In search of good vibes, Andy Verboys moved Scarsdale’s game with New Rochelle from the school’s turf to the grass on Dean Field. The change proved serendipitous for the Raiders, who won 14-7, beating the Huguenots for the first time since a 3-0 win at Dean in 1989.
“I said let’s see if Dean Field has that magic left in it and it did,” the Scarsdale coach said. “It was special.”
Verboys was a first-year assistant on that 1989 team for his father-in-law, Rich Paladino, a Florida resident who was in attendance for Saturday’s game. (Paladino is the former head coach at Scarsdale, Fox Lane and Rye Neck.)
Junior James Nicholas scored both touchdowns and helped the Raiders (1-2) off to a fast start.
He returned the opening kickoff 80 yards and provided the go-ahead score on a 16-yard run in the third quarter. The offense actually had two other drives end inside the Huguenots’ 10 without points, including a fumble in the final minute of the first half that kept the score 7-7 at the break.
The Scarsdale defense held New Rochelle scoreless after Jonathan Forrest’s touchdown run in the second quarter. That occurred despite losing two-way starter Rob Burns — a defensive end on defense — on the game’s first series to a separated shoulder.
It was quite the reversal for a team that allowed 70 points in its first two games. In fact, Scarsdale actually led Class AA in scoring at 33 points per game in 2012 but finished with just a 4-4 record.
“The defense just played incredible,” said Verboys, who credited first-year defensive coordinator Jay Ciraco, the former star quarterback at Harrison. “They were all over the field today.”
The only thing that spoiled Scarsdale’s day was a knee injury suffered by starting quarterback Giancarlo Cugini. He went 4 for 4 for 109 yards passing and rushed for another 36, including the final first down on the game as the Raiders burned the five-plus minutes off the clock. On that run, Cugini injured his knee while spinning for the first down and could not continue.