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Chris Stancarone, Jack Pendergrass help lift Division to 3-0 start

Division quarterback Chris Stancarone scrambles during a Nassau

Division quarterback Chris Stancarone scrambles during a Nassau Conference III football game against host Roosevelt on March 13. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

If there’s one word that defines Division through the first three weeks of the season, its "new." New offense. New running back. New role for a reciever.

But, here’s another word – "no." As in no losses.

Division is 3-0 in Nassau III after a 51-28 win over Mineola on Friday night. Quarterback Chris Stancarone, who's been charged with learning his third offense in as many years, rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries and completed 9-of-14 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

Safe to say he’s got the offense down.

Stancarone’s two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns put the game on ice after Mineola climbed back into it. After Mineola cut the Division lead to 36-28 with 9:08 left, Stancarone rushed 29 yards for a touchdown and then found Raymond Nicholson for a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 44-28. Stanacarone’s 27-yard touchdown with 1:17 left put the exclamation point on the win.

"The (run-pass options) were a little difficult for me," Stancarone said. "I had to understand defenses more and had to understand who I’m supposed to be reading. That definitely took some time to learn. But, each week that goes by, I’m really understanding who to read and what to do more."

Jose Nieves (five catches, 122 yards), who got pushed into a starting role last week after an injury, caught two touchdown passes from Stancarone, including a 34-yarder on a fourth-and-11 with 41 seconds left in the third quarter that gave Division a 36-20 lead.

"I saw that they were blitzing," Stancarone said. "I knew the route was going behind the linebacker. I saw the blitz, rolled out of the pocket, saw him open, and just trusted him."

Jack Pendergrass, who was moved from offensive line to running back this season because of his speed, rushed for 242 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He had touchdowns of 53 and 30 yards, both in the second quarter. Pendergrass also had 17 tackles and a sack on defense.

"The adjustment was pretty hard," Pendergrass said of moving to running back, a position he had never played. "But, once I got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing from there."

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