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Air attack leads East Meadow over Uniondale


After East Meadow’s running game was largely grounded during the first quarter, James Saragossi lifted the Jets offense through the air.

The senior quarterback threw two second quarter touchdowns sparking East Meadow’s 29-0 win at Uniondale last Saturday. 

“They game-planned to stop our option and it worked in the first quarter a little bit and we couldn’t really run the ball to start the game,” East Meadow head coach Doug Bange said. ”In the second quarter we started passing the ball and it loosened up their defense a little bit.” 

Saragossi opened the scoring with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Danny Snow. He then connected with Austin Tenzer for a 23-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Jets at halftime. 

Following a scoreless third quarter, Saragossi helped East Meadow pull away in the final period starting with a 24-yard touchdown run. Kyle Nacionales converted the ensuing extra point for a 21-0 lead. 

Senior running back Chris Barry put an explanation point on the Jets win with a late 63-yard touchdown run as part of a 106-yard afternoon on the ground. Saragossi then capped his big day with a two-point conversion pass to Patrick Spinola. 

“Our run game was really toward the perimeter,” Bange said. “We couldn’t run much up the middle on them so our outside run game was more successful.” 

East Meadow (2-1), which opened the season with a 30-0 win against Herricks and a 32-14 setback at Farmingdale, recorded its second shutout of the season with some big defensive stands during deep Uniondale drives. Senior linebackers Alvaro Lopez-Salinas and Marc Giraud both recorded a sack apiece. 

Uniondale (0-3) held the Jets ground game in check for much of the game with big defensive performances from Jordyn Davis, Darien Fray and Shakur Kirkpatrick. The Knights also moved the ball on offense through the passing game between quarterback Joshua Smalls and tight end Jordan Evelyn, but were hampered by four fumbles and some key dropped passes. 

The Knights have a young roster comprised largely of juniors and sophomores and head coach Philip Coppola is hoping to use the spring as a building block for the fall 2021 season. Uniondale, which dropped its first two games to Syosset and Plainview-JFK, has been at a disadvantage as the only high school on Long Island that has been fully remote the whole school year, which limited training. 

“I give my kids so much credit just for getting out there and doing it after all this time,” Coppola said. “I’m really proud of them.”

Uniondale returns to action this Saturday for a home kickoff against Farmingdale at 2 p.m. 

East Meadow will next host Oceanside Saturday at 2 p.m. before closing its six-game regular season schedule with Syosset and Plainview-JFK. The Jets head into the home stretch in the mix for one of four available playoff spots in Conference I heading.

“If we can get two out of the last three games that is going to put us in a very good position for the playoffs,” Bange said.