CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – After acknowledging his team's 21-6 opening day victory Saturday over Pleasantville, Croton-Harmon High football coach John Catano was already talking about "improvement" late Sunday.
"I'm glad we won but very unhappy the way we played," Catano said. "We didn't move the ball well. We need to work hard to improve things this week – when we play our friends from Hendrick Hudson for bragging rights."
Catano, who led his Tigers to their second Section 1 title and a state semifinal last fall, is like most football coaches, especially in early season play, when teams are still learning to play together.
Croton's defense was a step ahead of the offense, holding Pleasantville to less than 150 yards and getting five turnovers. Defensive back Mark Carrubba led the defense with two interceptions, one for a score, and a fumble recovery.
"Our defense and special teams played extremely well with the exception of the first quarter, so that was another plus," senior linebacker and tri-captain Matt Gennarelli said. "Now we just need to put it all together."
The offense was less effective, with junior quarterback Ben Gelfand gaining 82 yards on 11 carries. Tyler Wolstencroft scored on a five-yard touchdown run, and halfback Brian Soares added a 30-yard touchdown run for the Tigers offense, which gained just under 190 yards.
"Yeah, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be worked out, but all of it can be fixed easily," Genarrelli said. "Our offensive line performance was not up to par, but a lot of it was mental mistakes. It's going to take some time to get to where we want to be, but I'm confident we will get there sooner rather than later."
For Catano, who has led a resurgence at Croton over the last several years, "improvement" is the key word.
Croton-Harmon hosts Hendrick Hudson at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.