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MSG Playoff Preview 2011-Pearl River

Posted Monday, October 24, 2011 by Kevin Devaney

PEARL RIVER PIRATES
Coach:
Jeff Michael (2nd season)
Class: A
Record: 6-1, 5-1 in League I
Seed: 2
Preseason rank: 14 (out of 27)

Path to a title: Pearl River will host third-seeded Rye in Thursday's quarterfinals. They did not meet in the regular season. The winner will face either John Jay-CR or Somers in the semifinals on Tuesday, November 1.

Recent playoff history (2006-2010)

Year Record Result
2006 1-8 Did not qualify
2007 3-6 Did not qualify
2008 3-6 Did not qualify
2009 3-5 Did not qualify
2010 7-2 Did not qualify

Section 1 championships: 0

Regular season results

Date Opponent Result MSGV Coverage
9/10 at Gorton W 8-6 Recap
9/17 Riverside W 48-0 Recap | Photos
9/23 at Panas W 25-0 Recap 
10/1 Nyack W 20-18 Article/Feature
10/8 Spring Valley W 20-15 RecapHighlights
10/15 Nanuet W 25-12 Photos | Highlights
10/22 at Bronxville L 37-6 Article/Highlights

Marquee victory: Beating Nyack for the first time in 26 years catapulted this program to levels nobody could have anticipated. The Pirates were expected to run through their schedule but few thought they’d even compete with Nyack, let alone beat them. They did it on a game-winning field goal in the final seconds by Connor O’Sullivan.

Playmakers

Mike Brophy, Sr., QB/RB/LB: The kid is a "moose" in the backfield at 6-1, 235 and isn't afraid of anybody. Brophy is rarely taken down on first contact and is relentless as a middle linebacker.

John Brebbia, Sr., QB/DB: A true leader of the offense. Brebbia has amazing intangibles and is a calming presence as much as anything for the Pirates.

Connor O’Sullivan, Sr., K/P: The greatest weapon in Section 1, hands down. O'Sullivan is over 90-percent on touchbacks for kickoffs, is a fantastic punter, is automatic from 40 yards and in on field goals and has the potential for much longer. He's won several games for his team.

Connor Madigan, Sr., RB/LB: The heart and soul of the Pirates. Madigan is great combo runner/receiver and is always a threat to break a big play. He's the anchor of the linebackers.

Mike O’Shea, Sr., OL/DL: Pearl River's top lineman has an amazing work ethic and is the most technically-sound lineman that Michael said he's ever coached. He also has great feet and hands at left tackle.

Sean Wilson, Sr., WR/DB: Amazing hands don't beging to explain the impact Wilson can have on a game. His play-making skills are incredible and he's such a smart and gifted defensive back.

Unsung heroes

Josh Lipane, Sr., WR/DB: Love the speed and intelligence Lipane has. Always a threat. Don't let him get in any space.

Andrew Cantone, Sr., OL/DL: Doesn't get much attention despite the fact he leads the Pirates in sacks and fumble recoveries.

Playoff outlook

What must go right: A lot. The Pirates have beaten Nyack. But they haven’t even played another Class A playoff team besides Gorton, which is a Cinderella squad. Pearl River cannot turn the ball over or commit penalties against anyone. Field position and controlling possession, two things they’re exceptionally good at, will be vital.

Who must step up: Mike Brophy. Few people outside of Pearl River really know how good Brophy is. His size, toughness and rugged running style matches up with any back in the area. If he can carry the offense, Pearl River’s magical run could continue.

Devaney’s take: So much attention this season has been paid to preseason favorites: Poughkeepsie, John Jay-CR, Harrison and Rye, to name a few. Pearl River hasn’t gotten that type of respect. Now is their chance to really earn it. Personally, I don’t see them getting out of the first round. With all of Section 1 waiting for the Pirates to trip up in the playoffs, now they can prove everyone wrong.

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