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Sleepy Hollow Football Makes Defensive Statement

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- The Sleepy Hollow High School football team felt good about itself following a dominant win over Palisades Prep opening week, but the Headless Horsemen knew it would be tougher in week two.

Sleepy Hollow was facing Rye High School, a team the Headless Horsemen had not beaten since 1982. Senior wide receiver/defensive back Steven Bencosme said the team wanted to make history. And Sleepy Hollow accomplished its goal with a 14-0 blanking of Rye.

In two games, Sleepy Hollow has outscored the opposition, 68-8. Bencosme is pleased with the offense’s showing, however, the defense has been staunch, especially against Rye.

“Our defense stepped up as a team,” Bencosme said. “Everyone stepped up and did their job. As coach said, we played as a fist instead of one.”

What made the shutout even more impressive was that Sleepy Hollow did it at Rye. The Headless Horsemen had two interceptions -- Dionel Infante and Bencosme -- with Infante returning his pick for a touchdown, giving Sleepy Hollow a 7-0 lead in the third quarter. Bencosme added his interception in the fourth quarter on a pass deflected by Infante.

“They tried to run a hitch on Dionel, but he was with the receiver the whole time,” Bencosme said. “We were putting a lot of pressure on their quarterback so he threw the ball before the receiver broke. Dionel was right there, it went right into his hands and he brought it back for a pick six.

“After the first half, we knew we could play with Rye so we came out in the second half strong, motivated and we wanted to make history because Sleepy Hollow has not beaten Rye since 1982.”

Bencosme’s interception in the fourth quarter came after he made a big play on offense, extending Sleepy Hollow’s lead to 14-0. He and quarterback Devin Lopez collaborated on an 82-yard touchdown pass.

“We ran the wheel to me in the first half and the ball just went off my fingertips,” Bencosme said. “When the safety went to the middle of the field, I faked post and cut it outside.”

Sleepy Hollow walked away from Rye undefeated and with a reinforced something about itself.

“Coach was proud of our defense because we played hard and left it all on the field,” Bencosme said. “This game brought out the potential in our team.”

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