To say the injury bug has hit Sachem North is an understatement.
How bad? Multiple players were out for Week 5, including starting quarterback Trent Crossan, who tore his ACL last week against Longwood, and is lost for the season. Tyler Andreassi only played on one side of the ball. John Shannon and Nick DiRosse sat out. The list grew by the day this week.
Players with new supporting roles, however, followed through with their assignments and contributed to a 32-19 victory on the road at Connetquot Thursday afternoon.
“I’m very proud of our kids and how hard they’re working,” Sachem coach Dave Falco said, “but we still have a lot of work to do.”
A pair of sophomores in Anthony Ross and Malik Pierre will try to compliment stud back Dalton Crossan in Sachem’s never-ending quest to pound the ball on the ground. They each scored touchdowns, and made big plays on both sides of the ball.
Crossan rushed 15 times for a career-high 228 yards and three touchdowns, topping his previous career-best of 210 yards set against Northport in Week 2.
He opened the game with a 90-yard touchdown run – the longest of his career – in the second quarter.
“It was blocked really well,” he said. “I used my speed, got around the outside and didn’t look back.”
Later in the same quarter, he carried 10 times on one drive and scored on a 14-yard run, culminating in a dive to the pylon, and allowing Sachem (5-0) to take a 12-0 lead into halftime.
Ross, who finished with 7 carries for 75 yards and 1 touchdown, came through on a 46-yard touchdown run with 5:20 left in the third and Sachem regained possession after Connetquot (1-4) coughed up the ball on the following kick off.
“He’s really picking up the slack here,” Falco said of Ross. “He played a lot of offense today and his defensive game is really improving.”
Pierre capitalized on the turnover and ran 29 yards for a touchdown two plays later.
Crossan saved one 43-yard touchdown run for later and Connetquot put up 19 points in the second half off one 34-yard pass, a 1-yard dive run and another long rush when the second and third team players were on the field.
Next week will be the greatest challenge so far in 2011 as Sachem travels to rival William Floyd, Saturday, Oct. 15 at 1:30 p.m. The teams have not played since last year’s Suffolk County Division I championship at Stony Brook, a game that will forever leave a sour taste in Sachem’s mouth.
Considering Sachem is the only undefeated team in Division I, has arguably the best player in the county in Crossan and a handful of supporting players who are coming of age at the perfect time, Week 6 should make for an interesting contest.
“We have a lot of guys who are willing to step up,” Crossan said, “so I think we should be good the rest of the season.”
1 2 3 4 F
Sachem 0 12 20 0 32
Connetquot 0 0 6 13 19
-S: Crossan, 90 run, kick no good
-S: Crossan, 14 run, kick no good
-S: Ross, 46 run, Morris kick
-S: Pierre, 29 run, Morris kick
-C: Higgins to Stallworth, 34 pass, kick no good
-S: Crossan, 43 run, Morris kick
-C: Renfroe, 1 run, Kistinger kick
-C: Unknown, 48 run, two-point no good