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Playoffs (2)

Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009 by Lohud



The Huskies and Garnets haven't been in the same conference, let alone league, since 2003, the second year in a row when they not only played during the league season but met again in the playoffs. In 2004, they didn't even play each other, which hadn't happened since 1934-36 when the rivalry was called off following a riot in the 1933 game.



But this year, Rye - which has won six consecutive Section 1 Class B titles (plus three state championships, made two other trips to the state final and one to the state semifinal) - moved up to Class A and back into Harrison's league. So, yes, perhaps Rye has more to lose than the young Huskies.



And the Garnets have a school-record six straight victories over the Huskies since Harrison swept the two 2002 meetings.



"Those games (in previous years) were very intense, so adding another step to it is going to make it even more," Harrison junior lineman Duke Alvora said. "I've lost twice, and it's the worst feeling in the world, and I don't think I can do it one more time. I have teammates who are seniors that have lost once already, and they can't do it anymore. They can't lose."



Harrison has that 15-year playoff streak on the line; the Huskies won Section 1 Class A championships as recently as 2005 and 2006.



But does the playoff scenario really matter when they go at it? Could it possibly be more intense than, for example, the 2006 game, when there was nothing else at stake - both would win their league and section titles - but they played to an intense 19-18 Rye victory?



"It makes it more important, I guess," Rye coach Dino Garr said. "The importance of the game is always magnificent. The fact that it's a league game, with league-championship and playoff ramifications just makes it more dramatic, I think."



"It's always intense," Harrison quarterback Dan Formisano said, "but the fact that it's a playoff game now, a must-win game - win we're in, lose we're out - puts a lot of pressure on us.



"But it's still been Rye-Harrison (in past years). You've got to win."



The playoff drama might increase the fan turnout ... if that's possible, and it sure will have the other teams from other leagues in Class A interested.



"It's win or go home right now," Rye running back Cole McCormack said. "Every team controls their own destiny, so it's pretty unique. But it's just another great thing that's added to this game. Each year it's something different that happens. A few years ago the game got canceled. There was the year when we were both ranked No. 1 in the state in two different classes. So every year there's something different that makes this game so much more unique and so much more fun.



"It definitely raises the bar. Everyone's excited. I know they're excited in Harrison, and we're just as excited here."

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