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Davien Kuinlan rushes for 281 yards, 3 TDs to lead Plainedge

Plainedge's Davien Kuinlan throws a pass during the

Plainedge's Davien Kuinlan throws a pass during the first quarter of a Nassau County Conference III varsity football game against Lawrence at Plainedge High School on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Credit: James Escher

Take a quick look at Davien Kuinlan's rushing numbers: 1,009 yards, 12 touchdowns.

Pretty good season, right?

Actually, those are his numbers from the last three games.

In Plainedge's 38-0 Nassau III win over Lawrence Saturday, the quarterback ran for 281 yards and three touchdowns. And it's considered his worst game of the month!

Of late, 300 or more rushing yards in a game has been the norm for Kuinlan, who had 332 and 396 yards, respectively, the previous two weeks. So is he upset that he was 19 yards shy of being the first player in Long Island high school football history to run for at least 300 yards in three straight games?

"Not at all," he said. "I just want to contribute as much as I can and see the team win. It makes me happier, makes the team happier."

They were all happy Saturday after improving to 6-0. And though Kuinlan's 300-yard streak came to an end, his dominance continued.

He faked a handoff to Corey Hill and ran to the outside for a 14-yard touchdown to open the scoring just three minutes into the game. "The Kuinlan show is starting," the PA announcer said after he reached the end zone.

Kuinlan increased the lead to 14-0 after sweeping left and diving into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown with 8:05 remaining in the second quarter.

"He has an intangible and I don't know what it is," Plainedge coach Rob Shaver said of Kuinlan, whose 54-yard run set up his 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. "Is his 40-yard dash time the fastest? No. But he has something that nobody else has. We are blessed to have him."

Jake Esposito took a pitch down the sideline for a 23-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 21-0 with 5:03 left in the half. Esposito, who added a 3-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, finished with 54 yards on seven carries.

"Our line was incredible," he said. "I saw green grass and ran."

Bryan Flynn had 73 yards on three catches. Dylan Burns was 5-for-5 on extra points and has made all 32 of his attempts this season. He kicked a 47-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half to send Plainedge into the break with a 24-0 advantage. Burns, who also made a touchdown-saving tackle on a kickoff return, said it was his longest field goal to date.

He had another 47-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter but it hit the crossbar. "An inch!" he said.

Still, Kuinlan said, "I think he's the best kicker in New York."

Marquan Williams ran for 119 yards on 22 carries for Lawrence (3-3). The Golden Tornado's best chance came on its first drive, but Plainedge stopped Lawrence on fourth down at the 2-yard line.

"We didn't want them to gain any yards, we didn't want them to score, and we shut them out," said Neil Bates, who along with Anthony Pantino was key in stopping the run. "We played as a group."

The offensive line also played as a group, opening holes for Kuinlan.

He's now about 300 yards from passing Jerone Pettus and becoming Nassau County's all-time leading rusher. Pettus, of Freeport and Roosevelt, rushed for 5,841 yards between 1996 and 1999, according to Newsday's records. But like his 300-yard streak, those numbers aren't on Kuinlan's mind.

"That would be a great thing, but I'm just not thinking about that," he said. "I didn't even know that. I'm just worrying about the team winning, not my rushing yards."

Even though he's run for 1,009 of them this month alone.


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