MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Rye Neck has qualified for the Section 1 Class C football championships, but the Panthers are not looking past their regular-season finale versus Valhalla at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We don’t want to ignore the fact that we have another regular-season game to play against Valhalla,” senior captain Matt Brennan said. “Valhalla has some significant speed on their side and if we screw up and give them the chance, they might be able to exploit our lapses very quickly.”
Rye Neck enters the game with a 5-0 record and is unscored upon. Following easy victories the first three weeks of the season, the Panthers went to Albertus Magnus and won a tight game, 8-0. The defense turned back the Falcons on a last-minute drive with Matt Garcia intercepting a pass in the end zone.
“Magnus proved to us that we could beat good teams and we have the discipline to keep going in a close game like that, where you have to be focused on every play,” Brennan said.
Brennan, a four-year varsity player, says the team’s success this season is based on one major factor.
“This season, more than any other in my experience, we have been really working together and playing as a team,” Brennan said. “The talent has always been there, but we haven’t capitalized on it like we did this year.”
Valhalla comes into the game with a 3-2 record. The Vikings are led on offense by Terrance Tribble, Michael Linnane, Paul Viviano and Christian Alvarado.