Garnets Trounce Eastchester, 35-7;

Next Up: Unbeaten Yorktown and Archrival Harrison

By Mitch Silver

Who comes up with these schedules? After losing a 21-14 heartbreaker to Somers, last year’s Class A State champs, and then clobbering a solid Eastchester team 35-7 last Saturday, the Rye Garnets have two more mountains to climb in what’s starting to feel like the Himalayas. They travel to play undefeated Yorktown and all-everything back Brett Makar Saturday, September 23 at 1:30 p.m. before meeting the Huskies in Harrison for a special rivalry renewal Sunday, October 1.

The story up till now: Rye opened the season with a sloppy 34-12 win over Byram Hills before a second-half comeback fell short against the mighty Tuskers.

Last Saturday, the Garnets broke open a 7-7 game in the third quarter as sophomore QB Declan Lavelle threw for three scores, two of them to senior receiver Gavin Kenny. Senior John Mihilli added a 35-yard pick-six to polish off the Eagles.

But none of those teams has an athlete like Makar. Yorktown’s pre-season LoHud Super 11 back just happened to have his best game of the season Saturday when he singlehandedly brought his team back from a 14-7 deficit to beat Hen Hud, 28-14. Makar rushed for 215 yards on just 16 carries and caught an 18-yard pass. On defense he made eight tackles and a sack. He intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. No, he didn’t take the opening kickoff back 87 yards for a touchdown — he did <that> against Lakeland in the season opener.

Rye Head Coach Dino Garr took a moment to respond to a question about Makar. “He reminds me of a back we used to face: Sammy Maldonado of Harrison. You could stop him 25 times in a game, but he would go 80 yards the three times you didn’t stop him at the line of scrimmage. We’ll just have to keep eyes on him all over the field.”

The Huskers and Garnets share recent history that’s painful on both sides. Three years ago, Rye met an undefeated Yorktown team in the Section finals and beat them, 35-14. A year later, Coach Garr’s boys trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter before coming back for an early-season 31-20 win. Seven weeks later, they met again in the playoffs. Yorktown led for 46 of the 48 minutes in that game. But it was those final two that saw Rye pull it out, 15-14.

So, when Yorktown had the chance to stomp on Rye last year, they did it with both feet. The 66-42 thrashing in the playoff semifinals brought the Garnets’ season to a screeching halt. And made this year’s tilt a matter of payback.

After the Huskers come the Huskies. Last year’s 42-12 romp merely evened the all-time series at 42-42, with three ties. Dino Garr’s all-time record against the Huskies moved into the plus side of the ledger, and those six touchdowns last year nosed Rye ahead in all-time points scored by a cumulative 1,139 to 1,118. It also marked the Garnets’ 14th victory in their last 15 meetings with their next-door neighbors.

This year? The Huskies walloped both Hendrick Hudson (47-20) and Byram Hills (36-19) before falling to John Jay-CR last week by 41-14. Clearly, they can score. But can they defend?

Coach Garr is sure they’ll rise to the occasion. “They’re well coached, they’re tough kids, and I’m sure they’ll be bringing it.”

So will Rye.

Photos by John Wood and Mitch Silver

Head Coach Dino Garr never stops teaching.

Captain Billy Chabot leads the Garnets onto the field.