The week begins with four Class A quarterfinals, highlighted by Harrison and Poughkeepsie clashing for the third straight year in the playoffs and Somers coach Tony DeMatteo going for win No. 300 at home against Hen Hud.
DeMatteo, who is Section 1’s winningest coach, has a chance to become just the fourth coach in state history to win 300 games, joining Howie Vogts of Bethpage (364), Vin O’Connor of St. Francis Prep (331 and counting) and Brent Steuerwald of Shenendehowa (318). Only O’Connor is still active.
I’ll start at the Sleepy-Saunders game, following by Poughkeepsie-Harrison. You can get those updates @LoHudInsider. Rick Carpiniello will cover Somers-Hen Hud and you can find him @LoHudCarp. And Mike Dougherty will be up at Brewster-Panas. Find him @hoopsmbd.
Enjoy the football. I’ll be back later with recaps.
Thursday’s games -
Class A quarterfinals:
Sleepy Hollow 34, Saunders 0
Harrison 31, Poughkeepsie 24
Brewster 21, Panas 20
Somers 34, Hen Hud 7
Nyack 7, Beacon 0
Harrison 31, Poughkeepsie 24: In a Class A quarterfinal at Harrison, Mike Amicucci scored his second touchdown with 2:17 remaining to break a 24-24 tie. After Poughkeepsie drove into Harrison territory, Robert Waldman stepped in front of Davonte Hamilton for the clinching interception with 1:04 remaining.
It was a key moment for Waldman, who began the season as the starting fullback but has seen his offensive touches decrease in favor of Kevin Nathanson, a Brunswick transfer.
“Obviously, I would love to get a chance to run the ball and make plays, but if Kevin (Nathanson) is going to run the ball just as well, I want to win,” Waldman said. “To get to step up when I had the chance to, it was great.”
Amicucci had 12 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Kevin Nathanson rushed 19 times for 88 yards and Vin Nicita rushed for two touchdowns. They helped Harrison built a 17-0 lead thanks to two Poughkeepsie fumbles. But the Pioneers fought back behind 201 yards and two touchdowns rushing by D’Andre Smith, who also finished 8 for 14 for 91 yards, including a strike to Davonte Hamilton, who caught the pass, spun and shoved a defender to the ground en route to a score. (Hamilton also had a 79-yard TD called back in the first half for holding.)
Smith scored with over seven minutes remaining. He tied the score 24-24 on a two-point keeper, making the Pioneers 3 for 3 on two-point plays in the game.
Their defense appeared to stop Harrison twice on the go-ahead drive. Adolfo Peralta intercepted Nicita deep down field, but the play was called back for roughing. Harrison continued its drive until Nicita threw incomplete on third and 4 at the Poughkeepsie, but the drive was sustained by a pass interference call. Amicucci scored the go-ahead TD on the next play from 10 yards out.
Art Troilo Jr. said his coaching staff was torn on going for two before opting to kick the extra point.
“That was a flip of a coin,” Triolo said. “Half the staff wanted to go for two and half the staff didn’t.”
Poughkeepsie drove quickly to the Harrison 36 and Waldman intercepted Smith just inside the 20 with 1:04 to play.
“We were thinking 32-31 that we were going to take it,” Poughkeepsie coach Ken Barger said. “We were comfortable. We weren’t rushed. We were right in rhythm. Their D-back just made one great play.”
Sleepy Hollow 34, Saunders 0: In a Class A quarterfinal at Sleepy, Ronny Munoz rushed for three touchdowns, playing in place on an injured Dominic Onwe (ankle), who missed his second straight game. Onwe dressed in uniform, but the Headless Horsemen held him out.
“Dominic was beat up so we wanted to see if we could get through this one without him and fortunately it worked out,” coach Steve Borys said. “Now he’ll be healthy for round two. He’ll play Tuesday.”
Devin Lopez completed eight passes for 142 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 46 yards on five carries to help Sleepy take a 26-0 lead at halftime. The Headless Horsemen scored on five straight possessions to begin the game, with the exception of a possession when time ran out before the half.
Saunders had negative yardage on offense and did not pick up a first down in the first half. The Blue Devils were limited to 26 yards of total offense and converted its first first down in the final seconds of the third quarter.
“I think we got a lesson learned here,” Saunders coach Mel Carrozza said. “I think we were nervous. We were overwhelmed by the even a little bit. They’re a very good team. They crushed us.”
Somers 34, Hen Hud 7: In a Class A quarterfinal at Somers, Tony DeMatteo became just the fourth football coach in New York state history to win 300 games.
“It means a lot,” said DeMatteo, who was flocked postgame by hundreds of former players and assistant coaches. “I told these kids this preseason that the way they played and practiced, that I wanted to do it with them.
“But this is about going on in the section, into the second round. But it’s a number I can’t ignore. I’m really proud of the team and I’m looking forward to (the semifinal).”
John Decker went 6 for 10 for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Somers. He mostly connected with receiver Joe Festo, who had six catches for 153 yards and two
touchdowns. Stefano Bicknese rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for another 78 yards, including one from Tim Cousin. He went 2 for 3 for 78 yards and the TD.
Brewster 21, Panas 20: In a Class A quarterfinal at Brewster, the Bears remained undefeated, rallying from an early 14-0 deficit. Liam DaRos threw a 7-yard touchdown to quarterback Brian McNeill with 2:49 to go and the extra point gave Brewster its first lead, 21-20. The go-ahead score was set up by a 71-yard hook and ladder play from Kyle Ricciardi to Joe Buonadonna down to the 2.
Panas’ Pedro Beato made two field goals, including a 39-yarder with 4:43 remaining to give the Panthers a 20-14 lead. After allowing the go-ahead score, they drove inside the Brewster 5 with under a minute remaining but fumbled and lost possession.
Panas took its 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter thanks to a 16-yard pass from Liam Hagens to Chris Spell and a TD run by John Brophy. But McNeill hit Joe Serrecchia on a touchdown pass in the second quarter and Fernando Solis added a rushing score just before halftime to tie it 14-14.
Nyack 7, Beacon 0: At MacCalman Field in Nyack, Khalid Shabazz had 13 carries for 77 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown that provided the game’s only points. Derwohn Bartley had 15 carries for 85 yards and Jordan Mews threw for 77 yards. Nyack will play the winner of Byram Hills and Lakeland next week at a site and time to be determined.
Tuesday, Oct. 30
Class A semifinals:
No. 2A Sleepy Hollow (7-1) at No. 1B Brewster (8-0)
No. 2B Somers (8-0) at No. 1A Harrison (8-0)