I decided over the weekend that, with only eight teams still alive in the area, I wasn’t going to do a full Game Balls list this week. However, I forgot to tell you all.
My apologies. I’ve decided to cut the list in half. I got to see three of the five Section 1 teams play this weekend up at Dietz Stadium, and watched the Croton and Nyack games online (yes, I watched the entire game and yes, I don’t have a life). The CHSFL games are included, too.
I’ll be announcing my Player and Coach of the Week on tomorrow’s Varsity Central Live show. New Rochelle linebacker Lou DiRienzo Jr. will be our special guest.
Here’s the top five from the weekend:
Game Balls: Top 5
5. Tyler Keppler and Dan Luntz, Croton-Harmon: What these two backs did on Friday night not only helped the Tigers beat Ellenville, it will help Croton’s chances of winning this weekend, too. Why? Because they gave the Saranac Lake coaches less film time to watch Nick Mainiero, and gave them even more to worry about in the Tigers offense. Keppler and Luntz were awesome in Croton’s 42-20 win in the Class C state quarterfinal. Keppler rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, and Luntz bulled his way to 81 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Mainiero barely broke a sweat, although he did toss a gorgeous 69-yard touchdown to Joe Tralli. Add in Tyler Dorian’s running, and Saranac Lake must have its head spinning trying to game plan to stop all these weapons.
4. Chris Lavelle, Rye: Most of you probably don’t know who Lavelle is. Well, go back and watch Friday’s Rye-Highland game and you’ll find out. Lavelle is the guy the Garnets ran behind almost the entire night, en route to 310 yards rushing on 49 carries and a 35-6 victory in the Class B quarterfinal. Rye’s line got outplayed early by an aggressive Highland front. Then Lavelle, the left guard, dug in and the Garnets rode him. Lavelle didn’t really do it all alone. But Lavelle did it best.
3. Brian Boulhosa, Stepinac: The Crusaders managed to pull out another tight game with rival Fordham Prep, and this time Boulhosa was the hero. With Maurice Easterling still not a full strength because an ankle injury, Boulhosa made the big plays, catching three passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the third quarter. It was Boulhosa’s second 100-yard, two-touchdown game in three weeks. Boulhosa, one of several returning two-way players for Stepinac, had four catches for 122 yards against Xaverian two weeks ago.
2. Lou DiRienzo Jr., New Rochelle: Having a 1,700-yard rusher and 1,300-yard passer is nice. But having a player who salivates for five days in preparation to stop it is even better. DiRienzo, a junior linebacker, headlined yet another stellar defensive effort in New Rochelle’s 33-7 rout of Section 2’s La Salle. DiRienzo set the tone from the start, making a jarring hit on La Salle running back Marquis Terrell as the Huguenots physically overwhelmed the Cadets all night. DiRienzo finished with nine tackles and was in on so many other players. New Rochelle’s defense nearly got its fifth shutout. La Salle’s only score came off an interception returned to the New Rochelle 15 and then a third-down touchdown pass that bounced off a receivers head and into the hands of another. New Ro’s only allowing 6 points per game during its 10-game winning streak.
I’ll unveil the Player and Coach of the Week on tomorrow’s show. Any guesses? It’s a defensive player, and it’s not anybody on Nyack.
In the afternoon I’ll be visiting Rye and Stepinac. I’ll post my practice reports before the show and release my picks for the weekend.
Now that we know this much about these teams, please drop your predictions now.