If you missed it, here’s my Class C championship preview from earlier tonight.
Now, let’s take a look at Nanuet and Lourdes, another regular season rematch where one team is hoping for a much different outcome and the other, to stave off overconfidence, is trying to forget it ever happened:
SCOUTING REPORT —
Class B championship
No. 1 Nanuet (7-1) vs. No. 3 Our Lady of Lourdes (7-1)
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Where: Mahopac High School
Key players: Nanuet — Connor Breit (6-1, 205), So., RB/LB; Jordan Landsman (6-2, 270), Jr., T/DT; Matt Carney (5-10, 170), Sr., QB/DB. Lourdes — Dean Rotger (6-0, 175), Jr., QB; Devin Bower (6-2, 175), Sr., WR; Luke Timm (6-4, 180), Jr., WR/DB.
Outlook: This is the fourth straight appearance in the championship game for Lourdes, which won its only Class B title in 2012. Nanuet’s last title came in 2009, which was also its last appearance in a final. This year, the Golden Knights will aim to reverse an opening-week, 35-14 loss at home to Lourdes where they allowed 182 yards passing and three touchdowns to Rotger, who led the Warriors to an early three-touchdown lead. Nanuet has been a much different team since, allowing just 19 points and posting five shutouts during a seven-game winning streak. However, the Golden Knights are expected to play this week without two-way tackle Brian Syracuse, who was ejected in last week’s 10-0 victory over defending champ Pleasantville. Lourdes was impressive last week, shutting out Ardsley 19-0 just two weeks after losing to the Panthers at home, 24-20. Rotger attempted just eight passes as his team had 43 rushing attempts. With poor weather in the forecast, the Warriors may need to follow a similar game plan.
Up next: The winner will have a bye, then play the Section 9 Class B champ at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14 at Dietz Stadium in the state quarterfinals.
Nanuet coach Phil Carbone —
On if he thinks his team has improved since Week 1: “Yeah, I feel we’ve grown quite a bit. We’re going to have a good barometer here to see how much we’ve grown. Going into any first game, there are a lot go questions you have to answer. You have a short amount of time to get ready. Even though you scrimmage, it’s not still a real game and we had a lot of guys who were stepping into starting spot.”
On the first meeting vs. Lourdes: “They pasted us. There are no excuses there. Our mental ability to keep up with the game certainly played a factor in the outcome. I don’t think we can throw the game out. It happened. We certainly played, and they played. We’ve hopefully grown enough all around to be able to put forth a better effort. I believe we have and I believe we will. Whether that puts us on top enough, that’s a different ball game.”
On what transition Nanuet went through: “We had seven or eight new guys on offense and defense and just about everybody on special teams. I just think we’ve had an opportunity to grow and get a feel for the game. We’ve had some tough, tight ball games. There aren’t any walkovers by any means. We’ve been able to show some mettle. We’ve been able to win some ball games. It’s just not one way, although we have a mindset of what we want to do.”
On his QB Matt Carney (pictured above): “He’s taken over the role of QB. He’s a guy who has great athleticism, uses it to his advantage, and has done what we’ve asked him to do. He’s throwing adequately. His game is to distribute the ball. He filled in for Ryan (Hanney) two years ago, so he’s had experience. It’s not like he just stepped into the spot. He’s used that experience to his advantage.”
On Lourdes: “The biggest thing is No. 11 (QB Dean Rotger). If he’s not the best back in the section, he’s one of the best backs in the section. He can beat you in the air. He can beat you with the feet.”
More on Lourdes: “What they do, they do well. They can beat you with the power game and they can beat you in the air because he’s such a versatile guy. We’re going to have to control him, but that’s a tough thing to do. If you want to play the grind-it-out game, they have the ability to do that, but they can also put the ball in the air and score.”
Lourdes coach Brian Walsh —
On his team’s ball control game plan vs. Ardsley: “My thing is, I always think it’s very important that you’re not one-dimensional. I thought we would throw it a little bit more than we did last week, but I wanted to shorten the game, especially once we got a two-touchdown lead.”
On Rotger, his team’s passing game and how it helped in Week 1 vs. Nanuet: “Obviously, I feel good about our passing attack. That’s what hurt Nanuet the first time around. Nanuet got off to a slow start. Around the fourth or fifth game, they were a much different team. I expect that this time. They’re playing pretty well right now.”
On the first matchup: “I don’t think the score the of game the first time was indicative of the game. We scored on three long touchdown passes early. The second half it was 7-7.
Nanuet is a good football team. I’m expecting a real battle. They have a good tradition and those are tough kids.”
On Nanuet: “They have a QB who can scramble. They’re tough defensively. They’ve always been tough defensively. The 35 points we scored (in the first meeting), I don’t want to say it was an anomaly, but we made some big pays. I’m sure they’re goal is going to be to prevent the big play. I told my kids, I can see on the film that they’re a much better team. I keep telling my kids, this is not the same team that you played the first week of the season.”