Shoreham-Wading River passed its first true test of this high school football season Thursday night with flying colors. The Wildcats deserved an “A,” but an “X” would be more appropriate.
That would be for their quarterback, Xavier Arline. The sophomore turned in a spectacular performance, running for four touchdowns. He was responsible for 314 of Shoreham’s 341 yards in a 27-7 defeat of Elwood/John Glenn in a Suffolk County Division IV game at Thomas Cutinella Memorial Field.
Arline’s play and Shoreham’s stubborn defense made all the difference in the anticipated matchup between third-seeded Glenn (2-2) and second-seeded Shoreham (4-0), which reached the midpoint of the regular season undefeated.
The three-time defending Long Island Class IV champions made a bold statement, with no small help from Arline, who isn’t easy to tackle. The 5-8, 170-pound speedster raced for 221 yards from 32 carries (he fumbled once). After a pair of 5-yard TD runs by Arline (with extra points by Tyler McAuley), Arline tacked on scoring runs of 50 and 45 yards in the second half to make the score 27-0 one play into the fourth quarter.
If that wasn’t enough, Arline went 6-for-11 passing for 93 yards. He threw one interception that ended up in Jon Green’s hands.
Shoreham made three interceptions — by Joe Puckey, Kyle Boden and Kyle Lutz. Puckey, a 6-1, 285-pound defensive tackle, pulled down a deflected pass near the line of scrimmage to cut short Glenn’s first offensive series. Boden’s pick in his own end zone denied Glenn on a fourth-down play shortly before halftime.
Still, Glenn’s biggest success came through the air and the throwing arm of Kyle Szokoli (12-for-23, 134 yards). Szokoli fired an 8-yard strike to Giovanni Rinaldi to snap Shoreham’s shutout bid with 5:27 left to play. Glenn’s Daysean Johnson made four catches for 88 yards.
Shoreham had rolled in its first three games, beating Bayport-Blue Point, Amityville and Wyandanch by an aggregate score of 133-35.
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River quarterback Xavier Arline ran for 221 yards and four touchdowns in a 27-7 defeat of Elwood/John Glenn. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)