Edgemont Panthers 2003 Roster

Edgemont Panthers 2003 - Game Results


GAME 8 - HARRISON DEFEATS EDGEMONT 16-6

Recap by John Gerspach
 

Saturday (October 25) was a perfect day for playoff football, crisp and cool with a slight overcast. Sure you could argue that the wind was blowing a bit too much, but then that would identify you as someone who concentrates a bit too much on the negatives. When it comes to playoff football, you need to overcome whatever negatives come your way and capitalize on the negatives that beset your opponent. There will always be problems, you just need to minimize yours and take maximum advantage of theirs.

Harrison and Edgemont came into Saturday's Class B quarterfinal game with equal 5-2 records and while the early momentum seemed to favor the visiting Panthers, the Huskies took advantage of numerous mistakes on the part of Edgemont and a key injury to a Panther lineman to post a 16-6 victory. Edgemont had its chances throughout the game but could not dig out itself out of several of the holes created by its own miscues and could not turn either of the Harrison turnovers into scores. Once again, the Panthers started the game without senior G/DT Jake Kaplan (ankle) and lost senior T/DT Scott Barsky during the first quarter to a hamstring. While Barsky did manage to return in the fourth quarter, Edgemont was not able to overcome the loss of the right side of its offensive line and did not have anyone who could fill in for Barsky on defense during the time that he was out of the game. During the two quarters that Barsky played, Edgemont gained 159 yards of total offense while limiting Harrison to 51 yards. During the time he was out, Edgemont could only generate 8 yards of total offense while Harrison rang up 188 yards. In the playoffs however, you have to be able to adapt, improvise and overcome or you don't move on. Harrison moves on to play Rye next week.

Edgemont won the coin toss at the beginning of the game and elected to receive. Senior RB/DB Ben Bernstein returned the opening kickoff out to the 31 yard line and the Panther offense went to work. Junior FB Dren Idrizi picked up 4 yards on a first down carry and then, on second down, senior QB Caleb Smith found Bernstein down the right sideline for a 43 yard gain down to the Harrison 22 yard line. The ball was thrown into a rather stiff breeze and a Husky defender closely guarded Bernstein. However, Bernstein was able to reach back, tip the ball into the air and then catch it just past the defensive back. A rather remarkable play on a pass that could just as easily been incomplete. Four plays later, senior RB/DB Jesse Brooks swept untouched around right end into the end zone for the Panther touchdown. Edgemont missed the extra point but led 6-0 with only 2:34 elapsed in the first quarter.

Junior QB/DB Jeremy Burton returned the subsequent kickoff out to midfield for the Huskies but Harrison could not move the ball against the Panther defense (the Huskies prevented disaster by recovering their own fumble on third down) and were forced to punt. Edgemont put the ball in play on its own 13 yard line coming off a crisp 69 yard drive to start the game and a dominating defensive stop and promptly fumbled the first snap. Harrison recovered the ball on the Panther 14 yard line and two plays later Burton scored on a quarterback sneak to tie the score at 6-6. Bernstein blocked the extra point attempt to keep it that way.

On their next drive, the Panthers used five running plays by three different backs to move the ball from their own 20 to a first down on the Husky 45 yard line. However, the drive came to an abrupt end when a Smith pass was intercepted by senior DB/WR Jeff Noletti on the Harrison 15 yard line. Neither team could mount much of an offense on their next possession and after an exchange of punts, the Huskies put the ball in play on their own 38 yard line for the opening drive of the second quarter. Facing a third and 12, Burton dropped back to pass and lofted the ball downfield trying to hit Noletti on a deep route over the middle. However, the ball hung in the wind and was intercepted by Brooks on the Panther 28 yard line.

Edgemont had another great opportunity to mount a drive. However, on first down, a mix up in the Panther backfield resulted in Smith being tackled for a 10 yard loss; another costly mistake by Edgemont that resulted in yet another exchange of punts. This time the Panthers started from their own 33 yard line with 6:28 left in the half. Bernstein swept around left end for a 9 yard pick up on first down. An illegal procedure penalty on the next play resulted in Edgemont facing a second and 6. Brooks swept around the right side for what appeared to be a 5 yard gain, dragged to the ground under several Husky defenders. However, as the pile began to untangle, several Harrison players began to jump and signal that they had the ball. The officials apparently agreed and ruled that the Huskies had recovered a fumble. When the players were separated, Brooks was on the bottom of the pile still holding the ball. The Edgemont players and coaches disputed the call but to no avail; Harrison had a first down on the Panther 42 yard line. Three plays later, the Huskies had their second touchdown of the day as junior WR/DB Matt Cipolla make an outstanding catch of a Burton pass in the end zone. The successful extra point attempt made the score 13-6 in the favor of Harrison with 4:07 left in the half.

Edgemont went three and out on its subsequent possession and Harrison took the ball over on its own 31 yard line with 2:38 left in the half. The Huskies recovered their own fumble on first down and then began a slow, steady advance downfield. With just 26 seconds remaining, Harrison faced a third and 6 at the Panther 36 yard line. Once again, Burton found Cipolla and the 23 yard completion gave the Huskies a first down on the Edgemont 13 yard line. The Panther defense stiffened at this point and Harrison was forced to settle for a 26 yard field goal and a 16-6 lead just before the half.

The Huskies had the ball for all but 2:26 seconds of the third quarter but could not score and the Panthers offensive woes continued. In the early minutes of the fourth quarter, Harrison drove down to the Edgemont 5 yard line where they had second and goal. A holding penalty and a loss on a running play pushed the Huskies back to the 20 yard line and on third down, Smith intercepted a Burton pass on the 1 yard line where the Panthers took over with 8:35 left in the game. Three running plays left Edgemont still needing 2 yards for a first down. The Panthers went for it on fourth down and an offsides call against Harrison moved the ball out to the 14 yard line. Edgemont converted another fourth down on the next series on a 3 yard run by Idrizi. An 11 yard gain by Smith on a bootleg gave the Panthers a first down on their own 37 yard line. After 3 incompletions, a pass interference call against the Huskies gave Edgemont yet another fourth down conversion and a first down on the Harrison 48 yard line. Three plays later, Smith rolled to his right and hit Bernstein with a perfect pass down the right sideline for a 21 yard gain down to the Husky 24 yard line with 2:46 remaining in the game. Yet another pass interference call against Harrison gave the Panthers a first down on the Husky 14 yard line, but four plays later Edgemont turned the ball over on downs effectively ending the contest.

While senior RB/LB Luigi Rogliano had 102 yards rushing on 15 carries for the Huskies, Burton was the heart and soul of the Harrison offense with 15 carries for 61 yards to go along with 48 yards passing (including a touchdown) and a 40 yard kickoff return. These two players accounted for 211 of the Huskies 239 yards of total offense on the day.

Edgemont will close out its 2003 season at home on Saturday, November 1 against Sleepy Hollow.

 
Harrison - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Jesse Brooks 4 yd run (kick failed)
Harrison - Jeremy Burton 1 yd run (kick failed)


2nd Quarter

Harrison - Matt Cipolla 25 yd pass from Burton (John Gray kick)
Harrison - Gray 26 yd field goal


3rd Quarter

No scoring


4th Quarter
No scoring



GAME 7 - "THAT'S THE WAY THE BALL BOUNCES"
EDGEMONT 24 BYRAM HILLS 7

Recap by Kevin Cronin
 

This past weekend Edgemont traveled north to Byram Hills for the final game of the regular season. The day started out bright and sunny but soon turned cloudy; unfortunately, Edgemont's hopes for a strong finish to the season seemed to dim through the first three quarters along with the weather. The Panthers played poorly and Byram Hills hung tough until the final quarter when Edgemont finally hit its stride and began to play up to its potential.

During the first three quarters of the game the ball seemed to be bouncing Byram Hills' way: every fumble seemed to hit the ground and jump back into the runner's hands, every tipped pass seemed to fall into the hands of a Bobcat. In the fourth quarter, just as the Edgemont fans began to wonder how much longer this could go on, the ball began to bounce Edgemont's way. The momentum started to shift with a bad long snap on a Byram Hills punt attempt, recovered by Edgemont junior RB Josh Dubin. This was followed shortly thereafter by a Bobcat fumble recovered by Edgemont senior DL Justin Finn. Of course, the game wasn't totally about the bounces, but they definitely had an impact.

The first quarter started sunny, and the opening kickoff was returned to the 50 yd line by RB Ben Bernstein. Byram Hills defense held Edgemont's offense to minus 10 yards in the first 2 plays from scrimmage. On 3rd and 20 RB Jesse Brooks ran for a 19-yard pickup, leaving 4th and 1. On the next play Bernstein picked up the needed yardage and the 1st down. QB Caleb Smith then connected with TE Kyle Reidy, bringing the ball to the 4-yard line. Bernstein ran the ball in for the touchdown, but the PAT was blocked. It was at this point that the sun disappeared for Edgemont, both literally and figuratively.

Byram Hills, on their first possession of the game, was able to pick up 2 consecutive first downs. They finally had to punt however, putting Edgemont back on their 17 yd line. The Panthers, using a no-huddle offense, were able to pick up a first down and moved the ball 9 yards on their next play, leaving a 2nd and 1 situation. At 3rd and 1 Smith went to the air, but the pass fell short and was intercepted by Byram Hills. The early part of the 2nd quarter found Edgemont and Byram Hills trading punts.

After this exchange of punts, Byram Hills began to move the ball. A tipped pass ended in the hands of Byram Hills, down on the 27-yard line. The Bobcats picked up another first down, which set up a 16-yard touchdown run by Doug Holdgrafer. The PAT was good and Byram led 7-6. Shortly thereafter Edgemont found themselves at 4th and 3, which they went for, but fell short, turning the ball over on downs. The Bobcats were unable to move the ball and punted to Edgemont, who then took a knee to end the 1st half with the score still only 7-6.

The second half of the game began under the same cloudy skies under which the first half had ended. The Panthers kicked off, but Byram was unable to move the ball and punted. Edgemont, after 2 running plays for no gain, went to the air where they were again intercepted. Byram picked up 2 first downs, but were again forced to punt, downing the ball on the 2 yd line. The Panthers were able to extract themselves from this dangerous situation by gaining enough yardage to be able to punt and, after a penalty against the Bobcats, the ball was placed back out on the 50 yd line.

The fourth quarter found the return of the sun from behind the clouds and the return of the Panthers to a form that their fans have known over the last few years.
After Edgemont's defense held the Bobcats to little or no gain, Byram punted. On a counter, Bernstein ran up the middle, made a good cut, and scored 71 yards later. Smith passed to Bernstein for the 2-point conversion, and Edgemont led 14-7.

Byram Hills was still very much in the game, moved the ball well, and proceeded to pick up 2 first downs. Then the ball started to bounce the wrong way for the Bobcats. After picking up the 2nd first down, Byram threw a pass on a 2nd and 8; but unlike the passes earlier in the game, this one fell incomplete. On 4th and 8 Byram attempted to punt, but the long snap went over the punter's head. Now, instead of bouncing into the hands of a Byram Hills player as it had done previously, the ball was recovered by Josh Dubin. On Edgemont's ensuing possession the Panthers had difficulty moving the ball, fumbled, but were able to recover. They found themselves with a 4th and 10 and went for it, but were unsuccessful. On Byram's next possession they also fumbled; this time the ball bounced Edgemont's way, with Justin Finn making the key recovery.

At this point Edgemont switched quarterbacks, with Justin Paolercio calling the signals. Justin proceeded to run 29 yards for the Panthers third touchdown of the day, and his twin brother Jeremy kicked the PAT to make the score Edgemont 21 - Byram 7.
The passion which had been strangely absent from Edgemont during most of the first three quarters thankfully appeared during this last quarter, both on offense and defense. Edgemont's strong D caused Byram to go 3 and out. The Panther's offense put their kicker, Jeremy Paolercio, in a position to finish off the scoring with a 26 yard field goal, making the final tally Edgemont 24 - Byram Hills 7.

This Saturday Edgemont travels to Harrison High School for a 2 PM quarterfinal playoff game. The Panthers will have to play the entire game with all the intensity they showed in the 4th quarter of this past weeks game….for without it, the football season will be ending a lot sooner than any of us would like.

 
Byram Hills - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 4 yd run (kick failed)


2nd Quarter

Byram Hills - Doug Holdgrafer 16 yd run (Mike Fuschetto kick)


3rd Quarter

No scoring


4th Quarter
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 71 yd run (Smith pass to Bernstein)
Edgemont - Justin Paolercio 28 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Jeremy Paolercio 25 yd field goal



GAME 6 - EDGEMONT ROLLS OVER NANUET 27-0

Recap by John Gerspach
 

Coming into the 2003 season, Edgemont head coach Brian Connolly loved the arsenal of offensive weapons at his disposal, two dominating running backs (seniors Ben Bernstein and Jesse Brooks), a quarterback (senior Caleb Smith) who figured to be one of the better passers in Section 1 and a tight end (senior Kyle Reidy) who was an excellent pass catcher and a dominating run blocker. During preseason camp, the offensive line featuring four seniors (Scott Barsky, Jake Kaplan, Pedro Concolino and Pat Brown) along with junior Charlie Birns came together to work effectively as a unit allowing Connolly to get the most out of the running and passing game. The result of the potential and the hard work was evidenced in the Panthers ringing up 41 points in the first half of the season opener against Somers. Everything worked according to plan. Bernstein and Brooks ran for big gains, Smith was able to throw and Reidy hauled in 2 passes for touchdowns. All of this accomplished while the offensive line, working as a unit, opened the holes and protected the passer.

Unfortunately, the first half of the Somers game has been the only two consecutive quarters that Edgemont's starting offensive line has been on field this season. Injuries and illness have forced Barsky, Kaplan and Brown to miss all or parts of several games and Concolino, who had been the starting center, has been forced to move to guard the past two games. Only Birns has started and finished every game at his left tackle spot.
The constant shuffling of the line has played a large part in the inconsistency shown by the Panther offense.

Saturday's (October 11) game against the Golden Knights of Nanuet was no exception. Despite some big plays early on, Edgemont (still missing two starters from the offensive line and with Concolino forced to move to guard) was unable to complete any drives during a scoreless first quarter. Nanuet's defensive interior repeatedly collapsed the center of the Panther offensive line effectively shutting down Edgemont's inside running game. When the Panthers came on the field for their first possession of the second quarter, Connolly made yet another adjustment in Edgemont's offensive line inserting
6' 2", 275 lb senior Liam Cronin (normally a defensive tackle) at center. While Cronin had only one day of practice at the position in the week leading up to the game, his presence seemed to fix whatever problems were ailing the Panthers. Edgemont scored the next four times it had the ball and rolled to a 27-0 victory over the Golden Knights.

For the day, the Panthers generated 389 yards of total offense with 305 of those yards coming on the ground. Bernstein led the Edgemont attack with 19 carries for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Bernstein also had a 21 yard pass reception as well as an interception while playing defense. Smith chipped in with 64 rushing yards on 7 carries while completing 5 passes out of 8 attempts for 84 yards and a touchdown. On defense, the Panthers limited Nanuet to only 91 yards of total offense (53 yards rushing on 29 carries) while registering 3 QB sacks (one each by Birns and juniors Alex Graybeal and Phil Lugovina). Nanuet's offense suffered a major loss when starting junior QB Omar Bastar was unable to return for the second half due to a back injury.

Edgemont took the opening kickoff but after picking up 4 yards on a sweep by Brooks, two interior runs lost 3 yards and the Panthers were forced to punt. Nanuet also went three and out and the Panthers started their second drive from their own 17 yard line. Three sweeps (two by Bernstein, one by Brooks) moved the ball all the way down to the Knights 24 yard line. However, after two interior runs and a fumbled snap, an incompletion on fourth down gave the ball back to Nanuet on their own 21 yard line. The Knights again went three and out and Edgemont's subsequent drive was halted once again as the Panthers failed to convert on a fourth down play on the Nanuet 28 yard line on the opening play of the second quarter.

The Knights capitalized on a 20 yard scramble by Bastar to move the ball into Edgemont territory with a first down on the Panther 48 yard line. However, three plays later they were again forced to punt and the Panthers took over on their own 30 yard line. It was at this point that Cronin entered the game at center. I can't say that he had an immediate impact as a screen pass to Brooks on first down lost 8 yards. However, a 7 yard gain by Bernstein off a trap play followed by a 9 yard gain on a Bernstein sweep left Edgemont facing a fourth and 2 from their own 38 yard line. Whether your point of view is that Connolly believes in his team or that Connolly believes in challenging his team, the fact of the matter is that Edgemont went for it on fourth down with Bernstein carrying the ball up the middle for an 11 yard gain and a first down. Four plays later, the Panthers had a first and 15 from the Nanuet 27 yard line. The next two plays proved to be the turning point in the game. On first down, an errant pitch left Brooks facing a sure 5 yard loss on an option play. He broke the hold of two tacklers then ran through another and managed to turn a 5 yard loss into a 6 yard gain. On second down, Bernstein ran a sweep to the right side. Finding a wall of Nanuet defenders, he completely reversed his field and benefiting from a nice block by Smith ran 21 yards down the left sideline for the initial score of the game. After the extra point, Edgemont led 7-0 with 2:52 left in the half.

After Nanuet was again forced to punt, the Panthers got the ball back on their own 32 yard line with just 50 seconds left. On first down Smith found senior HB Justin Paolercio open over the middle for a 22 yard gain down to the Knights 46 yard line. As the clock continued to run, Smith once again dropped back to pass. This time his target was Reidy who had managed to slip behind the Nanuet secondary. Reidy caught Smith's pass on the 15 yard line and ran untouched to end zone. Edgemont led 14-0 at the half.

The second half started the way the first had ended. Edgemont scored on its first two possessions with Bernstein scoring on a 39 yard trap play and then Brooks going 4 yards off tackle for the Panthers final score of the day. Nanuet was never able to mount much of a threat and Edgemont cleared the bench during the fourth quarter.

The Panthers travel to Byram Hills next Saturday to take on the 3-3 Bobcats in the last game of the regular season. Kickoff is set for 2 pm.

 
Nanuet - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
No scoring


2nd Quarter

Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 21 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Kyle Reidy 46 yd pass from Caleb Smith (Paolercio kick)


3rd Quarter

Edgemont - Bernstein 39 yd run (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Jesse Brooks 4 yd run (Paolercio kick)


4th Quarter
No scoring




GAME 5 - EDGEMONT DOMINATES PEARL RIVER
DEFEATS OVERMATCHED PIRATES 45-7

Recap by John Gerspach
 

It would be an overstatement to say that Saturday's (October 4) game between the Edgemont Panthers and the Pearl River Pirates was over before they announced the starting lineups. It would be accurate however, to state that the game appeared to be over as soon as the Pirates won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half. This decision gave the visiting Panthers the chance to start the game on offense and, once they started, they didn't stop.

Edgemont scored touchdowns on its first 6 possessions needing only 13 offensive plays to post a 39-0 lead. The Panthers generated 235 yards of total offense in the first half (196 yards in the first quarter) while limiting the Pirates to only 8 yards during the first 24 minutes of play. Edgemont's defense had 5 quarterback sacks (2 by junior DE Charlie Birns and 1 each by senior DT Liam Cronin, junior LB Alex Graybeal and junior DE Phil Lugovina) and also recorded 2 interceptions (senior DB Jesse Brooks and senior LB Kyle Reidy). Birns and Reidy had particularly strong defensive games for the Panthers.

Edgemont went into the game without its starting offensive guards as both Pat Brown and Jake Kaplan were forced to miss the game with injuries. In order to compensate for these losses, the Connolly brothers (Head Coach Brian and First Assistant Coach Tim) made several changes in the offensive line. Graybeal took over one guard spot while senior C Pedro Concolino moved over to man the other guard position and junior Dan Depasquale got his first varsity start at center. Fortunately for the Panthers, senior T Scott Barsky returned to the lineup after missing the last 2 games. Barsky and Birns at least gave Edgemont stability at the tackle positions. The patchwork line did an admirable job as 8 different Panther backs rushed for 292 yards on 35 carries for the day. Bernstein led all rushers with 121 yards on 7 carries and 4 touchdowns while Brooks added 85 yards on 3 carries with 1 touchdown. Junior FB Dren Idrizi was the workhorse for the Panthers carrying the ball 14 times for 53 hard earned yards.

The second half was played under running time as Edgemont emptied its bench at the beginning of the third quarter. Pearl River avoided a shutout on a 65 yard screen pass from junior QB Dan O'Malley to junior RB Mike Rutledge early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers wrapped up the scoring with 3:30 to go in the game as sophomore QB Paul Rosen scored his first varsity touchdown on a 16 yard bootleg around right end. Sophomore SE Spencer Weinman sprung Rosen on the play with a nice downfield block.

Edgemont will host Nanuet next week with game time set for 2pm.

 
Pearl River - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 15 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Bernstein 44 yd run (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Jesse Brooks 24 yd run (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Bernstein 6 yd run (pass failed)


2nd Quarter

Edgemont - Caleb Smith 1 yd run (kick failed)
Edgemont - Bernstein 31 yd run (run failed)


3rd Quarter

No scoring


4th Quarter
Pearl River - Mike Rutledge 65 yd pass from Dan O'Malley (O'Malley kick)
Edgemont - Paul Rosen 16 yd run (kick failed)

 

 

GAME 4 - RYE OUTMUSCLES EDGEMONT 32-14

Recap by John Gerspach
 

It would be fairly easy to make a case that Thursday's (September 25) game between Edgemont and Rye at Edgemont's Blanford Field was a lot closer than the final score would indicate. After all, the Garnets only led by a score of 20-14 with just over 8 minutes left in the game and the Panthers were on the Rye 37 yard line facing a fourth and 3. However, while a 63 yard interception return by Rye senior LB Bill Kindler on the fourth down play effectively put the game out of reach for Edgemont, Rye's complete dominance of both the offensive and defensive lines throughout most of the game should have enabled the Garnets to put this game away much earlier. Dropped passes and holding penalties plagued Rye throughout the game.

Edgemont was forced to play most of the game without two of its starting offensive lineman, senior OT Scott Barsky (illness) and senior OG Jacob Kaplan (injury). Missing the right side of its starting offensive line proved to be too much of a handicap for the Panthers. How important were the missing linemen to Edgemont's cause? Consider the fact that Kaplan only participated in two offensive series. During these series, the Panthers managed 113 yards of offense (Edgemont only had 195 yards of total offense for the game) and both series resulted in touchdowns (the only points that Edgemont would record on the day). The Panthers just did not have the depth at these positions to match the strength of the Garnet defensive front.

Edgemont took the opening kickoff and after three running plays netted only 1 yard, the Panthers were forced to punt. Rye began its opening drive from its own 22 yard line and quickly established its running game. Eight straight runs mixing the talents of senior FB Will Donahue, senior HB Ed Urso and senior QB John Niehaus gave the Garnets a first down on the Edgemont 21 yard line. The Panther defense, after calling a timeout to regroup, stopped Urso for no gain on an attempted sweep around right end and. Despite its success on the ground up to this point, Rye went to the air and the drive stalled as passes were dropped and receivers were overthrown. Edgemont took over on downs and again went three and out.

Senior RB Steve Ramsey returned the ensuing punt 27 yards down to the Edgemont 36 yard line giving the Garnets excellent field position. After picking up a quick first down at the Edgemont 24 yard line, a holding penalty on first down pushed Rye back to the 34. After a dropped pass and two short runs, Niehaus dropped back to pass on fourth and 12 and found senior RB Pat Bassett in the end zone between two Panther defenders for a 26 yard touchdown and (after the extra point) a 7-0 Rye lead with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.

Edgemont returned the kickoff out to its own 36 yard line where its offense (which had only registered 5 total yards in two previous drives) went to work. Senior RB Ben Bernstein went off tackle for a 9 yard gain, then a 21 yard slant pass from senior QB Caleb Smith to senior RB Jesse Brooks followed by another Bernstein run left the Panthers with a first down at the Garnet 17 yard line. Two plays later, Brooks swept around right end for an 11 yard touchdown run. On the extra point attempt, Edgemont executed a fake kick with Smith (the holder) rolling to his right and finding senior RB Justin Paolercio in the end zone for 2 points.

Edgemont led 8-7 and immediately pressed its advantage by attempting an onsides kick. The Garnets were caught flat footed and junior RB Josh Dubin recovered the kick for the Panthers on the Rye 49 yard line. On second and four, Bernstein found daylight up the middle and outran the Garnet defense for a 43 yard touchdown. Rye stopped Edgemont's 2 point attempt and the score remained 14-7 in the favor of Edgemont.

After Urso returned the subsequent kickoff out to the Rye 45 yard line, the Garnets went to work. Despite another holding penalty, eleven plays later (9 runs and 2 pass completions) Rye had a third down and 3 on the Panther 10 yard line. Niehaus dropped back to pass and overthrew his intended receiver in the end zone. However, Edgemont was guilty of pass interference on the play and the Garnets were given a first down on the 5 yard line. Donohue went off tackle on the next play for the score. Rye's extra point tied the score at 14 with just over 1:30 left in the half. The Panthers could mount no offense on their next possession and the half ended with the score knotted at 14-14.

The Garnets started the second half with the ball on their own 35 yard line and used a series of running plays to move the ball down to the Edgemont 36 yard line where they faced a third and five. However, a flea flicker pass on third down failed to mesmerize the Panthers (perhaps because they see it every time they play Rye) and a fourth down run gained only 4 yards and so Edgemont took over on downs. The Panthers again failed to generate any offense and punted the ball back to Rye.

The Garnets took over on their own 38 yard line and began to march downfield. Along the way they were forced to overcome yet another holding penalty but received a break when Edgemont was flagged again for pass interference. Sandwiched around these two penalties, six strong running plays moved Rye down to the Panther 11 yard line where they faced a third and four. A dropped pass on third down did not seem to deter Niehaus as he calmly proceeded to once again find Bassett for a touchdown on a fourth down pass. Edgemont senior LB Kyle Reidy blocked the extra point and Rye led 20-14.

The Panthers (three and out) and Garnets (30 yards of offense) exchanged punts on their next possessions and the fourth quarter started with Edgemont beginning a drive from its own 19 yard line. Behind four strong runs (two each by Brooks and Bernstein) and aided by a pass interference call against Rye, the Panthers had a first down on the Garnet 44 yard line. An incompletion on first down followed by two Smith runs left Edgemont facing a fourth and three. Smith rolled to his left and was hit by Urso (playing defensive end) as he released the ball. The errant pass floated into the arms of Kindler who ran down the sideline for a 63 yard return and a touchdown.

Edgemont fumbled on its next possession with Rye recovering the ball on the Panther 29 yard line. Five plays later, Donohue went off tackle for a 10 yard run and his second touchdown of the day. When Reidy again blocked the extra point, the Rye lead and ultimately the final score was left at 32-14. Rye head coach Dino Garr was finally able to celebrate his first win ever (9 straight losses heading into this game) over Edgemont.

For the game, Rye generated 350 yards of offense (265 yards on the ground) lead by Donohue's 23 carries for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. Niehaus finished with 5 completions on 12 attempts for 85 yards with 2 touchdowns. Edgemont generated only 45 yards of offense and 3 first downs (one on a Rye penalty) in the second half. For Edgemont the key to the rest of the season is clearly in the health/ability of the offensive line.

Edgemont travels to Pearl River next Saturday. Game time is set for 1:30 pm.

 
Rye - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Rye - Pat Bassett 26 yd pass from John Niehaus (Rainer Fiala kick)


2nd Quarter
Edgemont - Jesse Brooks 11 yd run (Justin Paolercio pass from Caleb Smith)
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 43 yd run (pass failed)
Rye - Will Donohue 5 yd run (Fiala kick)


3rd Quarter
Rye - Bassett 11 yd pass from Niehaus (kick failed)


4th Quarter
Rye - Bill Kindler 63 yd interception return (kick failed)
Rye - Donohue 10 yd run (kick failed)

 

 

GAME 3 - EDGEMONT BOUNCES BACK
WITH 41-14 WIN OVER PANAS

Recap by John Gerspach
 
Edgemont came into Saturday's (September 20) game against the Walter Panas Panthers determined to get their season back on track after the previous week's one point loss to Harrison. This determination fueled a first quarter offense that rang up 173 yards (all on the ground), scored 3 touchdowns (on three possessions) and posted a 20-0 lead after the first twelve minutes of play. While the Edgemont offense was running at will, the Edgemont defense was limiting the Panas offense to only 28 total yards including 3 sacks. Determination had quickly turned into dominance.

After the relatively crisp play of the first quarter, the game turned ugly; marred by turnovers (including 3 Edgemont fumbles) and penalties (7 holding penalties, 5 personal fouls including 2 unsportsmanlike conduct) committed by both teams. Edgemont was clearly the superior team and Panas never gave any indication that it was capable of winning the game. However, the constant stoppages combined with the heat seemed to disrupt Edgemont's rhythm and produced an uncharacteristic loss of discipline on the part of Edgemont as they played down to the level of the competition for much of the balance of the game.

Edgemont took the opening kickoff and quickly established its running game moving the ball 62 yards on just six plays with senior RB Ben Bernstein going in from 17 yards out for the touchdown. The extra point attempt was no good and Edgemont led 6-0.

Panas came into the game having won its first two games behind the running of senior TB Jason Payne (320 yards on 34 carries with 3 TD). Despite this proven record of success on the ground, Panas opened with an empty backfield and tried 4 passing plays on its opening series. While Panas did pick up a first down on an 11 yard completion from senior QB Kyle Pierce to junior TE Billy Honovich on its first play from scrimmage, the next three plays resulted in a 4 yard completion, a scramble by Pierce for a 1 yard gain and then, on third down, Edgemont's Kyle Reidy (senior LB) sacked Pierce for a 7 yard loss and Panas was forced to punt. This time Edgemont needed only 3 plays before senior RB Jesse Brooks scored Edgemont's second touchdown on a 1 yard run off left tackle.

On its second series, Panas started from its own 31 yard line and went back to what it seemed to have done best during its two wins. Payne picked up a first down with a ten yard gain around left end. His next two carries generated only 4 yards and Pierce dropped back to pass on third down. Two Edgemont defenders missed bringing Pierce down behind the line of scrimmage and Pierce scrambled around right end for an 11 yard gain and a first down at the Panas 45 yard line. A first down run produced only 1 yard and then Edgemont's junior DE Dren Idrizi and junior LB Alex Graybeal sacked Pierce on successive plays. Bernstein returned the Panas punt out to Edgemont's 40 yard line.

A touchdown on a 60 yard screen pass from senior QB Caleb Smith to Brooks on the first play of Edgemont's subsequent possession was called back because of a holding penalty.
However, this proved to just a bump in the road for the Edgemont offense. Capitalizing on a 36 yard run by Bernstein on the very next play, Edgemont scored again six plays later with Brooks going in from 6 yards out as time expired in the first quarter.

The second quarter opened with Edgemont kicking the ball out of bounds giving Panas possession at their own 35 yard line. Pierce found Payne open on first down for a 13 yard gain and then, facing a third and nine, Pierce again escaped the grasp of several Edgemont defenders in his own backfield and scrambled downfield for a 25 yard gain to the Edgemont 26 yard line. After two running plays lost 3 yards, Pierce connected with senior SE Ross Mantell for a 29 yard touchdown pass. With 8:41 left in the second quarter, Panas now trailed by a score of 20-7.

Edgemont misplayed the subsequent kickoff giving them the ball on their own 15. Then, after picking up a first down, a holding penalty followed by a Panas sack of Smith forced Edgemont to punt from deep in their own territory. Payne returned the punt all the way down to the Edgemont 30 yard line, but this return was negated by a holding penalty which brought the ball all the way back to the Panas 45 yard line.

Panas snapped the ball 9 times on its next possession suffering through 2 illegal procedure penalties, a holding penalty, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, another sack of Pierce by Graybeal and 2 incompletions. On one play, Pierce did manage to gain 13 yards on yet another scramble. However, on the ninth snap, Panas punted. Edgemont put the ball in play from their own 33 yard line and promptly fumbled on their first play from scrimmage.

Panas began their drive on the Edgemont 30 yard line with 3:05 left in the half. Three minutes later, after another holding penalty and two more QB sacks (including another by Graybeal and one shared by senior DT Pedro Concolino and junior DT Phil Lugovina), the Panas drive ended on the Edgemont 41 yard line. Mercifully, Smith took a knee to end the half.

Panas could do nothing on its opening drive of the third quarter and was forced to punt from its own 21 yard line. Bernstein received the punt on the Panas 45, eluded one tackler and then was the recipient of a monster block from Reidy who wiped out two Panas players. Bernstein then outran the rest of the Panas team for his second touchdown of the day. On the extra point attempt, the snap was low and eluded Smith who was the holder. However, senior K Jeremy Paolercio calmly picked the ball off the ground, rolled to his right and found his brother, senior RB Justin Paolercio in the end zone for a two point conversion. Edgemont led 28-7.

Panas went three and out on its next possession with Edgemont taking the ball over on its own 46 yard line. Edgemont, behind the running of Brooks and Bernstein and a key third down completion from Smith to Justin Paolercio covered the 64 yards in 10 plays with Brooks finally scampering around left end for 5 yards and the touchdown. There was 3:25 left in the third quarter and Edgemont now had a 35-7 lead. After recovering a Panas fumble on their next possession, Edgemont needed only 2 plays to score their final touchdown of the day, with Bernstein scoring from 16 yards out. 59 seconds remained in the third quarter and while Panas did block the extra point attempt, Edgemont now lead 41-7.

Panas did manage a final score with 3:36 left in the game with Pierce again connecting with Mantell, this time for a 16 yard touchdown pass. The score came 6 plays after Panas had recovered an Edgemont fumble.

Edgemont finished up with 288 yards of total offense with Brooks (15 carries, 123 yards with 3 TDs) and Bernstein (9 carries, 117 yards with 2 TDs rushing and another TD on a punt return) doing most of the work. On defense, Edgemont spent the better part of the day chasing Pierce. The senior QB attempted 27 passes completing 11 for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns with one interception. However, he was sacked 7 times for a combined 51 yards of losses and on another 7 plays he was forced out of the pocket but managed to pick up a combined 59 yards on scrambles. Panas managed just 148 yards of offense for the day.

Edgemont returns home next week to face Rye. Due to the Jewish Holiday, the game will be played on Thursday afternoon. This means that both teams will be going into this important game with a very short practice week.

 
Panas - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 17 yd run (kick failed)
Edgemont - Jesse Brooks 1 yd run (Jeremy Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Brooks 6 yd run (Paolercio kick)


2nd Quarter
Panas - Ross Mantell 29 yd pass from Kyle Pierce (Mantell kick)


3rd Quarter
Edgemont - Bernstein 45 yd punt return (Justin Paolercio pass from Jeremy Paolercio)
Edgemont - Brooks 6 yd run (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Bernstein 16 yd run (kick failed)


4th Quarter
Panas - Mantell 16 yd pass from Pierce (Mantell kick)

 

 

GAME 2 - HARRISON HOLDS ON
DEFEATS EDGEMONT 7-6

Recap by John Gerspach
 

In the days leading up to Saturday 's (September 13) game, Brian Connolly (Edgemont's Head Coach) had two main concerns. The first, of course, was the Harrison football team; the second was the impending threat of rain. Both arrived at Edgemont's Blanford Field about an hour before the scheduled kickoff. The rain came down in buckets prior to the start of the game then tapered down to a constant mist accompanied by intermittent showers. The Harrison Huskies were accompanied by the entire Harrison Football Nation complete with the usual escort by the Harrison Police (although the Harrison marching band was absent, apparently due to the weather). Both the weather and the Huskies combined to throw a wet blanket over Edgemont's hopes to secure a bit of payback for the two defeats (their only 2 losses of the 2002 season) that the Panthers suffered last year at the hands of the Huskies.

The final score (7-6) was indicative of how evenly the game was played. In the end, the outcome seemed to be determined by two factors, the dominance of the Harrison defensive line over the offensive line of the Panthers and costly mistakes made by Edgemont. Oh yes, and one individual, Harrison senior RB/LB Luigi Rogliano who was the mainstay of the Huskies offense (22 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown) and the dominant force of the Huskies defense with 14 tackles and relentless pursuit of the Edgemont backs.

Harrison won the coin toss at the start of the game and elected to receive. After a touchback on the opening kickoff, the Huskies put the ball in play on their own 20 yard line. A series of runs by Rogliano (mainly off tackle) and junior RB/DB Nick Jeraci (mainly sweeps around left end) moved the ball down to the Edgemont 34 yard line. However, the Panther defense stiffened and facing a 4th down and 11, the Huskies elected to punt with the ball downed at the Edgemont 11 yard line. The Panthers picked up two quick first downs and moved the ball out to the 34 yard line. On a 3rd and 7 play, Edgemont senior RB/DB Jesse Brooks swept around left end and appeared to have a first down at the Harrison 40 yard line. However, a holding penalty against the Panthers negated this run and, subsequently, Edgemont was forced to punt.

Taking over on their own 44 yard line, the Huskies moved the ball down to the Panther 31 as the first quarter came to an end. However, Edgemont recovered a Harrison fumble on the first play of the second quarter thereby ending the threat. The Panthers looked to capitalize immediately on the turnover and senior QB Caleb Smith found senior TE/LB Kyle Reidy open for a gain down to the Huskies 35 yard line. Three running plays later and Edgemont had the ball with a first down on the Harrison 22 yard line. However, a first down pass play lost 5 yards and an incomplete pass on 4th and 4 gave the ball back over to the Huskies. Neither team mounted much of an offense for the remainder of the quarter and the half ended scoreless.

Edgemont mishandled the kickoff to open the second half forcing their offense to start at their own 7 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, senior RB/DB Ben Bernstein found a hole and moved the ball out to the Panther 40 yard line. After three running plays netted only 9 yards, Edgemont elected to go for it on 4th down from their own 49 yard line. However, Smith was stopped for no gain on an option keeper around right end and Harrison took over on downs.

The Huskies could gain only 2 yards on their first two plays. Facing a 3rd and 8, junior QB Jeremy Burton (Harrison alternated Burton and senior QB R.J. Hopwood for most of the game) rolled to his right looking to pass. Flushed from the pocket by the Panther pass rush, Burton began to scramble and was stopped well short of the first down. However, Edgemont committed a face mask penalty on the play and the Huskies ended up with a first down at the Panther 31. Four plays later, Harrison faced a 3rd and 14 from the Edgemont 21. On the third down play, Hopwood was inserted into the lineup replacing Burton and the senior found Jeraci for a 19 yard completion down to the Edgemont 2 yard line. Two plays later, Rogliano scored the touchdown and junior K John Grey's extra point gave the Huskies a 7-0 lead.

The Panthers could do little with their next possession and were forced to punt. Harrison, starting from their own 42, quickly moved the ball down to the Edgemont 25 yard line at the beginning of the fourth quarter primarily on the strength of two runs by Hopwood. Three dives into the line left the Huskies facing a 4th and 1 on the Panther 16. Rather than go for it on fourth down, Harrison head coach Art Troillo, Jr. elected to attempt a field goal. The 33 yard attempt was short and wide left.

Edgemont, starting from its own 20, picked up a quick first down on a 10 yard completion from Smith to senior SE/DB Marc Forman. A 12 yard sweep by Brooks and two more Smith completions to Reidy and junior RB/DB Josh Dubin resulted in the Panthers having a first down on the Huskies 20 yard line. A short run, two incompletions and an illegal procedure penalty left Edgemont facing a 4th and 15. On the fourth down play, Smith once again found Reidy open over the middle and the completion moved the ball down to the 2 yard line. Bernstein burst into the end zone on the next play and with 4 minutes left in the game, the Harrison lead was trimmed to 7-6 with Edgemont still left to attempt the extra point. The stoppage of the game as the referee administered the four minute warning to each side gave ample time for Connolly to consider his options. The Panthers elected to go for the 2 point conversion (the long snapper had an injured hand, the ball was wet). On the conversion attempt, Edgemont had the ball placed on the far left hash mark. Smith rolled to his right looking for an open receiver. He finally spotted one in the back of the end zone, but the pass sailed a bit too high and the Panthers still trailed by a single point.

Harrison recovered the ensuing onsides kick attempt but elected to punt on 4th and 1. Edgemont took over on their own 18 yard line with just over 2 minutes left in the game. On second down, Smith found senior RB/DB Justin Paolercio for a 15 yard completion and then another completed pass to Forman moved the ball down to the Huskies 40 yard line. However, after two incomplete pass attempts, Harrison recovered a Panther fumble with just under a minute to play stopping the last Edgemont threat. Hopwood went to his knee on each of the three next snaps and time ran out.

For the game, Edgemont did out gain Harrison as the Panthers rang up 294 yards of offense to only 232 yards for the Huskies. However, Edgemont's rushing attack was limited to only 130 yards on 33 carries. In the end, it was the inability of the Panthers to establish a running game (appropriate kudos should be given to Harrison's defense) combined with several untimely mistakes that proved costly to Edgemont. The Harrison defense received outstanding play from Rogliano and junior DB Jay Colabella with the two combining for 25 tackles on the day.

Edgemont travels to Walter Panas for next week's game. Kickoff is set for 1:30pm.

 
Harrison - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
No scoring


2nd Quarter
No scoring

3rd Quarter
Harrison Luigi Rogliano 1 yd run (John Grey kick)


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

 

 

GAME 1 - EDGEMONT LIGHTS IT UP !
PANTHERS BEAT SOMERS 47 - 7

Recap by Kevin Kronin
 

Edgemont High School started playing football in 1956 and, in those forty-seven years, had never played a night game on their home field. That changed Friday evening, September 5th, when they hosted Somers in the opening game of the 2003 season.

The weather was perfect, the crowd was large (2000+ by most estimates), and it proved to be a great night for the Edgemont community. There was almost a carnival feel to the evening, with families and young children mixed in with the diehard football fans. The success of the event was no small feat, but rather the result of much hard work by a handful of fund-raising parents (Geoff and Barbra Barsky, Beth Birns and Abby Smith) as well as by Coach Connolly and AD Jim SanMarco.

At the start of the game Somers won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball. This allowed Jeremy Paolercio to showcase his kicking talent, refined in the off-season through hard work and his attendance at a kicking camp. He did not disappoint (now or later, for during the game he would go 5 for 5 in the PAT department). Jeremy put the ball inside the 8-yard line where Somers mishandled the ball and was able to bring it out only to the 12-yard line. After a strong defensive stance from Edgemont and two of their own penalties, Somers found themselves back on the 9-yard line where they punted on 4th down.

Edgemont's first possession culminated in QB Caleb Smith connecting with TE Kyle Reidy on a 36 yard TD pass over the middle. The next series for Somers again wound up with them punting. Edgemont moved the ball on the ground, setting up RB Ben Bernstein for the first of his two touchdown runs, this one from the 22 yard line. Minutes later, Somers fumbled the ball and DT Scott Barsky recovered for Edgemont. This allowed Smith to again connect with Reidy for their second TD pass from over 30 yards out.

Before the season started there was little doubt that Edgemont had the goods, offense-wise. What did have some people worried was how Edgemont's defensive line would perform this year, what with the graduation of 4-year starter and All-State lineman Billy Andrews. Although Somers had graduated a slew of talent itself, the one area in which Somers legendary Coach DeMatteo was reported to have some confidence was his offensive line, which was experienced and big. Yet the Edgemont defensive line of Scott Barsky (6'1" 235 lbs.), Liam Cronin (6'2" 275 lbs.), Jacob Kaplan (5'11" 245 lbs.) and Dren Idrizi (6'0" 230lbs) held Somers to less than 30 yards during this first quarter of play.

A bright spot for Somers came in the last minute of the first quarter when they were able to return a kickoff to the Edgemont 35-yard line. But the kick returner was stopped there by Ben Bernstein, who had a great tackle from behind, and the quarter ended with Edgemont leading Somers 21-0. (Note: Edgemont's offense only ran nine plays to score these 21 points.)

This advantageous field position eventually led to the Tuskers' only score of the day, a two yard plunge by their fullback, Rob Gonzalez, two minutes into the second quarter. However, this score was quickly answered by the Bernstein & Brooks road show. Senior HB Jesse Brooks, after two injury-plagued years, returned with a sweet 49-yard scamper around the right for his first touchdown since his sophomore year. The kickoff was again mishandled by Somers, hitting the kick returner's chest and bouncing back 10 yards toward Edgemont, where it was recovered by Ben Bernstein. Two minutes later, Ben followed up with a 20-yard touchdown run. Somers next possession ended with another punt, and with three minutes left in the half, Jesse Brooks again ran for a touchdown, this time from 54 yards out. The first half thus ended with a score of Edgemont 41 and Somers 7.

The second half saw liberal substituting by both coaches--- a sign of class coaching. Somers kicked off to start the second half and was able to force Edgemont to punt for the first time. Somers blocked and recovered the punt, and then found itself with a 4th down and 4 yards to go. The Tuskers went for it, and got it by 2 inches. Their drive would end, however, in an interception, when Somers looked to the endzone but was picked off by junior DB Josh Dubin. Josh started running from three yards deep in the endzone, and made it to the 24-yard line before he was stopped by a lone Somers defender.

The remaining minutes in the 3rd and 4th quarters were filled with 2nd team offense and defense getting much deserved playing time. Of particular interest in the 4th quarter was a fumble by Somers, which was recovered by Panthers LB Pat Brown; this set up a 15-yard touchdown run by first year player FB Dren Idrizi. The game ended with a final score of Edgemont 47, Somers 7.

The Panthers put on quite a show for their spectators in this season opening game, thanks to:
· the sure hands of Kyle Reidy
· the talented toe of Jeremy Paolercio
· the confident arm of Caleb Smith
· the gazelle-like runs of Jesse Brooks
· the after-burner speed of Ben Bernstein
· the strong debut of Charlie Birns at middle linebacker
· the dominant play of the defensive line
· the excellent coaching by the Connollys, Boyer, Hoover and Fagan
· the joy of watching every player get into the game

The boys will be continuing their hard work this week as they prepare to face Harrison, the defending State Champion, next Saturday, September 13th, at Edgemont at 1:30.

 
Somers - Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Edgemont - Kyle Reidy 38 yd pass from Caleb Smith (Jeremy Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Ben Bernstein 20 yd run (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Reidy 30 yd pass from Smith (Paolercio kick)


2nd Quarter
Somers - Rob Gonzalez 2 yd run (Pete Vieira kick)
Edgemont - Jesse Brooks 49 yd run (run failed)
Edgemont - Bernstein 20 yd run (Paolercio kick)
Edgemont - Brooks 54 yd run (Paolercio kick)


3rd Quarter
No scoring


4th Quarter
Edgemont - Dren Idrizi 15 yd run (pass failed)