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Scarsdale Ends Playoff Drought

Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2010 by MSG Varsity

Scarsdale Ends Playoff Drought

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With a 20-0 win over Fox Lane on Saturday night, Scarsdale clinched its first postseason berth in 16 years.

SCARSDALE, NY – Scarsdale had gone through the motions four times before. 

The closing moments of a victory followed a similar pattern: Take a knee. Shake hands. Postgame speech. Celebrate.

But Saturday's ending against Fox Lane went a little bit off-script.

As quarterback Brian Bauersfeld took his position under center, players on the sidelines began to hug each other and hold up their index fingers. Later, everyone joined in a huddle and jumped in jubilation.

A championship wasn’t won, but history was certainly made.

With a 20-0 win over the Foxes at Butler Field, Scarsdale wrapped up second place in the AA-Central League and clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 1994. The fifth-seeded Raiders will go on the road to face fourth-seeded Clarkstown North in the first round of the Section 1 Class AA sectionals on Friday, October 22 at 7 p.m.

“There is no better feeling,” Scarsdale wide receiver Will Hewitt said.

Despite a 4-1 record, Scarsdale’s playoff hopes came down to the final weekend. A win secured a spot in the postseason, while a loss meant Fox Lane would advance.  

“The feeling of being 4-2 and missing the playoffs,” Scarsdale head coach Andrew Verboys said, “is a not a good feeling.”

After a scoreless first half, Scarsdale immediately gained control.

“We killed ourselves in the first half at the end of drives,” said Verboys, referring to three first-half turnovers. “We were looking for the big play. When that didn’t work, we went for the underneath stuff in the second half.”

Scarsdale started the second half at its own 20-yard line and engineered a methodical eight-play drive, which culminated in a 4-yard touchdown run by Matt Freihofner. Bauersfeld connected with Hewitt (four catches, 52 yards) for a 17-yard gain on 3rd-and-11 to keep the drive alive.

“Matt came through for us,” said Verboys. “He broke his toe this year and we were never really able to establish a fullback until today.”

Fox Lane shut down Scarsdale’s deep threat by deploying multiple defensive backs to cover Matt Wheeler (four catches, 47 yards), who failed to score a touchdown for the first time all season. The Raiders adjusted by having Hewitt line up at tight end, stunt block and run a route to a soft spot in the middle of the field.

“It’s fun,” said Verboys about making halftime adjustments. “It’s like a chess match and the kids responded well.”

Fox Lane (4-2, 2-2) started its ensuing drive deep in Scarsdale territory, but fumbled away the ball on the first play from scrimmage.

Bauersfeld then orchestrated a 13-play, 85-yard drive that took more than six minutes and cemented Scarsdale’s spot in the postseason. Once again, Freihofner finished it off, scoring on a 12-yard burst up the middle to extend the Raiders' lead to 13-0.

Bauersfeld accounted for 65 yards on the drive, rushing four times and completing all five passes he attempted. The quarterback ran the zone-read to perfection, deceiving the Fox Lane defensive front and running hard downhill while also accurately finding his receiving targets for intermediate gains.

Overall, Bauersfeld finished with 217 yards of total offense, completing 9 of 16 passes for 106 yards and rushing for 111 yards and a score on 15 carries.

“Simply put: Bauersfeld came to play,” Verboys said.

The Foxes turned the ball over a total of four times and failed to convert on two first-half opportunities inside Scarsdale's 10-yard line. 

After establishing a running game in the beginning with fullback Karanja Elliott, the Foxes resorted to their passing game to unsuccessfully mount a comeback.

After successful coaching stints at Tuckahoe, Ardsley and Harrison, Veryboys returned to Scarsdale — the place he once worked as an assistant — and worked magic.

But will it carryover into the playoffs?

“I saw the fire in the kids’ eyes today," Verboys said. "It’s not time yet to put it out."

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