Football: SWR capitalizes on turnovers to hand Mercy first loss

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River linebacker/tight end Mitch Identsohn scored on an interception return for a touchdown Friday night.


In the blink of an eye, one of the biggest football games at McGann-Mercy High School in years turned into a rout.

Shoreham-Wading River struck for 28 points in just over five minutes spanning the end of the first quarter into the second Friday night to run away with a 35-0 victory. Undefeated coming into the day and facing their biggest test of the season, the Monarchs turned the ball over five times in the opening half, three times on fumbles and twice on interceptions.

The Wildcats, coming off an impressive win over defending Long Island champion John Glenn, furthered their claim as one of the top teams in Division IV with a near flawless performance. Behind a powerful running game led by junior Tyler Anderson (142 yards on 23 carries), the Wildcats capitalized on short fields thanks to all the turnovers. Mercy finished the game with six turnovers.

The running game opened the door for Shoreham (5-1) to complete two touchdowns through the air on play-action passes. Sophomore quarterback Danny Hughes connected twice with sophomore Isreal Squires for scores of 21 and 18 yards.

Anderson, who had eight touchdowns in his previous two games, only scored once Friday. But it set the tone early. He opened the scoring with a three-yard touchdown run with :8.2 left in the first quarter. A fumble return for a touchdown by Squires and an interception returned for a touchdown by linebacker Mitch Identsohn made it 21-0 just over two minutes later.

The Wildcats never looked back.

A big crowd packed Mercy High School on a chilly night, with some fans tailgating in the parking lot before the start and Mercy students cramming together in the bleachers to lead boisterous cheers.

But the Wildcats sapped the energy from the crowd with their dominant second quarter.

Big games loom next week for both teams. The Wildcats travel to Babylon, where their season ended last year in the playoffs. The Monarchs will face The Stony Brook School, which will likely have an identical 5-1 record. Stony Brook faces Wyandanch (2-3) Saturday.

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ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mercy sophomore Reggie Archer breaks a run to the right side.