MAMARONECK – Hours before Friday’s long-awaited battle between crosstown rivals Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, Mamaroneck head coach and former player Anthony Vitti was blunt in his feelings on rivalry contests.
“Honestly, this is what people want to see,” he said.
After Scarsdale held off the hosts for a gritty, wet-and-wild 7-6 win under the lights, fans left with clothes drenched from second-half rain and an experience they will likely talk about for the rest of the season.
Scarsdale head coach Andy Verboys had just one prediction for the game ahead of the Friday night contest: It was going to be close. The longtime Raiders coach basked in his prophetic prediction after the game.
“What’d I tell ya?” he said, smiling underneath a soaked black “S” hat.
Scarsdale stuffed Mamaroneck on a two-point conversion attempt with just under seven minutes left in regulation for what proved to be the game-winning play. Raiders senior defensive lineman Dylan Quirk had no idea whether or not the Tigers had broken the plane.
“I thought they might’ve gotten in,” he said. “I was hoping that (the referees) were going to say it wasn’t in.”
Friday was the first rendezvous between the two teams during the regular season since 2011.
While the impressive defensive showing from both teams made for a nail-biting contest, the lack of offensive flash through three scoreless quarters seemed to fall short of the hype that had been built up leading up to the game.
Scarsdale running back Ezekiah Bacchus ended the scoreless rut for both teams with an 8-yard run shortly into the fourth quarter. Bacchus was still in disbelief after the game.
“I thought I was going to get caught,” he said, laughing. “I saw number 20 (Zion Powell) coming up and I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got to use my legs. I’ve got to start going.’
“I just got like the little two inches of the left pylon for the touchdown.”
Verboys hinted that there wouldn’t be too much celebrating on the short trip back to Scarsdale.
“I think it’s going to be like Mount Vernon — it’s quiet on the bus,” he said, referring to last week’s 28-26 win over an underwhelming Knights team. “It’s a big rivalry win, but it’ll be a quiet one because guys know what they did wrong and they know what we need to do to get better.”
When Scarsdale holds its annual golf outing every summer, Verboys said players don’t talk about the records or their playoff runs.
“They talk about the Mamaroneck and White Plains games,” Verboys said.
One can only assume that the Mamaroneck game will be part of the conversation at this year’s event.