Rain? Please. It is not an issue.
Well, it’s not the issue. The real reason, in my opinion, you won’t see any postponements today is because there’s no room for them. With the semis scheduled for Tuesday, Section 1 has very little to no flexibility. So it’ll be a slog-fest today, but it should be fun regardless.
As long as my phone keeps working, we should have Twitter updates on all of today’s games. We’ll staff six of them and I’ll pass along Poughkeepsie Journal updates on those held tonight in Dutchess County.
I’m headed to White Plains at New Rochelle, followed by Somers at John Jay. Cell phone service is “spotty” at best at John Jay, so you may want to check a few other reporters for updates directly if you don’t see enough from me. Mike Dougherty (@hoopsmbd) will cover North Rockland-Scarsdale and Clarkstown North-South; Vince Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) will be at Pearl River-Rye and Ossining-Gorton; and the Poughkeepsie Journal (@pjsports) will be at Poughkeepsie-Harrison.
I will have all the scores, recaps and semifinal matchups tonight. We’ll talk again then. Enjoy the games!
Thursday’s games —
Class AA quarterfinals:
New Rochelle 13, White Plains 12
North Rockland 49, Scarsdale 6
Clarkstown South 21, Clarkstown North 7
John Jay-East Fishkill 19, Arlington 6
Class A quarterfinals:
Rye 14, Pearl River 7
Poughkeepsie 41, Harrison 6
Ossining 35, Gorton 26
John Jay 28, Somers 7
Class AA semifinal matchups —
No. 2A New Rochelle at No. 1B North Rockland, 2:30 p.m.
No. 3A Clarkstown South at No. 1A John Jay-East Fishkill, TBD
Class A semifinals matchups —
No. 3A Rye at No. 1A John Jay, 6 or 6:30 p.m.
No. 2A Ossining at No. 1B Poughkeepsie, 3 p.m.
Class AA quarterfinals
New Rochelle 13, White Plains 12: At New Rochelle, Kemet McLean had 17 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 75 yards in the second half alone, including a 6-yard run that gave the Huguenots a 7-6 lead on the opening possession of the third quarter. McLean received an increased number of carries after the Huguenots completed went just 1 for 11 passing in the first half.
“The weather wasn’t right, people couldn’t catch the ball, so we decided to run it up the middle and beat them with power,” McLean said.
White Plains had scored late in the second quarter when Jeff Avery capped a 13-play, 78-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge.
The Tigers had the ball in New Rochelle territory twice in the second half but lost fumbles, which were recovered by Shaquille Evans and Terrence Holden. They then received the ball at their own 12 with under three minutes to play. New Rochelle forced a four and out that included a sack by Anthony Caldararo on third down. So with 1:15 remaining, McLean broke free on first down for a 12-yard touchdown. But the score and a missed extra point gave White Plains a chance with 1:08 remaining.
“That was probably my mistake,” DiRienzo said. “We should’ve taken a knee after we stopped ’em on fourth down and made them go 90 yards. I almost cost our kids the game.”
The Tigers quickly drove 61 yards on a 46 and 15-yard passes from Avery to Khasi Coachman to cut the deficit to 13-12. They went for a 2-point conversion but a host of tacklers led by Caldararo, Holden, Evans and McLean stuffed Michael Scotman on a Wildcat keeper at the 1.
North Rockland 49, Scarsdale 6: At North Rockland, the Red Raiders recovered five Scarsdale fumbles in the first half and built a 42-0 halftime lead behind two touchdown from John Dapolito and a touchdown run and pass each from Devin Bovino. The QB completed a 23-yard touchdown to Taylor Vippolis to give North Rockland a 14-0 lead and spark a 35-point second quarter.
“We just beat them physically up front,” said Eric Rizzi, a senior defensive tackle, who recovered the first fumble. “They couldn’t get anything on us in the first half and we got in their heads. That was it. We love playing the mud. It’ a big advantage for us, and hopefully it rains on Tuesday so we can get payback against New Rochelle.”
Dapolito, Tom Ginty, Rashon Johnson, Brandon Respress and Tim Leone each added a rushing touchdown. Dapolito’s came just before he returned a fumble 23 yard for a 35-0 lead.
The Red Raiders are looking forward to playing New Rochelle, a team they haven’t beat since the Class AA playoffs in 2005.
“We are looking forward to that game because New Rochelle has been Section 1 champs for years on end,” said Dapolito. “I don’t think we’ve won since 2005, so we’re looking forward to playing them.”
Clarkstown South 21, Clarkstown North 7: At North, South beat its rival in consecutive weeks for the first time in their 40-year rivalry. The teams has never played twice in the same season.
“It’s never been done before so it’s always good to make history,” junior quarterback Ryan McManus said. “This is great, beating North twice in the same week.”
South fell behind 7-0 when Travis Samuels scored on a keeper midway through the first quarter. Frank Tucek scored to cut the deficit to 7-6. Early in the third quarter, North lost Samuels, its QB and a two-way starter, for the remainder of the game with a head injury.
With Samuels, the Vikings controlled the second half. McManus hit Josh Corredor on a short hitch that Corredor turned into an 82-yard TD.
“It was supposed to be a 5-yard hitch,” Corredor said. “I saw Ryan in trouble, so I broke off and found a seam in the defense. He threw me the ball, I turned and it was off to the races.”
McManus put the game out of reach when he added a seven-yard touchdown run with 4:32 remaining in the game. It helped give South a 25-14 lead all-time in its series against North.
John Jay-East Fishkill 19, Arlington 6: (info via @PJSports) At John Jay, Bobby Henderson ran for three touchdowns on runs of 3, 19 and 8 yards for the Patriots. The senior gave his team a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter that it maintained going into halftime. He then added a pair of TDs in the second half to help John Jay build a 19-0 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Arlington scored its only touchdown in the final minutes but had two chances in the second quarter. The Admirals drove to the John Jay 13 before being pushed back and turning the ball over on downs. They later recovered a fumble near midfield, but did not have enough time before the clock expired on the first half.
Class A quarterfinals
Rye 14, Pearl River 7: At Pearl River, the Garnets rushed for 198 yards, including 114 on 20 carries by Joe Simolacaj. Jimmy Dugan and Andrew Livingston each added touchdown runs, with Dugan’s being set up by a 42-yard scamper by Simolacaj in the second quarter.
“That got the momentum going for them, and they just fed off of that,” Pearl River coach Jeff Michael said. “I had referred to them before as a lion waiting on its prey to make the first mistake. They saw it, and they jumped all over it.”
Rye regained possession quickly thanks to a tipped pass and interception by Andrew Hudson that he returned to the 1. Livingston scored on the next play to give Rye a 14-0 lead.
Neither team scored until late in the fourth quarter. Pearl River brought quarterback Chris Van Houten off the bench and drove 53 yards, including a TD pass to Sean Wilson. Rye recovered the ensuing onside kick.
The victory was Rye’s fifth straight after starting the season 0-3.
“After we lost those first three games, our playoff run started,” Garr said. “This is our fifth game in a row that for us had to be a playoff-type game. The fact that we lost to (John Jay) and now have a chance to make it up is all that we can ask for.”
John Jay 28, Somers 7: At John Jay, Danny Caiola blocked a field goal and rushed for three touchdowns, including a 37-yard scamper. He blocked a field goal try by Tom Barcia with the game scoreless in the first quarter after John Jay had lost one of three fumbles.
Caiola scored on a pair of short touchdown runs in the first half. With his team down 14-0 at the break, Somers’ C.J. Silva scored on the opening drive of the third quarter to cut it to 14-7. But Declan Myer pushed it right back to two touchdowns with a 99-yard return on the ensuing kickoff.
“I knew someone would have to step up and make a play. I wasn’t completely sure it would be me,” Myer said. “My blockers made a huge alleyway through the middle. I didn’t have that hard of a time.”
Jimmy O’Reilly and Tom Weingarten each added an interception for John Jay. Somers’ Wienecke recovered one of the Indian fumbles despite playing with a cast on his arm.
The Indians will take their seven-game winning streak against No. 3A Rye, a team they beat 14-7 to start the streak in Week 2.
“We have to forget about what we did in the regular season because this is a whole new season,” Caiola said. “From what I’ve seen on film, they’ve improved tremendously. We have a tough job ahead.”
Ossining 35, Gorton 26: At Ossining, the host rallied from a 14-0 deficit behind Sam LaCour, who caught four passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. LaCour, one of Ossining’s basketball players turned football stars, took one screen from Brian Connolly 68 yards for a touchdown.
“He’s a 6-1, 6-2 athletic kid,” Ossining coach Dan Ricci said. “He has great speed, and great hands. … He hadn’t played football since ninth grade, but this year he¹s been tremendous for us. He¹s definitely the guy we want to throw the ball to in a big situation.”
Gorton jumped out to a 14-0 lead when Thomas Watson scored on a two-yard run and Vaquan Tyree followed with a 20-yard touchdown run. Ossining responded with 21 second quarter points, capped by Justin Davidov’s 15-yard touchdown run with six seconds to go in the half.
In all, Ossining threw for 192 yards, while Marc Clancy (154) and Joshua Almodovar (103) each ran for over 100 yards. It helped send them to the semifinals a year after finishing 2-7.
“No one, including me, would have thought we’d be going to the semifinals after what we went through last year, going 2-7,” Ricci said.
Poughkeepsie 41, Harrison 6: (info via @PJSports) At Harrison, the Pioneers outscored the defending Class A champ 28-0 in the second half to avenge a loss in last year’s semifinals.
Harrison fumbled on its first two offensive plays from scrimmage. The first resulted in a missed field goal, but Josh Oliver converted the second one into an eight-yard TD run. Oliver ran 22 yards inside the Harrison 5 in the second quarter, and gave his team a 13-6 lead with a 3-yard TD run.
Davez Williams jumpstarted the second half scoring with a 79-yarder on the third play from scrimmage. Greg Charter, Oliver and D’Andre Smith each added rushing scores to help the Pioneers build their lead.
Oliver, the Poughkeepsie QB, finished the night with 189 yards and three touchdowns rushing on 33 carries.
Roberto Bruno scored all of Harrison’s points on field goals in the first half. He actually helped cut the deficit to 7-6.