Steven Casili was all over the field Saturday night for Sachem East football. The junior was outstanding on both sides of the ball, ripping off long runs as a tailback and delivering crushing hits when playing linebacker, helping the Arrows defeat Ward Melville 34-0.
Casili rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and added a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown – all in the first half. While he didn’t carry the ball in the second half he added to his 15 tackles and picked up a sack.
The Patriots didn’t go away easy, though. After Casili put the Arrows in the end zone on their first drive with three consecutive runs totaling 51 yards, Ward Melville responded with a 17 play drive that totaled over nine minutes. Unfortunately for the Patriots the drive ended in a botched long snap, giving East prime field position. Even then Ward Melville’s Daniel Nemirov came up with an interception that put them back in business.
The difference in the game was that East had a game breaker like Casali, and Ward Melville did not.
“Casali is a beast, he really is,” East head coach Mark Wojciechowski said. “I said it from day one, how he goes is how we go. He is a great person - the kids love him, they love playing with him and he’s a great teammate to everybody. There are times when he can carry us and in that first half he did. He was a beast.”
East started its first drive in the second quarter with a false start but Casili quickly erased that mistake with a 15-yard run. Ward Melville finally thought it had slowed the East running game down after forcing the Arrows into a fourth-and-one. Again it was Casili who came through, ripping off a 37-yard touchdown run.
It was Casali’s third touchdown that really sealed the deal for East just before halftime. Ward Melville moved the ball 20-yards down the field on an Andrew Aicher completion to Justin Joseph and were in Arrow’s territory. Once again Casili came to the rescue, intercepting the next pass and bringing it 60-yards the other way to the house. East went into halftime up 27-0.
“That was my first interception since I was nine years old,” an elated Casili said after the game. “I’m so happy right now, that was awesome. Our defense played great today, we gave up no points and just played a great game.”
Casili’s emotions after the game summed up the feelings of most around the East program. They’re now one win away from tying a program record. This is also the first time in school history that Sachem East has started a season 4-0.
“The kids bought in,” Wojciechowski said after the game about the biggest difference from last season. “They’ve worked hard since day one. Our motto is get better every day and they really believe that, they really do.”
1 2 3 4 F
Sachem 7 20 7 0 34
Ward Melville 0 0 0 0 0
-S: Casali, 8 run, Vaccaro XP
-S Casali, 37 run, Vaccaro XP
-S: Riggi to Balsamo, 49 pass, Missed PAT
-S: Casali, 60 interception return, Vaccaro XP
-S: Huber, 2 run, Vaccaro XP