Historically, Glen Cove has been a dominant football program on the north shore of Long Island with a powerful running game and staunch defense. North Shore has come on recently as a strong program in Glen Head, NY. The schools are only separated by about 3 miles. In fact, the last time these two neighboring schools met, Glen Cove defeated them handily, but last Friday night, the Vikings stormed across the town border and defeated the Big Red 39-6 to improve to 2-1 on the season, while Glen Cove fell to 0-3.
Glen Cove’s offense struggled blocking North Shore’s strong defensive front and provided no answers to the Vikings’ high scoring output on a game under the lights at Big Red Stadium.
“We were getting frustrated with what we were doing offensively,” said Steve Tripp, first-year head coach and longtime assistant for Glen Cove. “They were coming hard up the middle and we weren’t able to get any pass coverage, and we gave up some opportunities including an interception on a screen pass. I got to hand it to them, we just couldn’t handle the pressure they were giving us.”
North Shore’s Gianni Abouelhassan provided a defensive spark all night long, causing two turnovers including the interception and a fumble recovery. North Shore’s defensive unit, including Abdouelhassan, Lorenzo Recine, Jacob Gatcke and Andrew Franco, gave Glen Cove’s senior quarterback Devon Christopher fits all game.
“We have some big guys in the middle there,” said North Shore’s assistant coach Scott Lineman. “If you come in between the tackles on us, I think we are going to have a lot of success.”
Offensively, North Shore was able to score at will with a strong offensive line and great play from senior quarterback James DeSimone. DeSimone was efficient the low number of passes he threw, completing three for 50 yards with two touchdowns. He also added a highlight play in the third quarter, deciding to keep the ball on a read option and scamper to the corner towards the pylon, before lowering his shoulder and bowling over a larger defender to walk into the endz one for his sole rushing touchdown. He also showed poised, awareness and mobility in the pocket, constantly spinning away from pursuing defenders and flinging strikes downfield.
“The offensive line is really opening up plays for the rest of us to make the plays that are there,” DeSimone said. “We’ve all put in the work all offseason, as a team, as a family, and you could see its really been paying off.”
The offensive line also helped Forrest Demetri rush for 79 yards and a touchdown on 5 carries, Jack Ledden rush for 72 yards on 5 carries, and Ryan Murphy rush for 22 yards and a touchdown on 6 carries.
“Our guys up front of offense and defense really did a great job for us,” North Shore head coach Dan Agovino said. “They were all here last year, and didn’t like finishing 2-6, so they really put a lot of time in the offseason, and they’ve really been getting the job done up front.”