Elmont’s defense made the biggest play of Saturday’s Nassau Conference II showdown with rival Carey, returning a fumble 100 yards for a touchdown with eight seconds remaining in the first half, but the Seahawks overcame it thanks to some defensive magic of their own.
Senior Thomas Dente had 4.5 sacks, junior Joseph Lucito made 10 tackles, and senior Messiah West picked off two passes in the last five minutes to preserve host Carey’s 21-18 victory. West’s second interception at the Elmont 40-yard line with 1:07 remaining sealed the outcome.
“I thought our defense played great,” head coach Mike Stanley said after the Seahawks improved to 5-2. “They’re hard to stop because they do so much. They run the ball pretty well inside and mix in a ton of screens, so we were really tested.”
Elmont, which led 12-7 at halftime despite squandering two trips inside the red zone in the first quarter, trailed by nine when junior Jelani Douglas scored on a 7-yard run with 5:29 left to make it a one-possession game. Junior Sydney Flowers recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Carey 43, but West thwarted the Spartans (3-4) with an interception at midfield.
“It’s been a weird year,” Elmont head coach Jay Hegi said. “That crazy play at the end of the half, you usually get into the win column when you make a play like that. But we weren’t as consistent as we needed to be.”
Junior Matt Robison had 11 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score for the Seahawks, who got another solid performance from junior quarterback Ray Catapano. Making his fourth start in place of injured junior Andrew Ris, Catapano completed 22 of 32 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
“He’s doing a nice job running the offense and putting up numbers,” Stanley said of Catapano, who hooked up with sophomore Nick Spillane for a 31-yard touchdown 2:26 into the fourth quarter to make it 21-12 after junior Dylan DeMeo’s extra point. “Ray was the JV starter last year and led the team to a 6-2 record,” Stanley added. “He’s got a strong arm and gives us a chance to win every week.”