RYE, N.Y. – A second half surge led by star quarterback Andrew Livingston was enough for undefeated Rye (8-0) to take down visiting Yorktown Friday night in the opening round of the Section 1 Class B football playoffs.
Rye will face Tappan Zee (7-1) next week in the semifinals after the Dutchmen defeated Sleepy Hollow 50-14 Friday night.
Yorktown looked poised for an upset heading into halftime up 20-14. But Rye dominated the last 24 minutes of football behind its defense and big plays from Livingston and junior wide receiver Tim DeGraw on its way to a 36-20 victory.
Rye coach Dino Garr said his halftime speech was nothing out of the ordinary and that he was confident in his squad throughout the night.
“My philosophy has been the same whether its this year or any other year: you have to let your players know you have faith in them,” he said.
One player who everyone has faith in these days is Livingston. The junior star tied the Section 1 total touchdown record with two passing touchdowns in the first half.
“He’s a big playmaker,” Yorktown coach Mike Rescigno said. “That’s a talented kid. I would assume he’s going to be playing at the next level.”
Rescigno also credited Livingston and Rye for making the right adjustments at halftime.
“They took advantage of taking us out of our element,” he said. Their defense was – I mean I’ll be honest with you -- we came in worried about their offense, and that certainly proved to be prolific. But their defense was pretty stout as well. My hat’s off to them.”
Despite another stellar outing from senior running back and defensive back Eric Meyreles, Yorktown’s season will end sooner than it anticipated. Meyreles scored Yorktown’s first touchdown and set up a touchdown just before halftime with a 60 yard catch.
“I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed, but I am disappointed for our seniors,” Rescigno said. “We have a great bunch of kids here. To look them in the eye at the end of the game, it’s not easy. It’s like a father looking at your kid cry. But we’ll move on like a family.”
Garr knows the Garnets have their work cut out for them against Tappan Zee.
“Getting healthy will be No.1,” he said. “And then obviously getting focused and ready for Tappan Zee, who runs a very unorthodox offense. They only have one loss to a good Harrison team – so I know we’re in for a battle.”
Scores, playoff brackets
* For a rundown of other Section 1 football playoff scores, click here.
* You can check out class-by-class brackets for the Section 1 football playoffs here.