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Scarsdale blanks Fox Lane for playoff berth

Posted Sunday, October 17, 2010 by By Jake Thomases of LoHud.com
SCARSDALE — Enough good things happened in the first half that Scarsdale remained upbeat despite more giveaways than Publisher's Clearing House. Neither team had scored.

Twenty-four minutes from a unique playoff berth, coach Andy Verboys took the podium.

"Second half, our coach gave us a speech, it kind of like pumped us all up," senior Johan Drakes said. "He told us this was the first time we were ever going to make the playoffs, so we have to go out and take it."

Scarsdale's postseason history is not storied. It had made sectionals one time in the last 21 years.

The Raiders were made aware that they could do something few before them ever had.

They responded by shutting down Fox Lane and cleaning up enough of their own mistakes to win 20-0. They beat out League AA-Central foe Fox Lane for one of the last two playoff berths in Class AA.

"Everyone was saying, this is the first week of the playoffs," senior lineman Ianni Drivas said. "Win this game, you keep on going. Lose this game, it's pretty much over. You have your (consolation) games but it doesn't really matter. In a sense we have that vibe already. We know what elimination is."

The Raiders (5-1) won despite throwing four interceptions and fumbling six times (although they lost only one). Fox Lane (3-2) had three interceptions and one lost fumble of its own.

Matt Freihofner's 4-yard touchdown run put Scarsdale ahead on the first drive of the second half. Brian Bauersfeld completed a 17-yard pass to Will Hewitt on third-and-11 on the drive.

A fumble on Fox Lane's first play led to another long Scarsdale drive. This time Bauersfeld's big first down came on fourth-and-one at midfield, when he ran for 12 yards. Freihofner scored again, from 12 yards out.

"They're a tough team to prepare for because most option teams don't throw as well as they do," Foxes coach Bill Broggy said. "So you get eight guys in the box and then all of a sudden — whew."

Fox Lane's defenders were all over Scarsdale's deep receivers. Three times in the first half they picked off deep passes.

So the Raiders went to their underneath passing game in the second half.

Bauersfeld (14 carries for 114 yards; 9 of 16 passing for 106 yards) ran in the last touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Fox Lane barely had the ball in the second half.

The defense clamped down on back Karanja Elliot (59 yards on 17 carries) and held the Foxes to 26 yards and 6:30 of possession time.

"We put them into a situation where they don't like to be in," Verboys said. "They have a great running back, and they want to establish him. We loaded up the box and forced them into a passing game."

They stacked up Elliot on four straight goal-line plays in the second quarter. Fox Lane had first-and-goal from the 2 and couldn't get in. Later in the quarter the Foxes got back into the red zone and decided to pass, but all three fell incomplete.

Verboys believed that Scarsdale will be the No. 5 seed in sectionals.

In that case Scarsdale would travel to either Clarkstown North or Yorktown in the first round.

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