September 24, 2013 | 650 views
Long Beach continues September success
A week after Long Beach’s defense made three goal-line stands in a Nassau Conference II victory at MacArthur to open the football season, the unit smothered visiting Herricks last Friday night as the Marines won their eighth straight September game dating back to 2011, 48-0.
Senior quarterback Liam Rafferty threw touchdown passes to four different receivers and opened the scoring in front of a large Homecoming crowd with a 14-yard run midway through the first quarter. Rafferty went 9 of 12 for 173 yards. Junior tailback Chris Parler, who totaled 253 yards in Week 1 and scored twice, got in the end zone two more times. Junior Nick Nigro led the defense with eight tackles.
“We always feel we have an edge coming out of preseason because of how hard the kids and coaches work,” Marines head coach Scott Martin said. “We’ve done a lot of good things in the first two games.”
Throughout camp, Martin and his staff spent a lot of time trying to decide which player would lead the offense. They settled on Rafferty, who spent most of last season as a receiver and caught a couple of touchdown passes. Now, he’s thrown five in two games. “Liam came into camp really wanting the spot,” Martin said. “He’s a bright kid and we threw a lot at him. He’s showing leadership ability, and he’s making smart decisions with the ball.”
Leading Herricks 7-0 early in the second quarter, Rafferty threw his first touchdown pass of the evening — 54 yards to senior Marke Sutton on a fly pattern. Sutton and senior Shane Cobb have stepped up to fill a void at the receiver position with the moves of Rafferty and Parler, Martin said. “A month ago we weren’t sure how everything was going to come together,” he said. “It’s been good with how things fell into place.”
Parler, who was being considered for the quarterback job, gave Long Beach a 21-0 halftime cushion with a 12-yard touchdown run. “We’re still going to use Chris all over the place,” Martin said. “He’s one of the most dynamic kids in the conference. Only good things happen when the ball is in his hands.”