LINCOLNDALE, N.Y. — The unbeaten Somers High School football team dominated all facets of the game Thursday in a 34-7 Section 1 Class A quarterfinal playoff victory over visiting Hendrick Hudson, as head coach Tony DeMatteo earned his the 300th career victory.
Somers quarterback John Decker tossed two touchdown passes to wide receiver Joe Festo, and Stefano Bicknese scored twice on the ground and once on a pass from Connor Cousin to lead the Tuskers in the win.
Nearly 2,000 fans, students from both schools and former DeMatteo players packed the stands and sidelines to witness the career milestone and crucial playoff game. DeMatteo was honored on the 50-yard line following the game.
"Winning is important and 300 wins is an accomplishment, but knowing that my players became successful and good people is what it's all about," DeMatteo said after being surrounded by his current and former players at midfield. "It's so special to hear that the things I taught them helped build their lives."
DeMatteo, who was already the winningest coach in Section 1 (Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties) history, won more than 200 games at Roosevelt in Yonkers beginning in 1969 and moved to Somers in 2001. He began the 2012 season with 292 wins.
"Coach DeMatteo is a special coach and person," Joe Testa said. "We wanted to win this game for him. Look at all these people here to see our coach."
The Tuskers (8-0) will face Harrison, a 31-24 winner over Poughkeepsie, in the Class A semifinal round Tuesday at Harrison. The winner will move on to next Saturday's championship game at Mahopac High School.
Hendrick Hudson fell to 5-3 and was eliminated from the Class A tournament.
"Joe (Testa) finds a way to get open on every play, so I just try to get the ball to him and he does the rest," Decker said. "We really wanted to stay focused with Coach getting his 300th win. We wanted to give it all we had. And now we have to get ready for Harrison."
As for DeMatteo, his last words after greeting each of more than 100 old friends and players, was typical of the longtime coach.
"Let's go, I have to watch that Harrison (game) film," DeMatteo said as he walked off the field holding the game ball.