Quarterback Jack Cassidy leads Connetquot over Sachem North
Junior quarterback Jack Cassidy threw for two scores and ran for another on host Connetquot's first three possessions Friday night in a 47-21 win over Sachem North, Long Island's defending Class I champions.
Top-seeded Connetquot opened a 28-0 lead on Cassidy's 7-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Bryan Ramirez with 9:42 left in the first half. Cassidy's brother Sean set up the fourth touchdown with an interception.
"We lost a heartbreaker to them last year in the playoffs," center Josh Gutierrez said. "It stayed with us through the wrestling season and into our spring and summer workouts . . . Our energy was unbelievable before the game and my brothers came to play. This was an enormous win against a great program."
The last time Connetquot beat Sachem North was in 2008. The Thunderbirds' 15-13 win propelled them to the school's second Class I title.
"It was only the second varsity start for our quarterback and he executed the game plan brilliantly," Connetquot coach Mike Hansen said. "Jack Cassidy was outstanding tonight."
It was actually the three-headed Jack monster for the T-Birds. Cassidy engineered five touchdown drives in six possessions and made wise decisions on the option to account for 141 all-purpose yards. But it was the running game of two junior halfbacks named Jack that kept the Flaming Arrows' defense off balance.
Jack Richardson contributed hard inside running, 142 yards on 17 carries and touchdown runs of 33, 4 and 10 yards. Jack Spataro worked the jet sweep to add 86 yards on eight carries, including a 37-yard scoring run for the final margin.
"They do a lot of things well on offense," Sachem North coach Dave Falco said before the game. "They can run it and pass it very well."
To Falco's credit, his team battled through the second half to draw within 41-21 on Kevin Bragaglia's 2-yard touchdown run and Mike Licata's 1-yard scoring pass to Sean O'Brien.
Bragaglia was held to 31 yards rushing on 14 carries. He added 90 yards on four receptions, including a 49-yard score. Connetquot linebackers Ramirez and Matt Bode helped stuff Bragaglia for 5 yards on seven carries in the first half.
"It's a big win,'' Hansen said, "but it's only week two."