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Sachem Football Team eager to excel in a 'special moment'

Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by The Long Island Blitz website
by Jim Furlong  @ LI Blitz.com

The Sachem  players and coaches are getting ready to compete on a potential Field of Dreams.
 
The undefeated and record-setting Flaming Arrows have advanced to the 2009 Suffolk Division 1 championship game and they seek a happy memory to last a lifetime; a big payoff Sunday at 6 p.m. when they aim to beat perennial power William Floyd.
Thousands of fans and supporters for both teams will gather at LaValle Stadium on the campus of Stony Brook University to watch two teams with a combined 19-1 record.
 
"This is a special moment for all of us seniors,'' said Sachem North two-way lineman Ryan Sampson. "We have never been to a game like this. We've worked so hard and it is nice to see all the hard work pay off. "We are getting an opportunity to do something great. This means so much to us. We love the game. We live for moments like this."
 
Powered by a versatile rushing attack which has gained more than 3,750 yards, the Flaming Arrows are 10-0 and have scored a Sachem single-season record 372 points. Coach Dave Falco and his assistants have directed an 11-game winning streak, the longest for a Sachem football team since 1984.
 
"(Sunday) is the biggest game for a Sachem team since 1995," said Falco, who was a Sachem standout in the 1980s. "We are proud of our kids and what they have accomplished, but I really sense our kids are not satisfied with that."
 
The 2009 players have already established a school record -- the first Sachem team to win 10 games in a single season.
Linebacker Jesse Scanna, the team's leading tackler, said a dedicated, sustained work ethic and group unity are key reasons for success the last 11 weeks.
 
"We are all very excited," said Scanna. "We will keep working hard and doing the same things we have done all year and, hopefully, the same results keep happening."
 
In their last five games, the Flaming Arrows have dominated their opponents by a combined point total of 206-32. Last Friday night, top-seeded Sachem North rolled over sixth-seeded Brentwood 42-6 in the Suffolk semifinals.
 
That 41.2 point average is the highest-scoring five-game span in Sachem history. "I think the offense and Davon (Lawrence) get most of the talk, but our defense has improved every week and we are (repeatedly) getting good field position," said Falco.
Alex Katos at Corner works with Scanna and Mike Andreassi  who are at linebacker in a 4-4 base defense. Mayer Calbataza  is a defensive end and Lawrence lead the secondary at safety.
 
Sachem blitzed Brentwood with 28 points in the second quarter, and Lawrence produced his 22nd touchdown this season on a 39-yard burst. The speedy senior, who averages 10.9  yards a carry  is the team's primary offensive asset, and he's rushed for 1,778 yards. Both Lawrence's 22 TDs and rushing yards are the second-best single-season totals in Sachem history, dating back to 1959. "I think he is the best running back in the county," said Floyd senior defensive lineman Ivy France.
 
Falco promotes Lawrence  to be a strong candidate for the 2009 Hansen Trophy, which annually goes to the best prep player chosen in Suffolk County. "Davon kinda reminds me of the guy from Minnesota (Vikings)," said Falco. The coach is comparing Lawrence to former Oklahoma All-American tailback Adrian Peterson, who is currently the NFL's second-leading rusher for the Vikings.

Besides Lawrence, Scanna, Mike Andreassi and agile quarterback Angelo Armine are all superior runners. Scanna scored 20 points against Brentwood, catching TD passes of 27 and 9 yards from Armine and also running 23 yards to the end zone in the third quarter. Scanna also caught a two-point pass. Andreassi has 680 yards rushing. "We call them the Four Horsemen," said Falco, in his sixth season as the Sachem North head coach. "That's not too original, but they like it."
 
The offensive linemen have consistently opened holes for the Four Horseman, who contributed the large bulk of the 439 yards rushing during a 28-6 victory over eighth-seeded Central Islip in the Suffolk quarterfinals."Our offensive line works its butt off every week," said Sampson, a starting guard. He joins center Tim Lang, Joe Kirchner, James Thompson, Andrew Mellina and tight end Ryan Grasman.
 
While Sachem  owns a potent ground game, the team has done little passing the last two months. William Floyd head coach Paul Longo and defensive coordinator Gil DeCicco are well aware the Flaming Arrows have rarely thrown the football  -- 14 completions in 38 attempts for 285 yards and three touchdowns in their 10 games.
 
When Falco needs a place kicker, he can call on Stephen Chetuck or Travis Nardello, Chetuck converted four extra points against Brentwood. Nardello, in his first varsity game, made one of the most-valuable field goals in Suffolk County this season. Nardello kicked a 24-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to lift Sachem North to a 17-14 victory at William Floyd in the regular-season opener for both teams. The Flaming Arrows handed the Colonials their first-regular season loss in seven years.
After Sunday night's game, the Sachem North-Floyd winner will play the Nassau County champion, either Freeport (8-2) or Farmingdale (8-2), for the Long Island Class 1 championship on Nov. 28.

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