Port Jefferson's game plan in its season opening contest was simple. The Royals wanted to run the football until they could wear down Southampton -- then run it some more.
It worked out perfectly as the Port Jefferson rushing attack powered a 35-12 victory in Suffolk IV at home yesterday.
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"Once the third quarter hit we were just pounding the ball and wedging it up the middle, getting 10 yards, 20 yards and you slowly feel your opponent break,'' Port Jeff lineman Ryan Woodward said. "That's when you know you got them and we had them and we kept driving the ball slowly but surely and the defense picked it up and we pulled it out.''
Port Jefferson led 7-6 at halftime but set the tone of the second half with its opening drive of the third quarter. Highlighted by a 39-yard run by senior Paul Cavanagh and capped with a 7-yard scamper by Douglas Crawford, the Royals covered 66 yards on six plays.
"This was exactly what we wanted to happen,'' coach Andrew Cosci said. "We did not throw the ball once and that is ideal to me. We want to run the ball with four or five different backs a game and just amass a lot of yardage. Sooner or later the defense will wear down and as long as we don't make mistakes we should pick up a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns."
The Royals finished with 359 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
"I love it as a running back,'' Tyler D'Accordo, who lined up as the Royals quarterback and orchestrated the rushing attack, said. "It's one of those offenses where the defense doesn't know what's coming. We would be running a sweep right and they would think we're going left. I have big blockers in front of me and it makes my job easy.''
D'Accordo gained 126 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Southampton's Shaundell Fishburne did all he could for his team, running for a 5-yard touchdown and catching a 58-yard pass for a score, but it was not enough.
"We came out a little slow but in the third quarter our conditioning came through,'' D'Accordo said. "We pulled together as a team and the big plays started to happen.''