Finals preview: Haldane vs. Tuckahoe
Get up-to-the-minute updates on this game and more on Twitter: @MSGVarsityHVC
SECTION 1 CLASS D CHAMPIONSHIP
No. 1 Haldane (7-1) vs. No. 2 Tuckahoe (6-2)
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Where: Mahopac High School
Regular season meetings: They did not play.
Common opponents: Haldane beat Albertus Magnus 21-0 and defeated Rye Neck 28-8. Tuckahoe beat Albertus 32-0 and knocked off Rye Neck 20-0.
Players to Watch
Shyeheim Nixon, Jr., RB/DB: One of the few holdovers from last year’s state title team, Nixon will be the best player on the field on Saturday. He’s dynamic in every facet and can break a big play at any moment
Gary Moss, Sr., TE/DE: The two-way standout is an exceptional blocker who’s helped a young offensive and defensive line mature this season. Moss has caught 21 passes for 241 yards and five touchdowns.
Nick Reisman, Sr, RB: Reisman has really come on these last three weeks, highlighted by a breakout effort against Pawling in the season finale where he had 121 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Elias Lopez, Sr., QB/DB: The dual-threat QB has been so good all season, passing for 873 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushing for 640 yards (8.7 avg.) and six scores.
Byrant Dain, Sr., RB/DE: The 5-10, 200-pound back runs like a bull and has the yardage to prove it. He’s rushed for 736 yards (7.5 avg.) and 10 touchdowns.
James Moss, Sr., T/LB: Although just 5-7, 190 pounds, Moss’ name will be heard constantly at Mahopac on Saturday because of his penchant of shedding blocks and making tackles.
Tuckahoe-Haldane in Championship Games
|2010||Tuckahoe 41, Haldane 0|
|2009||Tuckahoe 21, Haldane 12|
|2009||Tuckahoe 21, Haldane 12|
|2007||Haldane 12, Tuckahoe 6|
|2006||Tuckahoe 33, Haldane 2|
|2005||Tuckahoe 20, Haldane 14|
Path to victory - Haldane: Under first-year coach Jeff Sniffen, this is the best team Haldane has fielded in a decade, perhaps even better than the one that won the 2007 sectional championship. Can the Blue Devils repeat that feat? It’s going to take a big day passing from Lopez. The Tigers are not going to give up many yards on the ground. To beat Tuckahoe, Haldane must do it through the air.
Path to victory - Tuckahoe: It’s OK to say that Tuckahoe isn’t the same team it was last year when it won the state championship. But that may be the best team they’ve had at the school in two decades. This year’s group is still talented, although they don’t have the luxury of turning the ball over or making mistakes and still expect to win. Beating Haldane will require sustaining long drives and capitalizing in the red zone. Tuckahoe has certainly done that of late, averaging 41.8 points in their last four games. As Reisman and QB Mike Castracucco improve, this team has the chance to again play deep into November.
Devaney’s prediction: Four weeks ago I might have picked Haldane to end Tuckahoe’s three-year run as Section 1 champs. But the Tigers have turned a corner since losing back-to-back to Bronxville and Dobbs Ferry 73-12 combined. Tuckahoe won’t take Haldane lightly whatsoever. Look for the Tigers to be poised and aggressive, and capture their eighth title in nine seasons. Prediction: Tuckahoe 27, Haldane 22
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at email@example.com