NANUET For decades, Nanuet has played an unabashedly honest brand of football. No tricks, little deception. The Golden Knights showed that again against Westlake in Saturday’s matchup of Class B contenders. No yard came without a price paid.
“We knew it was going to be one of those rock ’em, sock ’em games,” Nanuet coach Phil Carbone said. “I don’t think we disappointed anybody on either side.”
The team that hit hardest and longest was his. Nanuet shut out the Wildcats 12-0 to improve to 4-0.
Robert Klebetz returned an interception for a touchdown and Connor Breit added some insurance with a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
One of Westlake’s best chances came after it fell behind 12-0, but Thomas Castro’s pass to Jay Kalle fell incomplete when Kalle was tripped by a defender on his route.
“In a game like that, it’s going to come down to one play. I think this came down to two plays,” said Westlake coach John Castellano, whose team dropped to 2-2. “The play on the pick-six and then the fourth down non-conversion by us.”
Castellano’s Wildcats couldn’t gain any traction against Nanuet’s big defensive front. And, on key sequences, like two fourth-down attempts, the Nanuet offensive line gave enough push to convert.
Player of the game: Jordan Landsman, Nanuet. The senior lineman almost never left the field on offense, defense or special teams and when he wasn’t opening holes on offense he was closing them on defense. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound two-way tackle helped lead the Golden Knights to 170 yards rushing and hold Westlake to just 58 yards on the ground.
Turning point: With the game a scoreless stalemate late in the third quarter and both offenses floundering, Klebetz stepped in front of a third-down pass from Westlake’s Thomas Castro and returned it 37 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
Stat line: Connor Breit had 21 carries for 85 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that gave Nanuet a two-score cushion. … Quarterback Thomas Fay had two key first-down keepers to set up Breit’s touchdown. … Landsman had a sack and Nicholas D’Allara had an interception near the goal line to stop Westlake’s opening drive. … Castro finished 10 for 19 for 104 yards and William Snyder had six receptions for 66 yards. … Anthony Sardo had 16 carries for 47 yards and recorded a sack on defense.
Quotable: “We have a little formation where we put the beef on one side of the ball,” Landsman said of formations with he and 270-pound Brian Syracuse lined up together. “It can help us get an extra few yards and it’s pretty much a staple for our team throughout our history.”