MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Rye Neck High School's football team was waiting for an opportune time to catch Dobbs Ferry High School off guard in its final drive of the first half Saturday when the chance presented itself.
On third-and-14 from the Dobbs Ferry 19, halfback Jakob Calvini took a pitch from quarterback Thomas Pipolo and began running left. Calvini stopped, set up and threw a perfect pass that Ryan Morningstar corralled in the end zone.
The play gave Rye Neck a two-touchdown lead going into halftime of an eventual 25-7 win over Dobbs Ferry in a Section 1 Class C Football Championship semifinal.
Rye Neck, the second seed, plays top-seeded and also undefeated Woodlands in the title game at 4:30 p.m., Nov. 4, at Mahopac High School.
The Calvini-Morningstar connection came with 22 seconds remaining in the first half, hiking Rye Neck’s lead to 11 points at 18-7. Calvini said it was the second time Rye Neck ran it this season and it was successful against Hastings-on-Hudson, too.
“We were trying to lull them to sleep and pick the right time to run it,” Calvini said. “You really want to sell them on the run and get the defensive back to freeze up.”
Dobbs Ferry’s defense bit on what appeared to be a Calvini sweep so when it came charging up to tackle him, Morningstar had already slipped behind the secondary. Once Morningstar found himself in the clear, he knew six points was assured.
“Jakob threw a perfect pass so all I had to do was catch it,” Morningstar said. “That was a big play for us.”
Along with adding to Rye Neck’s lead, the Panthers would open the second half with the ball and momentum.
“That play just showed that we have the potential to score on every single play,” senior captain Mike Spiegel said.