To say that the athletic relationship between Seaford and Mineola is a bit one-sided would be a severe understatement.
“They’re a well-coached team so they’re always going to be in the hunt,” Seaford coach Rob Perpall said Sunday afternoon. “We’re very similar.”
Save when it comes to post-season wins, as even with the Mustangs (5-3) getting a higher seed – No. 8 – than last year, they could not avert their early first-round exit for the third straight year and their second to the undefeated Vikings.
While you can make a lot about the 41-10 drubbing that was doled out toward the Mustangs (who had only trailed by 10 points at the half), it’s not something that you can really hold against Seaford.
You can say that the Viking passing game that had Tyler O’Donnell – who is one of the top wide receivers in Nassau, making clutch catches all season – hauling in four heaves for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including one from 25-yards with less than two minutes left in the first quarter to go up 21-7 was overwhelming.
“If he played on a team that had a spread offense, he’s all-everything,” Perpall said “We just don’t throw as much but anytime we do, he’s there to make the big catch.”
Or you could blame it on the fact that Seaford was able to render the Mineola lines – heavily stacked up against the middle that they were – particularly vulnerable to senior RB Nick Fischetti, who had 26 carries for 159 yards and 3 trips into the endzone.
“He just doesn’t wear down, the more carries he gets, the better he gets and if we start seeing something that’s a weakness, we’re just going to go with (him),” Perpall said. “He’s our best player and he’s one of the best backs around, he can really lug it and he just gets better with work.”
Eventually one team was able to figure out the Mustang strategy of getting the ball to RB Brian Gaffney, hoping to stretch his legs or blocking off Bobby Rogers downfield. That was FB Austin Quiroz’s job.
“He’s a great blocker and a very good runner,” Perpall said. “They were stacking up the middle, they had 10 guys in the box so we knew that, that’s why we came out throwing in the beginning and they really had no answer to that. I think we could have continued to throw but that’s not what we really want to do. We want to make sure our line knows we can run against anything, so that’s what we do.”
In any other year you could say all that. Just not in 2012. Not when the cold dark grey skies still loomed over the Viking “Field of Dreams” like a funereal pall of the post-Sandy world Long Island and the south shore currently finds itself.
Not with the community that was beaten worse than any defensive line on any gridiron this year.
Not with many of their players still literally in the dark, or worse, homeless.
“It’s been hard because we’ve had a lot of kids who lost their houses and there’s devastation down there and we realize that that’s a lot more important than a football team,” Perpall said. “It takes their mind off it a little bit and we’ve rallied around them and try to help them get their houses fixed up and all that.”
Because even though some in Mineola still have power, at least they still have a roof. At least they still have a familiar place to rest their heads at night. That’s why this loss shouldn’t sting to those who wear red and black.
Because sometimes rivals have to put aside the rhetoric – if however so briefly – when they know it means more to a team, to a community, than one more tally in the win column.
Even Boston fans rooted for New York once.1 2 3 4 F Mineola 7 3 0 0 10 Seaford 20 0 7 14 41
Scoring Summary 1st Quarter MHS-S Seaford TD Adorno 7-yard pass to O’Donnell Murphy kick
0-7 Mineola TD Gaffney 13-yard run Sullivan kick 7-7 Seaford TD Fischetti 5-yard run Murphy kick 7-14 Seaford TD Fischetti 25-yard run Murphy kick failed 7-20 2nd Quarter MHS-S Mineola FG Sullivan kick
10-20 3rd Quarter MHS-S Seaford TD Adorno 44-yard pass to O’Donnel Murphy kick 10-27 4th Quarter MHS–S Seaford TD Fischetti 3-yard run Murphy kick 10-34 Seaford TD Kolodinsky 7-yard run Murphy kick 10-41