On Friday November 10, Somers faced Harrison for the Section One Championship and the game had as odd a start as possible. Despite the Eagle offense not getting the chance to touch the ball in the first quarter, the second seed scored two touchdowns. A pair of kickoff returns, Somers didn’t startle and ultimately went about their winning ways
Mostly pounding the ball into the ground and sprinkling in timely passes by Mac Sullivan, the Tuskers came back, built a 33-21 third quarter lead and repeated as champs in a 33-27 victory.
The kick away, Joe Crupi spotted a seam, hurdled an elephant and shocked the Tuskers with a 90 yard touchdown. A 7-0 score, Somers could only ready themselves for the kickoff, and Dean Palazzolo almost returned the favor.
He ran to the Harrison 41, and Somers was back on familiar territory. Even more so when Mac Sullivan kept twice for a first down to the 30 and then hit Miguel Iglesias on a roll out to the right.
First and ten from the 18, Kelly then ran in triplicate and left the Tuskers four yards away. Nothing fancy, Sullivan ran it in to tie the score.
But in a blink, Crupi put the game on rewind. He ran for a second consecutive touchdown return, and the lead was seven again.
Andrew Kapica was not able to approach this time, but Dean Palazzolo picked him up. On second and ten from the 30, he received a screen left, shook a defender and surfed the sideline for 40 yards.
Unfortunately, Sullivan got swept up in the momentum and was intercepted in the end zone. 2:58 left in the first, the Harrison offense and Somers defense finally made their introductions, and the Huskies received a curt welcome. Two runs and an incomplete, and Harrison was punting.
Not so well either, a shank gave the top seed the ball at the Harrison 46 and Kelly got into the grind again. Two runs and Somers had a first down at the 32, but the drive stalled.
Left with a 4th and five, Sullivan lofted one to the sideline, and the ball sailing out of bounds, Huskies looked like they had a stop. Sorry, the flag went up, and the Tuskers stayed on point. At the 13 with a first down, Kelly juked once and was in the end zone with 9:29 left in the half.
The extra point missed, Harrison still had the lead and proceeded to move the ball down the field. A Somers penalty, and a Marco Citro keeper got the Huskies across midfield and then the QB hit Crupi on the sideline for a first down at the 35.
On the move, Harrison appeared to have six on the board on third and 15. The Huskies running a flea flicker, Gabe Anaya was open with several steps on the defense and Citro just over threw the receiver.
Fourth down had Citro missing another open receiver, and Somers exhaled the change of possession. It wasn’t long before Harrison was gasping for air, though.
Sullivan took a keeper to the 40, and a personal foul adding 10 more yards had Somers running another triple play. Three times to Kelly, and Somers was on the board again.
The two point conversion failing this time, Somers led 19-14, and after quickly getting the ball back, the offense looked like they were picking where they left off. Sullivan rolled right, and cut through for a first down run to the 43.
But looks weren’t everything to Harrison. Sullivan’s pass was deflected and picked off by Dante Lanza. 93 seconds left in the half, Harrison wasn’t just looking to run out the clock either.
Christian Barchella got ten to the forty, and Citro struck Crupi over the middle to set up a shocker. Citro dropped back and hit Chris McLaughlin between to defenders in the end zone.
Now 21-19, Somers did get down the field but were forced to go into the locker room chasing two. Reemerging, the Tuskers looked liked they be chasing even more. Sullivan and Kelly muffed the first down handoff, and Harrison was set up at the 35.
Fortunately, Harrison returned the favor. Citro threw over the middle on first down and Nick Conti stepped in front for the interception.
No time to even ponder their fate, Harrison was soon giving chase to Palazzolo down the near sideline, and a 30 yard gain put Somers on the 35. Enough fancy stuff, Somers kept it simple from there. One Sullivan keeper and four runs by Kelly had the Tuskers in the lead for good at 26-21.
Even so, the lead almost didn’t last very long. McLaughlin received the kick off, and the hole again blowing up in the middle of the field, Tim Monahan caught the returner by the shoe strings.
The near miss turned out to be more a last gasp. Nick Crecco got in the backfield twice for two no gains, and Citro was whistled for crossing the line of scrimmage on a third down pass.
Loss of down, Somers got the ball and stayed low. Five runs for Kelly, and one each for Palazzolo, Sullivan and Iglesias had Harrison pounded into the ground. Left under, the Huskies couldn’t get Kelly off his game, and the Somers back stayed on his feet for a 38 yard touchdown run.
10:38 to go, the touchdown Harrison scored on the last play obviously wasn’t enough, and Averill Park was next on Somers agenda.