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Sachem Runs Out Of Time In County Championship

Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 by Sachempatch.com

It's been almost 24 hours since the nightmare ended, or maybe it was only beginning, as Jesse Scanna was forced out of bounds in the final seconds of Friday's Suffolk County Division I Championship.

Like the rest of Sachem, I sat in disbelief. My jaw dropped, eyes cloudy, mind foggy, heart heavy. William Floyd knocked off the best football team on Long Island and that doesn't sit well in my Black & Gold stomach.

In a matter of three hours the ultra feel good vibe that swirled through the core of Sachem's football program came tumbling down for a brief moment.

As Scanna ripped his helmet off and countless players dropped to their knees in physical and mental exhaustion, it was a clear reminder how devastating losing can be and how black and white the emotions of winning and losing can paint your soul.

"It's so hard," said Sachem quarterback Angelo Armine. "I don't even know what to say. I wasn't as sad about the loss as not being able to play with this group of guys ever again. The whole ride is over."

The ride that ultimately started when they all played pee-wee football picked up full force in Week 1 of the 2010 season. It seems like yesterday when Dalton Crossan was running back the opening punt for Sachem in a 33-7 win over Patchogue-Medford.

That big-play primetime style carried through with brazen wins against Brentwood and Connetquot, a regular season beating of Floyd, and two massive playoff blowouts against Brentwood and Northport.

Had it not been for two turnovers and two holding penalties, things may have been different for Sachem in its second go around with Floyd, but the game was played and the damage is done. And while the 41-34 loss will sit in the back of the minds of these players, parents and coaches, there is a laundry list of positive elements to take out of 2010.

Here are a few:

  • This Sachem team scored 422 points – a program record and the 13th highest in Long Island football history. What does that mean? Since 1884, only 12 other teams have scored more points than the 2010 Flaming Arrows. Remarkable.
  • This Sachem team won 10 games, tying a program record set last year. Sachem has played varsity football for 49 years … and to set a record like that – two years in a row – is no easy task.
  • This group went a combined 20-2 over the last two seasons and are two-time Division I champions – a sign that the good old days of Sachem football have reemerged.
  • Sachem scored 40-plus points in six of its 11 games this season – another program record.
  • How about the individual performances? The entire offensive line was outstanding – one of the best in New York State, leading the way for nearly 4,000 rushing yards. The three-headed monster of Jesse Scanna, Michael Andreassi and Dalton Crossan (2,800 combined yards) wreaked havoc over Division I all year and all three will be remembered as some of the best players to ever walk the halls at Sachem. Crossan and his brother Trent will carry the torch next year.
  • We were able to see Scanna, Sachem's all-time leading tackler and 11th all-time rusher, play four years for the Black & Gold. We were able to see Andreassi become the 8th all-time leading rusher also. There are over 2,o00 players who have played Sachem football since 1961 - and only seven have rushed for more yards. It doesn't get more special than that.
  • Even with the loss to Floyd, Sachem made history, scoring more points in the county final than ever before in program history.

Three plays really stood out in Friday's game:

1. Crossan's 43-yard touchdown run, where he cut around the line and hugged the sideline for most of the sprint. He's been doing it all year and Sachem fans can look forward to 2011, because he'll be bigger, stronger, faster and, aside from his brother Trent, will be the go-to offensive stud.

2. Scanna stripped the ball from Stacey Bedell's hands in the fourth quarter when Sachem's back was against the wall and time was running out. I couldn't think of another player, on any team, who I'd want in that position. Armine said he spoke with Alex Katos on the previous play and both agreed Sachem needed to strip the ball to have a chance. Scanna, using all his might, tore the rock from Bedell's Colonial fingers and regained possession for the Arrows.

You couldn't have written a more unique script. One minute left, charging down field, penalty called, the pressure was at an all-time high. The referees twiddled their thumbs as the entire stadium wondered what happened to the time on the clock. Everything was chaotic. It was fun while it lasted, up until when the last second's ticked away and Scanna landed in a pile of onlookers thanks to a Bedell tackle no less.

3. Which brings me to Armine, who had two monster runs – of 66 and 49 yards – that will be remembered forever in terms of Sachem football history. His overall performance saw him rush for 243 yards on 22 carries. He willed himself through every carry. At one point, after running 66 yards, he yelled, "this will not be my last game."

While it was, he did everything in his power to keep Sachem alive in the playoffs. He gathered his teammates in the south end zone one last time after the game and said exactly what this column does, that one game should not erase what this 2010 Arrows team accomplished.

"We had a great season," Armine said proudly, "two great seasons actually."

Without hesitation, he's anticipating the next hurdle. "We'll be ready come lacrosse season."

This isn't the first time Sachem has lost a big game, and probably won't be the last. It just hurts the most right now when it's fresh. Put the context of the 2010 season in perspective and you'll feel a whole lot better, Sachem. I did and here we are.

Fourth & Goal:

-One a side note, Scanna is still up for the Hansen Award, given to Suffolk County's top player. Win or lose, Sachem Patch will be reporting on that once the playoffs are over and the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association holds its annual awards ceremony. He should win the Collata too since he's the best linebacker out there.

-Don't forget, Sachem alum Dave Shanahan and legend Fred Fusaro are still alive with John Glenn in the playoffs. Sachem alum Joe Cipp's Bellport squad is also kicking. While the Flaming Arrows may be out, we are all pulling for members of the football family to succeed.

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