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Lohud Game Balls

Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 by Lohud.com

Here's a look back on the good things from the weekend with this week Game Balls:

10. Blake Rzemieniewski, Stepinac: Love the intensity and confidence this defense plays with, and nobody exemplifies that better than Rzemieniewski. The junior linebacker had seven tackles in Sunday's 47-12 rout of Christ the King in the CHSFL AA final, and returned an interception for a touchdown. It was his fourth defensive touchdown of the year.
9. Derek O'Dell, Haldane: Few sophomores take on as much responsibility and play with as much poise as O'Dell, who has really become a special talent. O'Dell rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, and recorded 15 tackles in Haldane's 35-8 loss to Ticonderoga in the Class D state semifinals.
8. Brandon Brailsford, Dobbs Ferry: Another steady week by one of the area's top two-way linemen. The senior tackle/defensive end helped pave the way for Dobbs' 352 yards rushing, and recorded nine tackles to earn defensive MVP honors in the Eagles' win over Cambridge, earning their sixth state final appearance in seven years.
7. Tasheim Carney, New Rochelle: Carney showed why he was among the most underrated players in Section 1 in Saturday night's loss to Monroe-Woodbury. He ran tough, even if he gained just 58 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, and was physically able to take on anyone in Monroe imposing defense. Carney, one of the area's elite linebackers, had nine tackles and did an adequate job of spying Dan Scalo.
6. Christian Federico, Ossining: Not many players can say their final game was a career performance. It was for Federico, who rushed for 164 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries in Ossining's 49-20 loss to Lansingburgh in the Class A semifinals. Federico continued to improve this season with every game, and did so right down to the end.
5. Jayson Holt, Mount St. Michael: What a gamer. Holt's effort in Sunday's crushing 26-20 loss to St. Anthony's in the CHSFL AAA final was nearly heroic. He rushed for 192 yards and a two touchdowns, and had a 52-yard to set up a third score. Had he just be able to get another step up field in the closing seconds, and gotten that first down, we'd be talking about the end of St. Anthony's reign, not the continuation of it.
4. Maurice Easterling, Stepinac: Two interceptions on defense, 80 yards rushing and a touchdown -- all in the first 13 minutes. That's what Easterling did in Sunday's championship. Easterling did the rest of the game what he's done all season -- lay punishing hits and swat down passes. Easterling is going to be a special player next season.
3. Jordan Eck, Rye: Big games bring something special out of Eck, who has looked like a left-handed Tom Brady the last two weeks with his accuracy and poise. Eck, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for two last week, completed 11 of 20 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's win over Peru. Eck looked incredible in the pocket, stepping up and delivering the ball on target. Some guys may throw harder or deeper than Eck. But there aren't better true quarterbacks.
2. Matt Rix, Rye: Eck's job was a lot easier when guys like Rix step up and make plays. The senior receiver did an excellent job getting open down field, catching four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Rix also made a game-changing play on defense, intercepting of a pass in the second quarter and returning for a touchdown in the 24-7 victory.
And this week's Varsity Insider player of the week...
1. Frank Scattaretico, Dobbs Ferry: Has a game ever been decided as early as 13 seconds? Scattaretico did that on Saturday, returning the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown to eliminate any question of whether Dobbs would get tripped up by Cambridge. The Eagles won 47-0, highlighted by Scattaretico's 218 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. He earned MVP honors for the third straight week. Anyone ever remember a player ever taking all four? Matt Bernstein? Sammy?

Be back later with another installment of my '7 games in 50 hours' blogs. I know, I said that last night. But my brain is so fried right now with all of the hours I'm working. I promise, though, I'll get to it. I've got a lot of interesting things to share about New Rochelle's loss.

Once this weekend is over, I plan on sleeping for a few days. Maybe a week.

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