Here’s Rick Carpiniello’s story about how Tappan Zee prevailed in a nailbiter at Eastchester:
EASTCHESTER — Tappan Zee’s motto this season is “Answer the bell.”
The Dutchmen opened their season by answering it over and over again in a game of wild momentum and emotional swings, a 28-27 victory over Eastchester at Haindl Field Friday night.
It also marked the first game of the post-Joe Letizia era, TZ’s record-setting rusher having graduated.
“Reports of our demise have been premature,” Tappan Zee coach Andy DiDomenico laughed afterward.
Running back Giuseppe Maddalena picked up most of the slack with 77 yards rushing, with two touchdowns, and completed three passes for 63 yards and another touchdown. It was his 5-yard run and Rory O’Riordan’s PAT kick that proved to be the winning points with 3:53 left, although Ryan McWilliams had to intercept Eastchester’s Anthony Gallucci’s pass at the goal line to clinch it after big defensive plays by Maddalena and Robert Morales.
Gallucci finished with 137 rushing yards and 94 yards passing, plus had an interception return of 34 yards to set up a huge play just before the first half ended. Gallucci’s jump-ball pass ended up a wrestling match for the ball between Mike Mante of TZ and Andrew Schultz of Eastchester. The original callwas an interception, but officials convened and overturned it, giving Schultz the TD and Eastchester a 19-14 lead at halftime.
Eastchester was done in by its own turnovers, including one on the first play of the game, and one on its only possession of the first 10:07 of the third quarter, both resulting in TZ TDs by Maddelena and Dan DiDomenico (the coach’s nephew), on a pass from Morales.
Eastchester was without top running back Mike Marsico, who was in uniform but expects to be out optimistically until Week 3 with a severe ankle injury.