Tuesday through Friday this week, MyRye.com is bringing you "The Game: A History Lesson" - a series outlining the history our the 83 year strong Rye Garnet - Harrison Huskie football rivalry. The history is written by the Old Garnet, Stephen Feeney.
Installment three of four:
RYE’S EIGHTIES & THE HUSKY NINETIES - (‘83-‘99)
Streaks characterize the rivalry and this era was no exception. From ’83 to ’90 the Garnets swept four in a row, lost one and then won two straight. The ‘90s were totally controlled by Harrison with a 9-1 domination.
The highlight of Rye’s ’83 conquest was Mike Goldstein’s 4th quarter, 99-yard kick-off return cementing the Garnets’ upset and cracking Harrison’s 8-game win streak. The ’85 game, played in driving sleet and snow, hinged in Rye’s favor 7-0 with a Myles Lavelle to Vance Cassell slushy touchdown pass sealing Rye’s win.
Harrison’s 6-0 victory in ’87 was preserved when Rye fell short of the Husky goal line in the final minutes of play. This was to be repeated in 1991. Time ran out with Rye on the Husky 2-inch line with no time outs and Harrison leading 6-0 in the rededication game of Rye’s Nugent Stadium.
The ’93 game once again proved that anything can happen in this rivalry. Decided underdogs to the undefeated, dominating Garnet juggernaught, Harrison’s David Beitler caught a “Hail Mary” desperation pass from replacement quarterback Rich Peperone for a game-winning, 65-yard TD and a 10-6 Husky win. Rye proceeded to the 1st-ever NY State Class C Football Championship in the Syracuse U Carrier Dome. The Garnets fell short, finishing second in NY State Class C, but “Going to States” would become another common thread in Rye/Harrison lore in the years to come.
In the ’96 classic, undefeated Harrison fell to the underdog Garnets 7-0 as Will Elmore’s TD pass to Phon Ampha was Rye’s thin victory margin in the Garnets’ only win of the 90s.
The Huskies commanded the ’97 - ’99 contests by a combined score of 118-14, led by tailback Sammy Maldonado, one of the best tailbacks in NY state football annals. From ’75 - ’99 Harrison controlled the series by an astounding 18-7-0 (.720) margin. To close out the century, HHS defeated reigning Class B champion, Lackawanna, to capture the ’99 NY State Class B crown.