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Pelham Football Faces Uphill Battle Against Somers

PELHAM, N.Y. – The Pelham Memorial High School football team was unable to score any points in its season opening 33-0 loss to Poughkeepsie on Saturday.

And, unfortunately, week two does not offer an easy road to recovery.

The Pelicans faced last year’s Section 1 Class A champions in week one and will travel to Somers for a 7 p.m. game on Friday. The Tuskers are coming off a 28-6 win against rival Yorktown on Friday.

Pelham will have its hands full with the Tuskers for two reasons. Firstly, Pelham has little depth on its team this season, while Somers rotates 20 to 25 players in throughout each game. Fatigue could play a pivotal role in Friday’s game. If Somers jumps ahead early, it could prove too much for Pelham to overcome.

Secondly, Somers has the added incentive this season of trying to get coach Tony DeMatteo to the historic 300-win mark. The coach entered the season with 292 wins and got one step closer to the milestone on Friday.

Somers senior fullback and linebacker Joe Lombardo, who had a crucial interception in Friday’s win against Yorktown, said after that game that the milestone is not the focus of the season.

“Just one (game) at a time,” Lombardo said. “We’re just going to play it by ear and see how that goes.”

Pelham does have a couple of factors working in its favor. Standout senior nose tackle and fullback Jon Miller should be a dominant force throughout the game and can change the flow of the game on both sides of the ball.

Also, Somers got off to an extremely slow start against Yorktown. The Tuskers held just a 7-6 lead at the half thanks to two acrobatic interceptions from Yorktown’s Brian Prestreau in the end zone. DeMatteo said after the game that his team had some stage fright in the first two quarters. Somers finally opened up a large lead with 21 second half points to put the game away.

If Pelham can control the clock and disrupt Somers early, then the Pelicans have a chance to win. But they will have to keep the Tuskers down in the second half, which Yorktown was unable to do.

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