Mike Dougherty’s story on Tuckahoe proving it was plenty ready to win again after a grueling regular season:
MAHOPAC — After taking some lumps during the regular season, Tuckahoe was clearly more comfortable picking on a school its own size.
Enoch Penney-Laryea was too big. Jourdan Thomas was too fast. Mike Arborn was too strong.
Haldane struggled with the matchups Saturday and fed a quick getaway by the hyperactive Tigers with three early turnovers. Each of them ended up in the end zone. Tuckahoe cruised to an impressive 42-8 win in the Section 1 Class D championship at Mahopac High School.
“All of those (losses against Class C teams) helped us get our skills up and get ready for what we’re going to see,” Arborn said. “We’re definitely figuring out how good we can be.”
The Tigers (5-4) are back in action here Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in a state quarterfinal against Chester, the Section 9 champion.
After recovering an onside kick to start the game, the Blue Devils promptly marched inside the 10, but a fumble steps away from the end zone short-circuited a good start. Penney-Laryea capped the opening Tuckahoe drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Haldane’s next mistake was a bad punt snap.
Penney-Laryea was all over the kick, and was heading into the end zone with a 29-yard return a few seconds later, making it a 12-0 lead.
“We had two weeks to prepare for this and we took every advantage possible to make sure we had this kind of start,” Penney-Laryea said. “I had the chance (on the punt) so I took it.”
The Blue Devils (3-5) were on the verge of getting on the board, but another red-zone fumble added to the frustration. Mike Castracucco hit Thomas for an 82-yard touchdown two plays into the second quarter and Brandon Zingaro’s PAT was good.
Anthony Castracucco pushed in from the 1 with 4:35 to go in the half and Zingaro hit a 27-yard field goal just before the break to make it 29-0.
• Here’s Frank Becerra’s video from the game: