A Look Back at Somers Victories over Horace Greeley and Poughkeepsie
2017 and 2018 Blowouts for Somers Football
Jack Kaiser Carries Somers to 33-0 Victory
October 5, 2018
Horace Greeley played it safe by squibbing the opening kickoff, and Jack Kaiser appeared to oblige by bobbling the bounce. But the miss step seemed to pause the Quaker coverage, and the senior fullback glided almost untouched to the end zone. The four answered touchdowns that followed for Kaiser weren’t quite so unscathed and probably left bruises on both sides. But Kaiser was sure the Tuskers got the better of the the visitors - and not just on the scoreboard.
“We beat them up pretty good,” said Kaiser.
The Quakers didn’t help themselves either when the punting game went awry too. After a three and out, Danny Meringolo’s punt shanked right into the Somers line, and two plays later, Kaiser had an 11 yard touchdown run at 9:38 of the first.
On the other hand, the Quakers didn’t show up to just turn the other cheek, and it was Greeley’s third string quarterback who put his face first all game long. Injuries creating the chance, Mike Meringolo’s slight frame got lost for a 25 yard gain up the home sideline and then stood down a ferocious pass rush before finding Jacob Rose at the Somers 40. “He was quick and tough, and a bunch of times we thought we had him contained, but he got away,” NT Charlie Grindrod praised.
Keeping it in the family, Meringolo found his brother Danny on the home sideline and then played receiver as Rose took the reigns. Open in the flat, Mike Meringolo scampered to the far side line and didn’t lose a step in converting a 4th and one on the Somers 19. “We really like what he brings,” said Coach Joe Kearns. “He’s got the heart of lion.”
Nonetheless, after a quarterback draw to the eight, Somers made sure Greeley knew that bending was not breaking. Three straight no gains and Meringolo went on the receiving end again. But Conor Jaykus grounded the multi-talent and came down with the interception at 1:24 of the first.
Once again, though, Horace Greeley didn’t turn tail and stopped Somers on consecutive drives. But when Charlie Balancia stepped in front of Danny Meringolo at the Somers 48 for the interception, Greeley’s momentum began wagging away.
Turning over, Balancia cut inside for a 17 yard run and let Kaiser do the rest on a 31 yard touchdown run with 4:10 left in the half. But while brute force gets him through the line, Greeley learned it doesn't do all the work. “He’s surprisingly agile,” said Ethan Samkoff.
Of course, momentum would have to shift fast for Greeley to have a chance in the second half. But the Somers defense went into overdrive, and Grindrod’s sack at the 14 left Kaiser’s shadow in wait.
Following Greeley’s punt, Kaiser took the Quakers apart piecemeal. Four runs under 10 yards most likely left a mark, and the final two were pretty much an after thought. The same goes for the rest of the game.
But quite a few Somers penalties and mistakes didn’t go unnoticed by Coach DeMatteo. “I don’t think we played very well, and if we are going to advance in the playoffs, we’re going to have to play better,” DeMatteo concluded.
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Somers Trounces Poughkeepsie 48-12
October 2, 2017
Poughkeepsie began the 2017 football season last night against the Class A State Champion Somers Tuskers, and before getting the chance to even blink, they faced a 28-0 first quarter deficit. But Coach Nigel Whitaker still chose to see the upside in the 48-12 loss that marked the Pioneers return to Section One
“Nobody lost their cool, and we were upbeat all night long,” said Whitaker, who kicked his tenure off as head coach.
Unfortunately, the ball was also up for grabs from the from the outset. After two short runs, Poughkeepsie QB Erik Ramos ran afoul of Ryan Elliot, and the Tuskers took possession at the Pioneer 47 with the cornerback’s first interception.
Nonetheless, the Pioneers seemed to earn a reprieve at the seven, but Somers showed no pause on fourth down. Tusker QB Kevin Olifiers rolled out right and found Cameron Pepe at 8:43 for a 7-0 lead.
The score didn’t stay put very long either. Pepe got his second score from 10 yards out at the six minute mark, and moments later, Elliot forced the double take on Ramos again. This time the Somers Corner flashed 30 yards for a pick six, and the Pioneers were stuck in a 21-0 hole.
But Elliot wasn’t done yet. After Jack Gilroy made it 28-0 with an eight yard TD reception, Ramos let loose one more time, and Elliot’s pick essentially put the game out of reach at 35-0.
Coach Whitaker didn’t need to draw on an extensive coaching resume to provide the take away for his team. “You start the game with three early turnovers, and that’s how the scoreboard is going to look,” he lamented afterwards.
The Tuskers eventually went 48 unanswered, but Xavier Grant finally gave the Pioneers something to cheer about in the waning moments. The freshman took the handoff left, bumped outside, and with the end zone in his sights, would not be deterred. “I wanted it real bad,” he said of his 75 yard touchdown run.
The running back was elated to give Poughkeepsie a positive to build on. His reception at the one yard line wasn’t so bad either and set up Ramos’ sneak for the final score.
The late flurry also had Whitaker beaming and left plenty of latitude to praise his team for wearing the defeat as well as they could. “We didn’t even have a scrimmage. But I expected them to play hard, and that’s what they did,” he concluded.
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