SOMERS, N.Y. – The Somers High School football team has a chance to do something special this season.
Somers earned a convincing 23-14 win against defending Class A section champion Poughkeepsie on Friday and, in the process, may have cemented itself as the team to beat in Section 1.
The Tuskers also gave head coach Tony Dematteo his 296th career win and brought him one step closer to the historic 300-win milestone.
But first and foremost, the win against Poughkeepsie put the Tuskers in control of their own destiny with regard to the league championship.
“It feels great, man, to beat a great team like this, section champs,” said senior running back Stefano Bicknese. “We’ve got to just play our game now … hopefully we’ll keep going.”
Somers clearly wanted to win Friday’s game badly, as the Pioneers had beaten the Tuskers in three of their last four meetings. Dematteo said after the win that he did not look at it as a statement game for his team, but he acknowledged what it means for his team to be 4-0 at the midway point of the season.
“Don’t be afraid of the moment,” Dematteo said. “A lot of kids, they freeze up because it’s a big game, playing a real good team, so just go out there and play. If we win, we win. If we don’t, we don’t. But you’ve got to play hard.”
Somers has few reasons to be afraid as the second half of the season unfolds, thanks to Bicknese and the rest of the formidable players on both sides of the ball. The Tuskers close out their season with games at Ossining and Eastchester, with a home game against Walter Panas sandwiched in the middle.
If Somers runs the table, and it has given no reason thus far to show that it can’t, then the Tuskers will set themselves up as one of the top seeds in Class A, if not the No. 1 seed.
If that happens, then Somers will enter its first playoff game with a chance to give Dematteo his historic 300th win.
But for now, the Tuskers can enjoy their win against a rival that had their number in the past few meetings. Moreover, Somers gave the rest of Class A a reason to pay attention.
“It shows a lot to people,” Bicknese said. “People doubted us, but all the coaches and our team believed in us. I think we’re the best in Section 1 right now.”