Seaford grounded out a second straight county football title just two weeks after its season was salvaged by a clutch play through the air.
The Vikings did not attempt a single pass and rushed for 234 yards in a dominant 21-0 win against top-seeded Cold Spring Harbor in the Nassau Conference IV finals at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium on Nov. 16. The repeat championship capped a magical county postseason run that began with the Vikings pull out a dramatic 14-12 first-round win against West Hempstead 13 days earlier on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Logan Masters to Sean Allen with 15 seconds remaining.
“We told ourselves we can’t play like that ever again and we have to play our hearts out every single play,” said junior running back Joe Angelastro of the turnaround from near elimination to a county championship. “We never quit.”
Seaford’s second straight county crown capped a fifth straight win after a 14-0 loss on Oct. 14 to Locust Valley, a team the Vikings rebounded to rout 41-0 in the semifinals. Cold Spring Harbor had handed Seaford its first setback on Sept. 28 in a 21-7 win, but on the turf at Hofstra the Seahawks ran into different Vikings team playing at peak form when it matters most.
“We overcame a lot of adversity,” said Seaford head coach Rob Perpall, who has captured eight county titles since taking over the program in 1995. “We got beat up pretty soundly by these guys the first time and we got shut down by Locust Valley, but this is a very close-knit team.”
Seaford took control of the title game early on a Tyler Volpi 3-yard touchdown run with 4:31 left in the first quarter after Cold Spring Harbor fumbled in the red zone. Volpi then recovered the ensuing onside kick and Angelastro plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown run to cap a seven-play 43-yard drive. The Vikings controlled time of possession 9:47 to 2:17 in the opening quarter.
“I wanted to control the football game because they are very good and they have a lot of talented players,” Perpall said. “They have a lot of skilled kids so I didn’t want them to have the ball.”
The Seaford ground attack was led by 133 yards on 26 carries from Volpi. Angelastro amassed 67 yards with two touchdowns including a 3-yard score late in the second quarter that gave Seaford a 21-0 lead at halftime. Nick Calandra also chipped in with 42 yards on nine carries.
“When we first played them we blocked wrong and we fixed it,” said Angelastro, who credited his offensive line with opening up big holes all night. “Everything was clicking.”
Cold Spring Harbor’s defense was knocked off the ball all night by Seaford’s experienced line that is anchored by senior guard Andrew Chirico. The cohesive unit upfront also features Kris Luciano, Jake Supinsky, Nick Brandi, Paul Scaccia and Jake Masters along with tight ends Luke Farrant and Allen.
“It’s not easy when they are putting nine guys up there to try and stop the run,” Perpall said of the success from his linemen. “We stayed with the game plan and didn’t waiver.”
Cold Spring Harbor entered the title game undefeated seeking its first county crown since 2001. Seahawks running back Teddy Bentley rushed for 101 yards in the regular season win at Seaford, but on the finals stage he was held to just 12 yards on eight carries thanks to a stout Vikings defense that forced four turnovers and a ball-controlled offense.
Seaford will aim for its first Long Island championship since 2009 this Friday at noon back at Hofstra against Suffolk County Class IV champion Miller Place. No matter how the last game of the 2017 campaign turns out, the celebratory feeling from winning counties will never fade.
“It’s unbelievable,” Angelastro said. “It’s the best feeling in the world.”
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