RYE, N.Y. – Harrison could not contain its enthusiasm so the celebration began early, with approxinmately 15 seconds remaining, in the 82nd Harrison-Rye game Saturday.
Quarterback Vinnie Nicita sprang up, after taking a knee on third down, as the Harrison student body and fans ran on to the field as the Huskies defeated Rye, 21-0 in a Section 1 Class A football game.
Harrison, which last won this game in 2002, broke a nine-game losing streak to Rye and now leads the series, 42-37-3. The Huskies close out the regular season with a 7-0 record and will await their seed for the Section 1 Class A Football Championships. Rye finished 4-3 but did not earn a playoff berth.
“It just feels unbelievable and is indescribable, after nine years,” said junior Michaal Amicucci, who scored the first and third Harrison touchdown.
Once Harrison finished with the initial celebration on the field, the Huskies ran to the brook, alongside Nugent Stadium, for the ceremonial victors’ swim.
“Winning the game was great, but jumping in the brook was great also, even though it was a little cool,” Amicucci said.
Amicucci, who had 10 carries for 85 yards, took a hand off from Nicita, raced up the middle and went untouched for a 35-yard touchdown run. In the third quarter, on Harrison’s first possession, Amicucci swept left for an 8-yard touchdown.
“I knew I was getting the ball,” said Amicucci of his first touchdown. “The line did an awesome job. It was a huge hole and once I got through it, I didn’t get touched.”
Harrison’s defense shared the spotlight with Amicucci. The Huskies sacked Rye quarterback Andrew Livingston six times, including four from freshman Brendan Pyne, who attended Rye through eighth grade.
Nicita witnessed and enjoyed Harrison’s last win over Rye, in 2002, as older brother, Rudy Arcara ran for more than 100 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
“When Rudy won this game, I was so young,” said Nicita, with a huge smile on his face. “It felt like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders. We did not want to lose. We came out and did what we have been doing all year.”