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Dobbs Ferry, Woodlands Tangle in Class C Semifinal

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – The Dobbs Ferry Eagles haven’t had a real challenge since suffering a 15-14 fourth-quarter loss to Bronxville opening day, but expect that to change when they host the rejuvenated Woodlands Falcons in a Section 1 Class C semifinal playoff game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Gould Park.

The Eagles (6-1) have won six straight games, including four shutouts, en route to a No. 2 seed in the postseason playoffs and have not met a team with the offensive firepower of Woodlands since the opening-day loss to Bronxville, the unbeaten defending Class C state champion and No. 1 seed.

Woodlands (6-1) rides a six-game winning streak into Gould Park, where the uneven baseball/football field poses a challenge, especially if it rains, but not as big a challenge as the Eagles (6-1), who are also on a six-game unbeaten streak.

This game will be a battle of Dobbs Ferry’s defense, which has allowed 41 points (5.8 per game), and the Falcons’ run-and-gun offense that has scored 256 points, an average of 37.5 per game. Good defenses normally stop good offenses, but Woodlands also has lots of speed and is prone to big plays.

Quarterback Spencer Avalos leads the Eagles offense that has scored at the same pace as the Falcons and boasts big back Tim Soave and running backs Brian Gardner and Eddie Ritch. Darien Bica, Matt Fata and John Yozzo-Scaperrotta lead the tough defense.

Woodlands quarterback Justin Riccio has proven he can run or throw and will do both on any down and distance on the field. Running back Malcolm Downey is the best back the Eagles have seen since Bronxville’s Christian Conway rolled by them for two touchdowns and a game-winning two-point conversion on opening day. Downey is a powerful runner who can breaks tackles.

With rain in the forecast this week, the Gould Park duck pond will help the defenses and give the Eagles a decided home-field edge against Woodlands, which plays its home games on all-weather turf.

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