By Jackson Frankel
The First round of the playoffs started for the Byram Hills Varsity Football team on Saturday as the second seeded Bobcats took on the seventh seeded Bronxville Broncos. The Bobcats were coming off a very dominant 5-1 season and were hoping to carry there momentum into their playoff opener. The recent return of star running back Matt Weiler increased the odds for Byram to win this game.
While talking with junior running back, Matt Weiler he explained that, “The team’s main focus was keeping the season alive. We need to take the playoffs week by week and only focus on what’s right in front of us, not the future”. This type of mentality helped the team stay in the moment by focusing on one game at a time.
The game started off with a bang as on the first drive junior Hayden Fruhling intercepted a pass which set up a huge 70 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Nic Picca to receiver Steven Franco to give the Bobcats a quick 7-0 lead. Bronxville answered back shortly after with a touchdown of their own to tie the game 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was uneventful as neither team managed to score, sending the game into half with the score tied at 7.
The 3rd quarter had Byram coming back into the game ready to take control as the team struck first with a running touchdown from Nic Picca. This increased the lead to 13-7. The strong defensive presence from the Bobcats kept the opposing team scoreless for the rest of the quarter.
Byram was looking to finish the game strong, and that’s exactly what they did, punching the ball in quickly on the ground with running back Matt Weiler. The Bobcats also added onto that with the 2 point conversion by Picca to increase the lead to 21-7 touchdowns. A few drives later the Broncos answered back but it remained a 2 possession game because of an extra point which was blocked by senior captain Nick Ferrante. The next drive saw the Bobcats trust their run game. Weiler was handed the ball 3 times and Picca kept it himself 4 times. The drive ended with Weiler finding the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. A bad snap on the extra point resulted in Nic Picca having to take matters into his own hands and finds junior Ryan Abatemarco in the endzone for the 2 point conversion increasing the lead 29-13. The defense finished strong and allowed no points through the remainder of the game. The Bobcats finished the job and beat the Broncos 29-13 to move on to round 2 of the playoffs.
Big performances from Franco, Weiler, and Picca helped the Bobcats beat Bronxville and move on in the playoffs. An early pick from Hayden Fruhling helped the Bobcats get off to a quick and early lead. With great performances all around the Bobcats survive and advance and hope to pull off another win next week against Pearl River on Saturday Afternoon at Byram Hills High School.
Photos by Samantha Milewicz