RYE – Starting with the second play from scrimmage through the deepest part of the fourth quarter, Rye had been outplayed by Yorktown. Whether the Garnets were flat or the Huskers were simply better, the No. 1 seed was on its heels at home all night.
Even Rye’s winning possession was unsightly. The defending Section 1 champs needed a fourth-down pass interference and a long field goal, but they won’t care. What mattered to the Garnets was the outcome, a stunning 15-14 win-from-nowhere over visiting Yorktown in the Class A semifinals.
Senior Santi Mascolo provided the winning margin of victory with a 37-yard field goal with exactly two minutes remaining. It capped a long, twisted comeback after No. 5 Yorktown earned a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Huskers opened the scoring when senior star Nick Santavicca broke free for a 64-yard touchdown on the second play of the game. He had just 44 yards when the teams met on Sept. 18, a 31-20 Rye win.
The Garnets, who advanced to play the winner of Eastchester and Lourdes on Nov. 7 at Dutchess Stadium, helped put themselves in an early hole when they were stopped just short on fourth-and-4 at their 36 on their first possession. Santavicca ended another quick drive with a one-yard plunge.
Rye finally cut into the deficit when it converted on fourth down from just outside the 1 in the final minute of the first half on a T.J. Lavelle keeper. Mascolo missed the extra point, a point Rye chased until Mascolo redeemed himself with the winning field goal.
The defense aided the comeback by shutting out Yorktown in the second half. Santavicca, his program’s all-time leading rusher, finished with 32 carries for 187 yards.
Player of the game: Mat Bruno, Rye. Bruno had a sack on defense — and now has 12 — but he provided a clear spark for the offense in the second half. He took over at quarterback and rushed 10 times for 91 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown with eight minutes left that pulled the Garnets within striking distance.
Turning point: Before the Bruno touchdown, Santavicca broke free for a 32-yard run to to the Rye 20. It was 14-6 when the play was called back for holding. Yorktown eventually punted and Rye scored on its subsequent two possessions to win.
Stat line: Yorktown outgained Rye 276-202. … Lavelle was 7 for 17 for 85 yards, including three passes to Brett Egan for 53 yards. … Rye’s Chase Pratt intercepted Yorktown’s Jose Boyer with just over a minute remaining to seal the victory.