When Greenwich makes the short trip to Mechanicville late this afternoon, the Witches realize they stand two wins away from a state final appearance. They also understand those wins won’t come easily.
Standing in their way on the first leg of their post season journey, are the Tuckahoe Tigers from Section I, with a 8-1 mark and a spread offense that puts points on the board.
The sixth ranked Tigers have averaged 42 points per contest, throughout their nine game campaign, with their only defeat coming against Class C power Dobbs Ferry, dropping a 34-20 decision.
They advanced to the semi’s with a 48-40 victory over Haldane last weekend, a game in which the Tigers needed all their offensive prowess to post the “W”. Tuckahoe senior running back Michael Myers ran for 352 yards and three scores in the Section I final, while sophomore quarterback Jax Colacicco found four different receivers with scoring strikes.
On the year Myers has rushed for 1193 yards and 17 touchdowns, while Colacicco has thrown for 786 yards and eight scores, in relief of junior Mike Annunziata who had impressive numbers of 830 yards through the air to go with just under 600 yards gained on the ground.
However make no mistake, the Witches can score with anyone. Greenwich averages 41 points per contest, and have ridden that potent attack to a 10-0 mark.
They come in off a 31-7 victory over Stillwater in the Section II final last Saturday in Schuylerville. On a wet, raw afternoon built for running the football, Greenwich did just that with sophomore back Matt Conlin leading the way with 161 yards and a pair of scores, while Aiden McPhail and quarterback Jesse Kuzmich both added rushing touchdowns.
The powerful Conlin has run for 1049 yards and 19 touchdowns this year, while Kuzmich gets it done through the air as well as on the ground with nearly 1800 combined yards and 26 TD’s. All purpose player Deontae Bennett has scored 16 touchdowns, with nine receiving scores, six rushing and one coming on a return.
One thing that stands out to me is Tuckahoe has allowed 19 points per game including 88 over their last three outings, while Greenwich has held their opponents to eight points per, with a propensity to create turnovers, including a pair of timely interceptions last weekend versus Stillwater.
Don’t overlook the travel time for Tuckahoe who hails from southern Westchester County, and is looking at a three hour trip, while the Witches spend 40 minutes on road, and once they arrive are very familiar with the Mechanicville venue.
I think Greenwich will run the football with physicality and also look to get their passing game going on what looks to be a dry night, weather-wise.
On the defensive side of things, Greenwich has the athleticism to matchup with the spread attack of the Tigers, and the ability to pressure the quarterback.
I like Greenwich to handle their business, and advance to the state semi’s, next Friday in Middletown, moving one step closer to the ultimate prize.