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Ritch Rambles, Dobbs Ferry Rolls to Regional Win

KINGSTON, N.Y. – Eddie Ritch had a dream day Saturday, racing for 252 yards and four touchdowns as the Dobbs Ferry Eagles flew to a 47-13 victory over O’Neill in a New York State Public Schools Class C quarterfinal at Dietz Stadium.

“I thought my knee went out on that last play going around corner,” Ritch said to a teammate after he scored his fourth touchdown of the day last in the fourth quarter. “I really was worried. I did a lot of running.”

Ritch’s career day, aided by fullback Tim Soave’s 130 yards and a touchdown  and a unyielding defense, lifted the Eagles (9-1) into next Saturday’s 11 a.m. regional final against Section 2 winner Hoosick Falls at Dietz Stadium .

The rampaging Eagles scored first on an 11-yard run by John Yozzo-Scaperrotta, who would score again in the first half when the Eagles ran up a 41-6 at intermission. O’Neill answered on a pass play on its second possession to make the score 7-6 and Ritch took over from there, scoring from 56 yards out and on a 1-yard scamper to build a 21-6 lead.

Soave, who scored on a 66-yard, rock-and-roll run down the sideline to pad the led at 33-6, said the Eagles use of a five-back running game makes things difficult for defenses.

“I know there are four other guys – Spencer (quarterback Avalos), Eddie, John, Brian (Gardner) back there,” the big sophomore fullback said. “We all have confidence in each other. We all want to block and give 100 percent. Eddie had an amazing day. The next game, it might be someone else.”

With the game all but decided at halftime, both teams seemed to lag in the second half. O’Neill found it hard to move the ball at all against Eagles defenders led by Dennis DeLeon, Yozzo-Scaperotta, Avalos, Gardner and Rocco Cipriani who were playing without their lead linebacker Darien Bica, who sidelined with a an ankle sprain.

“We have high goals for this team this year,” said Bica, who expects to play next week. “Everyone is playing hard every single play, hurt, not hurt. Jimmy Sullivan and Marius Polakowski filled in for me and did a great job.”

And there was Eddie Ritch and his career day.

“I’ve never had a game like that before,” said Ritch, who comes from a family of former Eagles athletes. “We have a lot of seniors who want to win. This is another step.”

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