EASTCHESTER - There was a little goal-line confusion to sort through before the celebration got under way, but horns were still honking up and down the main drag some 30 minutes after Eastchester brought Rye's 59-game win streak against Section 1 opponents to a dramatic end.
It was one heck of a homecoming game.
Garnets quarterback Connor Eck slammed into a determined defensive front and was brought down inches short of the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 15 seconds to play on Saturday, allowing the Eagles to hang on to a defining 13-7 win.
"I was right there," Eastchester cornerback Kevin Bronner said. "I knew he didn't make it because the ball came out when Eck hit the ground and landed in the end zone. He got his hands on it again, but I knew it wasn't a touchdown."
Still, both sidelines looked on breathlessly as the pile untangled.
"It was all kind of a blur to me," said Eck, who calmly moved Rye 62 yards in the final three minutes to get within 2 yards of a tie score. "The ref called no touchdown, so I guess I wasn't in."
Nobody was more relieved than Eastchester coach Fred DiCarlo when the stop was made. He was sitting on a 13-0 advantage, but took a major risk with seven minutes remaining by going for it on fourth-and-one from the Eagles 24-yard line. A quarterback keeper went nowhere. Six plays after taking over, Rye was back in the game as Cole McCormack plowed into the end zone from 7 yards away.
"I thought we were moving the ball well," DiCarlo said. "We threw a snap over the punter's head earlier, so I had that in the back of my head. I figured if we got first down there, it would put a nail in the coffin, and I took a chance. Looking back, am I second–guessing myself? Absolutely. The kids bailed me out."
The Garnets came alive defensively late in the game, and locked down an offense that was sustaining drive after drive for three quarters. Having a week off was likely a setback. "Absolutely," said Rye coach Dino Garr, whose team had run off 27 wins in a row, and had not suffered a loss to a Section 1 opponent since falling to Somers on Nov. 9, 2002. "It's the first time in my 30 years I've ever had a bye week, but no excuses. That's a good