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QB tricks and FG kicks
In the chaos of writing about Friday night’s exciting Babylon-Glenn game on an extremely tight deadline, I did not get to elaborate on the excellent games played by a couple of quarterbacks who are starting for the first time in 2012.
For Babylon, employing a spread offense to take advantage of its speed and talent at the skill positions, Nick Santorelli (pictured) was the Panthers’ leading rusher with 137 yards on 23 carries, including a huge 36-yard run that set up the eventual game-winning field 28-yard goal with 57 seconds left by Alex Malhas. Santorelli also was busy throwing the ball, completing 10 of 22 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown.
For Glenn, quarterback Matt Shanerman is the latest dual threat out of the Knights’ spread, following in the footsteps of All-Long Island stars Rich Czeczotka (2011) and Ryan Rielly (2010), who guided Glenn to the last two Class IV Long Island Championships.
Shanerman ran 25 times for 90 yards, and that included three sacks that counted against his rushing total. He was even more dangerous through the air, completing 7 of 15 passes for 157 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Glenn-Babylon game was one of two over the weekend decided by last-minute field goals. At West Islip, the situation was even more dramatic, as Zach Hageman converted a 36-yard field goal – no chip shot on the high-school level – with only 4.3 seconds left to give the Lions a 16-13 victory over Riverhead.
It was not only a game-winning kick but was Hageman’s first varsity field-goal attempt. “What a life experience and a memory for that kid,” West Islip coach Steve Mileti told Newsday’s Chris Mascaro after the game.
Reminds me of Ryan Norton’s first varsity kick for Garden City. When Norton was a sophomore up from the JV in the fall of 2009, he kicked a 38-yard field goal to give the Trojans a 9-6 victory over North Babylon in the Class II Long Island Championship and I wrote in my story the next day, “What can the kid possibly do for an encore?”
Norton never did get a chance to win another LIC with a kick, but he became an All-Long Island kicker and earned a scholarship to Syracuse University, where he currently is the Orange’s kickoff specialist and expects to be the regular placekicker before his college career is done.