Defense was an afterthought for most of Oceanside High School’s homecoming football game against rival Freeport High School. Both offenses moved easily down the field in an unexpectedly close contest until the Sailors’ defense tightened up in the fourth quarter to secure their sixth win of the season and their first win over Freeport since 1990.
Oceanside became the only undefeated team in Conference I over the weekend after Farmingdale fell to East Meadow on Friday.
Sailors quarterback Thomas Capone was a driving force on Saturday, passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 110 yards on the ground.
The day began inconspicuously for Oceanside when running back Shane Saucier fumbled the ball on the team’s second play from scrimmage. Red Devil’s quarterback Davelle Hooks was unable to take advantage of the turnover, and Oceanside ended its next possession with a touchdown run by half back Vassili Grigorakos.
For most of the game, however, the Sailors had no answer for Freeport wide receiver Shawnee Barrett, a small but shifty wide receiver who had more than 150 yards receiving on the day.
The game was close and Freeport had strong momentum after scoring a touchdown with less than a minute left in the first half. Instead of simply running out the clock and taking a 24-20 lead into the half, Oceanside Coach Rob Blount called for Capone to take a shot deep down the middle of the field with 12 seconds on the clock.
Capone’s original target, wide receiver Anthony Pintabona, was well covered, but the ball was tipped in the air near midfield and it fell into the hands of receiver Ryan McCarthy who streaked past on his way to a 78-yard touchdown reception.
An 80-yard touchdown run by Justin Buckley and two fourth quarter interceptions by the Sailors sealed the win. Oceanside travels to Baldwin on Saturday at 2 p.m. in an attempt to maintain their undefeated streak.
“They’ve got some good young players,” Blount said of Freeport. “It’s a big win for these [Oceanside] seniors.”