. played for his coaching dad, Harrison’s current head coach, Art Troilo Jr., excelled at tailback and established Husky records under his father, Art Troilo Sr.


Rye’s Eighties and the Husky Nineties – (1983-99)


From 1983 to 1990, the Garnets won six out of seven games. In 1983, Mike Goldstein’s fourth-quarter, 99-yard kick-off return cracked Harrison’s eight-game win streak. The ’85 game, played in driving sleet and snow, turned in Rye’s favor on a Myles Lavelle-to-Vance Cassell touchdown pass.
Harrison made six points stand up in 1987 when Rye fell short of the Husky goal line in the final minutes of play. It was déjà vu all over again in ’91. Time ran out with Rye on the Husky 2-inch line with Harrison leading 6-0 in the rededication game of Nugent Stadium.


In ’93, David Beitler of Harrison, decided underdogs, caught a “Hail Mary” pass from replacement quarterback Rich Peperone for a game-winning, 65-yard TD and a 10-6 Husky victory. Turnabout is fair play, and the undefeated Huskies fell 7-0 in 1996 as Will Elmore’s TD pass to Phon Ampha gave the Garnets their only win of the 1990s.


The New Century: Color it Garnet (2000–10)


A disparity in school populations as the  21st century approached led to the Class B Huskies meeting the Class C Garnets in the first game of both the 2000 and 2001 seasons. In another first in 2002, they played each other twice, with HHS winning the regular-season game and the rematch in the playoffs. The next year, it was the Garnets’ turn to sweep.


The rivalry fell eerily silent in ’04, as Section 1’s Football Committee denied Rye’s request for an accommodation to retain the annual Rye–Harrison classic. In 2005, the scheduling gurus recognized the errors of their ways. The Garnets took the Diamond Anniversary Game 14-0, grabbing their third win in a row.


In 2006, the Journal News headlined “Surreal Shocker” as New York State’s No. 1 Class B team (Rye) bested New York State’s No. 1 Class A team (Harrison) by 19-18. In this “instant classic”, six TDs were scored but only one extra point, Rye’s margin of victory.


In 2010, Rye tied the Huskies for the longest series winning streak at eight with what will forever be known as “The Drive”, concluding with “The Catch” of a TD pass by Brian Pickup from Connor Eck. After the 21-20 victory, the historical record stands at 41-36-3 (.532) in favor of the Pups.  
May the sportsmanship and tradition of past Rye-Harrison encounters be present once more in this year’s renewal of “Section 1’s Most Storied Rivalry”.


— Photos by Emilio T. Caruso, John Wood, and Bill Gordon


The Game: History and Statistics


1929: Harrison, 13-7
1930: Harrison, 16-0
1931: Harrison, 7-0
1932: Harrison, 7-0
1933: Rye, 12-7
1934-36: Suspended
1937: Harrison, 6-0
1938: Tie, 12-12
1939: Rye, 7-0
1940: Harrison, 18-0
1941: Harrison, 20-7
1942: Rye, 39-0
1943: Rye, 9-0
1944: Rye, 27-0
1945: Rye, 16-0
1946: Harrison, 27-6
1947: Harrison, 20-7
1948: Tie, 12-12
1949: Harrison, 27-6
1950: Harrison, 40-6
1951: Rye, 13-7
1952: Rye, 6-0
1953: Rye, 38-0
1954: Rye, 45-0
1955: Harrison, 13-12
1956: Rye, 26-7
1957: Rye, 39-0
1958: Rye, 26-13
1959: Rye, 20-0
1960: Harrison, 13-7
1961: Rye, 41-7
1962: Rye, 27-7
1963: Harrison, 20-0
1964: Harrison, 27-0
1965: Harrison, 27-0
1966: Rye, 13-6
1967: Harrison, 31-0
1968: Tie, 6-6
1969: Harrison, 6-0
1970: Rye, 3-0
1971: Harrison, 2-0
1972: Rye, 18-14
1973: Harrison, 20-8
1974: Rye, 7-0
1975: Harrison, 7-0
1976: Harrison, 7-0
1977: Harrison, 27-20
1978: Harrison, 20-3
1979: Harrison, 16-14
1980: Harrison, 35-15
1981: Harrison, 13-0
1982: Harrison, 19-0
1983: Rye, 24-6
1984: Rye, 30-9
1985: Rye, 7-0
1986: Rye, 15-12
1987: Harrison, 6-0
1988: Rye, 33-13
1989: Rye, 22-0
1990: Harrison, 16-8
1991: Harrison, 6-0
1992: Harrison, 24-7
1993: Harrison, 10-6
1994: Harrison, 28-12
1995: Harrison, 29-13
1996: Rye, 7-0
1997: Harrison, 28-0
1998: Harrison, 42-7
1999: Harrison, 48-7
2000: Rye, 39-12
2001: Harrison, 28-7
2002: Harrison, 31-7*
2002: Harrison, 35-15**
2003: Rye, 21-7*
2003: Rye, 22-15**
2004: Game Not Scheduled
2005: Rye, 14-0
2006: Rye, 19-18
2007: Rye, 27-7
2008: Rye, 28-3
2009: Rye, 21-7
2010: Rye, 21-20Harrison leads,
41-36-3 (.532)*Regular season
**Section playoffs


Most points in a game: 48 (Harrison, 1999)
Greatest margin of victory: 45 (Rye, 1954)
Most frequent score: 7-0 (8 times)
Shut outs: Harrison 18, Rye 16
Longest winning streak: 8 (Harrison, 1975-82, and Rye, 2003-10)
All-time points: Harrison 1,056, Rye 1,010
(average score of Harrison 13.2, Rye 12.6)
Games won decided by 6 or less: Harrison 9, Rye 9
Games won decided by 3 points or less: Rye 4, Harrison 3
Games won decided by 1 or less: Rye 2, Harrison 1

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