Even though seniors A.J. Cain and Kevin Murphy expressed obvious disappointment in the way the Seaford football season ended, both players held their heads high when speaking of the bonds formed between teammates.
After Seaford fell to Shoreham-Wading River, 20-10, in the Long Island Class IV championship game at Stony Brook’s LaValle Stadium on Sunday night, the two best friends looked back on what was a successful season.
“I’m definitely thankful for this season,” Cain said. “These guys are my brothers, and everyone puts everything they have into every play. We just didn’t execute that much today, and we just didn’t come out on top. But I know everyone gave it their all.”
Cain was a versatile weapon for the Vikings. He completed 14 of 27 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown, averaged 37 yards on two booming punts, returned three kickoffs for 31 yards and made two tackles — one for a loss — on defense. He even recovered his own onside kick in the first quarter after Josh Pinnock kicked a 20-yard field goal on Seaford’s opening drive. “I love staying on the field and doing everything I can for my teammates,” Cain said.
Cain and Murphy formed a potent connection for the Vikings during an 11-1 season. Murphy, a 6-1 receiver, caught 10 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown Sunday night.
“We’re best friends; we’re on the same page,” said Murphy, who caught a short pass, spun around a defender and sprinted into the end zone with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter to keep Seaford’s hopes alive.
Added Cain: “We’ve known each other since kindergarten. We’ve just always had a bond together. We’re best friends and know what each other is going to do.”
Like his lifelong friend, Murphy made an impact in other areas, racking up 6 1⁄2 tackles as a defensive back.
The willingness of both athletes to intensely compete on both sides of the ball embodied the spirit of the Vikings, who continued to pressure the Wildcats until the end. So even after losing, players took the field, did their post-game jumping jacks and huddled together for one last team chant.
“The bonds we have and the memories we made throughout the year just made the whole season,” Murphy said. “We didn’t get the ending we wanted, but the memories are more important.”