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Raiders Shine Under the Lights vs. Ossining

raiders2Scarsdale driving for a TD Deep in Ossining territory.There was a slight autumn chill in the air on Friday night September 27 as the Scarsdale Raiders hosted the Pride from Ossining. The Raiders were coming off their first loss of the season – to perennial powerhouse New Rochelle. On Senior Day, the Raiders put forth an extremely well balanced effort and dominated the Pride 43-20.

Scarsdale won the opening toss and took possession off the opening kickoff at its own 37. The opening drive began as a solid Raider ground game, and saw Quarterback Ben Miller keep the ball on a dash up the middle for a 35 yard gain, after a Julian Glantz 11 yard run. After two running plays from the Pride’s 26 yard line, Julian Higgins converted a 10 yard pass from Miller and ran to the Ossining eight yard line. In its only failure to score from the red zone the entire evening, Scarsdale turned the ball over on downs at the Pride five yard line. The Scarsdale defense, which was playing without co-captain Harry Song, held the Pride to limited yards on Ossining’s first possession. As would prove for most of the contest co-captains Sam Feldman and Dean Mancini led the Scarsdale front four in controlling the line of scrimmage. The Raiders were aided by what was the first of several holding penalties on the Pride – negating what might have been a large gain.raiders1Raiders receive pregame instruction.

The Pride was forced to punt deep within its territory. The punt was shanked to the left and Scarsdale was left sitting pretty with a first down at the Pride’s 20 yard line. Runs by Higgins and Glantz brought the ball to the Pride four yard line. Glantz then rushed the ball in from the four yard line with 1:45 remaining in the first quarter -- behind solid blocking from the offensive line. Following an offside penalty on the extra point, Scarsdale switched to a two-point conversion attempt. Fullback Jake Potters took Miller’s handoff home and the Raiders took an 8-0 lead.

After a strong kick off by Bennett Abbe – who consistently put the ball deep in Pride territory all night, Ossining took the ball on a touchback at its 25 yard line. On the first play of the possession, the Pride’s RB fumbled the ball and Glantz recovered– putting Scarsdale in business at the 15 yard line of Ossining. Two plays later and with six seconds left in the quarter, Noah Borst took a pitch from Miller to the end zone. After the first of five extra points by Abbe, the Raiders took a 15-0 lead into the second quarter. Scarsdale controlled the ball for almost the entire quarter – a theme that would prevail for most of the evening.

Ossining took possession and moved the ball to midfield – highlighted by QB Jahseem Gray’s keeper. Mancini then sacked Gray for a huge loss on second down and Nose Tackle Edward Eforo and Linebacker Brendan Knopp stopped the Pride on third down forcing them to punt again. The Raiders then continued its strong running game as Glantz and Higgins moved the ball upfield. On a big fourth and one, Miller snuck in behind Center Eforo and Scarsdale had a first down. Miller then kept the ball for a 15 yard gain. After an incomplete pass and a stymied run, Scarsdale was faced with a long third down. With a little more then a minute left in the half, Potters then took a pitch from Miller for 31 yards and the Raiders third score of the evening. The Pride moved the ball towards midfield after RB Daquan Ray rushed the ball for a 20 yard gain. Ossining then tried a half back option, but Miller, who also plays corner back, intercepted the ball deep in Scarsdale territory. Scarsdale played the clock out for the rest of the quarter and the Raiders went into the locker room at halftime leading 22-0.

During halftime Scarsdale celebrated senior day by having its seniors and their families – as well as the senior cheerleaders -- come onto the field for a special honor:
The seniors are:

raiders3Scarsdale Senior football players and families await halftime ceremony.

Michael Callahan
Ian Rothenberg
Aiden Burden
Harry Song
Tom Reynolds
Adam Freihofner
Jack Cioffi
Sam Feldman
Chris Saenger
Dean Mancini
Tyler Miller
Richard Gao

The second half started with Scarsdale’s Potters putting a big hit on the Ossining kick returner. The Pride then put together what was probably its best drive of the evening. A mix of QB keepers and Ray’s running moved the ball to the Scarsdale half of the field. After a Gray 20 yard connection to RB John Turnquist and an eight yard rumble by Gray, the Pride had possession of the ball on the Scarsdale 16. Turnquist moved a draw up the middle to the Scarsdale six. Following a small gain on a keeper, QB Gray snuck in on a two yard plunge – putting the Pride on the scoreboard with a little under two minutes left in third quarter. On the extra point attempt, Mancini busted through the Ossining line and blocked the attempt – making the score 22-6 going into the final quarter of play.

Scarsdale started the fourth with an exciting series of plays. After a 13 yard gain by Higgins off a nice pitch by Miller, the Raiders struck on the longest play of the game. Quarterback Miller’s 20 yard pass deflected off the hands of the Pride safety and landed in the outstretched arms of receiver Noah Borst who sped down the field and took the ball to the house, completing a 65 yard TD. With the score now 29-6 early in the fourth quarter Scarsdale’s confidence was apparent. The ensuing kickoff to the Pride almost led to a turnover as Abbe’s planned short kick-off was almost recovered by Ian Rothenberg who raced down the field and showed tremendous hustle in almost completing an incredible play.

Ossining did not stop playing, and after a first down and a Scarsdale penalty, possessed the ball on its own 41. At that point the Raider defense again came through. On a fourth and six near midfield, Feldman made a solid stop of the Pride’s Ray, and Scarsdale took possession of the ball again. On the second play from scrimmage, the Raiders struck again! On a sweep off the left side, Higgins raced the ball 45 yards, landing another Scarsdale touchdown. Following another Abbe extra point, with 7:40 left in the game, the Raiders took an untouchable 36-6 lead.

The following set of downs saw the Pride undertake its best drive of the day – marked by a 20 yard run by Turnquist. A controversial roughing the passer call on a fourth and long gave the Pride the ball on the Raider 31 yard line. On the next play Ray took the ball on a 31 yard scamper into the Scarsdale end zone. The Raiders successfully defended the two-point conversion attempt and Scarsdale led 36-12 with six minutes to play in the affair.

Scarsdale had its final score of the evening on its last possession of the game. Potter ripped off runs of 20, 8, and 25 yards setting Scarsdale up inside the 10 yard line. Fullback Adam Freihofner blasted through the Pride defense for a three yard touchdown at the 3:02 mark, and the Raider lead soared to 43-12. The evening wrapped up with Ossining scoring a touchdown and converting a two-point conversion with 17 seconds left. The game ended with the scoreboard showing a 43-20 victory for the Raiders.

Coach Andy Verboys was quite happy with his team’s showing and said: “after last year, we were in unchartered water (in coming after a losing season) and we were looking for a strong bounce back year. We are starting to play as a team on both sides of the ball and I’m very happy with that.” Speaking to the immediate future, Coach was very optimistic saying: “we are almost all healthy now and getting everyone back will help us continue our progress.” Quarterback Miller echoed the coach’s comments by saying: “we are really becoming a family and playing great together as a team.” Verboys finally noted that his team had “won a few close games early in the season which built some momentum.” He looks forward to facing a “strong and fast” Mount Vernon team next weekend. The victory brings the Raiders record to a solid 3-1 while the Pride remains winless at 0-3.

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