The lead up to the 83rd playing of Section 1’s most storied rivalry has been muted by comparison to years past. Rye will enter the game unbeaten at 6-0 while Harrison, a preseason favorite, lost at home last week to Yorktown to drop to 4-2. The Huskies were knocked out of the playoffs in the process.
For those who can’t fathom Harrison winning, understand this: It has happened before.
In the 1990s, for example, both Rye and Harrison won a game it simply was not expected to win. In 1993, weeks before Rye would play for a state championship in Syracuse, Harrison scored on a late pass to win 10-6. It was part of a miserable Rye slump in the 90s that including just one win against the Huskies. However, that one win was a 7-0 victory in 1996 over a highly-touted Harrison team.
Indeed, no matter what teams’ records are, they seem to arrive at the outcomes in trilling fashion. Momentum has ebbed and flowed throughout the decades with each side taking turns earning the upper hand.
Two streaks in the history of this rivalry, which dates to 1929, have run longer than any other. Harrison won eight straight from 1975-1982, and Rye has won a record nine straight from 2003-2011, a streak that ended last season.
The teams will play for the 83rd time on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Harrison’s McGillicuddy Stadium.
NOTE:Thanks to the “Old Garnet,” Steve Feeney, for all of the information posted below. His annual “Rye Garnet Football” yearbook is the most extensive record book in Section 1 sports and the resource for all the information you see below.
SERIES NOTES — 1933 — Rye earns its first win after Harrison opened the series with four straight; postgame recklessness led to the suspension of the series from 1934-36
1955 — On Thanksgiving Day, Harrison snaps Rye’s 33-game winning streak, which included four straight shutout victories over the Huskies; Harrison, trailing 12-6, scored on a flea-flicker on the game’s final play and converted the extra point for the win
1960 — Harrison snapped another Rye 33-game winning streak; defensive tackle Jimmy Pauline stopped Rye on fourth-and-goal from the 1, beating a block from his cousin, Rye’s Bobby Pauline
1962-64 — Future University of Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen Jr. led Harrison to a 2-1 record against Rye in his three years playing QB for his father, Ralph Sr.
1970 — Rye won 3-0 on a field goal by Bob Marx, who hit on his only attempt of the season
1971 — Harrison earned the lowest-scoring win in the rivalry’s history when its defense tackled Rye QB Mark Bockeloh in the end zone for a safety
1976-77 — Harrison earned two in its string of eight-straight victories thanks to tailback Art Troilo Jr., who was in the process of breaking school records once held by his dad and then coach, Art Sr.
1997-99 — Star running back Sammy Maldonado led Harrison to three straight victories by the combined score of 118-14
2000 — The game was held in Week 1, making it the first time since 1937 it had been played on any day other than the last Saturday of the regular season
2006 — Rye (Class B) and Harrison (Class A) both entered as the No. 1-ranked teams in the state
2010 — Connor Eck found Brian Pickup for a touchdown with 15 seconds left and then ran in the two-point conversion, capping “The Drive,” an 80-yard march that chewed up 5:20 in Rye’s dramatic 21-20 win
2012 — Behind four sacks from freshman Brendan Pyne, Harrison shut out Rye 21-0 to snap the Garnets’ rivalry-record nine-game winning streak