YORKTOWN HEIGHTS – Whatever Yorktown wanted to do in the first half against Rye in Friday night’s much-anticipated semifinal, it did. Brett Makar ran like a man possessed. Jose Boyer escaped just when it seemed he was caught. And Justin Cavallo and Brandon Meyreles led a defense that always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
“We really just executed whatever we wanted to,” Boyer said.
In the Huskers’ rematch with the team that bounced them from the last three postseasons, they proved there was no hex. This time, Yorktown was just too darn good. The top seed rolled over the Garnets 66-42 and onto its second Class A championship game in three years.
The Huskers (9-0) will play No. 3 Somers at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Mahopac High School for the championship.
“This game has been on our map since last year when we felt it didn’t go our way. Things went south and sideways,” said Yorktown coach Mike Rescigno, whose team lost 15-14 to Rye on a last-second field goal in last year’s semifinals. “We just have a group of kids who want to win.”
The semifinal rematch against Rye began in perfect fashion. Just like last year, Yorktown stopped Rye on fourth down on the opening drive and it propelled the Huskers to an early touchdown. The difference this time was that they didn’t stop from there. Yorktown, which wasted a 14-0 lead in last year’s game, scored 42 first-half points this time. It forced three turnovers and made the game look easy. The offense gained 266 plays on just 25 yards in the half.
Makar, Boyer and Meyreles all finished rushing for over 100 yards. Boyer also went 4 for 4 for 60 yards and a touchdown and had an interception.
Meyreles rushed for that first touchdown on the Huskers’ second play from scrimmage and had an interception to set up another score. Tommy Weaver returned the other interception 38 yards to the house.
It was that type of game for Yorktown, which erased any playoff demons with its first-half flurry. The Huskers sustained their level of play in the second half as Rye kept playing. After re-inserting their starters, they passed the 60-point plateau in the closing minutes on Makar’s third and final touchdown run.
“We were trying to do the right thing and keep kids healthy,” Rescigno said. “The kids were the ones who weren’t sure when we started putting our seconds in up 35, but they were right. We had to go back to the drawing board and make sure we finished things right.”
Player of the game: Brett Makar, Yorktown. The junior, who had 300 yards of offense in last week’s quarterfinal, was at it again Friday. He had 21 carries for 147 yards and three scores, caught two passes for 38 yards and had a sack. He even had an interception called back because of a penalty.
Stat line: Yorktown (9-0) — The Huskers had 461 yards on just 53 plays. … Meyreles had 10 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown. Boyer rushed 13 times for 117 yards and two touchdown. He also threw a touchdown to Cavallo that set a program record for career TD passes. Rye (6-3) — Jamie Chabot rushed for 193 yards and a touchdown. T.J. Lavelle and Brett Egan also rushed for touchdowns. … Lavelle threw for 207 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. … Rye had reached three straight Section 1 finals.
Quotable: “You never want to focus on points, but we wanted to come out here and play hard, play for four quarters and play hard,” Makar said of the 66-point effort. “I guess it’s a rivalry now because in a rivalry both teams have to win.”