Football: Rushing attack, defense leads Monarchs to victory in opener

MICHAEL GASPARINO PHOTO | McGann-Mercy sophomore Reggie Archer rushed for 124 yards in a season-opening victory over Center Moriches Friday night.

Two long touchdown runs in the third quarter propelled the McGann-Mercy Monarchs to a 20-12 victory over Center Moriches in the Suffolk County Division IV football opener Friday night at Center Moriches High School.

Sophomore Reggie Archer’s 49-yard touchdown run early in the third broke a 6-6 tie, and five minutes later, Paul Annunziata scored on a 31-yard run on a fourth-and-one play to give the Monarchs a 20-6 lead. Paolo Foscolo followed his 30-yard interception return with a 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, which gave the Monarchs a 6-0 lead.

Archer finished with 124 yards on 20 carries, pacing the Monarchs’ 185-yard rushing attack. Annunziata had 55 yards rushing on eight carries.

Mercy’s defense allowed just 42 yards rushing in the second half. A late touchdown by Center Moriches off a deflected pass gave the Red Devils one last chance, but their onside kick was recovered by the Monarchs.

The preseason No. 12 seed, McGann-Mercy (1-0) continues the Division IV schedule Sept. 15 at Southampton.