If anyone in Shoreham-Wading River history rushed for more than 328 yards, coach Matt Millheiser had a strong hunch who it might have been.
So after Saturday afternoon’s 42-14 Division IV victory at East Hampton (1-3), Millheiser called former Wildcat Brendan Kelly. A senior on the football team at the University of Central Florida, Kelly (’08) finished his high school career with Shoreham as one of the most accomplished backs in county history.
“I said the only kid I could think in the past who would have had a big game was Brendan Kelly,” Millheiser said. “And he said he only had a 301 and 310, so I guess it’s a team record.”
That honor would now go to Tyler Anderson after a five-touchdown, 328-yard rushing day that will be one to remember.
Perhaps most amazing, he only needed 11 carries to amass that many yards. He finished the day with an absurd 29.8 yards per carry.
Anderson scored on runs of 48, 65, 21, 80 and 65 yards.
The final run almost didn’t happen.
With the game well in hand, Millheiser had Anderson on the sideline as backups Avery Friedman and Jordan Wright took over the rushing duties. But at one point Friedman and Wright both got banged up and the Wildcats needed a back to go in for a play. So Millheiser called in Anderson.
“I put him back in and boom, another touchdown,” Millheiser said. “I ran out of backs so I threw him back in there.”
The Wildcats finished with 521 rushing yards. Friedman had a huge day himself, rushing for 128 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. Quarterback Danny Hughes threw only one pass all game, a 15-yard completion to Isreal Squires.
Shoreham got off to a tremendous start by taking a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
The Wildcats led 35-7 at halftime and never looked back.
Shoreham improved to 3-1 at the midway point of the regular season. It puts the Wildcats in position to secure a top-four seed and home game in the playoffs if they can duplicate that effort over the second half.
Millheiser said they’re not thinking that far ahead just yet, and are more concerned with entering the playoffs healthy and playing well, regardless of what the seed might be.
“Closing on all cylinders going into the playoffs is really the most important thing,” he said.
The second half of the regular season won’t be easy. The Wildcats return home next weekend to face defending Long Island champion John Glenn. The Knights have won two straight after opening the season with two surprising losses.
The Wildcats also have McGann-Mercy and Babylon. Both teams are 4-0. Babylon is in the driver’s seat for the division title after knocking off Mount Sinai Saturday afternoon in come-from-behind fashion.