The difference between the first and second halves was black and white — and Gray.
As in Chris Gray.
The Shoreham-Wading River High School football team, which earlier this season saw its 25-game win streak come to an end, is working on a new streak. The Wildcats now have two wins in a row to their credit, with their 28-6 defeat of host Mount Sinai in the rain Friday night.
Gray put on a show. After a quiet first half in which Shoreham trailed, 6-0, and Gray had only nine rushing yards, the Wildcats followed Gray’s lead in the second half and seized control of the Suffolk County Division IV showdown. The 5-foot-7, 170-pound senior, a backup to running back Chris Rosati last year, showed he has some moves comparable to his graduated mentor. He scored all four Shoreham touchdowns — three on runs and one on an interception return — while picking up 156 yards from 20 carries.
On his first touch of the third quarter, Gray broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run. On Shoreham’s next possession, he reeled off a 20-yarder, setting up a 35-yard touchdown in which he ran into traffic up the middle, bounced out to his right and then bolted into open space.
Gray found a seam through the middle for a 17-yard charge into the end zone 4 minutes, 18 seconds into the fourth quarter. That touchdown was set up by an interception by defensive tackle Dan Curtin, who was surprised to have the ball land in his hands after defensive end Ethan Wiederkehr tipped a pass by Jason Shlonsky.
Gray had an interception himself off a deflected pass and returned it 22 yards for the score.
Tyler McAuley kicked all four extra points for Shoreham (3-1), the defending Long Island Class IV champion.
Mount Sinai (2-2) enjoyed the better field position in a defensive first half. The Mustangs took the lead when Shlonsky carried the ball to the left side, sidestepped a couple of defenders, cut back inside and dashed forward for a 31-yard touchdown run 7:40 into the game.
Shoreham offensive tackle/defensive tackle Dean Stalzer sat out his third game because of a bout with mononucleosis. Stalzer, who operated a video camera in the press box, said he hopefully will be back for the team’s game next Friday night against Elwood/John Glenn at Connetquot High School.
Photo caption: Chris Gray (20 carries, 156 yards) ran for three touchdowns and scored a fourth off an interception return. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)