The steady wind and rainfall did not douse the spirits of the Division II/III team at the Suffolk PAL All-Star game at Sachem North Wednesday night. They defeated the Division I/IV All-Stars, 22-7, on the rain-soaked field at Fred Fusaro Stadium.
Running backs Willie McFadden of Copiague and Cole Zeller of Eastport-South Manor and quarterback Andy Steck of Comsewogue paced a punishing running attack that staked the II/III all-stars to an early lead.
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McFadden had two touchdown runs of 20 and 36-yards that gave II/III a 22-0 lead in the first half. McFadden was named the offensive MVP of his team, finishing with 60-yards and the two touchdowns on five carries. He didn't play the second half because of a sprained ankle.
"It was unreal and fun and it was a great group of guys and everybody is so talented," McFadden said. "I was told that the colder the game, the more importance the game holds."
Pat Shepard of Islip had two sacks and was named defensive MVP.
It was Steck who scored the first touchdown for II/III early in the first quarter. Pressed into full-time action because of an injury to Bay Shore's Ryan Mazzie in the first quarter, Steck hit Evan Holley of Central Islip with an 18-yard pass over the middle to convert a third-and-long. "It was definitely more free flowing," Steck said about the play calling. "We got to throw the ball a little bit more because we ran the ball a lot more during the regular season."
Steck finished off the drive with a read-option keeper that he brought down to the 5-yard line before scoring the first touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run around the left end in which he bounced off two would-be tacklers before crossing the goal line.
Steck finished 4-for-9 passing for 39 yards but also missed out on a sure 47-yard touchdown pass that was dropped in the second half.
McFadden struck quickly on the next drive with a 20-yard touchdown run after the first of two fumble recoveries by Smithtown West's Dan Cox. Bay Shore kicker Matt Smith, fought his way into the end zone after a fake for a two-point conversion. It was the second all-star game this week for Smith, who also participated in a soccer all-star game on last Saturday at St. Joseph's (L.I.).
"At the beginning of the year I was just kicking field goals for fun," Smith said. "Then the football coach recruited me to play and he told me I was going to do big things with it. I was really excited when I got this opportunity."
Eddie Pitre of Longwood put I/IV on the board with a 45-yard interception return on the last play of the third quarter and was named the defensive MVP for his team. Running back Marcus Gutierrez of Connetquot was named the offensive MVP of the squad.