Last week, Rye lost at home to Nyack and gave up nearly 300 yards rushing to one back. Last week, Rye came away from a home game with its heads down.
This week, the Garnets walked off the field with their heads held high.
Rye defeated the Spring Valley, 30-19, for its first home victory of the season. The Garnets were impressive in all facets of the game, moving the ball well on offense, getting huge stops on defense, and even having an impressive showing on the special teams. Senior Fullback Kevin Turco explained that this is exactly what his team needed coming off last week’s performance.
“After last week, it was huge for us that we come out here and execute,” Turco said. “We needed to hit the holes and play to our potential on defense and we did exactly that. I just wanted to do my part for the team.”
Turco certainly did his part. He rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, including a string of three game-changing rushes on Rye’s first possession of the second half.
On the drive, Turco accounted for all of Rye’s yards and punched in a 3-yard touchdown following his own 14-yard run.
“Kevin really ran the ball well,” Rye quarterback Connor Eck said. “When you’ve got a guy like that hitting the holes, it really opens up the game.”
Eck had an impressive start of his own. He ran for Rye’s first touchdown on a quarterback keeper from the 5-yard line, and connected with tight end Brian Pickup four times in the first half for 55 yards.
However, right before halftime, Eck rolled his ankle and was sidelined for the rest of the game. A third-year starter, Eck said it was a small sprain and that he will be back for next practice.
Rye junior Jake Meyerson did a solid job stepping in for Eck, showing that the Garnets will be fine at quarterback next year. Meyerson ran the ball well and distributed it precisely to a few different receivers, including a 39-yard touchdown pass to Pickup at the end of the third quarter to put the Garnets up 30-7. Pickup finished the game with 94 yards and a touchdown on five receptions.
The Garnets defense limited the Tigers offensively. Andre Fils scored for the Tigers on a long pass from quarterback Shaquille Gould early in the first quarter. But after that, the Garnets settled in and didn’t allow much of anything until late in the fourth.
The special teams also played well, consistently giving the Garnets good field position. Rye started inside Tiger territory four times because of great kickoff and punt returns. Rye also blocked a punt, and Meyerson kicked a field goal.
Next week, Rye will go on the road to face Eastchester, which defeated the Garnets in the regular season last year. Turco’s confident the Garnets will continue moving forward.
“After today’s win, we have to get right back to work,” Turco said. “Hard work is what makes us successful. We’ve got two great teams coming up with Eastchester, and then obviously the week after against Harrison. We’l’ just have to step up.”
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