Edgemont Panthers 2002 - Game Results


GAME 10 - HARRISON DEEATS EDGEMONT 28-12

HUSKIES ADVANCE TO STATE QUARTERFINALS

Recap by John Gerspach
 

Sometimes it really is as simple as the fact that the team that is bigger, stronger and faster wins the game. That certainly was the case on Friday (November 8th) when Harrison and Edgemont met for the Section 1 Class B Championship. While the Panthers put up a fight, they were no match for a Husky team that seemed determined to make sure that there would be no need to repeat the last second heroics that they needed to secure their previous victory over Edgemont (31-28 on October 5th). Harrison senior RB Rudy Arcara, who had missed the October 5th game, had an outstanding game for the Huskies rushing for 205 yards on 14 carries with 3 touchdowns. Several big plays by Arcara coupled with the dominance of Harrison's offensive and defensive lines (especially as the game wore on) proved to be the difference in the game. While Edgemont did make Harrison work for their title, the Huskies proved throughout the evening that they were up to the task.

The Panthers seemed to catch the Huskies off guard in the opening series. Starting on their own 19 yard line after the opening kickoff, Edgemont senior QB Brian Gerspach pitched the ball to sophomore RB Josh Dubin who went around left end for 13 yards and a first down. Harrison was evidently keying on senior FB Jake Wittenberg and junior RB Ben Bernstein and the Panthers took advantage as Gerspach picked up 8 yards on a QB keeper and later in the same series junior QB Caleb Smith (Gerspach and Smith would alternate at QB throughout the game) picked up 12 yards on the same play for a first down on the Husky 39 yard line. A Smith to Dubin pass gave Edgemont another first down at the 20 yard line and from here, the Panthers used 6 straight Wittenberg runs (mostly behind senior OT Billy Andrews) to score the game's first touchdown. The Edgemont drive had covered 81 yards and used 8 minutes and 31 seconds off the clock. A missed PAT left the Panthers with a 6-0 lead.

Harrison's junior RB Luigi Rogliano returned the ensuing kickoff out to the 39 yard line. On a third and 4 play, Husky senior QB Peter Kohlasch found a seam around the left side and raced downfield for a first down at the Panther 8 yard line. Despite a third and goal from the 3 yard line, Harrison was unable to score as Kohlasch was stopped for no gain on third down and then tackled for a 12 yard loss on fourth. Edgemont took the ball over with just over 11 minutes left in the half and a chance to really put the Huskies in a hole. Unlike the first game between these two teams, Harrison was not about to let that happen and forced the Panthers to go three and out. Momentum in the game was about to change permanently.

The Huskies began their subsequent drive with the ball on the Edgemont 42 yard line. A series of runs by Kohlasch and fellow seniors Kyle Hannon and Steve Burton resulted in a first and goal at the 3 yard line. Rogliano was stopped for a three yard loss on first down. On second down, Kohlasch dropped back to pass. While he could find no open receiver, he did find a wide path to the end zone around the right side and scrambled in for the score. The Huskies also missed the PAT and with 4:47 left in the half, the score was tied at 6.

On their next series, Edgemont picked up a quick first down and moved the ball out to near midfield. However, the Panthers fumbled on the next play and Harrison recovered the ball on the Edgemont 47 yard line. On their first down play, the Huskies gave the ball to Arcara who burst straight up the middle, broke two tackles near the line of scrimmage, found a hole to his right and outran the Panther defense the rest of the way. Harrison was again unsuccessful on their PAT conversion attempt, but led 12-6.

Edgemont could do little with the ball and went three and out. The Panther punt rolled out of bounds on the Harrison 35 yard line with 50 seconds left until halftime. Deciding to ride a hot hand, the Huskies gave the ball to Arcara on 4 consecutive plays including a devastating (from an Edgemont perspective) 48 yard run down to the Panther 12 yard line. Arcara's runs and the judicious use of Harrison's timeouts, allowed the Huskies to close the half with a 21 yard field goal by Kohlasch giving them a 15-6 lead.

Harrison started the second half with the ball and a chance to all but put the game away with a quick score. Edgemont gave up a good return but then stiffened and the Huskies faced a fourth and 5 on the Panther 40. Harrison lined up as if they were going for it on fourth down, but Kohlasch pitched the ball deep in the backfield to Arcara who punted. Edgemont was caught off guard and the Huskies downed the punt on the one yard line pinning the Panthers deep in their own territory.

Once again, the Harrison defense held and Edgemont was forced to punt from their own end zone. A nice return gave the Huskies possession on the Panther 25 yard line. Three plays later, Arcara's 15 yard run (coupled with an unsuccessful two point conversion attempt) put Harrison further out in front, 21-6.

Edgemont again mounted a drive beginning on their own 31 yard line. Two nice runs by Bernstein coupled with a pass from Smith to junior TE Kyle Reidy gave the Panthers a first down on the Husky 43 yard line. However, Edgemont could not convert a fourth and 7 and turned the ball over on downs.

For the second time in the game, Arcara broke a touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. His third touchdown of the game, this one a 63 yard effort and even more impressive than his other two, coupled with a successful PAT gave Harrison a commanding 28-6 lead with just under a minute left in the third quarter.

The Panthers would not succumb that easily however. Edgemont took the ensuing kickoff and used a series of running plays to advance the ball out to their own 42 yard line. From here, Smith again found Reidy with a pass, this time for a 56 yard gain down to the 2 yard line. Wittenberg's second touchdown of the game made the score 28-12 in favor of Harrison with just over 8 minutes left in the game.

The Huskies recovered Edgemont's attempted onsides kick and put the ball in play from their own 45 yard line. A holding penalty and three short runs by Rogliano left Harrison facing a fourth down at midfield. Arcara once again did a beautiful job, punting the ball out of bounds on the Edgemont 12 yard line with just over 5 minutes left in the game.

The Panthers again mounted a drive behind a nice mix of running and passing plays moving the ball inside the Husky 10 yard line. Finally, with 2 minutes and 43 seconds left in the game, on fourth and 4 from the Harrison 7 yard line, the Huskies stopped Smith and Bernstein on an option pitch to the left side. Harrison had the ball and two Husky first downs later, the game was over.

This was one of those games where statistics don't really tell the story. For the game, Harrison generated 327 yards of total offense (8 first downs) to Edgemont's 287 yards of total offense (16 first downs). However, the real story is in the rushing totals, where the Huskies generated 315 yards rushing on 33 carries, while the Panthers could only generate 173 rushing yards on 47 carries. Smith had another fine passing performance for Edgemont finishing with 114 yards on 6 completions out of 11 attempts. Edgemont needed to produce some big plays in order to win this game, however most of the big plays were made by Harrison.

Despite this loss, the Panthers had an extremely successful 2002 season finishing at 8-2 (with both losses coming against Harrison) in their first season in Class B. Edgemont will lose five seniors to graduation (Greg Anania C/DE, Matt Anania TE/DE, Billy Andrews T/DT, Brian Gerspach QB/DB and Jake Wittenberg FB/LB) but will return 20 players for next year including 13 juniors (seniors next year). After a few weeks of rest, the Panthers will begin their off season conditioning program as they begin to focus on the 2003 season.

 
Harrison - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 2 yd run (kick failed)


2nd Quarter
Harrison - Peter Kohlasch 6 yd run (kick failed)
Harrison - Rudy Arcara 47 yd run (kick failed)
Harrison - Kohlasch 21 yd field goal


3rd Quarter
Harrison - Arcara 15 yd run (run failed)
Harrison - Arcara 63 yd run (Kohlasch kick)


4th Quarter
Edgemont - Wittenberg 2 yd run (pass failed)

 

 

GAME 9 - EDGEMONT OVERPOWERS SOMERS 28-13

PANTHERS ADVANCE TO SECTION 1
CLASS B FINAL AGAINST HARRISON

Recap by John Gerspach
 

Saturday's (November 2) Class B Sectional Semifinal playoff game between the visiting Edgemont Panthers and the Somers Tuskers was expected to be a contest of speed (Somers) versus power (Edgemont). The fact that Somers' senior HB Jordan Rabidou (who came into the game averaging over 17 yards per carry) was held to 29 yards rushing on 10 attempts and no touchdowns while Edgemont's senior FB Jake Wittenberg and junior HB Ben Bernstein combined for 312 rushing yards on 55 attempts with 4 touchdowns pretty much tells you all you need to know about the speed/power match up; power won in a landslide.

However, while the numbers tell you who won the game, the richer story, the why and how of the game, is best told within the context of "Edgemont wouldn't and Somers couldn't". Seven situations during the game stand out as examples.

Following Rabidou's return of the opening kickoff, Somers began the game with the ball on their own 40 yard line. They moved the ball crisply down the field using three different running backs to carry the ball and mixing in a short pass from senior QB Ryan von Heyn to Rabidou. Finally, on a third and 1 from the Edgemont 7 yard line, after executing two beautiful fakes to his FB and Rabidou, von Heyn scampered around left end on a QB keeper for the first touchdown of the game. A successful PAT gave the Tuskers a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the game. On the ensuing kickoff, Edgemont fumbled and Somers recovered possession on the Edgemont 23 yard line. The Tuskers had an opportunity to forge a 14 point lead and put the Panthers in a deep hole early in the game. However, Somers couldn't convert. On first down, von Heyn overthrew a pass intended for senior HB Jon D'Ascoli in the end zone. On second down, Edgemont wouldn't be fooled by a double reverse as sophomore LB Alex Graybeal tackled Rabidou for a 1 yard loss. A fullback plunge and another incomplete pass on fourth down gave Edgemont possession virtually on the same spot where they had originally turned the ball over.

Two short runs and an illegal procedure penalty (penalties assessed against Edgemont in key situations would be an issue throughout the game) left the Panthers facing a third and 4 from their own 29. Somers once again had the chance to stop Edgemont from building any momentum and the Panthers had to consider abandoning their running game at this point and try for a third down pass in an attempt to pick up the necessary yardage. However, Edgemont wouldn't stray from its game plan and Somers couldn't stop Bernstein on a counter play that netted 10 yards and a first down. Eight plays later, Wittenberg followed the blocking of senior T Billy Andrews and scored on a 1 yard plunge. A high snap on the PAT prevented the Panthers from tying the score and Somers retained a 1 point lead near the end of the first quarter.

Edgemont had kicked the ball deep to open the game but wasn't about to tempt fate twice by giving Rabidou another chance to break a return. Instead, junior K Jeremy Paolercio sent a short kick toward the right sideline just behind Somers' front line and about 15 yards ahead of where Rabidou was stationed, a virtual no-man's land on the field. Somers, as a team, hesitated and couldn't react quickly enough to cover the ball. Edgemont had two players running full tilt towards the ball and Bernstein wouldn't let a late arriving Rabidou take possession. Edgemont had the ball on the Somers 26 yard line.

Now, it was up to the Tuskers to stop the Panthers on a short field. Bernstein was stopped for no gain on first down and an incomplete pass on second down left Edgemont with a third and 10. As the Panthers came up to the line of scrimmage, Somers defense was well aware of the presence of Bernstein lined up at right half back. However, Edgemont wouldn't be that predictable and Somers couldn't stop sophomore HB Josh Dubin (lined up on the left wing) from picking up 11 yards on a sweep around right end. Four plays later, Wittenberg plowed into the end zone from the 1 yard line for his second touchdown of the game. A pass attempt on a two point conversion try was incomplete and the Panthers led 12-7.

Both teams went three and out on their next series, but a shanked punt by Edgemont gave Somers good field position on the Panther 42 yard line. A plunge into the line by senior FB Matt Masi picked up 2 yards for the Tuskers and then Rabidou had his prettiest run of the day. Rabidou headed to the right side on a sweep, found two Edgemont defenders in his way, reversed his field and went around left end for 7 yards. Somers had the ball third and 1 on the Panther 33 yard line with just over 6 minutes left in the half and a chance to take the lead. However, once again, the Tuskers couldn't convert the opportunity, as Edgemont wouldn't let Von Heyn pick up the necessary yard. Wittenberg stopped him for no gain on a QB keeper around right end on third down and then Wittenberg tackled von Heyn for a loss on fourth down as he tried the same play around left end.

Neither team scored on their subsequent possessions and the half ended with the Panthers holding on to a tenuous 12-7 lead.

Bernstein returned the second half kickoff out to the Edgemont 32 yard line. From here, the Panthers began a 12 play, 68 yard drive that consumed 6 minutes and 15 seconds off the clock and resulted in yet another Wittenberg touchdown. Somers couldn't stop the Panther running game and Edgemont
wouldn't turn off the power. Four different Panther running backs carried the ball on the drive, but Wittenberg did the heavy lifting, picking up 48 of the yards on 8 carries. Wittenberg also blasted over the left side for the 2 point conversion, giving Edgemont a 20-7 lead.

Somers again went three and out and Edgemont took over with the ball on their own 35 yard line. The Panthers resumed the pounding sending Wittenberg into the line on 4 of the first 6 plays and then, on a first down play from the Tuskers 40 yard line, Bernstein broke a counter play down the right side for the Panthers' fourth touchdown of the day. Wittenberg again scored on the 2 point try and the Panthers extended their lead to 28-7 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

Anyone who had followed Somers during the year knew that they possessed an explosive offense that was capable of scoring quickly and from anywhere on the field, so it would be a mistake to consider the game over at this early point. As if on cue, the Tuskers responded just to let everyone know that this was still a ballgame. Somers covered Edgemont's short kick and put the ball in play on their own 48 yard line. On first down, von Heyn hit senior SE Anthony DeMatteo with a pass down the left sideline. DeMatteo caught the ball around the Edgemont 35 and then tightroped his way down the sideline managing to stay in bounds with some fancy footwork. Dubin finally brought him down inside the 1 yard line. Two plays later Masi went in for the Somers touchdown. A failed kick left the score at 28-13 as the fourth quarter got underway.

A holding penalty on the kickoff return forced the Panthers to begin their drive on their own 20. After picking up an initial first down, Edgemont's ground attacked temporarily stalled and the Panthers faced a fourth and 5 from their own 37 yard line. Bernstein dropped back to punt, took the snap and then raced through the right side of the line for a gain down to the Tuskers 46 yard line and an apparent first down. However, a blocking from behind penalty assessed against the Panthers wiped out the first down and, now facing a fourth and 15, Edgemont was forced to punt the ball to Somers.

The Tuskers had the ball on the Panthers 49 yard line trailing by 15 points with 8 minutes and 30 seconds left in the game. Rabidou ran around the right side for 8 yards (his longest gain of the day) and then von Heyn picked up another 4 yards on a keeper. On first down, Rabidou tried the middle of the line but the Panther line stopped after a 2 yard gain. Rabidou fought for an extra yard, but as he was twisting forward, Bernstein wouldn't let him advance the ball and instead ripped the ball from Rabidou's grasp. Edgemont had regained possession on their own 35 yard line with just over 7 minutes left in the game and Somers couldn't stop them.

The Panthers used eleven consecutive running plays (overcoming yet another holding penalty) to advance the ball down to the Somers 35 yard line with less than a minute left in the game. Sensing that the game was over at this point, Edgemont Head Coach Brian Connolly had senior QB Brian Gerspach take a knee on the next play. Somers called a timeout. On the next play, Gerspach again took a knee and Somers again took a timeout, their last of the game. The Tuskers were going to force the Panthers to give them the ball one last time. Edgemont lined up to punt and were assessed another penalty for illegal procedure. Finally, the Panthers punted with the ball rolling out of bounds on the Tuskers 27 yard line. There were 26 seconds left in the game.

Two completed passes and a defensive holding call allowed Somers to advance the ball to the Edgemont 43 yard line with 1 second left in the game. von Heyn's last pass was picked off by Bernstein to end the game.

For the game, Edgemont produced 354 yards of total offense and controlled the clock for 34 minutes and 30 seconds of playing time. Wittenberg finished with 160 yards rushing on 34 attempts and 3 touchdowns, while Bernstein had 152 rushing yards on 21 attempts with 1 touchdown. Accolades are due to both Panther lines, offense and defense, which dominated the game. Andrews, fellow seniors Matt Anania and Greg Anania, juniors Scott Barsky, Jake Kaplan and Pedro Concolino and sophomore Charlie Birns pushed the Tuskers around all day.

With the win over Somers, Edgemont advances to the Class B Section Final where they will meet Harrison. The Huskies beat the Panthers 31-28 during the regular season in a game decided on a last second field goal. The date and time of the game are yet to be announced. Somers will play Rye next week in a consolation bowl game.

 
Somers - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Somers - Ryan von Heyn 7 yd run (Chris Sgroi kick)
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 1 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick


2nd Quarter
Edgemont - Wittenberg 1 yd run (pass failed)


3rd Quarter
Edgemont - Wittenberg 6 yd run (Wittenberg run)
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 40 yd run (Wittenberg run)
Somers - Matt Masi 1 yd run (kick failed)


4th Quarter
No scoring

 

 

GAME 8 - EDGEMONT OVERPOWERS BYRAM HILLS 27-0
Recap by John Gerspach
 

Coming into Saturday's (October 26th) opening round playoff game against Byram Hills, the Edgemont Panthers had only to look into a mirror to see the biggest obstacle standing between themselves and a victory. The Panthers had played sloppily in their previous two wins over Pelham and Ardsley, needing strong second half performances in both games to put away opponents that they should have dominated, and now they were facing a team that they had already beaten rather convincingly (26-7) in the second game of the regular season. Another letdown was a reasonable possibility. Would Edgemont come out sharp? Would the Panthers be mentally ready? These were the questions lingering in the air just before kickoff.

The Edgemont defense provided one set of answers as junior S Ben Bernstein intercepted a deep pass down the left sideline on Byram Hills' opening possession of the game. Starting from their own 25 yard line, the Panther offense would attempt to provide the second set of answers. Two Bernstein runs and a 3 yard scramble by junior QB Caleb Smith left Edgemont facing a fourth and one from their own 34 yard line. Conventional wisdom (especially this early in the game) called for a punt since there was little sense in risking the possibility of the Bobcats taking over this deep in Edgemont territory. Punt it and let your defense go to work. However, Panther Head Coach Brian Connolly had already gotten the answer he wanted from the defense; what he wanted now was an answer from the other side of the ball. Refusing the safe call, Connolly put the ball in the hands of senior FB Jake Wittenberg who blasted over the left side of the line for a 7 yard gain and a first down. That one play provided all the answers and all the confidence that the Panther offense needed. The next three plays went like this: Wittenberg over the left side for another 16 yards, Bernstein on a counter for 36 yards and then, Bernstein on a 7 yard sweep around right end for the touchdown. Junior K Jeremy Paolercio's PAT gave Edgemont a 7-0 lead with just over 6 minutes left in the first quarter.

Byram Hills could do nothing on their next possession as the Panther defensive line (seniors Billy Andrews, Matt Anania, Greg Anania, junior Scott Barsky and sophomore Charlie Birns) dominated the line play, shutting down the run and putting pressure on Bobcat senior QB Frank Madonna thereby negating the Bobcat passing game. After a quick three and out by Byram Hills, Edgemont's offense again found themselves starting from their own 25 yard line. This time there were no fourth down heroics required as the Panthers moved convincingly downfield. However, a holding penalty deep in Bobcat territory left Edgemont facing a third and 18 from the Byram Hills 36 yard line. This proved to be a minor bump in the road as Smith found junior TE Kyle Reidy behind the Bobcat secondary for a 36 yard touchdown completion. The first quarter ended with the Panthers leading 14-0.

After stopping Byram Hills yet again, Edgemont's offense went to work from their own 33 yard line. The Panthers methodically worked they way downfield during a 15 play drive that consumed 7 minutes off the clock and culminated in a Wittenberg dive over the left side for the touchdown on a fourth and goal play from the two. A roughing the kicker penalty assessed against Edgemont on a Bobcat punt enabled Byram Hills to maintain possession on their subsequent series and run out the half.

In addition to leading 20-0 at the half, the Panthers also received the second half kickoff. Like their three first half possessions, this one ended up with yet another Edgemont touchdown with Bernstein scoring his second of the day on a 4 yard sweep around the right side.

With a 27-0 lead and the Bobcat attack completely neutralized, Connolly began to substitute liberally (or at least as liberally as a coach can with 23 players) at this point in the game and the day's scoring was over.

On the day, Edgemont's offense produced 367 yards with 281 of those yards coming on the ground. Bernstein led the attack with 138 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Bernstein also caught two passes for 32 yards and intercepted a pass from his safety position on defense. Wittenberg finished with 119 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown and Smith had another outstanding day passing the ball, gaining 86 yards and a touchdown on 4 completions. Edgemont's offensive line (Andrews, Barsky, Greg Anania and juniors Jake Kaplan and Pedro Concolino) combined with the blocking of the two tight ends (Matt Anania and Reidy) completely overwhelmed the Bobcat defensive front.

However, the real story was the dominance of Edgemont's defense which held Byram Hills to only 95 yards of total offense with 35 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter, long after the game had been decided. The Panthers had ten tackles for a loss or no gain including three quarterback sacks (two by Andrews and one by Matt Anania). Madonna, who had registered close to 300 yards passing in his last two games, was held to 47 yards on 5 of 14 with an interception. The Bobcats had only 18 yards rushing in the first half.

Edgemont will now travel to Somers next weekend for a much anticipated semifinal game with the Tuskers. The exact date and time of the game have yet to be announced.

 
Byram Hills - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 7 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Kyle Reidy 36 yd pass from Caleb Smith (Paolercio kick)


2nd Quarter
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 2 yd run (kick failed)


3rd Quarter
Edgemont - Bernstein 4 yd run (Paolercio kick)


4th Quarter
No scoring

 

 

GAME 7 - EDGEMONT PULLS AWAY IN SECOND HALF
DEFEATING ARDSLEY 47-12
Recap by John Gerspach
 

On paper, the Saturday, October 19th match up involving the Edgemont Panthers and the Ardsley Panthers looked to be a one-sided affair. Going into the game, Edgemont sported a record of 5-1including wins over playoff bound teams such as Eastchester, Byrum Hills and Rye, while Ardsley at 2-4 hadn't come close to beating a team with a winning record.

Nevertheless, as the teams walked off Ardsley's home field after the conclusion of the first half, Ardsley trailed Edgemont by a score of only 21-12. Ardsley had demonstrated an effective passing game (including a 72 yard pass from junior QB Mike Perillo to senior HB Aaron Sattler which set up their first touchdown), an ability to stop Edgemont's inside rushing game (senior FB Jake Wittenberg was held to only 24 yards rushing in the first half on 8 carries) and the means to capitalize on Edgemont's mistakes (Ardsley returned an interception down to the Edgemont 13 yard line with just over a minute left in the half to set up their second score). Edgemont was missing blocks, Edgemont was missing tackles, Edgemont wasn't executing, Ardsley had the momentum and Ardsley would receive the second half kickoff. An upset on this overcast, blustery October afternoon seemed eminently possible.

In an effort to regain the momentum, Edgemont began the second half by attempting an onsides kick. However, Ardsley recovered the ball on their own 46 yard line and began the half with excellent field position. Things were looking up for Ardsley; they had the ball, a short field, and a score would put them within a few points of the number three ranked team in Class B (Section 1). Everything was looking bright and then, the bubble burst and the roof caved in. On Ardsley's first play from scrimmage, Edgemont's senior DT, Billy Andrews burst through the line and nailed junior HB Brandon McGarvey for a 4 yard loss. Andrews' play seemed to ignite the Edgemont defense and Ardsley was forced to punt going three and out.

The Ardsley punt rolled dead on the Edgemont 28 yard line. What Andrews had started on defense, Edgemont was now about to finish on offense. Edgemont took nine plays to cover 72 yards with junior QB Caleb Smith completing the drive by finding junior TE Kyle Reidy all alone in the end zone with a 6 yard touchdown to open the second half scoring. A successful PAT by junior K Jeremy Paolercio widened the score to 28-12 in Edgemont's favor.

Reidy's touchdown may have opened the second half scoring, but Edgemont was far from finished as they scored on all four second half possessions. Junior HB Ben Bernstein scored on a 46 yard pitch sweep around left end sprung by a pancake block provided by Andrews. On the first play of the fourth quarter, sophomore HB/DB Josh Dubin intercepted an errant Ardsley pass. On the ensuing Edgemont possession, Dubin raced down the left sideline for a 53 yard gain setting up a Wittenberg 9 yard blast through the left side for another Edgemont score. Dubin then closed out the Edgemont scoring with a 9 yard scamper of his own on Edgemont's final possession of the day. Edgemont racked up 262 yards of total offense in the second half with 234 of those yards coming on the ground. The offensive line of Andrews, senior Greg Anania and juniors Scott Barsky, Jake Kaplan and Pedro Concolino controlled the line of scrimmage.

Edgemont's defense was equally dominant in the second half limiting Ardsley to only 56 yards of total offense. Edgemont's defensive line of Andrews, Barsky, seniors Matt Anania and Greg Anania and sophomore Charlie Birns were consistently in Ardsley's backfield either knocking down ball carriers or putting pressure on Perillo. Perillo would finish the day completing 9 passes out of 17 attempts for 166 yards with a touchdown, but only 3 of those completions and 23 yards were in the second half.

Edgemont's offense was led by Bernstein who had 201 yards rushing on 16 carries with a touchdown to go along with 2 pass receptions for another 23 yards. Bernstein also chipped in with an interception on the defensive side of the ball. Smith had a strong day passing with 5 completions on 7 attempts for 110 yards and two touchdowns. While he did score three touchdowns on the day, Wittenberg was limited to only 57 yards on 17 carries, but that was good enough to put him over the 1000 yard mark for the year. Dubin finished the day with 97 yards on 6 carries and a touchdown.

With the win, Edgemont finished second in League B-B. The Panthers will open the Sectional Playoffs at home next Saturday with a game against Byrum Hills, the third place finisher in League B-A. While the Panthers defeated the Bobcats 26-7 earlier in the season, Byrum Hills has had an offensive re-awakening under senior Frank Madonna who has taken over the quarterbacking duties for the Bobcats. Madonna has thrown for a combined 298 yards and five touchdowns in the Bobcats last two games. A similar effort next week would certainly make Byrum Hills a legitimate threat to upend the Panthers.

 
Ardsley - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 2 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick)


2nd Quarter
Ardsley - Mike Perillo 3 yd run (kick failed)
Edgemont - Kyle Reidy 65 yd pass from Caleb Smith (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Wittenberg 2 yd run (Paolercio kick)
Ardsley - Aaron Sattler 10 yd pass from Perillo (run failed)


3rd Quarter
Edgemont - Reidy 6 yd pass from Smith (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 46 yd run (kick failed)


4th Quarter
Edgemont - Wittenberg 9 yd run (kick failed)
Edgemont - Josh Dubin 9 yd run (Paolercio kick)

 

 

GAME 6 - EDGEMONT'S STRONG SECOND HALF
OVERPOWERS PELHAM 22-6
Recap by John Gerspach
 

By the time the Edgemont Panthers and Pelham Pelicans took the field on Saturday, October 12, it had been raining steadily for 40 hours. Over 4 inches of rain had soaked Edgemont's Blanford Field and yet, while there were puddles along both sidelines, the field itself was in excellent condition. In fact, as the rain continued to come down during the entire contest, it was evident that the quality of the field would hold up much better during the game than the quality of the football being played. Edgemont fumbled the ball 7 times (losing two), had two promising drives stopped by penalties, dropped a sure touchdown pass in the first quarter, etc., etc. With every Panther miscue, you could see the Pelican defense becoming more confident. Unfortunately, the Pelican offense was unable to move the ball with any consistency. The Panthers finally emerged with a 22-6 victory as their superior size and strength wore down the Pelicans in the second half. Chalk it up as an ugly win on an ugly day.

Pelham returned the opening kickoff just short of their 30 yard line and picked up a quick first down on three short passes. This would be the Pelicans only first down in the first half and the next play set the tone for the day for both teams. Pelham's QB (sophomore Bobby Miner in his first varsity game) hit sophomore HB Bryant Mix with a 15 yard completion for what appeared to be another Pelican first down. However, a holding penalty wiped out the play and left Pelham facing a first and twenty. The Pelicans never recovered and were forced to punt. Edgemont could do nothing with the ball and for the next 9 series the teams either went three and out or turned the ball over on downs.

The Panthers finally managed to put some points on the board on their final possession of the half. Another Pelham punt (there were 8 on the day) gave Edgemont the ball on their own 38 yard line. On second down, junior QB Caleb Smith found junior TE Kyle Reidy open over the middle for a 33 yard gain. The Panthers continued to drive and with less than 20 seconds left in the half, they had a third and goal from the 1 yard line. Senior FB Jake Wittenberg dove over the right side of the Edgemont line and (after a successful kick), the Panthers had a 7-0 lead at the half.

Edgemont seemed to come out after halftime with renewed determination and quickly drove down the field on the opening possession of the half. However, sloppy play continued to haunt them as the Panthers fumbled the ball into, and then out of, the end zone just as it appeared certain that they were going to score. The Pelicans picked up a first down, but were then forced to punt with the ball rolling out of bounds on the Panthers' 43 yard line.

Edgemont wasted little time and took only 4 plays to cover the 57 yards with Wittenberg scoring once again, this time from the 4 yard line. The Panthers tacked on a 2 point conversion as Smith, rolling to his right, found sophomore HB Josh Dubin alone in the end zone. On the ensuing kickoff, the Panthers tried a squib kick that rolled behind the front line of the Pelicans and stopped. Edgemont was able to recover this unintended onsides kick and on the first play from scrimmage, junior HB Ben Bernstein took a sweep around left end and ran untouched into the end zone for the Panthers final score of the day.

Pelham finally hit the board early in the fourth quarter when a shanked punt by Edgemont gave the Pelicans a first down at the Panther 27 yard line. Four plays later, Miner lofted a pass into the end zone and senior SE George Lamb was able to out leap two Edgemont defenders to grab the touchdown for Pelham.

Wittenberg, as usual, was the workhorse for the Panthers finishing with 200 yards on 27 carries with 2 touchdowns. Bernstein chipped in with 115 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Bernstein also had two interceptions from his safety position. Edgemont's offensive line (seniors Billy Andrews and Greg Anania and juniors Scott Barsky, Jake Kaplan and Pedro Concolino) dominated the second half. On the other side of the ball, Edgemont's defense completely shut down the Pelican attack. Reidy (junior LB) and Wittenberg seemed to be everywhere and sophomore T Charlie Birns had another strong game.

Edgemont will play the Arsdley Panthers next Saturday (October 19th) at Ardsley High School. Kickoff is set for 2 pm.

 
Pelham - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
No scoring


2nd Quarter
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 1 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick


3rd Quarter
Edgemont - Wittenberg 4 yd run (Josh Dubin pass from Caleb Smith)
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 36 yd run (Paolercio kick)


4th Quarter
Pelham - George Lamb 14 yd pass from Bobby Miner (run failed)



GAME 5 - LAST SECOND FIELD GOAL
ENABLES HARRISON TO TOP EDGEMONT 31-28
Recap by John Gerspach
 

For once, a game billed as "The Game of the Week" actually exceeded everyone's expectations. On Saturday, October 5th, the Harrison Huskies and the Edgemont Panthers treated the fans at Edgemont's Blanford Field to a gem of a game. Both teams made big plays on offense, big plays on defense, big plays on special teams. The game featured lead changes, momentum swings and two teams filled with players that left everything they had on the field of play. In a game where players demonstrated incredible physical ability, perhaps the biggest play was made by Harrison senior Angelo Delborgo who used his head to secure a time out for the Huskies with only two seconds left in the game. It was Delborgo's quick thinking that enabled Harrison to attempt what proved to be the game winning kick.

With the score tied 28-28, Harrison took the ball over on their own 16 yard line following an Edgemont punt; 3 minutes and 43 seconds remained in the game. The Huskies slowly, but steadily moved downfield picking up several third down conversions. Finally, with just 6 seconds left in the game, Harrison faced a second and goal from the Panther 5 yard line. Harrison decided to have senior Peter Kohlasch (QB/DB/K) attempt a 12 yard field goal at this juncture, rather than risk running another play. The teams set up for what looked to be the final play in regulation. The snap from center was high and Delborgo, the holder, had to reach over his head to snare the ball. Delborgo was immediately smothered by Edgemont's Ben Bernstein (junior HB/DB) and the Panther faithful cheered, convinced that the game was headed for overtime. Delborgo, however, as he was falling to the ground with Bernstein draped all over him, had the presence of mind to signal for a timeout. There were two seconds still left in the game when the referee's whistle stopped the clock. Harrison had another chance and Kohlasch's 30 yarder on the ensuing play sailed through the middle of the uprights giving the Huskies the victory.

This game was all about effort. Both teams entered the game missing key players. Harrison was missing senior RB/LB Rudy Acara, a two-way starter who sat out the game with an injured arm. Edgemont took the field without seniors Brian Gerspach (a two-way starter at QB and DB) and Matt Anania (a two-way starter at TE and DE), as well as starting sophomore LB Alex Graybeal. The Panthers were shorthanded throughout the game, dressing only 21 players and, in fact, using only 15 who saw any significant playing time. However, despite Harrison's superior numbers, it was Edgemont that got out to the early lead.

The Panthers won the coin toss at the start of the game and elected to receive. Bernstein returned the kickoff out to the Edgemont 28 yard line and the Panther offense went to work. After the Huskies had stopped Bernstein for a short gain on Edgemont's first play of the game, junior QB Caleb Smith went to the air and completed a 31 yard pass to junior TE Kyle Reidy right down the middle of the field to the Harrison 40 yard line. Three running plays left the Panthers facing a fourth and 8. Smith again went back to pass, could find no open receivers, tucked the ball under his arm and picked up 9 yards and a first down at the Husky 29. Two runs by senior FB Jake Wittenberg gave Edgemont a first and goal from the 6 yard line. However, Harrison's defensive line stiffened and the Panthers were left facing a fourth and goal from the 1. There was little doubt who was going to get the ball for Edgemont or where he was going to run. Wittenberg took the fourth down carry and followed the blocking of senior T Billy Andrews into the end zone. Smith's successful pass to Reidy on the conversion gave the Panthers an 8-0 lead with 6 minutes and 23 seconds left in the first quarter.

Harrison moved the ball well on their initial possession, but were stopped on a fourth and four play from the Edgemont 42 yard line as Reidy, playing from his LB position, dropped Kohlasch for a 3 yard loss as he attempted to pass. Three plays later, Bernstein took a counter play 52 yards for another Panther touchdown. Edgemont had a 14-0 lead and the Huskies appeared to be in shock.

Harrison needed a big play to get them going and on the first play from scrimmage following the ensuing kickoff, junior FB Luigi Rogliano gave it to them. Rogliano took a handoff, burst through the line, broke several tackles and ripped off a 71 yard scoring run. While the Huskies failed on the PAT, Rogliano had put them back in the game as they now trailed only 14-6 and there was still just over 2 minutes to play in the first quarter. People began to see that this was not going to be the low scoring affair that many had expected.

The teams exchanged possessions and after a subsequent Edgemont punt gave Harrison the ball at their own 20 yard line, the Huskies once again mounted a long scoring drive behind the running of Rogliano. With the Panther defense forced to key on the big junior FB, Kohlasch was able to capitalize on a fake to Rogliano and raced around left end for a 17 yard touchdown run. A successful two point conversion tied the score at 14 all.

There was still just under five minutes left in the half and momentum had clearly swung over to Harrison. A quick stop by the Husky defense would leave them in great position to put up one more score, complete their comeback and take a lead into halftime. That's the way it looked to be setting up, but the Panthers had other plans.

Sophomore Josh Dubin (HB/DB) returned the Harrison kickoff out to the Edgemont 37. Wittenberg and Bernstein utilized the strong blocking of the offensive line (seniors Andrews and Greg Anania and juniors Scott Barsky, Pedro Concolino and Jake Kaplan) to drive the ball down inside the Husky 5 yard line with under 30 seconds left in the half. Wittenberg got the score on a fourth down plunge as time expired. A tired Panther team took a 20-14 lead into halftime.

As the second half was set to get underway, Harrison once again found itself needing to recapture the momentum. It was obvious that someone on the Husky team needed to make a big play. Senior RB/DB Steve Burton was about to provide his Harrison teammates with two of the biggest plays in a game that was full of big plays.

Burton fielded the opening kickoff of the second half inside his own 15 yard line. He was hit as he cut back to the middle of the field, but shook off the would be tackler. At the 20, he was stopped by two Panthers, but kept his legs driving and eventually spun out of the defenders' grasp and cut back to the left sideline. He broke yet another tackle and sped downfield. Burton appeared to be headed into the end zone until he was tripped up inside the Edgemont 25 yard line by Greg Anania. Harrison wasted little time in capitalizing on Burton's return and a 3 yard scoring run by Rogliano, followed by Kohlasch's PAT gave the Huskies their first lead of the game.

On the Panthers' next series, Burton again provided the Huskies with a spark by intercepting a pass intended for Bernstein. Burton returned the ball back to the Edgemont 42 yard line. Once again, Kohlasch handed the ball to Rogliano and once again the big fullback responded as he broke tackles, delivered a stiff arm and didn't stop until he hit the end zone. After another successful PAT, Harrison led 28-20. There were just over 9 minutes left in the third quarter and the Huskies appeared to be assuming control of the game.

Exhaustion was evident on the faces of the Edgemont players and their body language told a similar story. Still, they would not fold and Harrison was unable to deliver a game clinching blow. After an exchange of possessions, the Panthers took the ball over on their own 46 yard line. On first down, Smith rolled right and found Bernstein behind the Harrison secondary. Smith's pass hit Bernstein in stride and the junior halfback went untouched for the score. Another Smith to Reidy pass on the conversion attempt tied the score at 28 all. 4 minutes, 38 seconds remained in the third quarter.

Harrison roared back with a drive of their own, moving crisply downfield behind the continued strong running of Rogliano and Kohlasch. With just over ten minutes left in the fourth quarter, Harrison had a second and six on the Panther 16 yard line. Kohlasch fumbled the snap as he pulled back from center but the football bounced right back into his hands. While the timing of the play was disrupted, Kohlasch still dropped back looking to pass. However, he was hit in the backfield by sophomore DT Charlie Birns and Edgemont's Jake Kaplan recovered the resulting fumble.

The Panthers moved smartly down the field but failed to convert on a fourth and four from the Husky 36 yard line. Harrison took over and fumbled the ball right back to Edgemont. With just under six minutes left in the quarter, the Panthers had the ball first and ten on the Harrison 41 yard line. Edgemont tried a series of pass plays, but the Huskies sacked Smith on three consecutive downs driving the Panthers back to their own 38 yard line where they faced fourth and thirty-one. Edgemont punted and Harrison capitalized on their last possession to pull out the win.

Rogliano was huge for Harrison, leading all rushers with 212 yards on 19 carries and 3 touchdowns. However, it would be impossible to name all the players on both teams who contributed big plays. Suffice it to say that if you played in the game, somewhere along the way you were a hero. Not only was the play heroic, it was clean. Both teams displayed excellent sportsmanship and there was absolutely no evidence of trash talking or showboating. This was a class game played by two class teams. The two schools, the two coaching staffs and the fans of each team should be proud of the effort that all the players put forth as well as the manner in which they conducted themselves.

Edgemont hosts the Pelham Pelicans next Saturday (October 12th) in a game scheduled to start at 2 pm. The later starting time is due to the fact that the SAT exams will be given in the morning.

 
Harrison - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 1 yd run (Kyle Reidy pass from Caleb Smith)
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 52 yd run (run failed)
Harrison - Luigi Rogliano 71 yd run (kick failed)


2nd Quarter
Harrison - Peter Kohlasch 17 yd run (Jason Colabella run)
Edgemont - Wittenberg 2 yd run (run failed)


3rd Quarter
Harrison - Rogliano 3 yd run (Kohlasch kick)
Harrison - Rogliano 42 yd run (Kohlasch kick)
Edgemont - Bernstein 54 yd pass from Smith (Reidy pass from Smith)


4th Quarter
Harrison - Kohlasch 30 yd field goal



GAME 4 - EDGEMONT GUTS OUT BIG WIN OVER RYE 26-14
 
A recap from John Gerspach is not available from the win over Rye as he was not present for the majority of the game after his son was injured playing defense at the start of the contest.
 
The following is an excerpt from a posting on the syracuse.com high school football web forum:
 

Don't be fooled by the score. Rye led 14-12 with 6 min. left in the game. Rye scored first on a Neihaus pass and Edgemont countered on a long drive....7-6 Rye at the half. Wittenberg had about 20 carries in the first half for the Panthers. Edgemont started the third quarter with a long drive...Steve Ramsey intercepted a pass late in 3rd and returned it for a TD...14-6 Rye...on the first offensive play Ben Bernstein ran 80 yds. on a counter making it 14-12...the 4th qtr. saw Jake Wittenberg start to tire a bit, and Rye started a drive with 10 min. left that saw them rip off 7-10 yds. on every play as the clock ticked down. Eddie Urso ran the ball down to the Panther 19 yd. line but a clip brought the ball all the way back to the 46...Rye got down to the 25 but lost the ball on downs... and again on the first play the Panthers ran the counter to Bernstein for 75 yds. and a TD...18-14 Edgemont.

Rye fumbled the ball away on the kick-off...got it back and punted to Edgemont..a few plays later Bernstein ran the same counter and went 45 yds. for the last TD. This Rye team needs to learn how to win, but showed they are on the verge of being a very good team. Bernstein and Wittenberg played their hearts out...two great players. Edgemont QB Brian Gerspach was knocked out of the game on the second play from scrimmage...playing defense.



GAME 3 - EDGEMONT ROUTS EASTCHESTER 43-24
Recap by John Gerspach
 

On Saturday (September 21st), Eastchester brought its 2-0 record to Edgemont's Blanford Field confident that they could give the Panthers all they could handle. The Eagles' confidence was well founded. Eastchester was a playoff team from a year ago with most of their key players returning; they had dominated each of their first two opponents; the Eagles had a balanced offense and they had a defensive front that could be counted on to stop Edgemont's inside running game. Both teams believed that this was a game that would be decided late in the second half. Both teams were wrong.

While a 19 point margin of victory might not seem to qualify as a "rout", Edgemont lead 43-6 midway through the third quarter. The Eagles' three late touchdowns made the final score seem a lot closer than the game actually was. Edgemont's defensive line (seniors Billy Andrews, Matt Anania, Greg Anania, along with juniors Jake Kaplan, Scott Barsky and sophomore Charlie Birns) shut down Eastchester's running game and constantly pressured the Eagles' quarterback, junior Jerry Cesarini. Eastchester was unable to establish any consistent offense until late in the game, long after the contest had been decided.

The Panther victory was also a significant milestone for the Connolly brothers (Head Coach Brian and First Assistant Coach Tim) as they notched their 100th career victory at Edgemont. Over the last 14 years, the Connollys' record stands at 100 wins, 26 losses and 3 ties for a fairly respectable .794 winning percentage.

Once again, Edgemont was able to get off to a fast start. After returning the opening kickoff out to their own 25 yard line, the Panthers put the ball in the hands of Junior HB Ben Bernstein on their first play from scrimmage. Bernstein took the ball on a sweep around right end and didn't stop until he set foot in the end zone. Brian Gerspach (senior QB) found Matt Anania (senior TE) alone in the end zone for the two point conversion and after 17 seconds of play, Edgemont led 8-0. The Panthers' Kyle Reidy (junior LB) intercepted an Eastchester pass on the Eagles' first series, but Edgemont was unable to capitalize on the turnover. The Eagles defensive front was able to contain Wittenberg and the Panther offense seemed stymied.

Edgemont was now faced with coming up with an answer to the fundamental question that surrounded this team, "Who provides the offense when senior FB Jake Wittenberg gets shut down?" The Panthers provided the answer on their next series-Bernstein and Gerspach.

After starting on their own 24 yard line, Edgemont faced a third and 8 from their own 26. Gerspach hit Reidy (playing TE) with a bullet for a gain across midfield and three plays later tossed a 36 yard scoring strike to Bernstein. The boys were just getting warmed up.

Eastchester could do nothing on their next series and were forced to punt. The Panthers took over on their own 39 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Gerspach put the ball in Wittenberg's belly and the defense collapsed on the big fullback. However, Gerspach kept the ball and raced around right end for a 44 yard gain down to the Eagle 17 yard line. A series of penalties pushed Edgemont back to the 34 yard line where they faced a second and 27. Two passed to Bernstein netted 21 yards and a fourth down completion to junior HB Caleb Smith gave the Panthers a first down on the Eagle 4 yard line. Wittenberg finished the drive with a 1 yard plunge. Another Gerspach to Bernstein pass resulted in a successful 2 point conversion and Edgemont led 22-0.

Eastchester got on the board with 4:47 left in the half on a 25 yard touchdown pass from Cesarini to junior HB Joe Lorenzo. This was the Eagles' chance to establish momentum and get back in the game. Wittenberg blocked the PAT and Edgemont returned the kickoff out to their own 30 yard line. Eastchester appeared to get exactly what they wanted as the Panthers faced a fourth and 3 from their own 37 with just over 2 minutes left in the half. It looked as if the Panthers would punt and the Eagles would have a shot at putting up one more score before the half. That's the way it looked to everyone except Panther head coach Brian Connolly. Connolly decided to go for it on fourth down and the offense responded as Wittenberg had his only long run of the game going off left tackle for a 33 yard gain down to the Eastchester 30 yard line. With 46 seconds left in the half, a 21 yard touchdown pass from Gerspach to Bernstein capped by a 2 point conversion on a pass from Gerspach to Smith gave the Panthers a 30-6 halftime lead.

Bernstein picked up two more touchdowns in the second half to cap an extraordinary day. Bernstein finished with 5 touchdowns (2 rushing, 2 receiving and a return of a fumble) to go along with 91 yards rushing (6 carries), 78 yards receiving (4 receptions) and an interception from his defensive back position. Gerspach had quite a day of his own with 113 yards passing (6 for 7 with 2 touchdowns and 3 two point conversions) and 103 yards rushing (4 carries).

In addition to the strong play of the defensive line, Edgemont's linebacking corps of Wittenberg, Reidy and sophomore Alex Graybeal played very well. Reidy had two quarterback sacks to go along with his interception and both Wittenberg and Graybeal were fixtures in the Eagle backfield throughout the day. Birns also had two sacks for the Panthers from his defensive tackle position. The two sophomores (Birns and Graybeal) are providing solid play for the Panther defense.

The Panthers take on undefeated Rye in their next game on Friday night (7:00 pm kickoff) at the Garnets' home field.

 
Eastchester - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 75 yd run (Matt Anania pass from Brian Gerspach)
Edgemont - Bernstein 36 yd pass from Gerspach (run failed)


2nd Quarter
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 1 yd run (Bernstein pass from Gerspach)
Eastchester - Joe Lorenzo 25 yd pass from Jerry Cesarini (kick blocked)
Edgemont - Bernstein 21 yd pass from Gerspach (Caleb Smith pass from Gerspach)


3rd Quarter
Edgemont - Bernstein 11 yd run (kick failed)
Edgemont - Bernstein 41 yd fumble return (Smith kick)
Eastchester - Billy DeGulio 47 yd pass from Cesarini (run failed)


4th Quarter
Eastchester - DeGulio 17 yd pass from Cesarini (pass failed)
Eastchester - DeGulio 7 yd pass from Cesarini (no attempt)



GAME 2 - EDGEMONT ROLLS OVER BYRAM HILLS 26-7
Recap by John Gerspach
 

During the past two seasons, Edgemont senior FB/LB Jake Wittenberg has done more than merely carry the ball for the Panthers. In most games, he has carried the offense; on many plays, he has carried several defenders on his back as he continued to gain yardage; and there have been some games where his play on both sides of the ball has carried the entire team. On Saturday (September 14th), in the Panthers' game against the Byram Hills Bobcats, he carried something more important, a tribute to a friend and teammate.

Wittenberg played the entire game wearing the #29 jersey belonging to injured teammate Jesse Brooks (junior HB/DB). Brooks may be out for the season with a torn ACL, but Wittenberg made sure that Jesse understood that he was still an important part of the Panther family and that opponents had not seen the last of #29 in the Edgemont backfield or in the end zone. As usual, when Wittenberg carries, he delivers. Jake racked up 130 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns while wearing the name and number of his friend and teammate.

Edgemont won the coin toss, elected to receive and wasted little time in getting on the board. On Edgemont's first play from scrimmage, senior QB Brian Gerspach hit a wide open Matt Anania (senior TE) with a perfectly thrown pass that resulted in a 56 yard touchdown. The successful extra point attempt left Byram Hills trailing 7-0 after only 20 seconds had elapsed in the game.

The Bobcats did manage to move the ball over midfield on their ensuing possession which featured a nice mix of runs and passing plays. However, the drive stalled as the Panther defense began to apply more pressure on the Bobcat QB (junior Chris Coccaro) and Byram Hills was forced to punt. A low snap gave Edgemont possession on the Bobcat's 47 yard line. Five plays later, Wittenberg blasted over the left side of the Panther line for a one yard TD.

After their first drive, the Bobcats were not able to generate any real offense for the balance of the first half. Edgemont's defensive line (seniors Billy Andrews DT, Greg Anania DE, Matt Anania DE and sophomore Charlie Birns DT) shut down the run and kept chasing Coccaro out of the pocket on pass plays. The Panther offense put up one additional first half score that was vintage Edgemont; a 12 play, 67 yard drive that consumed 6 minutes off the clock. Gerspach's 2 yard run capped off the drive and put Edgemont up 20-0 at the half.

The Bobcats looked as though they might make the game interesting early in the second half as a missed assignment in the Panther secondary resulted in a 53 yard touchdown pass for Byram Hills. However, the Panthers answered immediately with another long drive of their own that ended with Wittenberg scoring his second touchdown of the game. After reestablishing a comfortable 26-7 lead, the Panther defense limited the Bobcats to only 40 yards of offense during the remaining 17 minutes of football; effectively ending any hope that Byram Hills had of getting back into the game.

In addition to the defensive line, Edgemont's linebackers (Wittenberg, junior Kyle Reidy and sophomore Alex Graybeal) also had a fine game as the front seven limited the Bobcats to only 67 yards rushing. Edgemont's offensive line anchored by OT Andrews, C Greg Anania and TE Matt Anania also benefited from the return of junior G Jake Kaplan and junior OT Scott Barsky. In all, Saturday's performance by the Panthers could be termed solid, but not fully dominant. There is still work to be done if Edgemont hopes to compete against the elite in Class B.

The Panthers are at home again next week as the undefeated Eastchester Eagles visit Blanford Field. Game time is set for 1:30 pm.

 
Byram Hills - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Matt Anania 56 yd pass from Brian Gerspach (Jeremy Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Wittenberg 1 yd run (kick failed)


2nd Quarter
Edgemont - Gerspach 2 yd run (Paolercio kick)


3rd Quarter
Byram Hills - Chris Losak 53 yd pass from Chris Coccaro (Tommy Bastardi kick)
Edgemont - Wittenberg 2 yd run (kick failed)


4th Quarter
No scoring

 

GAME 1 - EDGEMONT DEFEATS SLEEPY HOLLOW 31-0
Recap by John Gerspach
 

Edgemont's inaugural game in Class B proved to be a rather one-sided affair as the Panthers easily defeated the Horsemen of Sleepy Hollow on Monday afternoon (September 9th) by a score of 31-0. Sleepy Hollow did not field a varsity team for the 2000 season and their 2001 varsity was forced to disband after 2 games due to low numbers. As such, the Horsemen were, for the most part, a young and inexperienced team with only 3 seniors among their 22 man roster.

The Panthers got off to a fast start as junior HB/DB Ben Bernstein returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. Bernstein ran untouched up the middle of the field, cut to the left sideline at about the 40 yard line and was gone. Bernstein certainly got Edgemont in the scoring column early, but the Panthers were far from finished. Edgemont's first team offense led by senior FB Jake Wittenberg (9 carries for 140 yards and 2 TD's) scored every time they had the ball. Senior QB Brian Gerspach contributed a 2 yard TD run late in the second quarter and sophomore HB Josh Dubin wrapped up the Panther scoring in the third quarter with a 9 yard run around left end. Edgemont's offensive line anchored by senior T Billy Andrews, senior C Greg Anania and senior TE Matt Anania consistently opened large holes in the Horsemen's defense.

While Edgemont's offense was effective, the Panthers' defense was dominant. Sleepy Hollow did not cross mid field until the fourth quarter, generated only 22 yards of offense in the first half (2 first downs, 1 on a penalty) and totaled only 58 yards of total offense for the game. The Panthers had 11 tackles for a loss or no gain including 2 quarterback sacks by junior LB Kyle Reidy. The Anania brothers played very well from their defensive end positions and the defensive backfield (Bernstein, Gerspach and juniors Caleb Smith and Pat Brown) blanketed the Horsemen receivers all afternoon. Smith contributed an interception late in the second half. The Panthers defensive effort was also aided by the strong play of several sophomores, notably T Charlie Birns, LB Alex Graybeal and DE Phil Lugovina.

The game was played in extremely uncomfortable conditions due to the heat (game time temperature was 88 degrees) and high humidity. With both teams playing with limited rosters (Sleep Hollow dressed 22 men for the game while Edgemont dressed 21) which meant that many players were playing both ways as well as special teams, the referees wisely stopped the contest several times for lengthy water breaks.

The Monday contest means that the Panthers will have only a few days to get ready for next weekend's game. On Saturday, September 14, the Bobcats of Byrum Hills visit Edgemont. Game time is slated for 1:30 pm.

 
Sleepy Hollow - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 95 yard kickoff return (Justin Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Jake Wittenberg 11 yard run (kick failed)


2nd Quarter
Edgemont - Wittenberg 31 yard run (kick failed)
Edgemont - Brian Gerspach 2 yard run (kick failed)

3rd Quarter
Edgemont - Josh Dubin 9 yard run (pass failed)


4th Quarter
No scoring