HARRISON, N.Y. – The wait between Section 1 Football Championship game berths had been much too long for Somers, which went about rectifying that Saturday.
Somers raced out to a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter, then fended off repeated Harrison charges in a 28-14 victory in the Section 1 Class A semifinal.
The Tuskers, now 9-0, advanced to the championship game at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Sleepy Hollow, 8-1.
This will be Somers’ first championship-game appearance since the Tuskers defeated Nanuet to win the 2000 Section 1 Class B title. Harrison finished with an 8-1 record.
“Coming into this year we knew we were a good team,” senior two-way lineman and captain Dan Campbell said. “We played our hearts out and we were not going to lose.”
Matt Morgante, who had a 24-yard scoring run, helped halt Harrison’s drive toward an apparent game-tying score. He created a fumble and subsequently recovered it at the Somers 8-yard-line with 3:35 remaining in the game.
Stefano Bicknese finished with 13 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. Bicknese scored the first of three consecutive Somers touchdowns, on a 45-yard run, in the opening quarter as Somers ran the counter successfully against Harrison’s defense.
“We came out fired up,” Bicknese said. “Our offensive line played really well and our backs played well.”
Bicknese took off on his touchdown run on Somers’ first play of the game.
“That was all the offensive line as they made the hole for me,” Bicknese said.
Harrison closed the score to 21-14 by halftime on a Michael Amicucci run and Jake Marino to Vinnie Nicita touchdown pass. The Huskies two possessions in the second half resulted in turnovers.
Following each turnover, Somers’ mammoth offensive line of Scott and Sean Jennings, Dylan Owen, Robert Pontbriand and Campbell took control as the Tuskers ground out yardage.
“We felt we were a little sloppy on that first drive of the second half so we knew what we had to do,” Campbell said. “We had to play smarter, keep playing physical and just roll over anything in front of us,”
Though Somers did not score following a Morgante interception, the Tuskers went 78 yards and ate up eight minutes on the clock. Somers’ final drive resulted in a Connor Vlasaty 20-yard touchdown pass from John Decker.
“We started out slow and dug ourselves a big hole, but they fought back, played as hard as they can and I am proud of them,” Harrison coach Artie Troilo, Jr. said. “I give Somers credit because they came out fast, but we wanted an opportunity to win the game and we had a chance.”
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