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Harrison, Ossining in Battle For Playoff Spots

OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining will be coming off an emotional late victory and Harrison is hoping to recover from a tough loss when they meet Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Ossining High School. Both teams need a win to keep their Class A playoff hopes alive.

“Harrison is a very good team,” Ossining coach Dan Ricci said. “With this power scheduling, every game we play is a tough game. They run the triple option, which is very difficult to defend, and the three-day practice week makes it even tougher.”

And to make things tougher for Ossining, lead back Steve Candaleria suffered a season-ending thumb injury just before halftime of Saturday’s victory over Sleepy Hollow after rushing for more than 100 yards in the half.

“Steve tore the ligament in his thumb and needs surgery. He is done for the year,” Ricci said.  “He was having a great year, so this is a major blow to our team.”

The Pride showed resilience last week getting strong performances from running backs Marc Clancy, who scored twice including the winning touchdown, and Joshua Almodovar, who filled in for Candaleria in the running game. Harrison handles the run well, so Pride quarterback Brian Connolly will have to pass the ball to help move the offense. Playing on its familiar home artificial turf will help the Pride.

Harrison (2-2), the defending Section 1 Class A champion and state semifinalist lost to Poughkeepsie earlier in the season and dropped 27-24 nail-biter to John Jay last Saturday. Another loss would wreck the Huskies’ playoff hopes.

Will Hilliard is the Huskies big threat on offense and quarterback Vinnie Nicita is a two-way offensive weapon, able to run and throw equally. Hilliard ran for two scores (81 and 41 yards) and caught a Nicita pass in last week’s loss.

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