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Scarsdale believes it brings different team into rematch

Posted Friday, November 04, 2016 by http://usatodayhss.com/

http://usatodayhss.com/2016/scarsdale-believes-it-brings-different-team-into-rematch

 

SCARSDALE – Their coach has made it a habit of reminding them, but the Scarsdale players aren’t all that interested in discussing what occurred on their home field back in September against New Rochelle.

“It’s far in the past. We’re a new team,” senior quarterback Barry Klein said. “And it’s just not a great thought to think about.”

The Raiders were run over in that meeting, losing 34-0 on a night that seemed to suggest they weren’t ready to contend for a Section 1 title. But, less than two months later, here they are, poised for a rematch against a Class AA juggernaut in the program’s first title game ever.

SCHEDULE: Section 1 playoff results and schedule

CLASS B PREVIEW: Pleasantville driven to prove win was no fluke

CLASS C PREVIEW: Rematch a whole new game for Woodlands, Dobbs Ferry

CLASS D PREVIEW: Tuckahoe, Haldane thankful for second season

Is flipping the outcome of what coach Andy Verboys has dubbed “a thumping” even possible?

“I think we know we can win,” senior running back Nick Leone said. “We know we’re a completely different team. I think if we come out and play our kind of football, we have a shot.”

Scarsdale High School football quarterback Barry Klein during practice at the school on Nov. 2, 2016.

 

Scarsdale High School football quarterback Barry Klein during practice at the school on Nov. 2, 2016.

Scarsdale’s brand of football has become more defined in recent weeks and has spurred the team to rip off three straight postseason wins, including two on the road against John Jay-East Fishkill and Arlington, which were 14-1 combined. The surge has centered around the return of Klein from a broken bone in his left wrist. He has kept the option offense humming with big runs and quick decisions and learned new techniques to take snaps and pitch the ball because of a protective brace.

It hasn’t slowed him down. If anything, Klein has played his best football ever.

“Barry has really developed as an option quarterback,” Verboys said. “He’s such a student of the game. He’s a perfectionist.”

Scarsdale’s optimism for its rematch with New Rochelle doesn’t hinge on Klein alone. He has helped the Raiders play with more speed and tempo, but so have other personnel changes.

Since that loss back on Sept. 16, Leone, who leads the team in rushing yards and touchdowns, has shifted from halfback to fullback. Alex Miller replaced him on the wing and has blossomed as a runner and receiver.

CLASS AA SEMIFINAL: Even New Rochelle shutout leaves DiRienzo wanting more

The defense has been buoyed by the decision to move two-way starter Robert Keith to linebacker, among other tweaks.


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We were trying to find the right position for kids — where did they fit best,” Verboys said. “That’s why there’s been a lot of changes since Week 3, so we’re a different team. They’re a different team, too. But New Rochelle is New Rochelle. They’re the best of the best. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

No one on Scarsdale will dispute that the Huguenots are the favorite. In fact, the Raiders admit they felt a sense of accomplishment just making it to Mahopac, where the teams will meet Saturday at noon.

Still, with its identity fully formed and its confidence soaring, Scarsdale has pinned its focus on accomplishing the unthinkable.


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The bus ride back from Arlington was pretty exciting. After that, we had to focus on New Rochelle,” Klein said. “We had a goal in mind to win the section championship. We’re getting closer to that goal. We just need to keep playing our game.”

And have a short memory.

Twitter:  @lohudinsider

Scarsdale High School football player Nick Leone at the school on Nov. 2, 2016.

 

Scarsdale High School football player Nick Leone at the school on Nov. 2, 2016.

Scouting report

Class AA championship

No. 2 New Rochelle (9-0) vs. No. 5 Scarsdale (7-2)

When: Saturday, 12 p.m.

Where: Mahopac High School

Last meeting: Sept. 16, New Rochelle d. Scarsdale, 34-0

Leaders: New Rochelle — Passing: Jonathan Saddler (698 yards); Rushing: Romeo Holden (679); Receiving: Holden (351); Touchdowns: Holden (14). Scarsdale — Passing: Barry Klein (395); Rushing: Nick Leone (682); Receiving: Robert Keith (242); Touchdowns: Leone (10).

Keep an eye on: Holden and running back Jared Baron have been slowed by ankle injuries — Holden in particular. He is the Huguenots’ game-breaker, averaging 14.7 yards on his 70 touches this season. Scarsdale has its own batch of playmakers, led by Leone, who is a threat as a runner, receiver and especially as a kick returned. Also watch Klein’s ability to take shots downfield, specifically to big targets Robert Keith and Thomas Jacobson.

Prediction: New Rochelle 20, Scarsdale 7. The Huguenots may not be their sharpest offensively, but they just aren’t an easy team to score against. They will be well-schooled on how to stop the option and will force Scarsdale to make plays through the air.

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