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Sachem North, Now 3-0, rallies to beat Longwood 25-21

Posted Saturday, October 03, 2009 by LI Blitz Web Site

By Jim Furlong @ LIBlitz.com


The Flaming Arrows are on the rise. And the Sachem North players say they will continue to climb. "We have something to prove," said senior tailback Davon Lawrence.

Producing one of the best comebacks so far for 2009 Nassau and Suffolk County teams, the Flaming Arrows scored all their points in the second half last Friday night and surged to a 25-21 victory over winless Longwood.

"We learned we have pride and a lot of heart," said junior quarterback Angelo Armine, who made his second varsity start. "I feel very excited. In the second half, we picked it up; a big team effort. Awesome. "We are 3-0 with a lot of football left to play."

Sachem North and Northport (3-0) are the only two undefeated teams remaining among the 12 football teams in Suffolk Division I, and they share first place in the standings.

"This is our first three-game winning streak since the split (to two Sachem high school teams six years ago)," said Coach David Falco.

The Flaming Arrows, who moved up to No. 4 in the new LI BLITZ,COM Conference 1 poll, beat Longwood for the first time in five varsity meetings. Falco's team owns the best start in the program's six-year varsity history.

Armine began the second-half comeback with a four-yard touchdown run. He scored after junior lineman Joe Kirchner recovered a Longwood fumble.

The speedy Lawrence, who is gaining more attention from college recruiters, showcased his breakaway speed with a 60-yard TD burst.

Junior fullback Michael Andreassi reduced Longwood's lead to 21-19, a two-yard TD carry with 6:31 remaining.

The Lions (0-3) were stopped on their next possession and forced to punt.

The Flaming Arrows then moved quickly, and Lawrence raced for the game-wining touchdown, a 43-yard sprint, with 2:36 on the clock. "We knew we could (come back)," said Jesse Scanna. "We came out strong in the second half. We believe in ourselves. (The coach) said he believed in us."

Lawrence, who has scored seven touchdowns in the first thee games, said he and his teammates shared a halftime talk to ignite their determination. "We talked it over and we came out stronger," said Lawrence. "Our defense picked it up and got a lot of big stops." "Our coaches made some great half time adjustments... they have worked extremly hard as a group and I am excited to be working with them" Falco said.

Center Tim Lang, guards Ryan Sampson and Kirchner and tackles James Thompson and Andrew Mellina sparked effective blocking which led to more than 200 yards rushing.

Lawrence finished with 151 yards on 14 carries. He increased his season rushing total to 493 yards on 45 carries.

Longwood, on its home field, dominated the first half and built a 21-0 lead. On the Lions' first play, Anthony Bullock flashed his speed with an 80-yard TD burst. Sachem North was shorthanded as the visitors had only 10 defenders on the field.

In the second half, however, the Lions' offense was stopped: three punts, lost a fumble and turned the ball over on downs. A game-changing play came with 7:17 left in the third quarter, and Armine gave his team a big boost.

After a holding penalty, the Flaming Arrows faced a third-down-and-22-yards to go at the Longwood 45. Armine proved elusive as he scrambled and sprinted for a 37-yard gain.

"I dropped back and I didn't see anybody open," said Armine, who also had a fumble recovery and interception in the second half. "I saw a lane and the fullback (Andreassi) was blocking for me. I ran like the wind. I didn't want to go down and I kept on going."

 Two plays later, Andreassi powered into the end zone. Scanna said the Flaming Arrows are gaining more confidence in what their group can accomplish. "This (third victory in a row) showed we can do anything we want if we stick together and give it all we've got," said Scanna.

Falco said his team recovered from a first-half lull. "The Longwood players were ready to play and came out extremely hard and, I think, we had a little bit of a lull after playing Sachem East (33-7 on Sept. 17)," said Falco. "It was kind of a trap game. I think we came out flat. We have talked to the kids about that. . . . The emotions of the first two weeks were high."

 

The Flaming Arrows, who were No. 7 in the preseason ratings for Suffolk Division I,  enjoyed their first two games, including a 17-14 victory over top-rated William Floyd in the opener on Sept. 11.

Sachem North returns to action with a home game Saturday afternoon, hosting Ward Melville (1-2).

 

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