Archive for the ‘RHS Football’ Category

Rye’s Gridiron Greats Earn Golden Dozen Distinction

February 10, 2011

Rye High School senior Brian Pickup was honored with a Golden Dozen Scholar-Athlete Award at the National Football Foundation’s ceremony January 27 at Westchester Country Club. Like the other 11 recipients, Pickup – an All-State player for the Garnets – posted a GPA of 90-plus, completed at least four AP courses, and registered between a 1,200 and 1,550 on the English and math portions of his SAT.

Brian Pickup celebrates victory over Harrison with Jack O’Callaghan

“Being named part of the Golden Dozen is a real honor,” said Pickup. “I was proud to be in the group of guys I was presented the award with. And, in addition to the admiration of my Golden Dozen peers, comes the respect of all the people who have won the award in the past and everyone on the NFF board who set this up.”


“The Drive” Propels Garnets to Awe-Inspiring 21-20 Victory Over Harrison

October 22, 2010

The sun had shifted in the sky, draping an ominous shadow over half of the football field at Nugent Stadium. Rye, trailing archrival Harrison 20-13, faced a harrowing fourth-and-12 situation from its own 42-yard-line. With little over three minutes remaining in the 80th installment of “The Game”, the Rye Pep Band began playing the notes to Journey’s timeless classic, “Don’t Stop Believin’”, during the time-out.

Working hard to get my fill, everybody wants a thrill

The Garnets broke the huddle and senior quarterback Connor Eck lined up under center. Eck, one of five captains, was not even supposed to play. The three-year starter hadn’t competed in a game since the first half of October 1’s game with Spring Valley, which he left with an ankle injury. He then sliced open his right hand – his good one – the next week at home in a freak accident. The wound required 10 stitches that weren’t removed until three days before the Harrison game

Payin’ anything to roll the dice, just one more time

Eck took the snap and faked the handoff to Kevin Turco. He rolled back into the darkness, turned, looked downfield, and set his feet. Gripping the football with a bandaged hand covered only by a thin glove, the quarterback unleashed a pass that soared roughly 25 yards, crossing the threshold of the shadow into the light

Some will win, some will lose, some are born to sing the blues

On the other end of the pass, in mid-air between a Bermuda Triangle of Harrison defensive backs, was senior captain Brian Pickup. The tight end made The Catch, ripping the ball out of the shining sky a la Dwight Clark, and came down with a first down that breathed new life into an eventual 80-yard touchdown drive capped by Eck’s game-winning, pandemonium-inducing, two-point conversion run.

Oh, the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on …

When the Huskies’ desperate 50-yard field goal fell wide right and far short as time expired, the Garnets and their thousands of supporters on hand celebrated a 21-20, instant-classic victory that goes down with the best in Rye-Harrison lore.


Rye Edges Harrison 21-20 in All-Time Classic

October 18, 2010

This year’s installment of the Rye-Harrison game was one for the ages. The Garnets defeated the Huskies 21-20 October 16 at Nugent Stadium when senior quarterback Connor Eck rushed for a two-point conversion after hitting Brian Pickup for a three-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining. Rye’s go-ahead score added an exclamation point to an 80-yard drive that included a pair of pass-and-catch conversions on 4th and long from Eck to Pickup. The exhilarating victory was the Garnets’ eight in a row against the Huskies, and perhaps the most gut-wrenching for their rivals to date.

More to come, including full story and picture gallery, later this week and in October 22 edition of The Rye Record

Garnets Prepared for Home Opener Against Undefeated Nyack

September 23, 2010

The Garnet football team boarded the bus for “Redemption Tour: 2010” two weeks ago, and the results were not pretty for the two squads with the misfortune of being their first two stops. Rye’s road warriors beheaded the Horsemen 27-6 at Sleepy Hollow September 11, and then rolled to Yonkers September 18 and thrashed Saunders 30-0 in a game that was called at halftime.

Kevin Turco

The boys in Garnet and Black aren’t patting themselves on the back just yet, though. It was at this point last season – with the same 2-0 record – that things began to unravel, when Rye’s 59-game winning streak against Section I opponents and the string of 27 consecutive victories both ended in a loss at Eastchester.


Redemption More Than a Word for Garnet Programs This Season

September 9, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back isn’t headed back to the theatres any time soon, but it could play out on local fields as several fall programs seek to correct the way their seasons ended in 2009.


No Syracuse. No Kingston. Not even a trip to Mahopac for the Section championship. Rye’s stunning, last-second loss to Poughkeepsie in the 2009 Class A Section semifinals silenced Nugent Stadium as never before and caused reverberations that are felt to this day.

But this is a new year, and the latest model of gridiron warriors to sport the legendary Garnet and Black colors are itching to exact revenge on all who reveled in schadenfreude after their shocking playoff elimination.


Local Trainers LIFT Clients to New Levels

August 20, 2010

Roots in Westchester and a love for the game of football – they’re two of the ways NFL star Ray Rice and the Eck brothers of Rye, Jordan and Connor, are connected. There is a third common denominator as well, and each is quick to point it out.

All three athletes spent a portion of their summer working out at Lifestyle Integrated Fitness Training (LIFT), a strength and conditioning company co-founded by Matt Tauber. Tauber, Rye High School’s head athletic trainer and strength coach, shares in the credit for the Garnets’ recent football dynasty. In addition, many athletes from high school to the professional level attribute some of their personal success to him.

NFL star Ray Rice

“Matt and I have a history dating back to my days at New Rochelle High School when I hurt my shoulder and he was the trainer there,” said Rice, the running back who enjoyed a breakout season for the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. “I trust him totally when it comes to training techniques and it has paid dividends. I strengthened parts of my body he felt needed work, like my hamstrings, core and shoulders.”



October 30, 2009

Stunning is the only way to describe Poughkeepsie’s incredible, last second 25-20 victory over Rye’s football team at Nugent Stadium in the Class A Section Semifinals Friday, October 30.

The Garnets, as well as every one of their supporters in attendance, had the wind knocked out of them when — on 4th and 10 from the 50-yard line — senior wideout Josh Graham reeled in a Jarrid Williams pass on the left sideline and raced to the end zone for a game-winning touchdown as time expired.

It was Graham’s third devastating play against Rye on a 4th down in the final quarter, which Rye entered up 20-7 (a lead they held until the Pioneers made it 20-13 with 3:30 left in the game). Poughkeepsie cut the score to 20-19 with two minutes remaining on a nine-play drive in which Williams completed just one of seven passes. The lone completion came on 4th and 10 from their own 34-yard line, and was good for 29 yards on a Williams to Graham heave. Rye then forced another 4th down, and caused another errant pass. A controversial call was made however. The referees said Rye interfered (the Garnets’ third pass interference call of the quarter) with Graham, who ran the same sideline route as the previous 4th down. That gave the Pioneers a 1st down at the Garnet 23, and Graham promptly ran in a 23-yard touchdown on a keeper play.

Poughkeepsie decided to go for two instead of a game-tying extra point. Rye senior captain Brendan Nagle hit Williams as he was throwing, which caused the ball to fall harmlessly to the turf. That play — along with Rye’s onside recovery on the ensuing kick — led most in attendance to believe the Garnets would move on to the Section championship in Mahopac next weekend.

The Pioneers had other ideas.

They stuffed Rye on three straight downs, and put the Garnets in a 4th and 5 situation from Poughkeepsie’s 45. Opting not to punt, Rye instead put the ball in the hands of junior quarterback Connor Eck. Eck rolled to his right, but was sacked for a loss of five and the Pioneers took over with 21 seconds remaining.

On 1st and 10, Williams once again heaved it down the left sideline to Graham, but the pass fell incomplete. Another pair of incomplete passes set up 4th and 10 with eight seconds remaining. Using his blinding, 4.39 40-yard dash speed, Graham flew down the sideline, caught the ball roughly 20 yards out, and sped past defenders to pay dirt. It was one of the most otherworldly comebacks — whether pro or amateur — these eyes have ever seen.

In the wake of Poughkeepsie’s incredible victory, a feeling of total shock was palpable. We saw it, but we didn’t believe it. Nugent was filled with a sea of stunned faces who had just witnessed one of the most gut-wrenching losses imaginable.

Your heart has to go out to these Garnets — especially the seniors. Rye controlled Poughkeepsie for most of the game, and led 17-0 at the half thanks in part to one of Cole McCormack’s finest performances. The senior captain gashed the Pioneer defense and finished with 31 totes for 159 yards.

* * * * *

In the good news department, both the field hockey and boys’ soccer teams advanced in their respective Section tournaments with big wins at home earlier in the day at Nugent Stadium. Volleyball also won in straight sets on the road against favored Edgemont. More on these games to come …

Friday Playoff Tripleheader at Nugent Stadium

October 30, 2009

Halloween may still be a day away, but Rye sports enthusiasts are being served quite the treat today. Nugent Stadium will host three Section playoff duels inside its hallowed confines, beginning with the fourth-seeded boys’ soccer team’s contest with No. 13 Yonkers at 1:15. The second-seeded field hockey team takes to the turf at 3:45 for a Class B battle with No. 10 Walter Panas. In the nightcap the football Garnets, No. 1S, take on formidable No. 2N Poughkeepsie at 7:15.

Picture 261

Brendan Nagle cashes in against Nyack

Also in Garnet action is the ninth-seeded volleyball team, who goes toe-to-toe on the road with No. 8 Edgemont at 4:30.


Morning Round-up: Playoff picture comes into focus

October 29, 2009

The postseason Sectional schedules are now official for our local public high schools, Rye and Rye Neck. The FAA and NYSAIS tournaments begin midway through next week for private schools Rye Country Day and Holy Child.



Section playoff schedules begins to materialize

October 28, 2009

Well, we got our hands on most of Rye/Rye Neck’s opening Section playoff games. Much thanks to the coaches who passed along the following information.

The action kicks off Friday at Nugent Stadium, when Rye’s field hockey team (No. 2 seed) takes the stage in a Class B duel with visiting Nanuet at 1. Immediately after, the fourth-seeded (Class A) Rye boys’ soccer team faces the winner of Ardsley/Yonkers at 3 p.m. Finally, at 7 p.m., the gridiron Garnets go toe-to-toe with Poughkeepsie in the Class A Section semifinals.

Also on Friday, ninth-seeded Rye’s volleyball team hits the road for a Class B Sectional battle with No. 8 Edgemont.

On Saturday, the reigning Class A State champion RHS girls’ soccer team begins their title defense when they play the winner of Sleepy Hollow/Yonkers at Nugent Stadium at 2 p.m.

As stated before, the Rye girls’ swimming team enters the Sectional fray Monday with the finals set for Wednesday. The diving portion of the team gets to work Friday at Pace.

What I know about Rye Neck’s Section playoff schedule begins and ends with the volleyball and girls’ tennis teams at the moment. Volleyball hosts Hastings at 4:30 on Monday. Caroline Lambillotte and Kalypso Buitoni made the Sectionals and are one of 16 teams from all of Westchester and Rockland to qualify. The Section tournament was set to begin today at 1 at Veterans Park in Yonkers, but the weather has likely postponed the event. I should have the girls’ and boys’ soccer match-ups soon.

UPDATE: The sixth-seeded Rye Neck boys’ soccer team will play Friday at home in a Class B bout with No. 11 JFK at 2:30.

UPDATE 2: On Saturday, the 10th-seeded Rye Neck girls’ soccer team heads to No. 7 Kennedy for a Class B contest at 2:30.

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