HARRISON, N.Y. -- One of Westchester's oldest and heated football rivalries -- the annual Rye-Harrison high school football game -- will be played earlier than ever Saturday, Oct. 19 in an effort to make the event more secure after a post-game incident marred "The Game" last year.
The border rival schools have agreed to an 11 a.m. kickoff time instead of the traditional 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. start for the 83rd meeting which will be played this year at Harrison's McGillicuddy Field.
Police from several other jurisdictions were called into Rye after numerous fights involving fans broke out following Rye's 21- 0 loss to Harrison last October.
Rye alumnus Stephen Feeney (Class of 1965), known to Rye fans as "The Old Garnet," said the Rye-Harrison game has always been played in the early afternoon.
"The game has never been played in the morning as far as I know," Feeney said. "I'm sure this is being done to help keep things in order after last year's problems.
Harrison High's acting athletic director, Stewart Hanson, said the game had been moved to an earlier time and that "the community is anticipating a great game regardless."
Quarterback Vinnie Nicita led Harrison to a 21-0 victory over Rye last fall. The 2013 Huskies are currently 4-2, while visiting Rye is unbeaten at 6-0 and the favorite.
"I'm not comfortable at all (that Rye is favored)," Feeney said. "This game means so much every time it's played, so Harrison will be ready to go."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.