A strong case could be made for the Shoreham-Wading River defense, which didn’t rest on Friday night.
Sure, Shoreham quarterback Xavier Arline did what he usually does — run for touchdowns — but it was the Wildcats’ physical defense that stole the show, allowing a season-low three points in the team’s 20-3 Suffolk County Division IV football victory at Mount Sinai High School. The result pumped Shoreham’s unbeaten record up to 5-0, and the performance by defensive coordinator Tony Antonucci’s defense had to pump up the Wildcats’ confidence.
Shoreham has allowed 45 points in five games and came off a game in which it conceded only seven points to Elwood/John Glenn.
Mount Sinai (3-2) played hard and actually had more total yards than Shoreham, 228-196. The Wildcats buckled at times, but never broke.
The only points Mount Sinai mustered came from a Colin McCarthy 28-yard field goal 12 minutes, 26 seconds into the game.
After that Shoreham did all the scoring as McCarthy missed field-goal attempts from 26 and 37 yards in the second quarter. The first of those misses came on a 12-play drive that was aided by 40 yards worth of penalties assessed against Shoreham.
Mount Sinai’s 3-0 lead didn’t last long. Shoreham’s next possession, highlighted by a 40-yard reception by Kyle Boden and a 17-yard catch by Kyle Lutz, was capped by Arline’s first score, a six-yarder. He drifted to his right before beating defenders to the corner of the end zone.
But it was Arline’s second TD of the night that was the most impressive. On a first-down play from the Mount Sinai 36-yard line, the sophomore took a shotgun snap, bolted up the middle, shook off defenders with some razzle-dazzle and scored with 18 seconds left in the first half. Tyler McAuley’s extra point made it 14-3.
Arline put up the final points 7:35 into the third quarter. Darting around the right end, he was pushed near the sideline, but maintained his balance as he tiptoed the final steps across the goal line.
Mount Sinai’s Michael Sabella ran for 105 yards, but Shoreham’s defense was tough, coming up with three sacks in addition to a fumble recovery by Ryan Mullahey that cut short a Mount Sinai drive at the Shoreham 21.
Despite his three TDs, Arline finished with just 39 yards from 15 carries, six of which went for negative yardage, discounting three kneel downs to end the game. Boden picked up the bulk of Shoreham’s yardage, running 13 times for 94 yards.
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River players march onto the field before their game against Mount Sinai Friday night. (Credit: Bob Liepa)