After each week this football season, I will name the Varsity Insider Player of the Week and Coach of the Week and also identify some of the other top performances. Submit your suggestions on [email protected] via e-mail [email protected]
You can read about previous award winners at the bottom of this post.
Game Balls, Week 8
Player of the Week
Nick Santavicca, Yorktown: The Huskers came in against a red-hot Brewster team and fed the ball to their star. Santavicca responded with 239 yards rushing and three touchdowns as Yorktown ran away 35-7 in a game that was expected to be much more competitive. Santavicca now has 1,478 yards and 16 touchdowns in eight games this season. The school’s all-time leading rusher is now up to 3,204 yards in just 18 games since the beginning of his junior year. Not surprisingly, Yorktown is 15-3 in that time span.
The rest of the Top 10
2. John Arcidiacono, Eastchester: The senior burned John Jay for 256 yards rushing and a TD and went 3 for 4 for 138 yards and three scores in the air as Eastchester remained undefeated, beating John Jay 51-27 in the Class A quarterfinals.
3. Joe Spinola, Putnam Valley: The senior had a sack to force a fumble that he returned 48 yards for a score with six minutes remaining and the Tigers leading 14-3. He also caught a 12-yard touchdown in Putnam Valley’s 20-3 win at Pleasantville. The defensive end forced another fumble and batted down two other passes.
4. Amari Bilal, Woodlands: Bilal did it all again in the Falcons’ 14-6 win over Rye Neck in the Class C semifinals. He had 31 carries for 175 yards and a touchdown, went 4 for 9 for 79 yards and a TD and made 10 tackles.
5. Stephen Nicholas, Scarsdale: The senior fullback/linebacker didn’t score the game-winning touchdown, but he was the Raiders’ steadiest player throughout their dramatic 33-28 win over Mahopac in the Class AA quarterfinals. Nicholas rumbled 23 times for 140 yards and a score, caught two passes for 41 yards and constantly had his nose in the play on defense.
6. Ryan Wolitzer, Rye Country Day: The Wildcats defeated 6-0 Hamden Hall 32-23 behind 24 carries, 211 yards and two touchdowns from Wolitzer.
7. Tyquell Fields, Stepinac: The senior went 14 for 19 for 210 yards and four TDs as Stepinac dominated St. Peter’s in Staten Island, 52-6.
8. Ian Ricketts Jr., Gorton: The senior rushed 19 times for 207 yards and three touchdowns as Gorton throttled Lincoln 44-0 in the semifinals of the Hudson River Football League playoffs.
9. Matt Asheim, Clarkstown North: After no touches in the first half, the senior scored all three touchdowns in the Rams’ 21-0 win over rival Clarsktown South in the Class AA quarterfinals. Asheim, an inside linebacker, came in at fullback to provide some power running. He caught the game’s first TD from Jack Abrams on a fourth down and then added a pair of rushing scores.
10. Dalton Newbury, Albertus Magnus: The senior had two of his team’s four interceptions as Albertus Magnus shut down Ardsley, 10-3, in the Class B quarterfinals.
Honorable mention:Nick Lancia rushed for 295 yards and five touchdowns as Fox Lane dropped Greeley, 37-14. … Paul Bloshuk Jr. went 8 for 16 for 162 yards and four touchdowns as Sleepy Hollow downed rival Ossining, 35-14. … Greg Powell went 6 for 8 for 123 yards and rushed for another 91 yards as New Rochelle beat Mamaroneck, 28-20, in the Class AA quarterfinals. … Mike Ferrara had 165 yards rushing and two scores and also returned an interception for a TD in Valhalla’s 51-8 defeat of Roosevelt. … Bill Flatow went 15 for 28 for 260 yards and a touchdown and caught a 55-yard touchdown on a halfback pass in Mamaroneck’s 28-20 loss to New Rochelle in the Class AA quarterfinals. … Anthony Sardo rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns as Westlake defeated Bronxville, 20-7, in the Class B quarterfinals. … Ki’Shyne Shipmon threw for four touchdowns, ran for a TD and returned an interception 97 yards for a sixth touchdown as YMA routed Pelham, 51-20. … Pearl River’s Kyle Murphy had 268 yards rushing and three touchdowns and had 47 yards receiving in a 28-21 win over Byram Hills. … Rodney Samson Jr. rushed 21 times for 159 yards and a touchdown and had an interception as Iona Prep scored 52 second-half points and rallied to beat Chaminade, 52-24.
Coach of the Week, Week 8
Paul Villanueva, Albertus Magnus: For the first time in his 13 years as head coach — and perhaps the first time in school history — Albertus won a playoff game. The Falcons defense, led by fifth-year defensive coordinator Matt Barry, locked down Ardsley in their 10-3 victory in the Class B quarterfinals. The unit recorded six sacks and had four interceptions to lead the upset of the No. 2-seeded Panthers. The victory was the highlight of a terrific season for Villanueva and his program, a longtime Class C school that will enter next week’s Class B semis with a 6-2 record. The best part about Saturday’s win? Albertus avenged one of its losses, a 23-14 defeat at Ardsley on Oct. 3.
2015 Award Winners —
Week 1: Rashon McNeil, New Rochelle (POTW); Steve Yurek, Yonkers Montessori (COTW)
Week 2: Jose Boyer, Yorktown (POTW); Tony Becerra, Pleasantville (COTW)
Week 3: Mat Bruno, Rye (POTW); Andy DiDomenico, Tappan Zee (COTW)
Week 4: Nick Lancia, Fox Lane (POTW); Tony DeMatteo, Somers (COTW)
Week 5: Lou Filippelli, Byram Hills (POTW); Tom Donahoe, Mahopac (COTW)
Week 6: Jibril Kapadia, Dobbs Ferry (POTW); Matt Mello, Putnam Valley (COTW)
Week 7: Emerson Genovese, Mamaroneck (POTW); Anthony Vitti, Mamaroneck; Mike Lynch, Hen Hud (COTW)