Throughout its undefeated season, Sayville featured perhaps Long Island’s most dangerous offensive weapon in senior quarterback Steven Ferreira.
On Sunday afternoon, it was Sayville’s rushing attack that gave Lawrence all it could handle, as Zach Sirico rushed for 228 yards on 17 carries and tied the Long Island Championship record with his six rushing touchdowns, as Sayville routed the Golden Tornadoes in the highest scoring game in Long Island Championship history, 78-61.
“It was great because it took some pressure off Steven,” Sirico said. “The run game was great; there were holes everywhere. Our linemen just kept pounding their linemen. There were holes everywhere and I just kept running through them. It was all open field from there.”
Make no mistake, Ferreira, who threw for 225 yards on 10-of-14 passing, had a day that Sayville’s come to expect of its senior captain. But nearly every time Sirico touched the ball, he was exposing a hole in the Lawrence defense. He broke off runs of 32, 21, 41, 51, 55 and 1, all resulting in touchdowns.
“Offensively I don’t think we could’ve really done it any better,” said Sayville (12-0) head coach Robert Hoss, fresh off a Gatorade bath. “The thing I’m most proud of is that all year we kind of made our living through the air and today it was really the backs and the offensive line who deserve all the credit. Ultimately without the backs and the offensive line blocking for Steven all year, we’re probably not in this game.”
Lawrence (10-2) quarterback Joe Capobianco did his best to keep up with Sayville’s prolific offense, putting on a show of his own. He completed 27 of his 41 passing attempts for a record 541 yards and seven touchdowns, setting Long Island Championship records for attempts, completions and touchdowns. The Golden Tornadoes sophomore made one critical mistake early in the second half, throwing an interception to Sayville’s Matt Ali, who returned it 12 yards for a touchdown to put the game out of reach.
Neither team stopped scoring, though. The game not only featured the most points in Long Island Championship history, but also the most yards (1,276) and plays from scrimmage (135).
“We just had to keep bringing it,” Sirico said. “We knew they had a great offense coming into the game. Our offense had to stay strong and keep bringing it.”
Sayville’s John Haggart also punished Lawrence for 141 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. He opened the scoring on the Golden Flashes’ first play from scrimmage with a 40-yard touchdown run.
“We kind of used John as a battering ram today,” Hoss said. “We ran a lot of lead zone with John. What you didn’t notice was John pancaking people to open up some lanes. Zach’s been great all year, it’s just that we have so many kids, how do you disperse the ball as well as you’d like to? Today Sirico showed up and played a great game.”
From there, the teams began trading touchdowns for what seemed like the remainder of the game. Sayville opened up a 21-7 lead on Sirico’s 32-yard run midway through the second quarter. Lawrence continuouslyclosed to within one score, but Sayville always had an answer.
The Golden Flashes captured their first Long Island Championship since 2008, avenging last year’s loss to Lynbrook.
“We were happy to be here last year but we didn’t finish,” Hoss said. “All year long we always said we had one more shot, one more opportunity. We put it on all our shirts. Losing that game last year, it was our drive all year long to not have that same feeling we had a year and two days ago.
At Sayville, the bar is the Long Island Championship. Anything less, to our standards, is unacceptable.”