Harrison Makes Statement with Victory
HARRISON — The fact Harrison went out on Saturday and knocked off defending Section 1 champion Roosevelt wasn’t all that stunning. The fact the Huskies did it so convincingly certainly was.
Everything that could go wrong for Roosevelt did, and Harrison took advantage. The Huskies walked away with a 37-9 victory to open up McGillicuddy Field at Harrison High School in jaw-dropping fashion.
“Am I surprised? To tell you the truth, no. No I am not,” Harrison lineman Duke Alvora said. “We worked really, really hard. I tore my ACL (in the offseason) and I worked really hard to be here. Our whole team did all summer for this game. We knew that, if we win this game, nobody could stop us.”
Roosevelt certainly couldn’t on Saturday, especially not on the ground.
Steven Ricciardi ran for two second-quarter touchdowns as the Huskies opened up a 22-3 lead at the break and never looked back.
With the game tied 3-3 after the first quarter, Harrison scored three touchdowns in the span of eight offensive plays. The last two came after Roosevelt turnovers.
After a 6-yard touchdown run by Ricciardi, Huskies linebacker Tanner Knox intercepted a pass. He later punched in a 1-yard score.
Following a botched punt attempt, Ricciardi broke a highlight-reel 32-yard score, breaking five tackles on his way to the end zone.
Watching it all was stunning, especially for those who watched Roosevelt’s run through the Class A playoffs last season — or its repeated impressive performances in preseason camps and scrimmages.
“Last year, our guys had that hunger, that chip on their shoulders,” Roosevelt coach Mike Meade said. “This team doesn’t have that yet. We need to get them to play with that chip.”
Roosevelt never really threatened after halftime. Harrison broke the game open on first possession in the third when James Tiarella took an end-around 30 yards for a touchdown.
“I knew we had a good chance to win this game, so it feels good to get it,” sophomore quarterback Vinnie Nicita said. “We want to take this one week at a time. We know we have some special here if we keep working hard every day at practice.”
The Huskies open the season with confidence, which is vital for a team dealing with a slew of injuries.
Standout lineman Brandon Bonistall missed the game because of a leg injury. He won’t return for at least two weeks.
Alvora is still recovering from a torn ACL and returned ahead of schedule. Nicita is coming back after a knee injury cut his season short last fall. And Knox has lingering pain, as well.
None of it, though, seemed to matter when the players lined up yesterday to pose for a picture in front of the scoreboard following a statement-making victory.
R: Klaudio Selimaj 23 field goal
H: Roberto Bruno 36 field goal
H: Steven Ricciardi 6 run (kick failed)
H: Tanner Knox 1 run (Bruno kick)
H: Ricciardi 32 run (run failed)
H: James Tiarella 30 run (Knox run)
H: Thomas Lovinger 24 run (Bruno kick)
R: Thomas Boddie 8 run (kick failed)