Between now and midday Friday, I’m going to take a look at each of the remaining Section 1 playoff games, complete with a breakdown from the opposing coaches.
Let’s take a look at the first of Saturday’s two championship rematches:
Class C championship
No. 2 Rye Neck (8-0) vs. No. 4 Woodlands (6-2)
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Mahopac High School
2013 meetings: Rye Neck won 41-40 in OT on Oct. 12
Key players: Rye Neck — Jakob Calvini (6-2, 210), Sr., RB/LB; Ryan Morningstar (5-10, 175), Sr., RB/DB; Pedro M. Cueto (5-11, 185), Sr., RB/DL. Bronxville — Tyrone Barber (5-9, 175), Sr., RB/LB; Kourtney Blanding (5-11, 190), Sr., OL/LB; Jonathan Stewart (5-9, 150), Jr., WR/DB.
Outlook: This is a rematch of last year’s Class C final, a game won easily, 35-0, by Woodlands. They met on Oct. 12 and produced not only a much different finish but also a different winner: Rye Neck won 41-40 in OT. The Panthers brought much more of their talent back from last season and have better balance, but the Falcons have Barber, who has 25 touchdowns and is closing in on 2,000 yards rushing.
Next up: The winner will have a bye next week and next play at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston against the Section 9 champion in the state quarterfinals.
Rye Neck coach Nick Ianello on Woodlands: “Special teams is a big deal. But am I going to overanalyze (last game)? I don’t think so. The game is about blocking and tackling. That kid (Barber) is amazing. I’m not saying we’re going to stop him, but we have to try to slow him down.”
“In my eyes, it’s a win in the record books. But when you give up 40 points, you feel like you lost.”
“The two big plays he had were our missed assignments. I’m not saying they were great runs because if he gets a crack, look out. It’s a whole different type of mentality when you play a kid like that. The minute you let up, you’re in trouble.”
“This group has been through a lot with me and with themselves. They played against a state championship Bronxville team and a state champ Dobbs Ferry team. There’s no education like that.”
Woodlands coach Mike Meade on Rye Neck: “We’re a little different (than the first meeting). I watched the game the other night and I didn’t realize that one of my guys was out with a concussion. We didn’t have everyone in the right places because we had to move people around.”
“I think we’re going to be a lot better. They’re a tough team though. There’s not one guy you have to stop; there’s four.”
“They’re a veteran team. That’s the big advantage. That’s kind of like our team last year. They’re a veteran team and they’ll be able to handle it.”
“We have to play defense. I think whoever wins the line of scrimmage is going to dictate the game. I know they’re going to load up the box to stop Tyrone. People have done it the last eight weeks and haven’t stopped it, but we’re going to have to throw the ball.”
“They probably won’t kick it deep to us and I don’t want to kick it deep to them. Special teams is going to play a big part.”