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The Supervisor's Cup trophy was essentially turned into a cardboard box shortly after the Clarkstown South players raised it over their heads in celebration. It had a water bottle resting in the top of it and a spare towel wrapped around the side as Vikings coach Mike Scarpelli cleaned up the sideline almost an hour after Friday night’s game.
It was symbolic. As much as Scarpelli wanted to bask in the moment of beating a bitter rival, holding on desperately in the final minutes to defeat Clarkstown North,17-14, he knew it was time to put away the coveted trophy and start focusing on Thursday.
“The trophy goes in the closet for a while,” Scarpelli said. “This week, we beat North, our rivals. Now, we’ve got to beat Clarkstown North, the playoff opponent.”
There’s definitely a difference there. Friday’s victory over Clarkstown North had an epic atmosphere — packed stands, the MSG Varsity broadcast crew, a live television audience. But Clarkstown South’s goals rest on what happens in the next two weeks, beginning on Thursday.
That’s because Clarkstown South, in a strange twist of Piner System fate, is projected to be the No. 3 seed in League I of Class AA and will play in Thursday's quarterfinals at the No. 2 seed in League II — Clarkstown North.
“Round 2,” South senior Frank Tucek said. “Let’s go.”
Tucek and the Vikings certainly have the momentum after Round 1. He and junior running back Thomas Lent combined for 216 yards rushing on 48 carries. Lent, who took over as quarterback for the majority of the second half, scored both South touchdowns.
North was only really in the game because of turnovers. South had four of them, including a pair of interceptions at North's 10-yard line. Travis Samuels had two interceptions for the Rams, and returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown.
The game was tied 7-7 before Lent punched in an 8-yard score early in the fourth. On the ensuing kickoff, South opted to go for an onside-kick, which it recovered. That led to a 25-yard field goal by Shane Cronin.
North made its push. Samuels, who rushed for 65 yards and passed for 72, made an incredible 18-yard catch near the sideline in the final minutes to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Eddie Ruckel. That made it a three-point game.
After a failed onside-kick attempt, North forced the Vikings three-and-out with 1:40 to play. North got the ball on its own 27 but threw four incomplete passes to end it.
“Those turnovers nearly killed us,” Tucek said. “But in the end we fought and we got the W.”
South ended its regular season 6-1 with its only loss coming last week to a 2-4 Ketcham squad.
“As a staff, we said that maybe last week was good for us,” Scarpelli said. “We got behind and were a deer in headlights. But we learned from that tonight.”
Friday night’s showdown actually had no bearing on the Section 1 playoff seedings, and was scheduled as the team’s rivalry game for the season.
Tucek laughed at the idea that the game “didn’t matter.”
“No way,” he said. “All you had to do was come here and see this atmosphere. You know how much it mattered to us.”
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org
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