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Sachem vs Bellport Scrimmage Recap 2010

Posted Wednesday, September 01, 2010 by SachemPatch

North Wins Scrimmage 33-14 Against Bellport

Strong Ground Game and Stingy Defense help lead Sachem.

Both the Clippers and the Flaming Arrows have each racked up impressive numbers over their many storied years in their respective divisions, but both teams mostly saw Tuesday's scrimmage, which North won 33-20, as a chance to polish their skills on the gridiron before the season proper kicks off.

"I'm excited at the potential," said North coach Dave Falco, crediting an all-around strong game despite the absence of linebacker Jesse Scanna due to a minor injury, helped in great part by deadly accurate passing by starting quarterback Mike McCarthy and others. "Our conditioning needs work, and the heat was a factor today. But these kids can play, and we're right where we need to be. They really stepped up."

"It was fairly even at first, then we faded a bit," said legendary Bellport head coach and Sachem alum Joe Cipp Jr. "But that's what scrimmages are for, to find these things out ahead of time. Their option plays did us in."

After North kicked off, Bellport's offense answered back immediately with a 40-yard touchdown off Clipper quarterback Justin Honce's toss, plus the extra point. The bulk of the yardage was picked up after the short throw. The next drive stalled to give North control - McCarthy punched through for 20 yards on a 3rd-and-5 drive, allowing teammate Dalton Crossan to find the hole on the next play for a 30-yard touchdown. 

Trent Crossan missed the extra-point kick on this attempt, but more than made up for it in the second quarter - after Bellport had snagged a 40-yard touchdown and converted it to stretch its lead by seven, Trent and Mike Andreassi teamed up to tip it back big for North, as each evaded Bellport's physical defense to hit paydirt before halftime. 

"It's faster than my other league," admitted Trent, 14 (Dalton is 16). "But I just came to play." 

A flurry of punt returns marked the latter half of the game, as each team ended up three-and-out on stalled plays between their respective 20s, though Trent momentarily broke it back open following a North time-out on a 50-yard scamper for a 26-14 lead. The Andreassi brothers Mike and Tyler came through big on defense with a pair of sacks in the third quarter, before Angelo Armine intercepted on a 3rd-and-4 play for a 35-yard pick-six.

Bellport ran in its final score in the fourth quarter, foregoing the PAT. Eddie Xiao's interception on the final play was halted by a tackle near the 50, but the deed was done.

Out of the limelight but still hands-on, hungry and gracious as ever despite the preseason loss, the elder Cipp, one of the winningest coaches in Long Island history, reflected back fondly to his days at Sachem, where he played under coach Kiernan Lawlor for three seasons, graduating in 1966. Taking over the Clippers's helm in 1976, he transformed it into a powerhouse program which, among other accomplishments, held national ranks in 1982, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2006, grabbed the top state spots in 1982 and 2001, and still holds the most playoff wins in Suffolk history (36 wins-15 losses). 

"My best four years were at Sachem," he said. "I say that with complete sincerity. It was like a family."

Read up more on Cipp and his Sachem days this fall on Sachem Patch. In the meantime, check out the complete Bellport Football history by ordering Sachem Patch editor Chris R. Vaccaro's book: "Bellport Football: A Proud Tradition."

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