Not many running backs can deliver a bigger hit than Calhoun's Anthony Calamusa. He knows it and certainly isn't shy about sharing it.
"You kind of just get into that beast mode like Marshawn Lynch," the 6-foot, 215-pound Calamusa said. "Lower the shoulder, run through them."
Bellmore JFK learned the hard way as Calamusa ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns as Calhoun won, 41-14, on Saturday at Bellmore JFK High School in Nassau II. The Colts scored on the game's fourth play as quarterback Mike Zito read the defense, kept the ball on an option run and sprinted down the left sideline for a 68-yard touchdown.
"I pulled it and I just ran for it," said Zito, who ran for 153 yards and two scores. "It definitely set a tone, big time. Everybody was pumped and then we just held the lead from there."
Bellmore JFK responded with an 8-play, 60-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard TD run by Nico Racalbuto on fourth down to cut the lead to 7-6. The extra point was blocked. Dom Brocco (22 carries for 143 yards) led the Cougars down the field with 43 yards on five carries on the drive.
Calhoun's defense took over -- forcing turnovers on the next two drives -- an interception by Alex Kuschner and a fumble recovery by P.J. Pinto. The turnovers led to rushing TDs by Dan Tack and Greg Grippa to extend Calhoun's lead to 21-6.
"Everybody worked together today," Zito said. "The pulls were there. The pitches were there today. Everybody executed. The lineman did a great job. Everyone just executed as one."
Bellmore JFK (2-3) had moments when it looked like it was going to climb back into it. The Cougars had an impressive 18-play, 68-yard drive in the second quarter, which ended when Racalbuto was sacked by multiple defenders on fourth down. Brocco's 4-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion reception on a swing pass cut the Colts' lead to 21-14 with 3:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Then Calhoun (2-3) regained control. Zito and Grippa connected on a 50-yard pass to the 10-yard line before it was called back to the 30 after a block-in-the-back penalty. Zito picked up his teammates two plays later with a 24-yard touchdown run up the middle after faking a dive and bursting through the line of scrimmage.
"Our quarterback made great decisions today," Moeller said. "In this offense, the quarterback reading what the defense does really sets the tone for whether the offense clicks."
The Colts held the ball for nine of 12 minutes in the fourth quarter as Calamusa bulldozed his way to 8- and 16-yard touchdown runs.
"You kinda just got to go in with a mentality that you are bigger than the person in front of you," Calamusa said, "and you are just going to run through them."
And that's exactly what Calamusa and Calhoun did.