Here is the best of the week that was — the top performers from Week 9:
1. Rye’s front 7: The Garnets have surrendered an average of 24.6 points per game this season – a very high number for a team that is 8-1. Still, the defense certainly didn’t look porous in Saturday’s 21-19 victory over two-time defending champ Somers. With one-way starters Patrick Hull, Jimmy Timmings and Roger Paganelli earning snaps on the defensive line, Rye’s defense was strong, limiting a dynamic Somers running game to 131 yards on 38 carries. Drake Turcotte made the impact play of the game, forcing a fumble and recovering it in Tusker territory to set up his team’s clinching final drive.
2. Bill Flatow, Mamaroneck: The junior threw a terrific ball for four quarters and overtime in Mamaroneck’s 34-33 loss to John Jay. The Tigers were crushed afterward, but they had Flatow to thank for putting them in position to win in the first place. He went 13 for 23 for 304 yards and three touchdowns, highlighted by a 79-yarder to Emerson Genovese on Mamaroneck’s second play from scrimmage. He also scrambled and found Alex Parkinson for a 35-yard score in the second OT.
3. Nick Santavicca, Yorktown: The junior shattered Pete Cariello’s single-season rushing record in Friday night’s convincing 47-12 defeat of Sleepy Hollow. After two relatively quiet weeks, Santavicca rushed for 214 yards and four scores to lead Yorktown into its first sectional final in 16 years.
4. Jonathan Stewart, Woodlands: The Falcons proved their semifinal win over Bronxville was no fluke, running up a three-touchdown lead and eventually beating defending champ Rye Neck 28-20. Stewart was the workhorse, rushing 31 times for 140 yards and two scores. He also added three catches for 22 yards despite splitting time at QB with Myles Thigpen.
5. Tommy Castelluccio, Somers: With a deep bone bruise in his knee and a bad sprained ankle on the same led, the junior lineman had a hand in 11 tackles, including 2 1/2 sacks. Somers wasn’t even sure whether or not Castelluccio would play, but he ended up playing a key role in the team’s pass rush, which recorded five sacks.
6. Emerson Genovese, Mamaroneck: The junior sliced through John Jay’s secondary repeatedly, recording 201 yards receiving. He was a consistent threat down the field. The Patriots struggled to contain his speed, never more so than on Genovese’s 79-yard TD grab.
7. Andrew Livingston, Rye: The senior steered Rye one step closer to an elusive Class A title in a 21-19 defeat of Somers. He finished 12 for 21 for 182 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a TD. He also engineered a final drive that burned the last 5:28 of the game, highlighted by a nine-yard keeper on fourth-and-6 from the Somers 14.
8. Dom Brescia, Rye Neck: The senior had to earn it, but he ran for 135 yards and scored all three Rye Neck touchdowns as the defending champ tried to stay close. The Panthers eventually lost 28-20 to Woodlands.
9. Ian Ricketts, Gorton: The senior rushed for 228 yards and a score as the Wolves won the first-ever Hudson River Football League championship, 39-22. Ricketts compiled the biggest bulk of yardage on a day where Gorton rushed for 522 yards as a team.
10. Jared Baron, New Rochelle: In a game where the Huguenots really struggled on offense, the freshman provided a major lift. He rushed for 105 yards, including a crucial 60-yard TD run in the fourth quarter that actually tied the score 20-20. New Ro went on to fall 23-20 on a last-second field goal, but it was not due to the effort of the program’s next star.