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Playoff looms for Rye Harrison winner

Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009 by Lohud

In the 80 years in which they have been playing each other, Rye and Harrison have had loads of games as important as this one.





But it's been a little while.



When they meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Feeley Field in Harrison, there will be a little extra on the line ... as if that's ever needed.



"The games have meant the same every year, no matter what, no matter if it's an exhibition game, if they're in our league, if it's a playoff game," Rye quarterback Connor Eck said. "It's a huge deal to everyone in the community, everyone on the team. We want to win, huge. We're really pumped to bring it to them, and I know they're going to bring it right back to us, too.



"I don't know if I'd say it's bigger. It's the same every year - it's huge. But being that whoever wins is going to be in the playoffs and whoever loses isn't, makes it that much more important."



It's this simple: There are four leagues in Class A, and the top two teams in each league go to the playoffs. There are five teams in League A South. The top four have all beaten Saunders. In the other league games so far: Eastchester beat Rye, Harrison beat Eastchester, Roosevelt beat Harrison, Rye beat Roosevelt. So all four teams are 2-1 on the final weekend of league play, with Eastchester at Roosevelt and, for the 79th time, Rye vs. Harrison. The winners will be 3-1 in the league and going to the playoffs, the losers 2-2 and playing exhibition games the rest of the way.



Does that make it any bigger?



"Not really," Harrison coach Art Troilo Jr. said. "It's the biggest game of the year. I'd rather beat Rye than win (the section), or the state championship. It's more important to win this game. Absolutely.



"Now, it obviously adds more. I'm not sure if that's even the right word. For them it means more. We haven't missed the playoffs for 15 years. I know they haven't missed the playoffs in a long time, too. So this is big. But the rivalry's bigger than leagues."

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