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Momentum Shift Keys Sachem North Win!

Posted Sunday, September 27, 2009 by Newsday Sports Blog

 By Gregg Sarra

You could feel the momentum shift in Friday's game at Longwood. Somewhere between the end of the first half and the start of the third quarter, Big Mo', decided to go the way of the visitor's sideline. I stood with PAL chairman Lou Bonnanzio throughout Friday's Sachem North -- Longwood football game. We could feel the momentum shift, we could sense the game slipping away from Longwood and we could see the confidence in Sachem North rise. It was impressive. How many high school football teams can take a 21-point halftime deficit and turn it around for a comeback win. Now, mind you, this game wasn't a shootout where the last possession wins the game. This was, 21-0, at the half and the potential for a blowout. There was nothing going on for Sachem North, and Longwood was seemingly in total control.

    It was like coach Dave Falco and his coaching staff flipped a switch. Oh, and I could use this space, to apologize for using the word abandoned in a previous blog, when some of Falco's former assistants decided to move on. Dave felt it was too strong a description given the situation and openly explained each and every coaches decision to move in a different direction. And he said he wasn't left on an island after last year's difficult season. And judging by this weekend's huge comeback win, his staff is on the same page and working very hard with this team.

    It was great to see Jesse Scanna back on the field at linebacker and halfback. He suffered an ugly dislocation of the ankle and broken leg in practice last fall and missed the last few games. The kid can play. He gets the tough yardage and makes big plays on defense. Angelo Armine is one of my players of the week. He made plays on both sides of the ball and has the leadership qualities that helps a team win. What impressed me most, was his demeanor after a rough first half, when nothing went well for Sachem. He was rotated in and out at quarterback and never wavered or showed that he was down. He returned to the position to run for a score, run for big first downs and make pivotal throws for key first downs. And on defense, he forced a fumble and jumped a pass in the flat for a game ending interception.

    There are rugged guys like fullback Michael Andreassi pounding the opposition all game. And then there are Scanna and Armine and other skill guys, who also play on special teams. They're out there all game. This was an incredible comeback win. This will enable the Flaming Arrows for an entire season. It was a game to savor, won on character, perserverance and skill. They will never feel out of a game. 

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