Already leading by 14 thanks to a late opening-half touchdown, Oceanside took the wind out of Baldwin and its large Homecoming crowd early in the third quarter of last Saturday’s Nassau Conference I football matchup.
The Sailors hit on scoring plays of 52 and 50 yards through the air within a span of 90 seconds and cruised to a 35-point shutout victory to improve to 4-1. Sophomore Thomas Flavin had rushing and receiving touchdowns, the latter on a pass from senior wideout Jake Lazzaro on a gadget play following senior Dan Cascio’s on-side kick recovery, and freshman quarterback Charlie McKee (13 of 22 for 186 yards) hooked up twice with junior receiver Nick Platia for touchdowns to sink the rival Bruins to 3-2.
“Whenever we play Baldwin it’s a big one,” Oceanside head coach Rob Blount said. “We established the run early, Charlie threw the ball well and our defense was solid.”
Baldwin hung tough in the first half despite two crucial turnovers and the absence of its best two-way starter, senior linebacker/running back Eric Manigault. He was controversially ejected in the previous week’s win over Port Washington. Per county rule, any ejection carries a one-game suspension.
“Eric not playing unequivocally hurt, but that’s no excuse,” Baldwin head coach Steve Carroll said. “We knew almost everything they were going to try to do, but we didn’t execute. Our kids are pretty resilient, so we’ll get back to work and get ready for Long Beach.”
Senior Alijah James keyed Oceanside’s game-opening, 70-yard scoring drive with four carries for 25 yards and two catches for 32, including a 19-yarder to the Baldwin 1. Two plays and a false start penalty later, Flavin found the end zone from 5 yards out and the visitors led 7-0 after senior Peter Folias’ extra point. After the teams traded punts, the Bruins engineered their best drive behind sophomore tailback Trey Parkin, who finished with 86 yards on nine carries. Senior quarterback Nate Holmes completed a fourth-and-1 pass from the Oceanside 32, but the end result was a fumble recovered by Sailors’ junior Thomas Schmitt at the 17.
Baldwin’s defense bent but didn’t break on the ensuing possession as seniors Kamari Quick and Liam Melvin combined to sack McKee on fourth-and-long just inside the red zone. However, a second Bruins fumble in as many snaps proved costly after it was recovered by Oceanside senior Connor Calkin.
Flavin had two rushes for 20 yards to set up McKee’s 7-yard touchdown dash up the middle with 46 seconds remaining in the half. “Giving up that score was kind of devastating,” Carroll said. “Then they overwhelmed us early in the third quarter and we never recovered.”
It was quickly 21-0 after Platia’s 52-yard touchdown grab. Then it was razzle-dazzle time as Lazzaro, the school’s all-time leading receiver (114 catches), was on the front end of a touchdown pass when he stopped on a jet sweep and went deep to Flavin, who did the last 25 yards of work. Senior Eddie Mannone had eight tackles and a sack to lead the defense for Oceanside, which hosts Farmingdale Friday at 6 p.m.