Brewster has a quarterback who not only moves like a skilled running back, but will likely play that position in college.
A quarterback on a team that’s a perfect 8-0 and is renowned almost as much for its offensive and defensive lines’ strength as for the QB’s quick feet.
How do you beat that?
That’s the question 7-1 Somers will try to answer Friday night as it takes on the Bears, and their quarterback Jack Guida, on their field in the Section 1 Class A semifinals.
The Tuskers’ sole loss this year was to Yorktown, a team with strengths similar to Brewster’s.
Somers’ best player, Messiah Horne, has rushed for 1,262 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns – four of those TDs coming in Somers’ 28-14 quarterfinal win over Lourdes last week.
From his perspective, Somers got over-hyped and was distracted during the Yorktown loss, in part by the crowd.
It may be a tough task to tune out the Bears’ faithful, who are hungry for a win since Brewster hasn’t won a section title since 1999, a year before its last appearance in the final.
But the bigger task will be controlling the two monster Brewster two-way linemen, 240-pound Connor Dignan and 273-pound Nick Leahy. They’ve not only been a force on a defense that has allowed about 16 points a game but a big factor on an offense averaging nearly 36 per game.
Brewster senior quarterback Jack Guida has 1,368 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing and 656 yards and five touchdowns passing.
Somers opened some good-sized holes for Horne against Lourdes, one that allowed him to scamper up the middle more than 40 yards for a TD on a fourth-and-two play.
Those holes may not be so big Friday night. But the Tuskers appear confident.
“We’ve had a great practice week,” said junior Nick Gargiulo, a two-year Somers varsity lineman. “All the linemen are real excited for the game. We think we can match them physically.”
While acknowledging Guida’s talent, Gargiulo said, “As long as every player on the team does his job I don’t think we’ll have trouble containing him.”
They’ll have to do a much better job containing him than they did Yorktown QB Jose Boyer, who rushed for 202 yards and two TDs and threw for 186 and another TD.
Junior linebacker Antonio Vieira said Somers allowed Boyer to get outside, something it doesn’t plan to allow Guida to do, despite his abilitiy.
“He’s making three, four kids miss. He’s very athletic, very fast,” Vieira said.. “We just have got to rally to the ball. We’ve made our game plan around him.”
Both players pointed to coach Tony DeMatteo as a big factor in the game.
“We definitely bought into Coach D’s philosophy… There’s just a great vibe from this team,” Gargiulo said.
“He knows what he is doing,” Vieira added. “I believe if we follow Coach D and go 100 percent and don’t let up we have a really good chance at it.”