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Football: Wildcats bounce back in style after rare loss

09/24/2016 5:09 PM |

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The streak now stands at one.

The Shoreham-Wading River football team may no longer be carrying the weight of two undefeated seasons on its shoulders, but the goal remains the same: to climb back atop the Division IV mountain. Even after last week’s loss to Babylon, ending the 25-game unbeaten streak, the Wildcats remained focused on the bigger picture.

That started Saturday with the first road game of the year. And the Port Jefferson Royals were the unlucky team stuck with facing a fired up Wildcats team ready to put last week’s loss behind them.

The Wildcats never left any doubt in this one, scoring touchdowns on their first six full possessions to roll past the Royals, 47-6.

Senior Chris Gray rushed for four touchdowns, bringing his three-game total up nine, as the Wildcats moved to 2-1 in Division IV. The Royals are 1-2.

Gray rushed for 147 yards on just 10 carries. He scored on runs of 49 and 53.

The Wildcats mixed in junior Kyle Boden early in the game to add some versatility to the offense and the first-year varsity player responded with 72 yards on nine carries. He scored the team’s first touchdown, a 27-yard run to cap a 10-play drive.

Gray scored the next three touchdowns and freshman Xavier Arline added a 28-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter that put Shoreham ahead 34-0 at halftime. Sean DePhillips rushed for the final Shoreham score on a 14-yard run.

The Wildcats’ defense was tested by an offense can throw the ball. Port Jefferson quarterback Jack Collins, a junior, dropped back 26 times and completed 12 passes for 172 yards. Brian Mark caught six passes and scored the only Port Jefferson touchdown on a 54-yard pass play in the fourth quarter. Mark was left uncovered on the left side, a rare defensive miscue by Shoreham, and he easily raced down field for the score after catching the pass.

With the Royals behind them, the Wildcats will now face a grueling part of their schedule with consecutive games against Mount Sinai, John Glenn and Miller Place. The next two games are on the road.

Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River junior Kyle Boden looks for a hole on a first-quarter drive Saturday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

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