Football: Mercy improves to 5-0 with victory at Port Jefferson

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Paul Annunziata makes an interception late in the game Saturday for Mercy to help clinch the victory against Port Jefferson.


Early in the second quarter Saturday afternoon at Port Jefferson, the McGann-Mercy Monarchs found themselves in an unusual position: trailing by a touchdown.

Through the first half of the Division IV schedule, the Monarchs only trailed once, by one point in the second half against Greenport last week. The Monarchs came back to win that game, 12-7.

“It didn’t affect our kids, it didn’t affect the game plan,” said Mercy coach Jeff Doroski. “We got right back after it.”

The Monarchs answered Port Jefferson’s first quarter touchdown with 21 straight points to win the game 21-7. Mercy, a preseason No. 12 seed, improved to 5-0 and all but guaranteed itself a spot in the postseason.

Sophomore Reggie Archer scored on a pair of long touchdown runs. He broke an 88-yard run on a stretch play to the right side behind the blocks of Paolo Foscolo and Bryan Murray for his first score that tied the game.

“He has deceiving speed I call it,” Doroski said. “He doesn’t look very fast, but nobody catches him. When you’re running for 88 and 66 yards and guys have a chance to track you down and they don’t, that says something about what he’s doing for us.”

Archer capped the scoring for Mercy with a 66-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and he finished the day with 178 yards on 18 carries.

“We put a lot on his plate as a sophomore and he’s only going to get better,” Doroski said.

The Royals (1-4) jumped ahead on Mercy with an 81-yard touchdown from Paul Cavanagh in the first quarter. Doroski took the blame, saying he had the defense in the wrong position.

“We buckled down after that,” he said. “Asides from giving up the big run, we really kind of contained them for the rest of the game.”

Mercy quarterback Asaiah Wilson scored on a two-yard run to give the Monarchs a 14-7 lead at halftime.

It wasn’t a perfect performance from the Monarchs. Doroski said they failed to convert inside the red zone four times.

“At some point we got to put a full game together,” he said. “We were pretty mistake free today, we didn’t have too many penalties, but we just didn’t execute in the red zone when we needed to.”

The Monarchs will have their hands full next week when they return home to face 4-1 Shoreham-Wading River. The only loss for the Wildcats this season came against Mount Sinai, one of the top teams in the division.

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ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mercy sophomore Reggie Archer broke off two long touchdown runs Saturday against Port Jefferson.