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Centereach’s Alec Kiernan inspired in win over Riverhead

Centereach's Alec Kiernan (21) runs the ball in

Centereach's Alec Kiernan (21) runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first quarter during the Suffolk High School Division II football game between Centereach and Riverhead on Saturday Sept, 16 2017 at Centereach High School. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Alec Kiernan had one thing on his mind before Centereach’s football game yesterday: his brother.

“Danny. Everything was about Danny,” Kiernan said of his brother, who died last Sunday. “I know he was there watching.”

Alec had missed football practice Thursday and Friday to attend the wake and funeral but decided to play yesterday’s game against Riverhead at home in his honor.

Inspired, he played a memorable game, rushing for 213 yards on 26 carries with four touchdowns in the Cougars’ 43-8 Suffolk II victory. He also had seven tackles, including three sacks.

“Alec played like an animal today,” Centereach coach Adam Barrett said. “He’s our captain. He’s not a screamer or a yeller. He leads by example; he’s our glue. This week was very tough, but we rallied around him.

Kiernan enjoyed making his family members — including some from as far away as Hawaii and Colorado — feel good for a few hours Saturday after a difficult week.

“It was tough,” Kiernan said. “But to be able to handle a tough situation, and make my family smile after this felt real good.”

Kiernan wasn’t the only Cougar who played an inspired game.

Devin Demetres returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown, and Kiernan added touchdown scores of 10 and 11 yards as Centereach (2-0) led 21-8 after the first quarter. Vinny Liotta (56 yards rushing) added a 21-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion run by Matt Robbert made it 29-8 before halftime.

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