TUCKAHOE, N.Y The defending Class D state champion Tuckahoe Tigers will try to rebound from two straight losses when they host Kennedy Catholic Thursday at 3 p.m.
The Gaels (0-3) have improved each week but are looking for their first victory. The visiting Gaels are led by quarterback Dominic Manno and running back Rob Yurkowski, who rushed for a season-high 172 yards in last weeks loss to Nanuet. Manno completed 5 of 12 passes for 82 yards last week.
The Tigers (2-2) automatically qualify for the Section 1 Class D postseason playoffs because there are just four local teams in the small-school class. But for Tuckahoe, playing and winning in larger-school Class C has always been a predictor of playoff success. The Tigers are reeling from a loss to Bronxville two weeks ago and a 40-0 drubbing by Dobbs Ferry just four days ago.
The uneven baseball field/football field at Dobbs Ferry was not only erratic but rain-drenched for Friday nights game and Tuckahoe seemed unable to deal with the conditions and the aggressive Dobbs defense. Running backs Shyheim Nixon and Nick Reisman never got going and sophomore quarterback Mike Castracucco showed his inexperience. The Tigers backfield will have better luck this week against a struggling Kennedy squad.
Kennedy has allowed 123 points in three losses and doesnt have the speed to stay with the Tigers, who must regain momentum moving toward the postseason.
Look for Kennedy to try to move the ball on the ground to keep it away from the Tigers offense. Tuckahoe should get back on track offensively, but needs to establish consistent defense against the run.
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