BREWSTER – Perhaps the comeback started with a goal line stand to end the first half. Or perhaps all Brewster needed was that first safety, the one that finally took the zero off the scoreboard.
Whatever it was that sparked the Bears, the result in the biggest regular season football game here in years was a stunner: Brewster upset previously unbeaten Rye, 11-7.
The Bears (5-0) stayed undefeated themselves on the strength of second half shutout and plenty of resilience from star Jack Guida. The senior led Brewster on its only scoring drive, polishing off an abbreviated march with a 2-yard touchdown run with 10:07 remaining.
Guida’s touchdown run unskewed an odd-looking scoreboard. The Bears had cut into Rye’s lead with two safeties, the second of which set up the scoring drive.
Rye pulled in front 7-0 much earlier, scoring on its opening drive of the game when senior Mat Bruno — starting in place of injured T.J. Lavelle (shoulder) — scrambled for a 30-yard touchdown. The relatively easy march proved misleading; Brewster’s defense kept the Garnets in check the rest of the half. The Bears delivered a key stop on third-and-goal from the 2 when Rob Peifer tackled Jamie Chabot for a loss on the last play of the second quarter.
Brewster’s offense had stalled all game against Rye’s defense, but the defense changed that with the pair of safeties. The first came on a fumbled handoff exchange in the end zone, the second on a fumbled snap. Bruno scooped the loose ball on the latter but was quickly tackled in the end zone by Connor Dignan with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
With his team within 7-4, Guida, who had just 25 yards at halftime and was sacked three times, finally started to gain momentum on the ensuing drive. He helped march the Bears 51 yards on seven plays and walked into the end zone on the go-ahead score.
Brewster needed one last stop after Grant Meyerson blocked a punt at its 35. Rye picked up one first down but little more. Guida nearly intercepted Bruno to end the game and Bruno’s pass to Brett Egan was broken up in the end zone on fourth down by Peifer and Derek Diaz.
Player of the game: Jack Guida, Brewster. As his offensive line got going, so did Guida. He rushed for 94 yards on 33 carries.
Stat line: Brewster (5-0) — The Bears outgained Rye 198-164. … Nick Leahy had two of Brewster’s four sacks. Rye (4-1) — Jamie Chabot rushed 19 times for 113 yards. … Bruno, playing for injured starter T.J. Lavelle, went 6 for 25 for 46 yards and was intercepted by Peifer.