MAMARONECK, N.Y. – The Mamaroneck varsity football team faced a major turning point in week four of the 2012 season following a loss to R.C. Ketcham.
Senior Kevin Droesch and his teammates knew one more loss would eliminate the Tigers from the playoffs, and they responded by winning their next four games to earn the third seed in the Section 1 Class AA Football Championships.
Mamaroneck plays at second-seeded and defending champion North Rockland Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in a semifinal. The winner moves to the final Sunday at 1 p.m. at Mahopac High School against the winner of the John Jay-East Fishkill and New Rochelle semifinal.
“After the loss to Ketcham we knew we had to win out in order to make the playoffs,” said Droesch, a captain and starter at guard and middle linebacker. “We were searching for an identity to the team we were. When we beat Ramapo the next week, we had more confidence in ourselves.”
Both Mamaroneck and North Rockland are 6-1. Mamaroneck's single loss was to top-seeded New Rochelle.
“North Rockland has always been a good football program,” Droesch said. “They like to run the ball up the middle, so we want to force them to do other things. It is all about our defense taking away their running game.”
North Rockland will have to contend with a Mamaroneck offense that can run the ball – with Rob Nigro and Marquez Jackson-Allen – and throw it with quarterback Danny McCarthy and wide receiver Mat Marino.
Droesch knows that he and his fellow offensive linemates are the key Saturday. If they open holes and hold their blocks, the running backs and McCarthy will prosper.
With the teams being so evenly matched, Droesch said, the difference comes down to one major point,.
“It is all about which team plays the best on that given day and not about who is the best team,” Droesch said.