Chris Gray had nowhere to run in the first half. The Mount Sinai defense kept the Wildcats halfback pinned between the tackles and stuffed the run. The Mustangs defensive unit was so efficient that it limited Shoreham-Wading River to a total of 59 first-half yards and three first downs.
Gray, who accounted for a mere nine yards in the first half, put a whole different face on it in the final two quarters. The second half belonged to Gray.
Gray scored on two of his first three carries in the third quarter and finished with four touchdowns as Shoreham-Wading River erased a 6-0 deficit and went on to a 28-6 win over host Mount Sinai before a rain-soaked crowd of about 300 in a Suffolk Division IV football game Friday night.
On Gray’s first carry of the third quarter he burst over right tackle and down the sideline for a 45-yard touchdown run. Tyler McAuley added the extra-point kick to give Shoreham-Wading River its first lead, 7-6.
After a quick three-and-out, Shoreham took over on its 45 and it was all Gray again. He went up the middle for 20 yards and a first down and then bolted around right end for a 35-yard touchdown run and a 14-6 lead with 6:32 left in the third quarter for a 14-6 lead.
“We made some adjustments at the half,” Gray said. “And it made all the difference in the world. We were getting some nice lanes to run.”
Gray finished with scoring runs of 46, 35 and 26 yards and added a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He carried 20 times for 156 yards.
Mount Sinai (2-2) had 128 yards in the first half but was completely shut down in the second half.
The Mustangs forced a fumble on the first possession of the game and maintained field position throughout the first half that had a constant driving rain and wind squalls that adversely affected the passing game.
Mike Carniero recovered the loose ball at the Wildcats 36 but the Mustangs were unable to move it and take advantage of the turnover. Mount Sinai punter Colin McCarthy pinned the Wildcats with a beautiful punt into a swirling wind at the 7- yard line.
The Mustangs defense forced a three and out and a short punt had them on the Wildcats’ 44. Four plays later, quarterback Jason Schlonsky scrambled away from pressure and eluded two open field tacklers for a 31-yard touchdown run. The extra-point kick was blocked by Joe Miller and Mount Sinai led 6-0 with 4:20 left in the first quarter.
“You have to block out the weather and do your job,” said Shoreham’s tight end Ethan Weiderkehr. “We did a better job of blocking in the second half and that was the difference in the outcome.”