RYE — After a gutsy call before halftime failed, Rye entered the third quarter facing a rare deficit. But with the season they’ve had, particularly on offense, a six-point hole is hardly insurmountable to the Garnets.
Senior Shane O’Malley rushed 31 times for 139 yards and three touchdowns, and junior quarterback Andrew Livingston threw for 215 yards and a pair of scores.
“We knew it was still a game,” said senior Alex Raynor, who had one of the two Rye interceptions. “It’s never over for us.”
Livingston tied Section 1’s all-time record for passes in a season on a 10-yard connection with junior Tim DeGraw in the first half. It was Livingston’s 27th touchdown pass, matching Briarcliff’s Rob Higle from 2002. He had the would-be record-breaker called back in the fourth quarter when a penalty for an ineligible receiver wiped out an 89-yard hookup with DeGraw.
Livingston, who finished 11 for 25, will have a chance to establish the record next week when Rye (8-0) hosts Tappan Zee in the semifinals at a time to be determined.
“The stats are great obviously, but I’d much rather take the win,” Livingston said. “I’m more proud of our 8-0 record than breaking the touchdown record.”
Rye coach Dino Garr went for more in the final minute of the first half, but his decision to go for it on fourth-and-10 at the Huskers 39 backfired.
After the turnover on downs, Yorktown (5-3) breezed downfield in less than 40 seconds, thanks to a 58-yard screen pass from junior quarterback Ryan Baker to senior star Eric Meyreles. Connor Vercruysse’s short plunge lifted the Huskers to a 20-14 halftime lead.
“That’s who we are,” Garr said. “My philosophy is the same, whether it’s this year or any year. You have to let the players know you have faith in them.”
Raynor and Drew Abate each had interceptions, and O’Malley helped Rye regain and build its lead with all three of his touchdown runs. O’Malley was busy without fellow senior Conor Murphy, who was out after injuring his ankle last week against Harrison.
Nicky Bonitatibus led the Huskers with 65 yards rushing. Meyreles had 57 yards on 15 carries and caught three passes for 72 yards.