Conor Colasurdo helps Carey to win over MacArthur in Nassau II semifinal
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The punt was fake, but everything else about Conor Colasurdo's game was real.
Colasurdo ran for 80 yards, 29 on a fake punt in the second quarter that flipped the field in the Seahawks' favor, scored on a 41-yard run early in the third quarter, and made 10 tackles, including a sack, as No. 1 Carey blasted No. 5 MacArthur, 48-13, Friday night in a Nassau II semifinal at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium.
Matt Robison, 78 yards and two touchdowns, and Nick Spillane, 70 yards and two touchdowns, helped the Seahawks (10-0) amass 258 yards rushing on a night when standout quarterback Ray Catapano wasn't the focal point of the offense.
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"When you play on Friday nights in November, you've got to run the ball," said Carey coach Mike Stanley, whose team will play Garden City for the Nassau II title at 7 p.m. next Friday at Hofstra.
"We know it's harder to throw in the cold and wind," said Colasurdo, though it was more the Generals' defensive alignment than climate -- relatively mild and calm -- that determined the Seahawks' game plan.
"If they put two safeties back, which they did, we knew we had to gash them with the run," said Spillane, who also had an interception. "Our offensive line made huge holes. It's awesome running behind those guys."
Because Catapano has had such an outstanding season, with 32 touchdowns and two interceptions -- both coming Friday night -- Carey's running game often gets overlooked. "Versatility is the key to our offense," Spillane said. "We have five running backs that can get 15 or 20 yards any time, four great receivers and a great quarterback."
And Friday night, Carey had a stellar defense, too. After being burned for a 54-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Kelleher to Jared Wolfe when a defensive back gambled for an interception near the sideline that brought MacArthur (5-5) to within 7-6, the Seahawks turned into a runaway train.
Spillane capped one drive with a 4-yard touchdown for a 14-6 lead and Robison capped another with an 11-yard dash as Carey led 21-6 at halftime.
Any upset hopes were squashed quickly when Spillane returned the second-half kickoff 53 yards and two plays later, Colasurdo exploded through the right side for a 41-yard touchdown. Later in the quarter, Catapano (10-for-16, 115 yards) hit Andrew Ris for a 14-yard scoring pass and a 35-6 advantage.
Carey's starting defense rested for the fourth quarter but had done its job. Especially Colasurdo. "My defensive linemen held their guys and I had an open window to make tackles," the middle linebacker said. "I love playing that position. I've got a lot of freedom."
Stanley said of Colasurdo, "Inside-out, he's one of the best linebackers around."
He's real good.