As I did last week, I’m going to focus this week’s game balls on the top performers from the postseason.
Unlike last week’s exciting quarterfinals, Class AA and A saw two teams emerge and take control in the semifinals. In fact, the slimmest margin of victory in Class AA or A was North Rockland’s 17-point win over Ketcham.
The Class B and C championship games were closer, although both were ultimately won by two touchdowns. Pleasantville’s 21-8 win over Lourdes was actually the tightest of last week’s six playoff games.
Nonetheless, it took some strong performances for teams to dominate the way they did, so here’s a look at the best of the best from Week 9:
CLASS AA SEMIFINALS
1. Mike Earlington, North Rockland: The senior (pictured above) best embodied a brilliant performance by the Red Raider defensive front. He recovered a fumble and had three of the eight sacks in North Rockland’s 32-15 road victory. Earlington seemed to hit Ketcham QB Kevin Duke on every drop.
2. White Plains offensive line: The Tigers rushed for four touchdowns (two apiece for Chris Jordan and Cameron Crabbe) in their 33-6 win at John Jay. Their offensive line seemed to control the game more and more as it continued, paving the way for a big second half from Jordan that piled up yards and controlled the clock.
3. Derrick Brooks, North Rockland: Brooks’ strong two-way effort including two touchdown catches that covered 90 yards (36 and 54). His first score gave the Red Raiders a jumpstart in the first quarter. The second was an impressive individual effort that saw Brooks maintain his concentration as the ball was tipped before he snatched it and raced for the touchdown.
Honorable mention: Chris Jordan had 29 carries for 154 yards and two TDs in White Plains’ win. Cameron Crabbe went 10 for 19 for 187 yards and a TD and rushed for a pair of scores. … Matt Caputo had 23 carries for 176 yards and a TD for North Rockland.
CLASS A SEMIFINALS
1. Tim Fazzinga, Somers: The junior (pictured above) gashed the Ossining defense for 204 yards and five touchdowns on just 17 carries in Somers’ 52-14 win.
2. Tyler DeVito and Matt Arita, Somers: They combined for five interceptions to more than offset Ossining’s 357-yard performance on offense. DeVito returned the last of them 90 yards for Somers’ final touchdown.
3. Andrew Livingston, Rye: The quarterback finished 14 for 20 for 235 yards and three scores in Rye’s 28-7 win over visiting Tappan Zee.
Honorable mention: Alex Raynor had an interception and forced and recovered a fumble, both of which led to Rye touchdowns. … Tim DeGraw caught six passes for 163 yards and two scores for Rye. … Giuseppe Maddalena rushed for 101 yards on 23 carries and threw a 40-yard touchdown for Tappan Zee’s only score.
CLASS B CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Greg Drillock, Pleasantville: The senior (pictured above) intercepted Lourdes QB Dean Rotger twice and made an impressive twisting catch in the back of the end zone on a fade from Anthony Godino that proved to be the winning touchdown in the Panthers’ 21-8 victory. Drillock earned defensive MVP honors.
2. Enrico Ruotolo, Pleasantville: The big senior’s tough running led to a game-high 133 yards that helped earn him offensive MVP honors. He helped set up the Drillock touchdown late in the third quarter then set up Josh Della Puca’s clinching score with 35 seconds to go.
3. Andrew Derose, Pleasantville: The senior had a hand in two sacks and was among the Panthers who put consistent pressure on Lourdes’ backfield.
Honorable mention: Linebacker Billy Wagner spearheaded a Lourdes defense that limited Pleasantville to just 56 yards in the first half. He also caught a two-point conversion from Rotger.
CLASS C CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Chris Richart, Rye Neck: The junior (pictured at top) had three interceptions in Rye Neck’s 21-7 defeat of Woodlands. Two of his interceptions came in the end zone—both in the first half, one on the final play of the second quarter—to keep the Falcons scoreless despite them dominating time of possession.
2. Tyrone Barber, Woodlands: The senior (pictured above) had to work for his yards and fell short of 2,000 for the season in defeat, but he still managed to rush for 162 on 39 carries. That included a TD run late in the third quarter that got Woodlands within a touchdown.
3. Dom Brescia, Rye Neck: One of the Panthers’ many two-way stalwarts led a balanced rushing attack with 69 yards and a TD on 12 carries.
Honorable mention: Tom Pipolo threw a touchdown and kicked two onside kicks, one of which he recovered on his own for Rye Neck. … Pedro Cueto scored a touchdown and was named the defensive player of the game for the Panthers.