An undefeated Rye Neck football team lost a bid for its first Section 1 Championship title 35-0 Sunday to Woodlands after defeating Dobbs Ferry.
By Melanie Cane
An undefeated Rye Neck football team will play for its first Section 1 Championship title Sunday after defeating Dobbs Ferry on October 27.
The 25-7 win in the semi-final Class C playoff game marked the first time in 26 years that the Panthers beat Dobbs Ferry, the defending state champions.
Panther quarterback Tom Pipolo scored the first touchdown of the game towards the end of the first quarter. Dobbs answered with a touchdown with eight minutes left in the first half. Three plays later, Rye Neck’s Dom Brescia ran the ball 64 yards before getting tackled at the one-yard line. Jakob Calvini threw a 19-yard halfback option pass to Ryan Morningstar to give the Panthers an 18-7 lead at the half. Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Pipolo scored on a nine-yard run four minutes into the fourth quarter.
Offensively, Morningstar had 89 yards rushing on 13 carries. Brescia rushed for 86 yards on nine carries. Calvini had 48 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Linebackers Alex Andersen ten tackles, and Rafael Mestanza had eight tackles. Mike Spiegle had a fumble recovery and Jake Sevean had a 59 yard punt return.
Coach Nick Ianello said, “When you play Dobbs Ferry you’re not just playing a team, you’re playing an entire community. They are the defending state champions. This has been a quest for years. So many alumni showed up to support this team. Our boys’ hard work is paying off for them.”
Rye Neck lost to Woodlands, 35-0, on Sunday in the Section 1 Championship game at Mahopac High School.
“They’ve worked so hard for it, and they are very excited and looking forward to the upcoming challenge,” Ianello said.
The previous time the Panthers played in a Section Championship was 2005; they have never won the title.