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Football: On eve of playoffs, Riverhead steamrolls past Smithtown East


Riverhead quarterback Tristan Falisi dropped back from under center and tossed the ball to his right to Sharron Trent. Down the right sideline, Ryun Moore took off, his legs churning toward the end zone. Trent pulled up, wound back his right arm and slung the ball down field to Moore for a 58-yard touchdown. 

Three more quarters still remained in Saturday’s game at Smithtown East High School, but for all intents and purposes, the long scoring play felt like a final dagger.

Game. Set. Match.

The score put the Blue Waves ahead 22-0. It only got worse from there for the Bulls, who couldn’t generate any positives in a 42-0 Riverhead win on the final day of the regular season.

The Blue Waves (4-4) scored touchdowns on their first five possessions to steamroll the winless Bulls and maintain their position as a Division II playoff team. Riverhead remained as the No. 6 team in Division II power rankings and will travel to No. 3 West Islip next weekend in the first round of the playoffs. Riverhead tallied 123.2 power points, a fraction of a point behind Huntington (123.5) for fifth, according to just updated standings from Section XI.

After enduring back-to-back blowout losses in Weeks 5 and 6 against the top two teams in Division II — Newfield and Hills West — the Blue Waves closed out the season with a pair of feel-good wins. Over the final two weeks, the outscored Bellport and Smithtown East 70-8. It was the first shutout for Riverhead since Oct. 19, 2013 against Walt Whitman.

The Blue Waves will hope some of that momentum can carry over to next week. The good news is the Blue Waves avoid both the top two teams in the first round.

On Saturday, the Blue Waves made it look easy at times. Running back Marcus Reid surpassed 100 yards rushing in the first quarter and finished the game with 134 on 11 carries. He reached that total in the first half and did not carry the ball again with the game well in hand. On defense, Tyrese Kerr was a typical menace, tackling runners in the backfield and recovering a fumble on a bad snap. It was the first of two Smithtown turnovers off a bad snap. Brian Moulton recovered the second fumble.

Reid ran the ball as if a magnetic shield protected him from tacklers. Seven of his 11 carries went for at least 10 yards. He opened the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown run with 9:51 left in the first quarter. Moore ran in the two-point conversion to put the Blue Waves ahead 8-0.

The Blue Waves scored twice more in the first quarter. Falisi capped a 7-play drive with a 1-yard keeper to make it 15-0.

In the second quarter, he threw a pair of touchdowns, one to Moore for 11 yards and another to Blake Carrara for 14 yards.

Nico Bossey was 4-for-4 on extra point kicks.

The Blue Waves are still dealing with injuries and coach Leif Shay said the team was playing with a makeshift line. Against the Bulls, it hardly mattered. The Blue Waves dominated the line of scrimmage and constantly sent the Bulls’ offense backward in the first half.

Nearly the entire second half featured the Blue Waves’ reserves.

The final touchdown came on a 3-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Kyle Kelly to fellow junior Josh Maccagli. It was the first varsity reception for Maccagli.

Photo Caption: Riverhead wide receiver Josh Maccagli hauls in a 3-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter Saturday against Smithtown East. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)