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Scarsdale Gets Set For Its First Playoff Football Game In 21 Years

Posted Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Patch.com

Less than a week ago, Clarkstown North and Scarsdale were taking care of business under similar circumstances.

The Rams had to come from behind to retain the Supervisor's Cup with a thrilling 22-19 win at home over crosstown rival Clarkstown South. Meanwhile, the Raiders of Scarsdale overcame a rash of mistakes of their own before polishing off Fox Lane, 20-0.

Come Friday night at 7 o'clock at Clarkstown North's home field in New City in a Class AA quarterfinal game, the Rams and Raiders are facing a similar reality: Win or go home.

 "If you want to stay in the state playoff run, you have to win," said North coach Joe Trongone, in his 11th year at the helm but a rookie in the playoffs.

'"Absolutely, we look at it a lot differently," said Trongone, when asked if preparing for this game was any different than preparing for the Supervisor's Cup. "That game was played on emotions. Now we're starting a state playoff run. It's a different attitude; you must be a lot more focused."

"How big is it?" wondered Scarsdale coach Andy Verboys, in his 21st year at the helm, fifth in his second stint at Scarsdale and no rookie to the playoffs, having won with Harrison and having taken Tuckahoe to the semifinals. "Let's put it this way – when I coached in '89 it was the last time we went to a bowl game. This is our first playoff game in 21 years."

Clarkstown North (5-1), lauded Coach Verboys, is "quick, fast, disciplined. They're the No. 4 seed, we're No. 5. It's gonna be tough, but it's gonna be exciting."

Scarsdale (5-1), lauded Coach Trongone, is "probably one of the better offensive teams we faced all year. Right now, anybody you play will be at your level – or better."

Trongone, recognizing Scarsdale's firepower and recalling an early fumbled punt last week that led to a touchdown by South, realizes there is no room for error on Friday night.

 "We have to stay focused, we can't afford to make any mistakes at this level," the coach said. "Our kids proved they have what it takes to come from behind, but you don't want to be in that situation. Anything can happen; you just hope to play error-free football."

 Verboys, whose last coaching stop was at Ardsley before rejoining Scarsdale in 2005, said his team is healthy. Trongone also said his team is healthy. Both also said their teams have the usual bumps and bruises at this time of the season.

 The Raiders, added Coach Verboys, have been outsized against every team they've faced.

 "Last week, for instance, Fox Lane had guys 6-foot-3, 6-4, 260 pounds. We have no one like that," the coach noted.

To compensate, the Raiders run a triple option offense similar to the one developed at Air Force Academy. "Just like the academies, we're smaller, undersized, but execute the option very well."

Last week was not a prime example, though, as Scarsdale won despite throwing four interceptions and fumbling six times, losing only one.

Quarterback Brian Bauersfeld is a threat to run or pass, and often looks for wide receivers Will Hewitt and Matt Wheeler. Fullback Karanja Elliott is a solid ballcarrier, along with Matt Freihofner.

The Rams like to run the ball, too, with senior Tareek Turner the major weapon, supplemented by Billy Delay, Brian Rinciari, Dan Macalena, Marc Orphee, and Christian Bouquet. Quarterback Luke Sullivan is a double threat on the run-pass option – as he brilliantly executed on a crucial, game-decisive fourth-down play against the Vikings. On defense, the fiery Charlie Regalbuto is always a force to be reckoned with at middle linebacker.

 Kickoff is 7 p.m. The survivor will play the winner of the Ketcham (No. 8) vs. Mahopac (No. 1) game in the Class AA semifinals.

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