Coach: Dino Garr (35th season)
Record: 4-3, 4-2 in League I
Preseason rank: 4 (out of 27)
Path to a title: Rye will play at No. 2 Pearl River in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The winner will face either John Jay-CR or Somers in the semifinals on Tuesday, November 1 at the higer seed. Rye and Pearl River did not meet in the regular season.
Recent playoff history (2006-2010)
||Beat Pelham in finals
||Beat Sleepy Hollow in finals
||Beat Pleasantville in finals
||Lost to Poughkeepsie in semifinals
||Lost to Somers in quarterfinals
Section 1 championships: 7
Most recent title: 2008 (Class B)
State championships: 3
Regular season results
Marquee victory: C’mon, is that a serious question? Harrison will always be Rye’s best win, which they’ve done now nine times in a row. The Greeley victory, though, was the turning point of Rye’s season after an 0-3 start. The dominant effort against the Quakers has been a springboard to the postseason.
Joe Simolacaj, Sr., RB/LB: Already one of the best linebackers in the section, Simolacaj is coming off a jaw-dropping 36-carry effort against Harrison. He can carry the load, move piles and make plays.
Jake Meyerson, Sr., RB/QB/DB: The mid-season move from quarterback to running back has suited Meyerson just fine. He runs like a fullback and has deceptive speed and an ability to take on tacklers in the open field.
Matt Keough, Sr., G/DT: Keough is far stronger and more athletic than the average 6-foot-1, 235-pounder. He’s the lineman Rye runs behind most and is a run-stuffer on defense.
Peter Wittwer, Sr., T/DT: The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder is not somebody you want to get in the way of when he has a full head of steam. He proved that against Harrison as he anchored a Rye line that controlled the trenches.
Teddy Ice, Sr., TE/DE: Ice is a superb blocker but has been a nightmare for opposing lines as a defensive end. He had two touchdowns against Somers, including a fumble return for a score.
Andrew Livingston, Fr., QB: A freshman quarterback? That shows how much trust Garr has in Livingston, who is a terrific passer and plays with far more poise than most players his age.
Dylan Lynch, Sr., WR: All Lynch does is catch touchdowns. Well, maybe not quite. But he had two in Rye’s 17-7 win over Harrison last week and is adept at finding open space in the secondary.
What must go right: As the Harrison win proved, the Garnets are clearly at their best when they split carries between Simolacaj and Meyerson and they let Livingston burn defenses with a sudden pass. As long as Rye sticks to that model and plays possession football, it will play with any team in this bracket.
Who must step up: The offensive line. The quintent of Wittwer, Keough, Will Croughan, Patrick Powers and Andrew Aquilino have grown into a stellar unit and might be one of the few, if only, that has the size and athleticism to play with Poughkeepsie.
Devaney’s take: Rye is an interesting team heading into the postseason. At 0-3, they were on course for a woefully underachieving year before the flip switched and things started to click. Moving Meyerson to running back and installing Livingston at QB as a freshman was certainly gutsy. If it leads Rye to a title — which is not totally impossible, although I don’t see it happening — it could be one of the great moves ever by the legendary Garr.