Seaford bid for a third straight county football title was thwarted by a suffocating Cold Spring Harbor defense.
The normally explosive Viking rushing attack was kept in check during a 27-7 setback in the Conference IV finals at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium last Friday night. Cold Spring Harbor, who the Vikings defeated 21-0 in last year’s county championship game, jumped out to a 20-0 lead aided by its stout defense and three touchdowns by running back Daniel Striano.
“We lost to a better team,” said Seaford head coach Rob Perpall after falling to Cold Spring Harbor, which had handed Seaford one of its only two regular season defeats, 34-14, on Oct. 6 and captured its first county crown since 2005. “Tonight wasn’t our night.”
After Seaford controlled possession for much of the first quarter with an opening drive that ate up nearly nine minutes, Cold Spring Harbor struck early in second quarter on a 23-yard touchdown run from Striano. The lead was extended with 1:30 left before halftime on a 32-yard Striano dash off an option play on a fourth-and-2 to cap a 68-yard drive.
Seaford’s lone touchdown came through the air with junior quarterback Logan Masters connecting with wide receiver Jason Rebaudo on an 11-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter moments after Paul Scaccia recovered a fumble on a punt return. Kicker Andrew Cuchel’s extra point cut the lead to 19-7, but the momentum was short-lived with Jacob Bruno taking the next play from scrimmage 48 yards for a touchdown after Seaford failed to recover an onside kick.
The season-ending loss that denied the Vikings (8-3) an opportunity to defend their Long Island Class IV championship did not detract from another successful fall for the Seaford football program. The top-seeded Vikings reached the championship stage with a dominating 28-0 win semifinal win against West Hempstead where the Vikings held the Rams to just 83 yards of total offense. Perpall said a late defensive stop keeping Cold Spring Harbor out of the end zone when the championship was out of reach epitomized the perseverance of his players.
“They had a goal line stand where they could have very easily given up and they never did,” said Perpall, who has won seven county championships and two Long Island titles at Seaford “They are a great bunch of kids and we have a great community and we will be back.”