East Meadow punt?
Not last night with Billy Andrle around.
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When a team without an intimidating inside presence would normally punt -- say, a fourth down perilously close to midfield -- the ball tended to find its way to Andrle's hands . . . over and over and over.
For good reason, too.
When there were only a few yards between the Jets and a renewed set of downs, Andrle (pronounced An-drell), was just as happy finding a hole as he was dragging defenders a few extra feet. The fullback did it three times in the Jets' first scoring drive in a 48-38 win against Farmingdale in Nassau I, and keyed an East Meadow offense that didn't have too much need for fourth-down heroics after that. He sacrificed his body, to boot -- leaving the game in the fourth quarter with what he told teammates was a broken finger on his right hand.
Andrle, who had conversions of 1, 1 and 2 yards (amassing 8, 5 and 3 yards on those runs), scored the Jets' first TD -- an 11-yard run where he cruised, untouched, through a hole up the middle to cap a 15-play drive that lasted 8 minutes, 30 seconds. He scored three touchdowns on offense and another on a fumble recovery to lead a Jets team that didn't punt once in the entire game.
East Meadow led by as many as 25 in the third quarter, but Farmingdale drew to within 35-17 on Kevin Petit-Frere's 2-yard TD run with 4:27 left, set up by Curtis Jenkins' operatic 74-yard run -- a slippery, elegant effort where he broke three tackles. The Dalers recovered the ensuing onside kick, but fumbled two plays later.
Farmingdale scored three times in the fourth quarter, led by Rich Morris, who had an 80-yard kickoff return and a 26-yard scoring reception from Joe Valente, who threw for 183 yards and two scores.
It still wasn't enough to counteract Andrle and Co., though. He amassed 140 yards for his efforts and his 3-yard TD to make it 41-17 eventually proved to be the go-ahead score. Forget punt. Last night, Andrle was synonymous with victory.