If this continues, the Our Lady of Lourdes football team might have to get moved up another class.
But the third-seeded Warriors proved once more that there are few challenges insurmountable for this group, beating No. 2 Eastchester High School, 27-19, in a Class A semifinal on Saturday.
Joe Scaglione ran for two touchdowns and caught another, and Dean Rotger threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns to lead Lourdes.
The Warriors (7-2) face top-seeded Rye in the final this weekend at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill.
The Warriors heading to a final is no surprise. But the Warriors heading to a final in Class A “is huge,” coach Brian Walsh said.
Lourdes had won two of the last three Class B titles before Section 1 essentially deemed the program too good to compete at that level, prompting a move up to Class A. With that came obvious questions about how the Warriors would fare against larger teams, deeper teams — better teams.
Simple answer: Well enough to be a victory away from conquering the class.
“It’s a tremendous feat to move up a class and make the championship game,” Walsh said. “This is a big accomplishment. It’s nice validation for the program and the hard work our kids have put in.”
Eastchester (8-1) scored first, but Lourdes answered in the second quarter on Rotger’s 38-yard touchdown pass to Billy Wagner. Wagner, on a go route, jumped and ripped the ball away from a defender.
Scaglione’s 18-yard touchdown catch on the opening drive of the third quarter gave Lourdes a 14-7 lead. Scaglione’s 7-yard touchdown run made it 21-13 late in the third. He scored on a toss left, with Wagner, Chris Mulvey and Sean McDowell sealing the edge.
An Eastchester touchdown cut the lead to 21-19, but Luke Timm deflected the Eagles’ pass on a two-point conversion try.
On a fourth-and-6 from the 40 late in the fourth, Lourdes eschewed punting. Rotger hit Timm on a slant-and-go for 25 yards, preceding a Scaglione touchdown run with 2:10 left that sealed the win.
Mulvey had two sacks, McDowell and Liam McGhee each had a sack, and Wagner had an interception.
“Rye is an excellent team,” Walsh said. “They run the ball well and are well-coached. We’re a passing team, so it’ll be a battle. We’ll do what we do best and try to make it happen.”
Stephen Haynes: [email protected], 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4