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White Plains, New Rochelle Tangle in Class AA

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Five-time defending Section 1 Class AA champion New Rochelle begins defense of its title Thursday by hosting the White Plains Tigers in a quarterfinal meeting at McKenna Field at 3 p.m.

“This short week facing New Ro is a crucial one,” Tigers quarterback Jeff Avery said. “So far, our week of practice has been very intense and upbeat, which is what we need to win against these guys. They are a great team, and being the defending champs for however so many years is all the more motivation for us to knock them off in the first round.”

New Rochelle (6-1) comes in with three straight victories and White Plains (4-2) is on a four-game winning streak and has recovered from a 0-2 start. The Huguenots’ lone loss came at the hands of John Jay in a 14-0 shutout out Week 3 of the regular season.

There’s speed on both sides of the ball at all times and speed on special teams. Defensive letdowns will lead to big plays, so New Rochelle has the edge here because its defense has been more consistent all season, allowing 7.7 points per game while the Tigers have yielded 16.7.

Avery has developed a good passing game to go along with his backfield that includes Jaeshon Brooks and Michael Scotman. Kickoff and punt returner and running back Darrell Everett is the Tigers’ wild card, with the ability to break returns, run with short passes and even rush the ball from scrimmage.  Terrell Meads is a breakaway receiver.

“Both of our senior classes have met three times since freshman year, and we beat them twice with one loss to them J.V. season,” Avery recalled. “But varsity is a different game and we need a whole group effort from every player that touches the field to come out with a win.”

New Rochelle quarterback Khalil Edney has grown more confident with each game and has the ability to move the offense with the pass. Running backs Kemet McLean and Jonathan Forrest are a tough tandem to stop. Receivers Shaquille Evans, Andrew DiRienzo and Joe Clarke can all catch the ball.

New Rochelle is the favorite here as it should be on the strength of record and past success, but the Tigers are confident and can steal a win with speed and if they can play consistent defense.

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