WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. New Rochelle High School football coach Lou DiRienzo was not exactly pleased Friday night even though his team had just won a game.
The Huguenots defeated rival White Plains, 14-0, but both teams suffered from a rash of penalties throughout the night. So DiRienzo was blunt after the game.
I dont know that we put our best foot forward, DiRienzo said. I dont know how many yards in penalties we had, but we had a (boat) load. We might have had 300 yards offense and 14 points.
Penalties and turnovers marred the game and slowed the pace to practically a crawl. Both teams received sideline warnings within a few minutes of each other and yellow flags flew onto the field with regularity.
New Rochelle quarterback Khalil Edney had plenty to say about the penalties after the game.
Those refs were looking to throw those flags, Edney said. They were onto them. From the jump, they were ready to throw the flag.
But Edney said the penalties committed by the Huguenots were a result of the intensity of the rivalry game, particularly because of the players who committed the fouls.
(Its the) first night game of the year. Its against our rival, Edney said. Those penalties were on our veterans and they know better than that. Theyre smarter than that. So I think it was just excitement.
The Huguenots and Tigers are one of the oldest football rivalries in New York. DiRienzo said White Plains is a "great venue to play a game and Edney said the win proved the Huguenots strength.
It shows that we can handle it, Edney said. This is a big test for us.
And handle it they did, despite the overall sloppiness of the game. Edney put the first points on the board with a touchdown pass to Mario Pierre that made it 6-0 in favor of New Rochelle with less than a minute left in the first quarter.
Both sides then stayed out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. With 10:40 left to play, New Rochelle sophomore running back Jon Forrest punched it in from the 3-yard line. The Huguenots succeeded on the two-point conversion to make it 14-0 and end the nights scoring.
White Plains coach Michael Skip Stevens said the penalties were a problem, but pointed to the Tigers four turnovers as the main cause of the loss. New Rochelle did not turn the ball over once.
The Tigers are 0-2, but both losses were close ones to powerhouse opponents, which is exactly what Stevens told his players after the game.
I told them. I said, You played the No. 2-ranked team in the state of New York in (Class) A (in Harrison) and you had an opportunity. You played the No. 10-ranked team in AA and you had an opportunity, Stevens said. 'What does that say about you? Stop the nay-saying. Stop the second-guessing. Were here to play and well play hard.'
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